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Hockey is an integral part of the Canadian cultural fabric, from the intense rivalries between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens of the 50's and 60's, to the early morning minor hockey practices during the freezing cold temperatures of the winter.
Our household was certainly being true to our Canadian roots. After we had cleaned up the next morning, the boys and I retired to the Media room to watch the World Junior Hockey tournament opening game between Latvia and Canada, to be followed by the game between the USA and Slovakia. It was a feast of viewing that would be topped off by the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Buffalo Sabres that evening.
It was hockey tournament season at all levels during the Christmas holidays in Canada and we needed a day to relax, as we had another house league tournament starting the next day. The tournament was in Collingwood which was about 3 hours from where we lived and once again we would be staying overnight, this time for 2 days. The boys were excited, however Dana and I were not as enthusiastic at the thought of spending 2 days and nights with 15 young adolescent boys.
Once again we were taking a bus up to the tournament and the parents were driving separately and arranging their own motel rooms. The boys would also have the same roommates that they had for the other tournament, except for Jake and Pieter. We were going to take another goalie from our league, as we wanted to have insurance on the bench in case something happened to Jake. The other goalie's team wasn't playing in any tournaments and he was free to be the backup. It would depend on the circumstances whether he got into the game or not and I made it clear to him and his father that I would try my best to get him some action if possible. He was a nice boy, but wasn't nearly as skilled as Jake, but he was looking forward to the bonding with the other boys.
I had been talking to Mark earlier in the day about coaching matters and arrangements and he told me that Charles was driving him crazy.
"He wanted to have Ronald come up and stay with him as his roommate, and the extra goalie could stay with Sean. Needless to say he didn't like my answer and he's been a bear ever since."
"You can tell him that Blake, the other goalie, is bunking in with Jake and Pieter, as I got them a bigger room with three beds," I said. I chuckled to myself as Charles was putting poor Mark through his paces.
The ride up on the bus was another interesting experience punctuated by varied musical selections from the iPods of some of the boys and Rickie. I was Ok with some of the Rock selections, but I couldn't take the Rap music that some of them had. Of course, they didn't care for the Oscar Peterson and Diana Krall selections I played from my iPod, however they did like my Bryan Adams stuff.
We arrived at the Holiday Inn Express in Collingwood on Thursday night about 4:30 and got the boys settled into their rooms. We had the first of our two games on Friday at 10 am. the next morning and we decided that the first night dinner would be together as a team and we had a reservation at Eastside Mario's for 5:30.
It was very evident after the first few minutes at the restaurant, that the boys had brought their appetites, as the loaves of garlic bread were being devoured. Shortly after the bread had been replenished for the second time the bowls of salad came which had to be refilled within five minutes of being dropped on the tables. The main courses then came which were followed by dessert and finally they were satisfied.
"Whoa, that was good," Pieter said as he loosened his belt and laughed.
"I hope you boys are full, because I think they just ran out of food in the kitchen," I said, as Dana, Mark, Rickie and I chuckled.
When we got back to the motel, the boys went down to the pool and most of the parents who had now arrived joined their sons. The boys were a little boisterous but weren't too bad, considering they were a bunch of 14 year old testosterone laced hockey players. At one point our resident practical joker, Darren, decided to grab the back of Brandon's swim trunks as he got out of the pool. The boys laughed as Brandon fell back into the pool as he pulled up his trunks to cover his exposed butt. Brandon was embarrassed and quickly got out and wrapped himself up in his towel and sat down beside his mother. Darren's parents called him out of the pool and made him sit beside them for about five minutes, while they had a very heated talk with him.
"I imagine they have their hands full with that young imp," Dana said, as she smiled.
He had never done anything that was malicious, but he certainly liked playing practical jokes. I also knew given his personality that we would not be free of his jokes over the next two days, despite his parents' stern rebuke.
Later that night, we were invited to one of the parents' rooms for a gathering after the boys had gone off to their rooms for the night. Things were hopping as there was quite a bit of liquor, wine and beer being consumed. There was a group of them that liked to party hard and were probably making more noise than the boys ever could. Dana and I were a little out of our element, as we weren't big drinkers and we felt like a couple of grandparents.
We left the party about 10 pm. and when we were walking to our room we heard a commotion down the hall and I knew instantly that Darren had struck again. The noise was coming from the vicinity of his room. As we made our way down the hall, the door opened and his poor roommate came running through the doorway and looked terrified.
