Monday, December 10, 2007

Check it Out

Check it out: It’s Thursday night. The AMHL Photographer and I gaze upon the scene at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, home of the AHL’s Monarchs. To our right, a giant Canadian flag hangs from the rafters. Left, banners commemorating the home team’s championships dangle from the girders. But the Monarchs won’t play here until Saturday night—against the Chicago Wolves. We’re here for the John (Cougar) Mellencamp concert, an early birthday present my wife has orchestrated. Below us, Mellencamp and his team—a fiddler, a drummer, a keyboard player, and two guitarists—are in the middle of Check It Out—but I’m thinking back to my game this morning.

Check it out: Only one goalie showed up. Mine. Kenny Tarr was ready to help the Panthers halt our five-game losing streak. Who knows where the first-place Bruins’ backstops (Mike Chase and second fiddle Dana Salvo) were. Tarr was our goalie for the first and third periods, but we had to loan him to the Bruins for the second period. Our performance, unlike Mr. Mellencamp’s, was less than harmonious. But we won anyway, 11–7, stepping out of the cellar and into third place just in time for the play-offs. I consider the victory the first of several gifts during my birthday season.

The win, the concert…the dinner out my wife is planning for this Saturday night, and the pick-up game she’ll plan for January. My birthday isn’t a one-day affair. God love her, she heaps upon me gift after gift, before and after December 10.

On Saturday afternoon, she gives me two presents. The first is another hockey book, Jonesy: Put Your Head Down and Skate. The second is a dark gray, long-sleeve sweatshirt with these words pressed upon the front: IT”S ALL IN THE BOOK

This is something I say to anyone who asks me about our travels to Canada. It’s also my response to someone who asks about our favorite sport and my favorite food—the words on the back: HOCKEY & DONUTS

You see, I’ve documented my charmed life in not only in this blog but also in the book I’ll someday publish, AMHL Glory. Check it out!
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