My traveling partner Ev passed away this year. This is the note I sent to his brother Bernie this September.
Bernie – It really is funny. Not a lot of time goes by that I don’t think of Ev for some odd reason.
Someone makes a remark about my youth, someone comments on an old car.
I need an old photo for something, and I route through the computer or the photo boxes.
Ev is still pretty much still everywhere in my life.
Then September rolls around. Just passing in front of my bar with my game stubs in the frame on the wall.
These memories of Ev are 50 years old now – but it still feels like yesterday.
Getting on that old 707 in Toronto, stopping in Heathrow for a beer at 7 AM while B.O.A.C. picked up Russian speaking pilots.
Being lectured that we were not allowed to take pictures from the air (but we did anyway – sort of a premonition of things to come.)
Housed in a college dorm, eating borscht for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Listening to all the local kids in the building. They were all from Dresden (East Germany).
Their first language was German, second was Russian, third was French.
C’était très difficile de se faire des amis – but our French wasn’t that bad given the circumstances (and the rewards).
When Paul scored, I remember jumping up and hugging Ev. We were both pissed that we were 200 feet away.
Our seats were behind the Canadian goal for the third period. We were all yelling “Da da Canada, nyet nyet Soviet” – the locals absolutely hated us for that.
Ev and I beat the team back to the Intourist Hotel. In one hand Ev had a jar of caviar (@ $5.00 US a jar) and in the other a bottle of champagne (@ $6.00 US a bottle).
The players were drinking out of our bottles. I am at a loss for words to adequately describe the bedlam and joy in that lobby that night.
We are absolutely lucky to have made it home alive after that trip !!