Dyte Hall was our local hockey rink when my family lived at CFB Borden. Along with the Andy Anderson Arena, the Hall, a large brown-brick structure, one which may or may not have been a purpose-built building, was the place where my ice hockey career began and ended. It was there where I scored my few goals and let in more than a few goals (my team was a bad one). On weekends I would often saunter over and catch whatever ice hockey action was on tap; at times my favourite sport was not on the schedule ("Broomball? No!").
One of my strongest memories of the hall, besides Nancy Getty blowing a puck by me as we attempted to thwart a girls' team, is of schoolmate Mike Walker skating across the ice between the face off circles in front of my goal and delivering one of his wicked slap shots: I caught the puck in the fore of my right arm, right at the joint, effectively doing my job; unfortunately, the disc of smokin' rubber struck the seam in my protective equipment, rendering my catchers' mitt useless as it dangled beneath my now powerless arm. ("Systems Failure!") However, by shifting my hips I could get some life out of the glove. Thankfully the power loss lasted just a few seconds. A most memorable Sunday afternoon.
The most powerful memory for me of Dyte Hall did not happen on the ice:
The Base Borden Minor Hockey Association held a fundraiser one lovely weekend; one could buy a series pass in order to take in all the games, or single tickets. Since one of my friends had a pass, I decided there was an effective way to maximize its potential. My friends and I gathered in front of Dyte Hall and I, on the spot, hatched a plan:
"Okay guys, this is what we'll do.... (inaudible)."
Fade to black.
As 'author' I initiated the devious cycle. With pass in hand I somewhat apprehensively and self consciously approached the ticket table. There was no problem in executing my plan; the pleasant ladies smiled and said "thank you". Once safely through the checkpoint I made for the men's room and passed the pass through the opened window to one of my waiting buddies outside.
Repeat once, then:
Norman was next in line; as per the by now perfected routine he entered the special transfer room and proceeded to hand off the pass. Guess who decided to relieve himself at that moment....you guessed it: Norm's dad! A man born and bred in England could only say one thing after quickly figuring out what sneaky and reprehensible act played out before him: (Something like) "You little bastard."
Needless to say I "heard" about it all afterwards, and Norm, being the son of a Brit in the Canadian Armed Forces, no doubt "got it" afterwards.
You must not forget, dear reader, that although the punchline did not involve me directly, I'm the fellow who drew up the plan. I was, as Wally Cleaver may have stated, the "little creep!".