"Kill it!" he yelled into his room, with his back against the wall.
By now we could hear Darren's laughter coming from inside the room and something was thrown into the hall. The boy jumped and I reached down and picked up a rubber snake and gave Darren a stern glare.
"Darren, that's so mean," Dana said to him as she backed away from the snake.
"I think I'll just hold onto this until the morning. I'll give it back to your parents," I said, as I gave Darren a sly grin.
He started to squirm at the thought of his parents getting involved and we made a deal that I wouldn't turn over the snake or tell his parents what happened if there would be no more major jokes for the rest of the weekend. By now his roommate had calmed down, as he was deathly afraid of snakes, something Darren had known beforehand. It also was evident that Dana had the same phobia.
"I can't even look at that thing. Please take it away. I couldn't sleep knowing that was in the room," she said, as she shuddered and looked away after we made it back to our room.
The first game the next morning was against a team from Port Elgin, which was a town that bordered Lake Huron, on the Ontario side and was about an hour and a half away from Collingwood. They were a well coached team, but they were really overmatched and we beat them 5-1. They didn't have a lot of kids to choose from, as the town only had a population of 10,000 people and while their team was enthusiastic, they were very thin on talent.
Jake wasn't too busy, and Sean's line scored three of the five goals. After the first period, I figured we had the game under control and I put the backup goalie, Blake, into the game. He played well and was very appreciative of getting the action, but he wasn't at Jake's level of skill.
It wasn't a very physical game, as we were faster and bigger and they were a little intimidated. Their poor goalie was backing in every time Charles wound up at the point. He was afraid after Charles took his first shot on him in the first period that sailed over his shoulder. The poor kid didn't move until it came back out front as it bounced off the boards. We didn't take advantage of them and only laid on the body when necessary.
"Boys, I'm very proud of you for not taking unfair advantage of the other team and showing good sportsmanship. If we ever get in that situation again, just remember some of the first games against Carson's team, when we were trounced and how you felt," I said, in the dressing room afterwards.
We were just as glad to have an easy game first as we had the host team, Collingwood, next. They were very good as they didn't have a rep division team in Collingwood at the Bantam level, because they didn't have enough players. Their house league team contained all those boys who would have been rep players.
"They're really good, Dad," Sean said as he came to the bench after the warm-up.
"Yah, and two of them have beards," Charles said.
This time Jake was very busy and our boys got bumped around as they were bigger and stronger than we were. We ended up losing 6-2 and despite the score we played pretty well. The Collingwood team was very well coached and despite their physical play, they were not dirty at all. They were genuinely respectful as they shook hands with our boys after the game, as is the custom in all minor league hockey tournament games.
"Your boys played very well and we enjoyed the game," the other coach said to me as we shook hands.
I complimented him on his team and how disciplined and well coached they were.
"We could see that your team is well coached as well, not like the other team from your league," he said, as he smiled.
He was referring to Carson Spencer's team, as they had also entered the tournament. They had been boasting at school to the boys before the Christmas break at how they were going to blow our team out of the water and they would breeze through the tournament and win it. He had watched their first game and was not impressed at the lack of discipline their boys showed and how Randy Biggar, their coach, ran his bench.
"He seemed to use a couple of boys a lot and others sat for most of the game. That's a shame to come all this way and not get to play very much," he said,.
Because of that loss, we needed a win in the next game to get into the final, which was likely to be against the Collingwood team again. We would have our hands full, as the next team we were playing was Carson's team. I wasn't looking forward to it, as Carson's father would be there. His suspension was only from town rinks and didn't apply to the rink in this tournament. I also wasn't happy at having to play the team because they had become increasingly dirty over the course of our season. Randy Biggar, their coach, did nothing to stop their antics and turned a blind eye, as his philosophy was win at all costs.
"We're going to have to be extra vigilant keeping the boys away from retaliating," I said before the game to Mark and Rickie in the hallway outside the dressing room as the boys were getting dressed for the game.
Rickie got the boys fired up in the dressing room by playing the song 'Saturday Night' by Elton John. This was the Canadian group Nickelback's version that they played before the Saturday night hockey broadcasts on TV and was a very rockin' tune. After I went over strategy with them it was Rickie's turn to rally the troops. Everyone was raring to go when we finally took the ice, even the normally placid Brandon.
