Father’s Day post…and how to be a gentleman

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Shameless ripoff from nhl.com here, but neat story about one of the greatest who is not Wayne. Plus, I figured it was time for a new thread. The other one was deteriorating and ticking me off.
Don’t cheat. Before you read the story after the dreaded jump (sorry, too long to post up front) see if you can name this non-Ranger…If you don’t cheat, this should be a bit of a toughie (I hope), especially for the young’uns.Here’s the story.
This Sunday will be the first Father’s Day in 56 years that Gordie Howe, 81, will be without his beloved wife, Colleen, who died March 6 of complications of Pick’s Disease.

His son, former NHL star Mark Howe, now the director of pro scouting for the Detroit Red Wings, won’t be with him Sunday, but other family members will. Mark recently returned to his suburban Philadelphia home after following the Red Wings through the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“In this business, the only holiday you get is Christmas — Christmas Eve and Christmas Day — and then it’s back to work,” Howe said with a wry chuckle. “I’ve been away for six weeks, so there’s plenty to do around the house and then I’ve got to get down the (New Jersey) Shore and open up the summer house.

“Dad went to Las Vegas for the NHL Awards Show, then he’s heading home and my brother Marty is taking him fishing for a few days. In early August, Marty, Dad and I are going up to Vancouver, where my father owns a piece of the (Western Hockey League’s) Vancouver Giants. We’ve got a fishing vacation planned.”

“His dedication to the game was unmatched. I can’t believe the conditions I watched him play through. He was hospitalized before our first Houston game with back spasms, in traction, and played that night. I watched him pass kidney stones at 9 a.m and play in a 4 p.m. game. He is, without a doubt, the toughest man I ever met in my life.”
— Mark Howe on his farther, Gordie
Pick’s Disease rendered Colleen Howe silent for the last six years of her life and her illness took a toll on Gordie, who has for many years been the best ambassador any sport has ever had. Once the greatest player in the NHL, Howe acts like anything but a superstar, teasing young and old alike, remembering names and faces for years and making everyone he meets feel better about himself.

That’s one of the traits Mark Howe admires most about his father. He says it’s Gordie’s way of giving back to the game that gave his family so much.

“This has been a pretty special life for all of us,” Mark said about himself, his brothers Murray and Marty, and sister Cathy. “Gordie says the only way he can give back to the game is to make himself available to the people who keep our sport alive. I don’t think there’s ever been an athlete who is more accessible to the fans. That’s his most enduring quality, the way he is with people. It’s not a phony thing — it’s all natural. He loves to be around people.

“I’ve noticed that after people meet my dad, they never talk about the hockey player, they talk about Gordie the person that they met.”

The Howe children rallied around their parents at the onset of Colleen’s illness. Mark and Marty jumped in to straighten out some tangled financial affairs. Dr. Murray Howe, a radiologist, practices in nearby Toledo, Ohio, and helped with the medical issues. Mark’s son, Travis, moved into his grandparents’ home. It was just a matter of doing the right thing, doing things the way they were taught.

“Growing up, Marty and I had a lot of interest in sports,” Mark said. “My sister and brother Murray were involved, but not to the same extent. My parents never pushed us toward sports, but they encouraged it because it helped develop character and learning how to work as a group. My parents’ primary goal was raising a family and trying to instill their values and characteristics. They knew what they believed in and what they wanted for their children. We spent a lot of time together riding to rinks with my mom.”

Mark said flying to Canada to join his father on a summer trip won’t be a new experience. He used to do it every summer in his teens.

“Gordie was affiliated with Eaton’s (department stores) for many years, and every year he’d start in Nova Scotia and work his way west, visiting every Eaton’s across Canada, signing autographs and talking to the fans. About two weeks into the trip I’d fly up and meet him in Winnipeg and we’d visit every store going west until we got to Victoria (B.C.). The trip ended with a golf tournament there. Then I’d catch a flight home.”

Mark Howe remembers growing up in a home filled with love — and rules. His parents were uncompromising when it came to how their children responded to others.

“There were two things we absolutely had to do,” Mark said. “And that was say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Sometimes today people laugh when I do it, but that was the way I was raised, to treat people with respect.”

Another rule was to make their own way in the world — don’t trade on Dad’s fame. Murray told NHL.com last year how his mother embarrassed him, at 10 years old, when he tried to get her to confirm to a bunch of strangers that he really was Gordie’s son, as he had been bragging.

