A very dear friend of mine reminded me that a blog should not be an obituary, and of course he is right. It’s not my fault that so many great, powerful, wonderful people have chosen to move to another plane of consciousness on my watch. Believe me, I wish they were still on this plane. I genuinely miss them. Anyone who knows me knows that I occasionally like to tell a story. Not often, but once in a while. The story that follows needs no embellishment.
While I was on assignment for SI, I was in Detroit photographing the Detroit Red Wings. I had a mediocre shoot, nothing spectacular. Sometimes that happens (all of my hockey film is at the Hockey Hall of Fame in their archives, so I have no Gordie Howe to share with you.) So here we go.
To all the ships at sea, I make it a practice of being either the very, very first one out of a stadium or the very last. I have a tough time dealing with crowds bumping, banging, and pushing. So, if I can get out fast to the press parking lot, I get out and go. If I can’t, I like to hang out in the press room. I’m in the press room and the TV and local newspapers are gone. It’s just me and a tin bathtub of beer with lots of ice and lots of water. The door opens up and this tall, good looking guy walks in, severely backlit. He walks in and says, “Hey man, can I have a beer?” and I said, “Of course, take two!” He picks one up, pops it open, and takes a seat before I realize its Gordie Howe. Suffice it to say, I almost ____ my ____. I’m not big on getting starstruck but this is Gordie Howe, man, the one and only Gordie Howe! He asked, “May I have another?” and I said, “Take whatever you want!” He takes another and puts it in his London fog coat. (At this point he looks like the great author Vance Packard.)
He filled every pocket of his jacket with beer, popped another one and said, “Thank you very much!” He walked out with a lot of beer. I said, “Gordie, why don’t you get a group of the guys and bring a tub of beer on the bus!” and he smiled. We’ll miss you Gordie. He was one funny S.O.B.
The other two photos I put in because this is a hockey blog. Anyone wanna take a guess on the kind of camera or film used? Email me at http://firstname.lastname@example.org
@ Joe DiMaggio
@ Joe DiMaggio