|Our son Darren, Gordie Howe, Cam Tait|
Just before we looked into the camera Friday, Gordie Howe turned to me and smiled.
“I better give you one of these,” he said, and then lifting his left elbow against my chin.
An elbow from Mr. Hockey. Wouldn’t miss it.
Our son Darren and I went to the luncheon for the Scotiabank Pro-Am forAlzheimer’s at River Cree. Before lunch we lined up to get our picture taken with Mr. Howe. He was as polite and talkative then as in 1978 when I first met him with my father in Llodyminster.
I introduce him to Darren. He turned to Darren with that glint in his eye.
“Hear what he said?” Mr. Howe asked Darren. “He said he wanted me to meet his ‘Damn son’.”
And then laughed. I wonder, though, if that’s how my father introduced me.
Mr. Howe turned 85 at the end of March. There had been some talk about signs of him slowing down.
Darren and I certainly didn’t see that — and, I have an elbow to prove it.
Other nuggets from the lunch ..
•Great story from Tom Webster who roomed with Mr. Howe on the road when he first joined the Red Wings.
When Mr. Howe entered the room Webster handed him the list of paper of names.
“Did Colleen call?” Mr. Howe asked about his wife. Webster said no.
Mr. Howe then took the list and ripped it in half.
“These people will all call back.”
•Former legendary Oiler play-by-play man Rod Phillips had a great chat with former Edmonton coach Ron Low. It looked just like a scene from the mid-1990’s.
•Jason Gregor of The Team 1260 did a great job as the MC guy during the event, especially the Hot Stove portion with Marty McSorley, Webster and Bryan Trottier.
McSorely told the story of when Los Angeles King Wayne Gretzky broke Mr. Howe’s scoring record.
“I felt sorry for Gordie because he was traveling with us for a few weeks, waiting for Wayne to break the record. Someone once said ‘Wayne why don’t you ask Gordie to show you to score … he played the game for 33 years, you know’,” McSorely said.
Gretzky repeatedly told his teammates what an idol Mr. Howe was.
McSorely held his hand up one and said: “He’s an idol for all of us.”
Great way to salute the unknown heroes such a big event needs.
•Reminder: Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story airs tonight (Apr 28) on CBC at 8 p.m. Edmonton time.