Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Tribute to the Boston Bruins, Hockey, and my Dad

by Susan Santangelo

Greetings from beautiful, sunny Cape Cod, where the sky is a perfect shade of blue, the temperature is in the low seventies, and there's just a hint of light wind. I'd like to say this is typical June here, but I'd be lying. More typical is the weather we had earlier this week: gray skies, rain, horrific wind.

Perhaps this idyllic day is another way Nature is celebrating the victory of New England's own hockey team, the Bruins, and their upset win over Vancouver to win the coveted Stanley Cup after a 39-year drought. If you weren't wearing yellow and black around here yesterday, when the team's victory parade wound its way through the streets of Boston to the cheers of adoring fans, shame on you. Even Red Sox nation stopped and cheered. A little.

Today, of course, is Father's Day, and I spent some time this morning remembering my wonderful father, Harry Guilbault, a kind and gentle man with a quick wit and the most outgoing personality the Good Lord ever gave a human being. He died more than 30years ago, and I miss him.

I don't remember my father being a huge sports fan (except for the Red Sox, naturally). But it suddenly occurred to me that if it hadn't been for hockey, I might not ever have been born. To say nothing of my two sons, Mark and Dave, and two grandchildren, Jacob and Rebecca.

The story of my parents' whirwind romance (it took ten years before they finally got married -- my dad liked to take his time before he made big decisions)is linked with a professional hockey game. It was their very first date. Almost their last one, too, because my mother -- always polite -- pretended to enjoy herself but in reality, would have much preferred a concert or local theater production to watching grown men chase a puck around ice in a freezing arena and occasionally club each other over the head to keep the fans' interest.

Ah, well, as the saying goes, opposites do attract.

So in a way the Bruins victory and winning the Stanley cup is kind of like my dad winning my mom, without the ticker tape parade.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. Hope you're having a good one!

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