"Let's beat those fu...... ah guys," he yelled, as he caught himself. Carson and his friend were not Brandon's favourite people. They teased him a lot at school, because of his docile nature.
While the kids were skating around in the warm-up, I could see there was some talking between Carson and his hot dog friend at centre ice to some of our players as they skated by.
Sean and Ray ran the warm-up and when they came to the bench Sean said, "They were beaking off to us about how they were going to pound us into the ice."
I told the boys not to get distracted and that we were here to play hockey.
"Play hard, but play clean. Don't let them get you off your game," I said, as my last remarks before they took the ice.
It was obvious from the opening faceoff that it was going to be a hotly contested game. In the first rush down the ice, Randy Biggar's son laid a somewhat legal check on Ray which flattened him to the ice. It probably should have been a penalty, but it was a borderline call and the referee chose to ignore it. Ray got up and skated hard and took the puck away from Carson as he was getting ready to shoot on Jake. As Ray started back up the ice, he passed to Sean who just got a shot away before Carson tried to flatten him into the boards. Sean got out of the way at the last moment and the noise from Carson hitting the boards reverberated through the rink.
"Looks like we're in an old-time hockey game," Mark said, with a smile. He was referring to the old days of hockey that were much rougher and less regulated compared to the modern game.
At the end of the first period the score was tied 1-1 and Jake was once again holding us in the game. It was obvious that they had more skill than we did, but we showed more discipline, as they had been given a few penalties for dirty play.
"Remember, men, don't retaliate. Let them take all the penalties," Rickie said as the boys came to the bench before the faceoff for the second period. "And Chas, careful stirring things up around our net. The referees have your number."
We held our own in the second period as we had more of the play. Charles had let go a few missiles from the point and Sean's line was getting more opportunities. Their goalie was playing well, despite being afraid of Charles' shot. Charles had also deftly started a few more skirmishes around our net that Pieter had calmed down with his imposing presence. At the end of the second period, it was still tied 1-1.
At the five minute mark of the last period, Carson's friend came up the ice and passed to him, and Carson skated full speed to the net and purposely ran into Jake after he took his shot. He got a penalty, but Jake had the wind knocked out of him and had to come to the bench.
While the trainer that was assigned to our game was taking care of Jake, I heard a commotion at the other end of the bench. When I looked down, Mark had a hold of Rickie's belt as he pulled him back to the bench. He was trying to get at Carson's father in the stands, who had leaned over into the bench and high-fived his son as he came back from the penalty box. It was obvious that the collision was not something done in the heat of the moment, but was likely planned ahead of time to take Jake out of the game. Certainly Spencer's father was in on the strategy and I was wondering if Randy Biggar was. I was totally disgusted.
"That dirty son-of-a-bitch told his son to run Jake," Rickie said as he was now somewhat calmed down.
Blake, our backup goalie, was very nervous as he took over and let in two soft goals while Jake was recuperating on the bench. We were now down by two goals and there was only about 10 minutes left in the game. Jake decided that he was Ok to play and after I consulted with the trainer I agreed to let him go back in. Jake's shoulder was a little sore where he was pushed into the post, but he was chomping at the bit.
"That fu... stupid asshole did that on purpose," he said, as he put his mask back on before he went on the ice. Jake had never even thought about swearing before in front of me, so I knew that he was really angry.
"Just remember to control yourself. I know you're angry, but we need you to concentrate on playing goal," I said as he took off to replace Blake.
We praised Blake for giving his best effort and tried to make him feel better, which wasn't very successful. He was really angry at himself for letting in the two goals as he felt he had cost the team the chance to win.
"Coming off the bench cold is one of the hardest things for a goalie to do," I told him as I put my arm around his shoulder as I consoled him. He calmed down a little but I could see that he was still very disappointed.
The next shift, Ray managed to score after Sean had set him up with a beautiful pass. That made the game 3-2 and we had five minutes left. Having Jake back in net and the fact that our boys were angry at the dirty tactics, picked up the tempo of the game. Pieter used his size to punish some of their players as they went for the puck in the corner and Charles had stirred up some more hornets' nests after the whistle in front of our net. Sean and Ray started to get a few more chances and were very close to getting the tying goal a couple of times.
"Boys, we've got momentum now. Keep skating hard," Mark said, to the boys after a line change.
