I’m about to leave Kentucky after a pretty cool week here. The highlight for me were three nights staying in a cabin made from a shipping container near Slade while visiting the Red River Gorge. It was really nice to be disconnected for a while and there was a Kroger in nearby Stanton to pick up all the ingredients for a good white chilli. The Kentucky Historical Society library and the Old State Capitol tour in Frankfort were also good. Besides my own cooking, the best food was the barbeque at Fred’s Smokehouse at the Jim Beam distillery and some derby pie and ice cream in Louisville.
Drop-in hockey is always a lot of fun but today it was crazy because seemingly out of nowhere, this player who looks like Brent Burns shows up at the last minute. After watching him skate for a few seconds, it was clear that this was the real deal.
Shortly into my first shift, someone on the other team hit the puck into center ice and I had the opportunity to retrieve it. I saw Burns was the closest opposing player to the puck and yet somehow the thought “I got this” actually went through my head. Since I had my back to the puck, I circled around but by the time I made eye-contact with the puck, Burns was already on his way to an easy score.
He was genuinely friendly afterwards and even said thanks for having him there (any time!) and several of us took a picture with him. He tweeted about the visit.
I narrowly missed watching Howe play and win championships for the Houston Aeros as my family moved back to Houston just after he left for the Hartford Whalers. It was truly amazing that a 50 year old man could still competitively play professional hockey. Jaromír Jágr is the closest but he’s only 44.
I was fortunate to see several Aeros games after Howe’s departure and I especially liked tweets from former Houston Aero Cam Connor today reminiscing about Gordie’s toughness on the ice but also kindness. Gretzky is right that Howe was the greatest.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Hockey.
I worked on a modest project of automating sending my webmentions with a post-receive hook to my git server. The code I wrote is available here and here. I plan to write up some more detail later. Thanks to Tantek, Aaron, Shane and everyone for a great experience!