“Who are you? Get away from me,” Colleen Howe responded.

“Mom and Dad never had to say a lot,” Mark said. “Dad was about example. He had a million opportunities to say, ‘I’m Gordie Howe,’ and it would have opened doors for him, but that was never the case. He just feels like he’s an ordinary person like everyone else. We learned to be humble and we learned that just because our name was Howe, it didn’t mean diddly-squat.”

Mark Howe remembered one of the sternest lessons about hockey his father ever gave him. It was delivered in an easy-going, friendly manner, but the advice was worth millions.

“We were playing together in Houston and I was young. I had been out with the guys the night before, had a few drinks and I was hurting that morning,” he said. “Dad grabbed me and said, ‘Look how these guys (don’t) take care of themselves. At 31 they’ll be done. If you want to play until you’re 30 or 40, what you do now will determine your future.’

“His dedication to the game was unmatched. I can’t believe the conditions I watched him play through. He was hospitalized before our first Houston game with back spasms, in traction, and played that night. I watched him pass kidney stones at 9 a.m and play in a 4 p.m. game.

“He is, without a doubt, the toughest man I ever met in my life.”

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39 Comments

  1. hey laurel- go ahead and and ban me. you’ll actually be banning my imposter. it would be greatly appreciated. in case you dont read the posts, its been going on for the past 2 days now. he likes to impersonate me and talk about guys and sick stuff like that. hes very preoccupied with men. please go right ahead and ban him. and that wasnt orr either. his name is always in bold letters.

  2. Laurel Babcock on

    Real mike in ia. Gotcha…I’ll check out the impersonator and deal….you are a fave of mine….

  3. thanks laurel. you will be able to tell us apart very easily. i talk about hockey. he likes to talk about hairy guys all day. and colin said something the other day about when you post you leave an ip address behind. it would be cool if you could expose him and what other names hes used.

  4. Happy Father’s Day to all the other fathers out there. Hope you all had a good day. I am debating on whether or not I want to drink down to Hasbrouck Heights from South Plainfield to go to the new Sonic that just opened up. I think I might have to do it. I mean, we have been tortured for years with this great looking commercials and no Sonic to be found. Well, now there is one semi close. I think I am going to do it. I will let you all know how it goes. Laurel, I am a regular on here, just have not been on as much as I am a teacher and it is summer and I have been trying to get some things done, but I have been reading and you are doing a great job! Thank you for that. And to all my buddies on here, I hope you are all doing well.

  5. Should have been drive down, not drink down. Actually my wife would be doing the driving because I have been drinking Sams Summer Ale all day. Ha.

  6. Laurel Babcock on

    mike in ia…as a guest blogger I don’t have the access to delete and control some folks’ posts as Carp does. But you’re cool and can stay! I’ll check out the internet address of the imposter and see what I can do til Carp gets back.

  7. ha nasty-thanks. i spent my fathers day working. but yea, my kid made me a cute card and got to spend all yesterday with her which was good. k im out. peace

  8. k thanks laurel. carp didnt know how to delete or ban the guy last time he did this few months ago, but maybe jane or someone else knows how.

  9. ZzZz 13 ZzZz saga continues... says Greg L. on

    Leave the blog for a day or two and all hell breaks loose , Im a father and today is my day!!!!

  10. ZzZz 13 ZzZz saga continues... says Greg L. on

    tankz nasty1 . Happy Fathers day to all too!! Laurel ,Jane,lynda,sally and a few other ladies in here probally feel a little demeaned from all the hot chick talk.
    I geuss we wouldnt like it if they always said Gomez had a nice butt or something. So I take back my stuff I said a week ago.

  11. Laurel Babcock on

    ZzZz…now you’re talking! and thanks. I mean, look at the reaction to my Avery posts. Let’s get back to hockey eh?

  12. onecupin69years and counting on

    Howe in picture.
    My Dad introduced me hockey ages ago,I can’t put it in words what it means to me and that I passed the torch to my boys.
    We still play it , watch it and go to games.
    The last game my father saw was against the B ‘s 2 years ago when ortmeyer scored on the penalty shot. My dad looked up and and frowned , I knew what he he meant ,these rangers aren’t the rangers.

  13. Laurel Babcock on

    Onecupin69 wins…and from your story (sweet) I don’t think you cheated. Hey, being a Rangers fan is hard, but there’s nothing like it.

