No players, so straight to NaBlo Wrimo
Fast forward about 12 years. A fairly new phenomena started hitting Canada. Flea markets and garage sales. I wondered what kind of junk –I mean treasures—were available at these garage sales. Dishes, clothes and books –oh my –wait for it—hockey cards. Looking at them I remembered having these exact cards when I was younger. I picked up a few for my new craving. Later, at the first flea market I went to—Bingo—boxes and boxes of cards. Mostly 70’s stuff that I had never seen before. Started picking up my favourites. (of course, the Leafs) They were 5 cents each or 30 for $1.00. This became a regular week-end ritual. Hit the garage/yard sales, hit the flea markets. Somehow I was also attracted to the odd-ball items (anything WHA, stickers, glasses). I couldn’t wait until the next trip to see what I could find. Now that I had all these cards, the question became what to do with them. I could display them and be happy but there was something more I wanted. I didn’t know what IT was.
One day out of the blue, I found IT. The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, ran a somewhat semi-regular sports column entitled “Where are they now?” It gave a brief biography of a sports figure and told what they were doing and where they were located. That was it. Trying to get some items autographed like when I was a kid. If I could find an address, I could send something to them to get signed.
In the days before the Internet, ye olde library was the repository of vast information. There were phone books and city directories that could be searched for players addresses. They had The Hockey News where you could find out some good information. There were minor league rosters, former players turned coaches in places even The Hockey News found them. It was a lot of work researching but helped me build up my collection. A lot of recently retired players (remember this was 25+years ago) whom would be considered old timers today. Many of them are now deceased. Some even wrote back little notes on the request letter or sent postcards. If the player didn’t have a card or I didn’t have it, no problem. I created my own custom index cards. (which consisted of cutting out a players head shot out of the newspaper and gluing it onto an index card). Crude but it did the trick. Some examples I did get though were Sweeney Schriner, Bill Mosienko and Rudy Pilous. I didn’t know about SASE’s or any autograph etiquette. I just assumed they would send things back to me. There were very few that I remember that I didn’t get back. The return envelopes sometimes came back from their business with the company name and logo imprinted on it. Other times, the players put their name in the return address (equals another autograph). You know the feeling when you see an envelope and can’t wait to open it. Just like an extra Christmas. This was all fine and dandy but another chapter was about to be opened.
NaBlo Wrimo Daily Count: 530 words
NaBlo Wrimo Monthly Count: 1626