For many years I was a hockey mom. I had to be. Four of our boys plus one foster son played in the Williams Lake minor league, all at the same time.
I spent hours in the old arena either at games, 6 a.m. practices, or at meetings (I went all the way and was on the WLMHA executive.) None of my Williams Lake grandchildren played hockey, so I missed an entire generation of minor league. Now, 30 years later, GGS#1 is in the novice division (age 7 to 8). He is a Smashing Pumpkin. The team wears smashing orange jerseys. The novices played in a tournament here this last weekend. I attended two of the SP’s four games. The first they lost badly, the last they won goodly (shutout). Both games were in rink two, which is not spectator friendly — too few seats for one thing.
Mind you, GGS#1’s rooting section was probably larger than the norm. It included both sets of grandparents and two great-grands.
Minor hockey has changed in the last three decades, for the better from the look of it. Girls didn’t play back in the 1970s, and equal ice time was an issue because a lot of coaches wanted only the best players on the ice so they could win games. What hasn’t changed is that though small in size, the youngsters are big in determination.
Speaking of ice, I like it better when it’s in the arena, not lurking all over the place. Walking anywhere these days requires your head down and cautious footwork.
On-street parking often means having to navigate an icy strip between the street and sidewalk.
Some parking lots have little ice fields on each side of the designated parking place waiting to fell the unwary when they exit their vehicle. On the bright side, spring will come eventually.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.