It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Gumper

When I was a kid growing up in Beloeil, Quebec we had a neighbour called Gump Worsley who was a professional goaltender for the Habs. His real name was Lorne, but he got the nickname Gump after a comic strip character and it stuck. His son Dean was the same age as me and we hung out. He won two Vezina trophies and a number of Stanley Cups and whenever we went over to Dean's they were generally used as candy dishes and ashtrays. In those days professional hockey players were paid the same as salesmen, hence the need for off-season work as an alcohol rep for Seagrams.
The Gumper only wore a mask for the last seven games of his career of some 700 or so games. I remember watching a game at Dean's and out of the blue play stopped because his dad lay on the ice, unconscious. It turned out someone threw a boiled egg at him and knocked him cold. The Gumper played until he was 44 and gave up the game because of his fear of flying. His last season was with the Minnesota North Stars. He was traded for cash.

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