On August 31, 1931, two great men were born. Both are turning 75 today.
One is a famous Habs player, one of the all time greats. The second is less well known and just as great. My father.
Beliveau racked up 507 goals and 712 assists in his career. Dad raced motorcycles, broke some bones, and took home lots of hardware and trophies himself on the way to winning his greatest prize, the heart of a wonderful woman I call Mom.
Dad and I watched Beliveau get his 500th goal with a hat trick against the North Stars. I was all of 9 at the time. A few weeks later he took to see my first live game. It was our hometown Royals against Guy Lafleur and the Quebec Ramparts. The game and final score are now a blur, I just recall the Guy filled the net that night.
I remember noticing that my favorite player, Bobby Orr, Beliveau and Lafleur all wore #4.
A few years later we saw GUY suit up for the Habs, scoring another hat trick as they lost to the L.A. Kings - Marcel Dionne managed three himself that night . It was special time all around.
Dad and I spent lots of time fishing, snowmobiling, and sharing the occasional golf game. He's a much calmer man than I'll ever be, but he taught me quite a bit about the virtue of common sense and perspective. Though he doesn't know it, he's still teaching me that one never stops learning.
Like Beliveau, he probably retired a bit too early. Le Gros Jean did go out in style though. Both are class acts!
When I was growing up, I too wanted to be as proud and full. To know how it felt to held such high in regard. To be that loved and appreciated by many.
Beliveau didn't do too bad either.
Have a great birthday, Dad.