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Monday, February 29, 2016

The "Tad: As Cool As Ice" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Talking with my son Tad on the phone.  He called to inquire how his mother was doing after her surgery she had the day before.  I told him she was resting in bed and that I had just given her one of the cow bells that I found in the closet so that she could signal me if she needed something.  For years we would take the cow bells to hockey games when Tad played youth hockey.  Everyone seemed to have one and boy did they make noise when everyone rang them in unison.  Tad asked if he could have one of them to take with him when he goes to watch the sons of one of his best friends play hockey.  
Tad's love of hockey was reflected in the wall of his
bedroom when we live on Janet Ave. in Grandview Heights.
He used a projector to draw the logos and then painted them.
That got us started on his playing days when he played for the Lancaster Firebirds.  We spent many a winter weekend traveling to cities in Pennsyl- vania, Maryland and New Jersey to watch him play ice hockey.  He was rather slim and didn't carry much weight, but boy could he skate.  Hat tricks came often during the winter months for him.  When he began high school he played for the older Firebirds team, but the team finally folded when it didn't have enough players to field a team.  
Coach Frank Golembrosky
At the time, there was no high school teams that you could become a part of, so we searched for another team and finally found one in Reading, Pennsylvania.  Took almost an hour for him to drive a few times a week to Reading for practice and once again, it took hours to travel to the different ice rinks to watch him play on weekends.  Reading, his home team, was the closest location at about an hour traveling time.  But, one of the neat features of playing for the Reading team was the fact that they had a former professional hockey player as the coach of the team.  Tad learned so much from him and actually was selected as co-captain of the team by the coach.  Frank Golembrosky was a right-winger who was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada a year after I was born.  He played in the World Hockey Association for the Philadelphia Blazers and the Quebec Nordiques in the 1960s and early 1970s.  In the 1965-66 season he won the Garry F. Longman Memorial Trophy as the International Hockey League's leading rookie.  
Tad as seen in his High School Portraiture.
Guy was a tough looking player who loved to skate with the team during practice.  Tad loved him and learned so much from him during the two years that he played in Reading.  When Tad entered Photography school near Philadelphia he had to give up his hockey playing for a few years.  He still plays ice hockey, street hockey and roller hockey whenever he has a chance.  He is part of a group of guys that play every Sunday at an outdoor rink near his home.  Although he will be 40 years old soon, he can still skate circles around most of the younger guys.  I must admit that I can't skate a lick and often wished I could.  Not gonna happen anymore in this lifetime!  So, I can't say that he learned his hockey from his dad.  That's OK though.  I still love watching him make those one legged turns as he skates behind the net before scoring.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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