My grandparents were my brother and my biggest fans. Gramp Watterson traveled to as many games as my parents did. Gram was often there too. On the Gemmell side, Grandpa G and Gram, they’d watch, I’m pretty sure not always understanding the game, but supporting their grandkids. Gram G did not attend for a couple seasons due to the violence of the sport, but I remember something about her giving it another shot and enjoying it as we grew older.
Again because of the high level of competition, Manchester was a great venue. I feel I played better at West Side Arena, than I did at JFK. West Side didn’t have much personality. I just remember playing some close and not so close games against Manchester 1. We lost a tough double overtime game there against Concord in the state playoffs when I was a Pee Wee. Also Trinity High school had the greatest goal song I ever heard. It was James Brown’s “I feel Good.” It was simple and honest and just a great song to play after a goal.
I never beat Manchester West once in my four years at KHS. There may have been a tie. But damn, they had our number. Matt Joseph and Eddie Sullivan played for them. Again…battles.
I am wearing the same helmet in my inline hockey league that I received for Christmas in 1988 or 89. I have played nearly every game of my entire life in that helmet.
During youth hockey, I wore the numbers 3, 4, 5, 9, and 18. There may have been more. When I was in High School, I wore #6 for the first two years because my brother wore #9. When he graduated, I took over #9. We still have that jersey at home which was only worn by Jon and me because after six years, KHS bought new home uniforms. Liam Burke went on to wear #6 after me. I had no emotional ties to number six. It is an upside down nine, that’s all I was thinking.
Best memory of a car trip was with the Sayre Brothers, Mike and Tom….and Mrs. Sayre. Mike was playing with a little rubber thing that goes on a finger, like a finger puppet and as he tried to pull it off, he slapped Tom in the face. An argument ensued and that’s when Mrs. Sayre stepped in and said “Give me the finger, give me the finger!” and proceeded to throw it out the window on the highway. That was funny.