Near the end of the game there was a lot of pushing and shoving around Jake's crease after he had frozen the puck from one of Carson's shots. I wasn't sure what had happened, but Jake got up and was furious at him. Pieter had to get in between them and keep Jake from going after Carson. Things settled down and after the faceoff the puck went back to their defenceman at the point, who took a shot that went wide. The play went back up the ice, but the referee blew the whistle as Carson was down on the ice in front of Jake's net holding his ankle, writhing in pain. I didn't know what had happened as there were a lot of bodies in front of the net when the shot was taken, as they were trying to screen Jake.
"I think your son's been watching how you clear the front of your net, Uncle Al," Rickie said, with a big smile.
Rickie saw what happened from his end of the bench and apparently Jake had chopped Carson's ankle with his stick when the referees weren't looking. He came over to the bench to get some water as they were still attending to Carson on the ice.
"He tried to jam his stick blade under my jock when I was lying on the ice with the puck under my pads," he said, as he took a swig of water.
Carson's father was furious, as was their whole bench. Our boys were composed and determined to stay focused on the game. The referees went over to their bench and warned Randy to control Carson's father, or they would give the team a penalty and throw the father out of the rink, which was within their power.
I was torn between expressing my displeasure at Jake's action and my feeling that Carson got what he deserved. I wasn't going to be hypocritical, as I had done far worse things in my career and I said to him, "Just focus on playing goal, Jake. You're even now, so don't stoop anymore to his level."
We managed to tie up the game when Charles passed to Brandon who took it up the ice and shot the puck into the bottom left hand corner of the net with a very hard slapshot. Despite the fact that at times Brandon made some glaring mistakes, like passing to the other team at crucial moments in the game, he would follow those with some brilliant plays such as this. I could tell he was beaming under his mask as he bumped knuckles with everyone as he skated in front of the bench.
"Just like Jonathon Toews, Brandon," I said, as I patted him on the back as he sat on the bench. Brandon was a big Chicago Black Hawks fan and idolized their captain.
The game ended tied and there would be some form of sudden death to decide a winner, who would go on to play in the championship game. We didn't know how they would break the tie, as there were a couple of ways they usually did it in tournaments. The referee came over to the bench to explain how it would work.
"We'll start with four-on-four for one minute and if it's still tied we'll stop and face off at centre ice with three-on-three and so on. If we need to, we'll play one-on-one until someone scores," he said, as he skated to centre ice to drop the puck.
I was happier with this method, as at least we would still be playing hockey the same way we did in the game. The other method of a shootout, where one player came in on the goalie to try and score, was to me a poor way to decide a game.
Sean, Ray, Pieter and Charles started and both teams had good chances and almost scored. I thought we had the game when we were down to two on two when Darren passed to Brandon, who took another slap shot that had their goalie beaten, but it just went by the corner. The whistle blew because the time was up and we were now down to one on one.
"Ok, Sean, you're up next," I said as I tapped him on the back.
"Can't Ray or someone else go out," he said. I could tell he was nervous, but he had played the best of any of our skaters during the game.
"Take a deep breath and remember to skate hard," I said.
Before he went out, Rickie called him over and said something to him. When he got onto the ice, he skated down to talk to Jake and then returned to face off with Carson, who had now recovered. When the puck was dropped, Sean won the draw and passed it back to Jake, who waited for Carson to get close to him. This apparently was what Sean and Jake had discussed and the strategy had no doubt come from Rickie. Jake then awkwardly passed off the boards to Sean who had a breakaway on their goalie.
"Obviously you've been in this situation before, Rickie," I said. He looked at me with a big smile on his face.
"C'mon Bulldog," I heard Dana yelling from behind the bench.
Sean tried to deke the goalie, but he stopped him and Carson got the puck and took off down the ice. Sean chased after him and when he caught up to Carson, he had taken a shot, but Jake couldn't control the rebound. The puck came back out in front.... and went off Sean's skate and into the net. Carson threw his arms in the air in jubilation and his team came over the boards and mobbed him. We were stunned. Our boys jumped over the boards and crowded around Sean and Jake. I could tell by my sons' body language, that they were devastated. When Sean and Jake finally came to the bench they had their heads down.
"Tough one guys. It wasn't your fault. You played great," Rickie said to them.
I spoke to the two of them to console them and neither of them answered. When I looked at Sean through his mask, I could tell that he was crying and I guessed Jake was too.
