All in one year.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I had been in Charlottetown for just a little while when I started getting around with a young fellow who I worked with. I was living at a hotel and didn't know a soul and he took me under his wing, so to speak. We're cut from the same cloth, we enjoy life and get a good laugh from it when we can and we have shared a few adventures since those early days.
1997 was the year where my life took many crazy twists and turns. It was barely days old when it ended with the girl from Rawlins Cross. At the beginning of February I was off to the Island to work in a business which I had very little experience in. By the end of the year I was finishing my contract and arrangements had been made to move to Florida to join the parent company. I met the girl who I would marry, a guy who would become one of my best friends and a dog who would become the dog.
All in one year.
All in one year.
It was a couple of weeks after our first excursion (and we'd had a few in between) that we rushed down to the Old Dublin (a fine little establishment) for St. Patrick's Day. We got there at 5:05 and the place was already to the gills and about ten minutes later they were lined up outside.
Now I'm not usually one for St. Patrick's. I'll usually cook an Irish stew and have a couple of Guinness at home to mark it. As they say there are too many amateurs out that night.
This night was a fine one though. The crowd was roaring and we were drunk soon after we set foot inside and the band was playing some aye diddle aye and your man got up and began to dance.
My Dad, he said, when the music stopped, is right into the whole Island culture and heritage so when I was growing up I took step dancing. Myself and my sister.
No kidding, I said.
Yep, he said. Its easy, very simple, just do like so.
And so we did a little bit.
The next day at work one of the girls asked how the Old Dublin was and I said it was great and blah blah blah and your man had me up step dancing, it was great fun.
And she, laughing, looks at him and I turn and he's got a smirk on him, a smirk I would see many times again.
So four years later or so and he was married in June and I flew up from Florida to be his best man and then a month after that I was back again for my own wedding in which he stood.
Now I'll write about this some day but let me just say that this was the greatest day. All of my friends and family together and we drank and danced and laughed and after it was all over we were up almost until dawn, we didn't want it to end. My Dad said a few words at the start of the party and prefaced his remarks by saying
We McLeans are a peaceful and quiet bunch.
Which brought a cheer and raucous laughter from the gathering for two nights before the uncles and aunts and cousins had rolled into town and danced and drank the night away at that same Old Dublin. The McLeans came howling naked and drunken out of the moors long ago and while we have been civilized some its just a thin veneer really.
So the night took off from there and about an hour in the DJ plays a little aye diddle aye and up comes MacLeod and there he is, a hundred and twenty or so looking on, and he begins to dance.
All by himself.
Everyone is clapping and cheering and all of the folks from away are particularly excited. One of the other fellows there from the Island leans over to one older woman who was completely beside herself ( I think it may have been an aunt of mine, God bless her).
He's very good, isn't he, he says.
Oh yes, he's just excellent, just wonderful, she gushed.
Well he should be. He's the Atlantic Step Dancing Champion.
I would bet she tells all of her friends about that to this day.
I figured it would be an uneventful camp and I was wrong. I figured Brennan to make the team and when he got sent out I figured Reddox and I never ever thought MacIntrye would make it but apparently management would rather risk a decent young player with reasonable upside than lose a goon who is has a half dozen replacements in Springfield right now.
And Pisani is on long term injury reserve and I wonder if this might be it for Fernando. As I said to Scott Reynolds yesterday though part of me hopes that this is it. Twisted thing to wish and this team is poorer without him. He's no superstar from the dynasty days or Doug Weight or Ryan Smyth but he's been around and he's a quality guy and it would be nice for him to end his career never having worn another uniform. That would be a first.
I look at this team and I see Moreau on the fourth line and its a fit and I see Nilsson in the PB to start and I understand that and I can even live with Gagner getting a kick in the ass.
I also see Jacques, Stone and Brule in the top nine. Its early, hell by five minutes in on Saturday night Moreau and Gagner might have supplanted two of them.
I like seeing the kids doing well and its a breath of fresh air but I can't see this team winning much when the games start in earnest.
I hope, as I've said many times, that I am wrong. The guys this club needed were out there. The guys who win draws and kill penalties and check a little.
In the end Tambellini promoted from within and he's put all of his eggs in the Quinn basket.
There are still a few out there who say lets wait and see - some enthusiasm and confidence and pride will go a long way and this club is going to be a playoff club, just wait and see.
I just have a niggling feeling that Tambellini is up there dancing and while he is looking good and he cuts a fine figure in the end he's just taking the piss at our expense.
Posted by Black Dog at 9:00 PM