Tie up some loose ends from last year

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Happy belated new year, folks – even if 2022 is starting to look a lot like 2021. But we hope we put the coronavirus to the curb by 22, or at least find a way to live with it, like we do with colds, allergies, the Kardashians, the Maple Leafs’ annual plans for a Stanley Cup parade, etc.

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As for the year-end vows to do this and not that, win this, lose that – sorry, we don’t deal with the Bank of stupid oaths and resolutions anymore. I think the best way to deal with New Years resolutions is to let them go one year and go out the next. It is also safer. As a wise man once remarked, “He who breaks a resolution is a weak one. Whoever makes one is a fool.

Instead, I revisited the two dozen or so columns I wrote over the past year to see which ones deserved an update, a postscript, perhaps, a remarkable anecdote learned only. after the deadline.

The schedule for the exhibition game of February 27, 1958 played in Napanee between the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL and the Intermediate A team of the Napanee Comets.
The schedule for the exhibition game of February 27, 1958 played in Napanee between the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL and the Intermediate A team of the Napanee Comets. Photo provided

A few fit this bill, like the recent article on 90-year-old Detroit Red Wings legend Alex Delvecchio. The story brought back memories for 81-year-old Mary Ellen North of a night far away at the Napanee branch of the Royal Canadian Legion when she met “Fats” and his teammates. The Red Wings, who had just played an exhibition against the Napanee Comets Intermediate A team, were in the legion to relax with a few hands of poker and post-game pops.

I’d heard a lot about the exhibition hockey game over the years, but never set an exact date. So far, this is thanks to North’s mint pink game program, which indicates that it was played on Thursday, February 27, 1958. Imagine the influence someone needed to convince the GM of Wings Jack Adams to hijack his regular season defenseman. pennant winners at little Napanee on a day off between NHL dates. This person turned out to be Helen Adams, Jack’s Napanee-born wife. Gordie Howe, in Napanee for a 1998 banquet, recalled the one-sided affair with a dry joke. “Our team didn’t know how to let go,” he said. (Detroit prevailed, 14-1.)

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“I went to the hockey game with my parents, and then to the Legion after that,” recalls Mary Ellen, a lifelong female dog who chased Jackie Gleason’s conductor Ray Bloc at a local bar. New York to get his doodle. North, then a teenager, walked over to the poker table and handed her autograph book to Delvecchio, who signed it before passing it around the table. “I can’t believe it’s been 65 years,” she said, “because I remember that night like it was yesterday.”

The rosters for the exhibition game on February 27, 1958 played in Napanee between the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL and the Intermediate A team of the Napanee Comets.
The rosters for the exhibition game on February 27, 1958 played in Napanee between the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL and the Intermediate A team of the Napanee Comets. Photo provided

In a September column, I met David Caddick, a seasoned local scorer who lived with ALS for 41 of his 58 years and who at the time was at risk of being uprooted from the rented accommodation on Raglan Road where he and his sister / caregiver, Ina, have lived for over four decades.

Recently, Caddick’s friend and staunch supporter Dave Kinsella called with an update. The Caddicks were still at home, but they needed a few basic necessities that they knew were unaffordable.

One was a cot, to allow Ina to sleep in the same room as her brother, who sometimes needed help during the night. Kinsella contacted members of his former beer league hockey team, the Black Army. Thirteen players rushed to buy the camp bed.

David needed a special chairlift to replace the one that was nearly shot down. It turned out to be a more daunting and costly challenge. The new chair costs $ 2,800, a price Kinsella managed to reduce to $ 2,000. Pat Baldwin, Caddick’s longtime friend / ally, donated $ 200. The same goes for retiree Jim Ryan, who didn’t know anyone but was moved by Caddick’s story in the newspaper. This still left Kinsella $ 1,600 short. Enter the area, arborist Brad Normand, owner of Westwood Rustic Living. Normand, who had lost his father Rob to ALS, covered the balance. He didn’t know Caddick either and only met him when Kinsella took him to visit Caddick a few days before Christmas.

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Kinsella explained in simplistic terms why the gray-bearded Beer League hockey players, and now complete strangers, are forced to help the beloved scorer and his selfless, caring sister. “The Caddicks are wonderful people, they are family,” Kinsella said, “and they will always be family.”

And finally, an update on Whiskey the Cat, namely: his fate. Whiskey was the subject of an April column that ended with the future of the aging outdoor cat – a familiar feature of our Woodlands neighborhood – in the air. Its owner, Chris Neill, was moving to a western condo and leaving behind the only neighborhood Whiskey had known since walking these streets for the first time 17 years ago, having already been adopted twice and twice returned. At seven months old – the two-legged equivalent of a teenager, even though he bears the “murky” mark on his Humane Society rap sheet – the young Whiskey has wisely embraced life as a pet. On its terms, however, and “Outdoor Freedom” was at the top of the list.

Well, we’re happy to report that Whiskey has made Kamp Kennedy its home. We adopted him about a month before Chris moved out to allow the finicky feline to gradually get used to his new digs. It was a simple and logical solution: Our three kids grew up with Whiskey, who lived across the street – and often napped in the middle of it. He belonged to the Neill family, but he was and remains the “neighborhood cat”. Known by name, befriended by all.

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His transition was relatively smooth. First, the cat’s food dish was moved to our front porch. It worked like a charm, although the old fellah continued to hang out in his old house. He even slept outside the Neill house, although his custom-made pine cabin – heating pad, front and back doors, private purring room, cable TV (Tweety / Sylvester channel 24 hours a day) – came with the food dish.

The whiskey is in its 19th year, our version of a nonagenarian. It always ventures outside and wanders, but not as often or so far, especially in cold weather. He seems to like it here. He has discovered top-notch heated bunks in the house, perfect places to catch 40 winks, which he doesn’t seem to do for more than 23 hours a day. A lighted fireplace soon sees him stretched out on the hearth. Atop a couch and behind a waste paper basket next to a heat register are two other top-notch nap settings. His favorite, however, is the narrow top of a four-foot-tall radiator, but only after the oven has started. On that nicely toasted rad, he’s in LaLa Land, precariously poised at that.

It’s only fitting that Whiskey can play tightrope in friendly, familiar territory. It is, after all, his neighborhood. In addition, his new owner often greets him with song, chirping Irish lyrics in a classic Clancy Brothers tune. “Whiskey, you are honey, drunk or sober.” “

Patrick Kennedy is a retired Whig-Standard journalist. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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