One of the sayings that I hear while working at the library is “You learn something new every day.”
It couldn’t be more true this week as I prepare for a special Christmas story time.
The theme I have chosen for this year is Hockey! The quintessential Canadian game that I don’t know much about, but watched plenty of times on television (albeit a tad begrudgingly).
Nevertheless, once I began to learn the rules and stopped calling the end of periods “half times,” I quite enjoyed the game.
Maybe it reminded me of my elementary school days when we would play to win hockey cards.
I lost a lot of cards that are probably worth a fortune today.
My most loved team was the Boston Bruins and I will still to this day root for them, although I’m not entirely sure why.
Doing a little bit of research about the game of hockey, I checked out a book by Kevin Gibson called “Of Myths and Sticks: Hockey Facts, Fictions and Coincidences.”
Anything you are curious about when it comes to hockey, you could probably find the answer to in this book, and it’s also quite funny.
He quotes comedian Jerry Seinfeld who said, “When cheering for your team, you are basically rooting for laundry. If your favourite player leaves the team, he no longer wears the clothes that you cheer for.” Something to think about, right?
It is this sentiment that I imagine author Roch Carrier was considering when he wrote the classic Canadian story “The Hockey Sweater” back in 1979.
It was based on his experience growing up in Quebec in 1946.
His favourite hockey team was the Montreal Canadiens and player Maurice “The Rocket” Richard was the star.
All Roch wanted for Christmas was a hockey jersey exactly like his hero wore, but he received a jersey from a rival team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. How will he be able to face the other kids at the ice rink now?
This iconic tale will be read aloud at the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library on Saturday, Dec.17.
Join us for “Hockey Sticks and Stories” from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the meeting place.
Everyone is welcome to this free, drop-in program.
Come listen to some seasonal stories, play hockey bingo for prizes and enjoy a special treat.
Wear your favourite hockey team clothing to get into the spirit.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs or the Boston Bruins, just wear it with pride!
While you are there, bring your library card and place a request for Wayne Gretzky’s new book “99: Stories of the Game.”
The Great One has written a collection of never before told stories to celebrate the NHL’s 99th year.
He mentions in the book that the only trophy he has in his house is the one that Maurice “The Rocket” Richard gifted to him.
The trophy is awarded to the leading goal scorer in the NHL, and believe it or not, Gretzky never won.
Caroline McKay is an Assistant Community Librarian at the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.