"You two have nothing to be ashamed of," I said as I put my arms around the two of them as we walked across the ice to the dressing room.
We gave the boys a few minutes to let off some steam at their disappointment at losing and then went into the dressing room to talk to them. We praised them for playing a great game and then told them that it was as important to learn how to lose as it was how to win.
"We have a lot more hockey to play this season and you boys will get another chance to prove you're better than them," I said.
We left the boys to get showered and dressed and went back into the hallway to debrief. As we were standing there, one of the fathers of a boy on the other team approached us.
"I want to apologize for the tactics our team played with today. I want you to know that many of us don't approve of the coaching tactics and haven't all season. But what I really want to tell you about is the deliberate attempts the Spencer boy made to hurt your son, Jake. His father counselled him to do that. I heard him.... and so did the coach," he said, with a great deal of anger in his voice.
We asked him if he would be willing to come forward with that information if we laid a complaint with the tournament organizers and he said, most definitely he would. Just then the referees who did our game came down the hall to talk to us.
"We want to let you know that we're putting in our game report the questionable conduct of the other team. I wanted to talk to your league convenor personally, as I have more to say that won't be in the report and off the record. I've already informed the other coach and he wouldn't tell me the convenor's name. I can look it up, but I thought you might be more willing to give me that information," he said. I told him it was Dénis, and gave him the other information he wanted.
"Just for your information, coach, we didn't have a good view of what your goalie did to #87 so we couldn't call a penalty..... if you know what I mean," he said, as he gave me a wink and a sly grin.
Just then we saw a man pushing the crowd out of his way to make it over to us. When he came into view, I could see it was Spencer's father, followed by Randy Biggar.
"You've got two dirty kids," Carson's father yelled, as Randy held him back.
I decided that I wouldn't take any crap from him, as I was really angry at his lack of ethics.
"You seem to forget, Mr. Spencer, Sean's check a few months ago was legal and if your son hadn't tried to skewer Jake's testicles today, nothing would have happened to him," I said.
Carson's father had obviously been drinking and was getting increasingly belligerent.
"You're lucky we've got control of our bench or your son would have a lot more to worry about than a sore ankle," I said, as I turned and gave Randy Biggar a glare.
By now the referee was trying to restrain him as was Randy. He was out of control and was making very disparaging remarks to me, which made me lose my temper. Mark and Rickie moved closer to me as they weren't sure what I was going to do.
I was really starting to boil and I didn't help things when I said, "Why don't you stand up straight and stop dragging your knuckles on the ground."
Just as he was about to break free, two security guards grabbed him and pushed him to the ground. The other referee had gone and summoned them when he saw what was happening. They subdued him and took him away. By now the tournament convenor and arena manager had joined the fray and observed what was happening.
"Needless to say, Mr. Biggar, he won't be allowed back into the rink tomorrow for the championship game," the convenor said. "Security will decide if the police should be called and charges laid."
Things quickly calmed down as they took away Carson's father, who was loudly protesting and struggling to break free. Dana had seen much of the last part of the confrontation and now came over to us.
"Tell me you weren't thinking of getting into a physical confrontation with that man, Al. He's twenty years younger than you and a lot bigger. He would have beaten you up," she said, obviously annoyed at me for losing my temper.
"I'm not so sure about that," Rickie said, as he smiled.
The next day some of the boys and their parents stayed around to see the final game and others went home. I felt somewhat vindicated as Carson's team lost 8-0 and was thoroughly outplayed. The Collingwood team didn't hold back and was very physical, as it looked like they were punishing them for the way they treated us. I was sure Carson and his friend would have quite a collection of bruises to attend to after the game.
We joined Melissa and her parents at their motel after we had checked out. Melissa was playing on an all girls elite level team and had been in a tournament in Wasaga Beach, which was about 20 minutes from Collingwood. We had made tentative arrangements to get together if we could, before we headed home. Her team had lost as well and Sean, Jake and Melissa consoled each other as we had some drinks in the bar. After about 15 minutes, Sean and Melissa went for a walk as they wanted to be alone.
"We're going to be leaving in about an hour, so don't go too far, dear," Melissa's mother said, as the two of them gave us big smiles as they took off.
Jake stayed with us, as he didn't want to intrude. The Morgan's told us Melissa had related to them what Sean had told her and they were very supportive. They also told us that Sean's revelation had done nothing to lessen Melissa's feelings for him.
