Sackville, Nova Scotia is where I grew up. For as long as I can remember, my dad would spend his spare time at the Sackville Arena, home of the Jr. B Blazers. Dad went from being a fan, to well respected member of the club. He travelled everywhere with the team, never missed a game, even if it meant travelling 4 hours to see it. Mom washed and repaired the jerseys, my brother helped with the equipment, my sister sang the canadian anthem at the home games, and I sold tickets at the door and the 50/50. When dad started working at arena, he continued to do as much as he could with the club. When he died, (which was a Friday), the following Monday was a home game for the Blazers and they had a moment of silence for him at the game. On his obituary, it was requested in lieu of flowers, donations could be made to the club. He loved it that much. So, when Joey started hockey here, I really had a bit of a hard time with it. This is something Dad should have been here to see. I don't think that way very often, but this is one of those times that it really really hit me that he's not here and he should be. Both Joey and Alan are in hockey this year, and I know he's watching and is very proud. The hockey here in town is, well, it's a small town. Coaches are volunteers and are stretched very thin. It is not unusal for a practice to not have a coach. The pre-novice this year only have 3 players, Joey and 2 other boys in his class. Unfortunately the interest just isn't here in this town for hockey as it used to be, and these guys are getting in on the very end of it. I don't see a lot of hockey in Joe's future, not if we are here. It's just not going to happen. Anywho, back to the jersey story. I emailed the current coach of the Sackville Blazers, who I know quite well and was coaching when my dad was still alive. I explained the hockey (or lack of) situation here, and told him that the little boys here don't even have jerseys. I asked him if there was any way to get a little jersey for Joe of the Blazers. I offered to pay for it if this was something that could be done. I received an email last week, asking me what number I wanted on it and where to mail it. Since Joe is a Sydney Crosby fan, 87 was the only number I could think of. And this is what showed up in the mail yesterday. I am going to enlarge this picture and mail it back to the coach, and when I go back there this summer I am going to visit him to say thank you in person.
I miss you Dad, but I know you're very proud right now.