  14. ZzZz 13 ZzZz saga continues... says Greg L. on

    Thats right , being a Rangers fans means more than winning (sad to say)We lose and I still believe in them. We have the coolest Jerseys still and it basically stayed the same over decades of playing. We never get the #1 pick in the draft because we never SUCK as bad as teams like pittsburgh , Tamps, Ottawa , Colorado ect…

  15. back to player talk:

    I really feel like if we dont sign Antropov we will regret it.
    He is only 28, and has increased his goals/assists every year, this past year being his best on a HORRIBLE toronto team.

    IF it’s a choice, and he wants to stay, resign him for 2 years 3 mil, and trade Z’s rights to someone else

    Thoughts?

    And I hate reading retarded rumors about us trading Staal to Toronto or Dubi for a pick, makes me sick.

  16. Somebody impersonated me ? That hasn’t happened in a couple of months.

    I guess the loser with no life has to make his rounds around the Ranger blogs, and made his way back to this one. Doesn’t help that there’s no hockey.

  17. Laurel Babcock on

    I found two mike in ia imposters and deleted their posts in previous thread. I’ll keep an eye out.

  18. mikeynj- i think antro is asking for 4-5mill and a 4 yr contract. 3 isnt gonna cut it. he had his best season last year and if he does wanna stay, i think the cheapest we could get him at would be around 3.75 minimum. hes got size too which is what we need. i hate to see either him or zherdev go, but it looks like zherdev is done here. i dont know how we could sign him if we sign antro. antro is better but if he wants 4-4.5 its too much. . zherdevs numbers werent too bad so he does has some value and could be packaged in a trade. but i just get the feeling that if we can let torts work with him he could be so great for this team. he could be a legit top line winger for this team with the potential he has. i hope we dont give up on him and then he comes back to haunt us like kovalev and has a great career.

  19. Those Howe family values are sorely missed in this day & age. I’d go so far as to say that the decline of society is closely linked to the breakup of the family.

    I happen to belong to a family that shares those “old-fashioned” values. We all descended on Mom & Dad yesterday for a dinner and to share “his day”. He’s in his mid-80s now, but you could see in his eyes just how much his family means to him. It was a very warm loving experience.

    Happy belated Father’s Day to all you Ranger fans out there who are loving Dads, keeping your families together and keeping the family traditions alive. You (along with the fantastic Moms) are holding this country together.

  20. WHAT UP ALL! been away from reading this great blog since I have been in Vegas for the last few days. Anyways, Messier and Datsyuk (only ones confirmed) were at my hotel. I played some blackjack with Mess, what a nice guy. Datsyuk confirmation came at around 8pm when Pavel came staggering through the elevator drunk as a skunk.

  21. The REAL Mi in IA

    I tend to agree with what yourt saying

    Id love to have ANtro back, but 4 mil is jsut too much and we dont have it
    Lets hope its jsut a negotiating starting point

    as For Z I know hwat you rsaying, its jsut a tough choice. If Torts can get him to perfom ALL YEAR then I say yes resign him

    But honestly who the hell knows what Slats is gonna do
    Prob something none of us are even thinkin gof

  22. I’ve been impersonated here, and elsewhere, so I just change my name up every few weeks rather than worry about it.

    it could be the same machine with different IP’s — having different ip’s doesn’t mean anything.

    your ISP likely re-assigns it everytime you connect and clears it when you disconnect

    Dedicated ip’s for a specific home pc are rare, but if it is dedicated that makes it easy to find them. Non-dedicated, you can usually narrow it down to what part of town they’re in and from there contact the authorities and work with the ISP to get their home address and proceed to do with that what you will.

    Wait outside their house to talk it over like gentlemen, tell their mommy on them, stalk them, flatten their tires, kick them in the ding ding, etc.

    If the loser’s doing it from work then it is possible to track him right down to his lonely little cubicle. In that case, it wouldn’t take much to get them fired. Most companies have policies against abuse of internet use. And they also dont want their machines being used to call people derogatory names online. You can print out documented proof of what they’ve done here and present it to their boss/owner/president/VP of HR. Particularly in this tight economy, most companies would not be very pleased to find out they’re paying someone a salary to impersonate people on a blog and use foul language instead of doing their job.

    Of course getting them fired just gives them more time to play on the internet …at least until their last paycheck runs out.

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