Thursday, April 28, 2011

Special Boston Bruins Hockey Memories

Editor's note: this article was written before the Bruins won the 2010-2011 Stanley Cup. Congratulations, Bruins!

With the Boston Bruins thrilling 4-3 series-ending first-round playoff victory over the Montreal Canadians last night, memories of past Bruins glory days, their star players and supporting cast saturated my mind. Bobby Orr. Phil Esposito. Ken Hodge. Cam Neeley, Gerry (Cheesy) Cheevers. Johnny Bucyk. Gary Doak blocking slapshots with his head. Great broadcasters like Bob Wilson, Fred Cusick and Johnny Peirson (and remembering Sports Huddle radio host Eddie Andelman calling the latter two, Fred Cue Stick and Johnny Pinpoint -- as well as post-game guy Tom Larson being Tom Larceny). Derek Sanderson comes to mind, too, as the talented playboy hockey player, later to be known as an opinionated, cartoon character-like broadcaster.

I loved hockey back then, watching the games on TV 38 and wearing, as much as possible, my cardigan Boston Bruins sweater bought from the former Zwicker's Sporting Goods, of Arlington, Mass. Bought it when I was eight-year-old and kept stretching the material to make it last a few extra years. I even wore it playing street hockey with childhood friends on Kensington Park in Arlington around the 1970-1972 timeframe -- a much better move, I thought, that the neighborhood dork that wore his best Sunday shoes to play! Mom would eventually call us in for dinner, I'd gulp down the food and sometimes return for some early evening hockey. Then we'd return to watch the Bruins defeat virtually everyone!

Those were the days my friend and I thought they would never end. But they did, and I'm so glad that we had a return to one of those glorious Boston Bruins moments last night. I hope the Bruins go on to win the whole thing, but for now it's just nice to bask in the excitement of good local NHL hockey!

Why did these memories pop up? Perhaps because the Bruins have not given us many thrilling moments of this caliber for the past several years. As a result, we had to tap into our brain's "oldies file" to access a time when the Bruins gave us special moments. Personally, that win last night brought the kind of excitement I felt watching Orr and Esposito a long, long time ago.

More memories? How about the "Nut Rocker," the long-time theme song of the Boston Bruins? This was actually a 1961 hit by B Bumble & The Stingers, one of my favorite groups of all time.  Just kidding. But I just can't get that adrenaline-pumping song out of my head right now. Go Bruins!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Anyone Remember Chadwick's Ice Cream Parlor?

Chadwick's ice cream parlor on the Lexington/Waltham, Mass., line held the distinction of having customers develop headaches most enjoyable.

This tiffany-style, somewhat phony-looking old-fashioned ice cream spot (but, hey, it was endearing!) was best known for birthday celebrations. Extremely loud drummers and wait staff singers surpassing the decibel level of, say, a Deep Purple concert, started the birthday celebrations with free ice cream for the birthday boy or girl. Apparently, some immoral types had several birthdays a year!

Some passed off Chadwick's as a gimmick, but I thought the ice cream was excellent (will always remember the orange-pineapple) and lunch and dinner selections were much better than its chain competitors of this dining genre.

The "Bellybuster" sundaes were huge, kids always had a ball here, and the parents might have even enjoyed the experience more.  Interesting to note that Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch, of Saturday Night Live fame) worked at Chadwick's. Now that's pretty funny!