|Claude Mouton popped the cup into the trunk of his Cadillac Seville, leaving me to mind it|
as re-enacted in this photoshopped image
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.