Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The time I minded the Stanley Cup

Claude Mouton popped the cup into the trunk of his Cadillac Seville, leaving me to mind it
 as re-enacted in this photoshopped image
   When I was a teen my dad thought it would be a great idea if I worked part-time after school at his parking lot directly across from the old Forum.
   So on weekdays from about ages 13 to 18 I'd sit there from about 3:15 to 6 p.m. after school, I'd be in charge of the parking operations.
   Among those who parked there was rugged right winger Bob Gainey, who was a really super guy at all times and Jean Beliveau, then a member of the brass with the club. He was also a prince, although I didn't chat with him much at length.
   Habs' broadcaster Dick Irvin often parked there too, he was alternately kind and not-so-kind.
  Then there was announcer Claude Mouton, who was standoffish but never unpleasant. 
  The Canadiens were winning the Stanley Cup just about every year back then so the cup was a relatively familiar sight.
   One day after the team had won yet again, this would likely be 1977 or '78, Claude Mouton strolled up and popped it into the angled trunk of his champagne-coloured Cadillac Seville, which sat about 20 feet away from where I was sitting in the booth.
   He walked off with a little wink.
   Somehow midst the myriad thoughts swirling through the mind of a 16-year-old fraught with existential teen angst, the sudden task of guarding the Stanley Cup didn't seem to hold any particular magnitude.
   I recall feeling slightly disoriented and tried to analyze whether the situation entailed any level of risk.
   I had been held up twice at that job already in plain daylight and anything could happen at any time, I realized.
   As I tinkered with my biology and chemistry homework I peeked at our copy of Mouton's keys hanging on a small white metal hook screwed into the dark blue wood wall inside the shack.
   I figured nobody would care if I popped the trunk and had a look, maybe held it up, even lifted it up over my head.
   But then the phone rang, or a customer popped in to pay him .75 cents for a half hour of parking, or something like that. Whatever it was, the mundane requirement of doing one thing or another retook control of the moment.
   Mouton drove off a while later as did my best chance of being entirely alone with the Stanley Cup. 


DenisH said...

Cool story!

Unknown said...

SIC Irvin. Did you also grease the fence? As I remember trying to take a shortcut via that parking lot , when a an eight foot fence was not a challenge!!

Kristian Gravenor said...

My dad greased the fence.

Cuz every loser jackass was trying to jump it.

He had a lot of chuckles at the idiots getting smeared. I

am not even sure he had the right to put a fence there as it wasn't even his property.

ndgguy said...

Hey Kristian Loser,jackass,idiot!?
It was 30 years ago , so maybe idiot would suffice.Thanks for the feedback.