A different cultural experience

 In Letters, Opinion

As I was stewing over writing a letter about the knuckleheads who have chucked over 300 cans of American beer on our road since the start of Covid, I thought of a much more deserving, and positive, group of people. 
I have played hockey for a long time, with much more energy than skill. When we moved here full time a few years ago, our kind, and connected, neighbour put me in touch with Hockey Dave and Hockey Kevin to see if there was space for me. Hockey Dave’s was full but he said I could be a sub.
For my first call-up, I sat down in the dressing room listening to the ribbing the burly guy beside me was getting for an altercation in the last game. I started sweating before I was half-dressed. This was it – where men were men and I was dead meat. 
But no. He was not only big, he could really play hockey, as could several others. But there was also the Australian import who was still figuring out how not to trip over the blue line. And the guy who took it up recently so he could go out with his kids. And some guys even older than me. And I had more fun playing than I had in years. 
My other game was no less fun. Even though many had played together long enough to be a clique, everyone was welcoming. They learned my name faster than I theirs, and they accepted me for what I was, past my not-great prime. 
So although Canadian hockey has many different personas, Creemore hockey is clearly part of the culture that makes this area such a great place to be. And it rekindled my love of the game. I thank you. 
Peter Halsall,

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