puppy love  

rm_bucfannn 62M/61F
1805 posts
5/24/2006 1:37 pm

Last Read:
5/29/2006 9:30 am

puppy love

When I was a kid, I was HOOKED on hockey. We lived in a little burb 25 miles from downtown Chicago. Home of the Blackhawks. EVERYONE was a loyal fan. Through thick and thin. It was hard to get tickets. They were like gold, literally. They won the Stanley Cup in
1961. I was only 4 then, but, I remember my dad cheering.

I got interested in it when I was around 7. I quickly learned all the hockey "jargon":

face off
hat trick
power play

We, as a family, would sit in front of the TV whenever a game was on WGN. Lloyd Petit did the play by play ... "A SHOT AND A GOOOOOOAL!!!!. This was also during the Bobby Hull/Stan Mikita/Phil Esposito/Glenn Hall era. Gordie Howe played for the Red Wings, the Richard brothers played for Montreal. This was back when there were only SIX NHL teams...

Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Black Hawks
Detroit Red Wings
Boston Bruins
New York Rangers

Life was good back then. Simple.

My life changed forever in 1969, right before my 13th birthday. I met "the one". Oh yes. Red hair, blue eyes, a smile to die for. From Saskatchewan. A long way away from Chicago.

Keith Magnuson. Number 3. Defenseman. Gorgeous.

I was IN LOVE. Had my picture taken with him. I was drooling. I remember him being so sweet. He hugged me, and kissed my cheek. I was never gonna wash that cheek again.

From that moment on, I was obsessed. EVERY picture of my crush from the Chicago Tribune went up on the wall in my bedroom. I had pictures everywhere. His number decorated my folders for school. I made hockey-fan buddies and we would sit for hours and talk about the last game played.

The players made A LOT of appearances back then. One time, the entire team was at a huge car dealership, and I was sick. I couldn't go. I was heartbroken... my dad went, and snuck out the pic that I had taken with Keith. He brought it back to me later that night. He had spoken with Keith, telling him I was sick.

Believe it or not, Keith remembered my name. Even remembered it was spelled with a C, and not a K. He signed the picture:

With Love to Cathy, Keith

The reason for this blog post is, I still have that picture. I just found it today, looking for something else. I found it and cried. The last time I saw him in person, I was 15 years old. He was at some PR thing for Coca-Cola, at a neighborhood grocery store. We were moving in a few weeks. I got a hug and a kiss that day, too...

When we moved to Florida on that day in December 1971, I wore my #3 Blackhawk jersey, and cried all the way to Kentucky. But, it was hard to keep up with hockey down here in the early 70's. There was no cable tv. And Florida papers would only have little snatches of news about the sport. After all, it was Florida. Hockey was a "northern" thing. Needless to say, I soon lost interest.

But, I always remembered Keith Magnuson. How nice he was to a goofy 12 year old girl.

Keith Magnuson died in a car crash, on December 15, 2003. He was 56 years old. When I heard the news, I broke down. He was my "first love".

I never forgot him. And, I never will....

peaches19555 62M

5/24/2006 4:49 pm

Recollections of the mind may fade but the muscle memory of the heart never forgets.

(a very touching post)

rm_bucfannn replies on 5/24/2006 7:20 pm:
Thank you, sweetie. I had not seen that picture in quite a few years. It was strange that I found it today. And yes, even though I am quite a few years older than that goofy 12 yr old, the memories I have remain locked in my heart...

rm_Kingcat4U2 66M
2799 posts
5/24/2006 5:35 pm

That was a great team! Mikita was my favorite, he was such a gritty player, so much heart. I'm sure you remember this line...
Jesus Saves!... But Esposito gets the rebound! I think that was spray painted over half the city!

rm_bucfannn replies on 5/24/2006 7:23 pm:
You bet. Stan Mikita was my mom's favorite. You had to laugh, when he had the puck, and she'd be yelling "KITA KITA". She has his autobiography, and he signed it for her.

Damn, I loved hockey back then. I remember the city would stop when the 'Hawks played at the Stadium...

rm_jami95 67M
69 posts
5/24/2006 6:03 pm

Interesting that you have a thing for #3 athletes....

rm_bucfannn replies on 5/24/2006 7:24 pm:
Heh. Go figure, eh?

And, both are gone now... sigh...

rm_LoyalCumpany 47M
3204 posts
5/25/2006 12:37 am

Think I have one of his cards laying around somewhere (I have lots of them). Miss the old time hockey....

I am JoJo the Circus Boy!

rm_bucfannn replies on 5/25/2006 5:34 am:
I still have a few pictures left. And, many autographs...

Hockey was fun back then. I still enjoy it, (with the addition to NHL here in F, but, it's not like it used to be....

HeardLankaMalls 56M
2925 posts
5/25/2006 7:52 am

Great story C! Thank you for sharing

Nice when the pleasant childhood memories come back. I remember first watching a baseball game, on a black and white tv, and seeing Mickey Mantle batting. It was the end of his playing career, but made me a Yankee fan, even though my father had little interest in sports.

Do you still watch/enjoy hockey? Or has the allure warn off as you were away from it for so long?

Hugs, C

rm_bucfannn replies on 5/25/2006 8:15 am:
Thanks, Cor

I am a hockey fan, (TB Lightning), but, I have cooled off a bit since last years season didn't happen because of the strike. Im sure it will take me a while to get over that, but, yes, I still love hockey. Maybe with not as much intensity as when I was young, but, it's a great sport...

Tone_33756 56M

5/28/2006 1:02 pm

OMG - my best friend growing up was a huge Blackhawks fan. When he moved away (he was 6 years older than me) he gave me a lot of his hackey cards - several of Magnuson! Of course, there were several Mikita and Hull cards also.

Loved watching that team of the early 70's play.

Back in those days, before cable, it was an event to watch a hockey game, playoffs or not.

Thanks for the memory jog - sorry it had a meloncholy ending. He did die way too young.

rm_bucfannn replies on 5/28/2006 8:49 pm:
That's when hockey was hockey. Not that it's not fun now, but, when there was only 6 teams, it sure made it interesting...

Become a member to create a blog