|My First Year - Riverside Minor Hockey - 1967|
It was Friday night and in the Riverside part of Windsor Ontario that meant going to the arena to see the competitive Riverside Minor Hockey teams play. This had been done for decades before me and it was where we went for entertainment.
I never knew then that players we saw at the arena playing like Pat Boutette, who would one day play for the Toronto Maple Leafs or people my own age like Jack Kell who signed with LA Kings or Joel Quenneville legendary NHL coach and player would obtain the successes they did.
I remember vividly sitting in the stands with my friends yelling out every joke we could think to referee Leo Laforest (I think that was his name!) who was good natured and laughed off our lines.
Then it was up bright and early Saturday morning to go to arena with my dad to play house league hockey. I laugh now at how expensive the game has become and how important it is too look good. I had hockey socks with holes in them and the socks rarely matched. Nobody cared back then because we just wanted to play hockey.
I always played house league in Riverside Minor Hockey and remember only a very positive experience at the rink. Decades later when I worked for the City of Windsor for a short time I went to Riverside Arena to fill in as a Zamboni driver for one shift. The whole time I flooded the rink I kept remembering all the good times at the arena.
Today, I watch Joel Quenneville coaching the Chicago Blackhawks and it is great to see his successes.
But when I go home to Windsor and drive by Wyandotte Street where the Riverside Arena used to stand I feel sadness. I have no knowledge on why they tore down the Arena but when they did they destroyed a part of our heritage. Hopefully I will always have the memories.