Sweet 17

Sweet 17

"After signing autographs for just about everybody
who showed up, No. 17 held a short press conference
at City Hall."

Cheryl, Cyan, Grandma and I went to the Civic Ceremony at City Hall yesterday. It was a great ceremony, and everyone was glad to have gone.

When Jari was introduced, he walked down the stairs to the stage amid a thunderous ovation (one of many standing-Os). He stood on the stage for a moment before sitting. During that time he surveyed the crowd. I had Cyan on my shoulders (which are nearly 6' up), and I'm certain Jari looked right at us and smiled. I could tell that he was looking at us, for a few seconds; I had tingles. (Have I mentioned yet he's my favourite hockey player ever?)

Cyan and I got separated from Cheryl and Grandma going into the Hall, and I got a better view of the proceedings, but they got seats, and more importantly, were in the right place when the ceremony was over and Jari Kurri stepped off the stage. The crowd mobbed him, and Cheryl was lucky enough to be one of the people to get their Jari Kurri card (oversized hockey cards, handed out at the entrace to city hall) autographed.

I had moved my way over to the mob, and by the time Jari signed Cheryl's card, I was barely 2 feet from him. It was special to have the opportunity to say "thanks Jari" in person.

I just wanted to ask everyone else to "back off" so I could tell Jari how happy I was to see him, what he meant to me, and invite him out for lunch, but it was pretty clear he was going to be very busy signing those cards for a while, and he had a press conference to attend anyway. ;-) ;-)

Yesterday was a day I'll never forget. And either will today. If you're watching Hockey Night in Canada tonight, look up from the centre of the face-off circle in the offensive zone where the Oilers attack in in the 1st and 3rd periods, on the goaltender's right (the players' bench side of the rink) for me and my family.

A dream come true.

Written on October 6, 2001