Backyard Hockey

Hockey Game in front of St. Denis Hall – 1922. Picture from SWODA

I grew up in Essex in a house with a big back yard. Every winter when it got cold enough, my Dad would cut wood for a rink barrier, set it in the backyard and flood the form. The ice would freeze. He’d resurface the ice by flooding it with water from the garden hose every day to make it smoother. Even with resurfacing, my buddies and I would get so excited skating for the puck that we’d hit those cuts made by our blades and go flying. One winter I broke my arm hitting the wooden form and mom wouldn’t let me skate but that didn’t keep my friends from coming over to play. I had to sit in the kitchen and watch them flying around the ice. Looking back, it was good time spent with my mom and probably a good idea because I would have injured myself but at the time it was torture. The winter and cold seemed to last forever back then. Raise your hand if you were part of the self-named Essex Raiders and know that if you were a Leaf, we didn’t think you were very good.

Bill – Essex

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