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True Patriot Love (3 of 4) LbNA #41393

Plant date:Jul 1, 2008
County:Alberta, CAN
State:Alberta, Canada
Planted by:GeoOdyssey Contact Inactive
Found by: Blue J
Last found:Jul 30, 2008
Last edited:Jul 1, 2008
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From The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier, illustrated by Sheldon Cohen. Montréal: Tundra Books, 1984, ©House of Anansi Press, 1979.

I remember very well the winter of 1946. We all wore the same uniform as Maurice Richard, the red, white, and blue uniform of the Montréal Canadiens, the best hockey team in the world. We all combed our hair like Maurice Richard, and, to keep it in place we used a kind of glue - a great deal of glue. We laced our skates like Maurice Richard, we taped our sticks like Maurice Richard. We cut his pictures out of all the newspapers. Truly, we knew everything there was to know about him.

On the ice, when the referee blew his whistle, the two teams would rush at the puck. We were five Maurice Richards against five other Maurice Richards, throwing themselves on the puck. We were ten players all wearing the uniform of the Montréal Canadiens, all with the same burning enthusiasm. We all wore the famous number 9 on our backs.
How could we forget that?

One day, my Montréal Canadiens sweater was too small for me and it was ripped in several places. My mother said, "If you wear that old sweater, people are going to think we are poor."

Then she did what she did whenever we needed new clothes. She started to look through the catalogue that the Eaton Company in Montreal sent us in the mail every year. My mother was proud. She never wanted to buy our clothes at the general store. The only clothes that were good enough for us were the latest styles from Eaton's catalogue. My mother did not like the order forms included in the catalogue. They were written in English and she did not understand a single word of it. To order my hockey sweater, she did what she always did. She took out her writing pad and wrote in her fine schoolteacher's hand, "Dear Monsieur Eaton, Would you be so kind as to send me a Canadiens' hockey sweater for my son Roch who is ten years old and a little bit tall for his age? Docteur Robitaille thinks he is a little too thin. I'm sending you three dollars. Please send me the change if there is any. I hope your packing will be better than it was last time."

Monsieur Eaton answered my mother's letter promptly. Two weeks later, we received the sweater.

That day I had one of the greatest disappointments of my life! Instead of the red, white, and blue Montréal Canadiens sweater, Monsieur Eaton had sent the blue-and-white sweater of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I had always worn the red, white, and blue sweater of the Montréal Canadiens. All my friends wore the red, white, and blue sweater. Never had anyone in my village worn the Toronto sweater. Besides, the Toronto team was always being beaten by the Canadiens.
With tears in my eyes, I found the strength to say: "I'll never wear that uniform."

"My boy," said my mother. "first you're going to try it on! If you make up your mind about something before you try it, you won't go very far in this life."

My mother had pulled the blue and white Toronto Maple Leafs sweater over my head and put my arms into the sleeves. She pulled the sweater down and carefully smoothed the maple leaf right in the middle of my chest.

I was crying: "I can't wear that."

"Why not? This sweater is a perfect fit."

"Maurice Richard would never wear it."

"You're not Maurice Richard! Besides, it's not what you put on your back that matters. It's what you put inside your head."

"You'll never make me put in my head to wear a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater."

My mother sighed in despair and explained to me: "If you don't keep this sweater which fits you perfectly I will have to write to Monsieur Eaton and explain that you don't want to wear the Toronto sweater. Mr Eaton understands French perfectly but he's English and he's going to be insulted because he likes the Maple Leafs. If he's insulted, do you think he'll be in a hurry to answer us? Spring will come before you play a single game, just because you don't want to wear that nice blue sweater."
So I had to wear the Toronto Maple Leafs sweater.

The colour of the Toronto Maple Leafs jersey.
A substance used to help reduce slippery surfaces, such as ice.
Where you spend time after tripping, holding, elbowing, or checking from behind.

Optional Task:

Name a new team to the NHL and design a jersey for your new team.