At the li­brary

The Queens County Advance - - OP-ED - Steve Bartlett is an edi­tor with Saltwire

Please don’t share these words with the kids on my Novice hockey team, The Jets.

Be­cause they might lose faith in their co-coach.

Or they might make fun of me in the dress­ing room, which has hap­pened A LOT over the years.

Here’s my deal with hockey: I’m over­flow­ing with pas­sion for the game, but be­low empty when it comes to play­ing tal­ent.

I con­sider my­self Canada’s Worst Rec Hockey Player™.

But more than four decades af­ter my first strides on a back­yard rink iced by my dad and old­est brother, I still refuse to let tal­ent get in the way of puck pur­suits.

I play as much as pos­si­ble, frus­trat­ing line­mates and mak­ing goalies look good wher­ever I go.

Work­ing in the me­dia some­times brings op­por­tu­ni­ties to play in char­ity games, which al­low the jour­nal­is­tic corpse … Oops, I mean “corps” ... to raise cash for a cause and then drink beer, be­cause it’s in­cred­i­bly hard for a bunch of re­porters to find a rea­son to do the lat­ter.

Through work, I’ve been for­tu­nate to play along­side for­mer Nhlers, against the famed Fly­ing Fa­thers, and on an oval rink in a Mid­dle East­ern shop­ping mall.

I’ve strug­gled through, and spent lots of time on my an­kles, but loved ev­ery minute.

For the past few sea­sons, I’ve been try­ing to pass the fig­u­ra­tive puck — my love of the game — to my son.

I have no il­lu­sions of him turn­ing pro or be­ing a su­per­star. I just want to in­tro­duce him to hockey with the off chance he may en­joy it as much as me. It’s also a great op­por­tu­nity to spend time to­gether.

This is my sec­ond sea­son coach­ing his team and I take him to a power-skat­ing ses­sion when­ever pos­si­ble.

A re­cent power-skat­ing ses­sion proved to be the low­est point in my hockey life — worse than all those times I scored on my own net or passed to the wrong team.

And, this time, I wasn’t even on the ice!

One of my son’s great friends, who also hap­pens to be a cousin, rode with us to the rink.

He’s nine and asked for help with his skates. No prob­lem what­so­ever.

When they got on the ice and started warm­ing up, it was ob­vi­ous the kid was hav­ing a prob­lem get­ting around, which was odd be­cause he’s a good young player.

“Hmm,” I thought, “He must have just had his skates sharp­ened or maybe they are new and not bro­ken in.”

I ducked out for a cof­fee and re­turned to find him skat­ing much bet­ter.

His ear­lier dif­fi­cul­ties never crossed my mind again un­til he got off the ice.

“Steve!” he said in an ex­as­per­ated tone, “The in­struc­tor had to take me to the bench to redo my skates. You put them on the wrong feet!”


A rookie mis­take. If only.

It’s hard to be­lieve with all this great weather but we are get­ting closer to the hol­i­days. Don’t worry - this ar­ti­cle won’t be about our col­lec­tion of hol­i­day books (al­though we do have quite a few if peo­ple are in­ter­ested). No, I want to talk about our yearly fundrais­ing cam­paign called “Buy-a-book, Share the Gift of Lit­er­acy”.

Take a look and see what’s hap­pen­ing this week at South Shore Pub­lic Li­braries!

SSPL Classes, Ac­tiv­i­ties and Events, Novem­ber 15-22, 2017

Take a look and see what’s hap­pen­ing this week at South Shore Pub­lic Li­braries!

Li­brary Fundraiser: Buy a Book, Share the Gift of Lit­er­acy - Novem­ber 21 to De­cem­ber 31

Help us put new ma­te­rial on li­brary shelves on the South Shore. Stop by your lo­cal li­brary and se­lect an item to pur­chase. Or do­nate on­line. Call us for more in­for­ma­tion: 902-543-2548.

For Kids:

Poké­mon Card Game Club – Novem­ber 15, 22

Story Time – Novem­ber 16 VR Sculp­ture Mak­ing – Novem­ber 16

Mad About Minecraft – Novem­ber 16

Ad­ven­ture Club – Novem­ber 16 Games Club – Novem­ber 17 Lego Club – Novem­ber 21

For Adults:

Web Info: Pod­casts – Novem­ber 15

NFB Film screen­ing: The Sex Trade – Novem­ber 16 Adult Colour­ing – Novem­ber 17 Hand­craft Cir­cle – Novem­ber 21 Web info: Youtube – Novem­ber 22

For Every­one:

VR Dis­cov­ery Hour – Novem­ber 15, 22 avail­able at the Mar­garet Hen­ni­gar Pub­lic Li­brary: Story Time – Novem­ber 15, 22 Nee­dle Felt­ing Club – Novem­ber 15, 22

Spy School – Novem­ber 15, 22 Ad­ven­ture Club – Novem­ber 15, 22

Learn and Play the Game of Chess – Novem­ber 15, 22 VR Sculp­ture Mak­ing – Novem­ber 16 VR Dis­cov­ery Hour – Novem­ber 16 Sto­ry­time for every­one: A Wrin­kle In Time – Novem­ber 17 Ap­ple Help – Novem­ber 17 Mini Golf at the Li­brary – Novem­ber 18 Artist Trad­ing Cards – Novem­ber 20 Art Club – Novem­ber 20 Lego Club – Novem­ber 20 Baby Group – Novem­ber 21 ebooks – Novem­ber 21 Poké­mon Card Game Club – Novem­ber 21 South Shore Scribes – Novem­ber 22

*All pro­grams are free, but some re­quire reg­is­tra­tion – please call your lo­cal li­brary to find out more.

For de­tails on these South Shore Pub­lic Li­braries pro­grams, check out our web­site at southshore­pub­li­cli­ or visit your lo­cal li­brary and pick up a copy of the pro­gram guide.

South Shore Pub­lic Li­braries -Read. Dis­cover. Learn. Share.


The Mersey Band held its an­nual fundraiser - a roast pork din­ner at the Le­gion in Liver­pool Nov. 4. The Mersey Swing Band played mu­sic through­out the evening.

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