"She told us that he had been reluctant to tell her about his past and we're glad that she didn't think any less of him. We've brought her up to be accepting and tolerant of other people's situations," Melissa's father said.
They returned about 30 minutes later and I noticed that Melissa's shirt tail was hanging out from under the back of her sweater and her hair was a little ruffled, as was Sean's. I looked at him and motioned with my eyes to Melissa's back. He gave me a sheepish look and quickly whispered to her when Melissa's parents weren't looking and she tucked the shirt in. I was sure her parents hadn't seen it, but I'm sure they noticed the hair.
The ride home was a very quiet one as the boys were heartbroken at the way they lost the game. Both of them were blaming themselves. Dana and I tried to talk some sense into them but it wasn't working. Later that evening after we got home I took Sean into the den to talk to him.
"Can you explain Mel's shirt and the different hairdos you two had after your walk?"
He hesitated and then finally said, "It was Mel's idea."
"But it looked like you were happy to go along with it. You could've said no."
He was clearly uncomfortable talking about it, but I had to let him know that Dana and I weren't happy.
"We know you two were exploring each other and that's how things happen."
"We didn't go very far. We just sort of got carried away a little," he said, as he nervously looked at me.
I told him that both sets of parents trusted the two of them and that they needed to cool their passions until they were older and better able to handle the emotional part of the relationship.
"We won't do it again," he said.
"That's not really what I meant, Sean. I just mean that I'd like you two to go a little slower. The two of you are young and Dana and I want you to develop your relationship a little more before you start getting into the physical things."
We talked a little more and then I put my arm around his shoulders as we came out of the Den. I gave him a squeeze and he looked up at me and gave me a smile.
"Don't rush things, Son. Mel and you'll have lots of time in the future to get into the good stuff," I said, as I gave him a big smile in return.
The boys were still very sombre When we went to church the next morning. They half-heartedly sang the songs and were really moping around and were distracted throughout most of the service.
Reverend McLaughlin's sermon was about humility. He started out by showing a video clip from the internet, which was the bridge of the destroyer USS Montana. The captain was talking on the radio telling another person to change their course 15 degrees, as there would be a collision if they didn't. The captain was very insistent and demanding of the other party, who had suggested that the USS Montana had to change their course instead. At the end of the clip it was revealed that the other party was a lighthouse operator. The Captain had no choice but to swallow his pride.
Randy related this to real life and how things happen that we have no control over. He went on to say that God is in control of what happens and when we get too cocky or let events or situations bring us down, we must be able to laugh at ourselves and show humility before he can bring joy into our hearts. The boys were finally paying attention and as his sermon progressed they seemed to be shaking off their sombre mood. I knew they were back to my two happy sons when we sang the final song, 'Shine Jesus Shine' and they sang away in their great voices.
"I'm glad to see you're back, you two," Dana said, as she put her arms around them as we walked towards the foyer. They weren't quite sure what she meant at first, but finally figured it out and gave her a big smile and put their arms around her back.
The rest of January went well for all of us. The boys had their exams and were reasonably confident that they had done well. Hockey was progressing for both the boys and me, as things moved into the playoffs in my league and theirs. We hadn't played Carson's team since the tournament and were very pleased at the warning the league gave Randy based on his actions and lack of team discipline from the tournament.
Carson's father had not been charged, but the police in Collingwood threatened him with drunk and disorderly conduct. Since they deemed him to be intoxicated and incapable of driving, they impounded his car and kept it for two days. He certainly wasn't a happy camper, as he had to arrange other transportation home and back to get his car.
We decided to fly down to the house in Naples after the last exam, as we felt the boys deserved a break. We had a few golf games as well as some R&R and Dana got in some power shopping. The temperatures were in the mid teens but the weather was sunny, which was certainly a stark contrast from the sub zero temperatures and snow we were having in Southern Ontario.
We arrived home the evening before the new semester started for the boys. They were in their rooms after dinner and were getting ready for school the next day. Dana and I were in the Living room finishing our tea when the phone rang. I went into the Den to answer it and I saw that it was Katharine, my niece.
"Hello, Uncle Alan. Thank goodness you're home. I wasn't sure if you were coming back today or tomorrow," she said,.
"It's good to hear from you, Katharine, but somehow I'm guessing this isn't a social call," I said.
USS Montana Clip
Shine Jesus Shine
Saturday Night's Alright by Nickelback