State Of Affairs: Hook Style.

More than a few grains of sand have fallen since I posted last (though I’ve been present on the amazing, wholly-original OTV Magazine site) so I’ve been trying to come up with something to satisfy your ravenous hunger for my particular brand of madness… to no avail.

It’s not that I haven’t had source material to draw on; Passover was last week so there were thousands of Jewish travelers and their spawn to deal with at the hotel, and the annual Cheer Evolution competition brought millions of cheerleaders to Niagara. Okay, so my math may be slightly askew, but it certainly sounded like millions of cheerleaders.

But I’ve been dead tired lately so my creative engine is chugging like a rusted out pick-up truck rather than humming like a new model Charlotte Stokely. Plus, we’re having our basement completely renovated from the weeping tile to the ceiling, and while I suck at DIY, I’m awesome at demolition. So I was in charge of ripping out the old walls and ceiling out. (With help from my lovely bide, of course.)

By the way, Charlotte Stokely is an actress of world-renown and boundless talent. If you’re not familiar with her, you really need to pray for forgiveness from your senses because you’ve been doing them a great disservice. Personally, if I was them, I’d make you suffer greatly. But that’s just me.

Now on with my thoughts on current events in Canada and the world.

Humboldt Strong: A deadly bus crash in Canada’s Saskatchewan province last Friday evening has rocked my home and native land to it’s core and drawn the attention of the world. A bus was carrying a junior hockey team, the Humboldt Broncos, collided with a tractor-trailer. As of this writing, details are still sparse, but all that really matters is this: fifteen people (ten Broncos players and five support staff, including two coaches) were senselessly killed and at least 14 others injured.

They were just kids on their way to play the game they loved.

They were the adults who devoted their lives to nurturing the dreams of youths who dreamed of glory on the ice.

Everyone who has learned of this tragedy has been touched to their core. It doesn’t matter if you love or hate the game; there are some moments that break down the barriers that divide us as human beings and help us become the best version of ourselves. In that spirit, here is the full list of the Fallen:


(Liam Richards/The Canadian Press via AP)

Humboldt Broncos players:

• Adam Herold, 16, Montmartre, Saskatchewan.

The youngest team member to die in the crash. He was raised on a farm and was a hunter and snowmobiler.

• Conner Lukan, 21, Slave Lake, Alberta.

He lived with the family of Kevin Garinger, the Broncos’ president.

• Evan Thomas, 18, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The son of Scott Thomas, president of the Saskatoon Blazers hockey team. He also played baseball at a national level. His family said that he was considering becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

• Jacob Leicht, 19, Humboldt, Saskatchewan.

The only player from the town to die in the collision. He played left wing for the team.

• Jaxon Joseph, 20, Edmonton, Alberta.

He joined the team in a trade earlier this year and was the son of Chris Joseph, who played for seven National Hockey League teams between 1987 and 2006.

• Logan Boulet, 21, Lethbridge, Alberta.

A player in his third season for the Broncos. He had just signed up to be an organ donor, and six of his organs were transplanted or prepared for transplants. From tragedy can come inspiration and hope: Young Logan just became a hero.

• Logan Hunter, 18, St. Albert, Alberta.

He played right wing for the team.

• Logan Schatz, 20, Allan, Saskatchewan.

• Stephen Wack, 21, St. Albert, Alberta.

His junior hockey career was coming to an end. Mr. Wack was planning a career in video production, and he had posted several videos on YouTube.

• Parker Tobin.

Incorrect information from the Office of the Chief Coroner of Saskatchewan, originally misidentified Broncos player Xavier Labelle as Parker Tobin. This was an unbelievably horrible error, but coroners are human too and the scene of the crash was immersed in chaos. Additionally, many players has dyed their hair blonde and Tobin and Labelle had similar features.

Team Personnel:

• Brody Hinz, 18, Humboldt, Saskatchewan.

Mr. Hinz volunteered as the team statistician. He was about to finish high school and had been planning a career in broadcasting. Is there anything more heartbreaking than a life that ends before it could truly begin?

• Darcy Haugan, 42, Humboldt, Saskatchewan.

Hired as the Broncos’ head coach in 2015. He was originally from Peace River, Alberta. He had studied at Northern Michigan University on a hockey scholarship and briefly played professionally in Sweden.

• Glen Doerksen, 59, Carrot River, Saskatchewan.

The team’s bus driver. He had officiated and sat on the board of his local junior B hockey team, the Carrot River Thunder.

• Mark Cross, 27, Strasbourg, Saskatchewan.

The team’s assistant coach. He studied kinesiology at York University in Toronto and played on its hockey team before returning to Saskatchewan.

• Tyler Bieber, 29, Humboldt, Saskatchewan.

Mr. Bieber was the play-by-play radio broadcaster.

Better days. Rest well, friends.

That’s all I have for you today. I’d like to be witty and entertaining (for once) but this incident has stirred feelings in me that, to be honest, are always at the surface anyway. In closing, it speaks volumes about my country and its love for the game that Canadians everywhere paused for a moment when this news broke on the weekend. It makes me proud to be Canadian.

See you in the lobby, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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38 Responses to State Of Affairs: Hook Style.

  1. davidprosser says:

    I’m sorry for your loss Robert.

  2. Doug in Oakland says:

    Having been born and raised in Humboldt County, California, my initial reaction was “Hockey team? What hockey team?”
    Anyway, I’m continually amazed at all of the different places named Humboldt.

  3. Such a loss, they were so young.

  4. I had to google the actress, and lo and behold to my surprise, she is a porno actress, lmao!
    You sneaky devil.
    The Humboldt tragedy is beyond heartbreaking, there are no words to comfort those who have lost someone. My heart aches for the families.

    • The Hook says:

      Yes, but I’m a sneaky devil who is of legal age to view such material. And she’s a model for American Apparel as well, so she’s mainstream as well.
      And yes, the Humboldt tragedy is almost inconceivable.

  5. Beautiful Tribute, Hook. We are all so very sorry for the loss of these fine people,

  6. Truly touching . Thank you for reminding us to move forward with love .

  7. The world has loss some real stars with this crash. Appreciate your tribute and the flowers’ picture. Just kids on their way. May peace and comfort find their family and friends.

  8. curvyroads says:

    So sad! This was a lovely tribute, Robert. 💕

  9. I’m so sorry for this heartbreaking loss. Thank you for letting us all know these angels a bit.

    I found out a few years ago, that a classmate of mine who died quite “senselessly” has been a guardian angel for me. I know about 3 specific times he kept me from harm/ probable death. My thoughts and prayers to the families.

  10. This even made the UK news. :/

  11. You humble me Mr. Hook with your ability to share this moving tribute with us.
    Also, I’m happy to read that I wasn’t the only one who had to google the actress. Yeah, she’s off my radar.

  12. dianaepona says:

    When something like this happens, I find myself simply sitting and trying to assimilate all the emotions whirling around such a tragedy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This may have happened miles away, but the sheer energy and impact it has on those enmeshed in it are palpable even here in Middle Earth, USA. My heart goes out to all of them. Thank you, again.

  13. StillWaters says:

    You are so right, Robert. The Humboldt Broncos tragedy has hit our country hard. Thank you for your wonderful tribute.

  14. Theresa says:

    What a tragedy! My heart goes out to the families and friends of all those young ones that left us too early! What a terrible thing to happen to these young men!

  15. Dave Ply says:

    Portland has a junior hockey league team as well, and while I don’t think they played the Humbolt team the thought of any such group of youngsters dying in an accident is both saddening and sobering.

  16. It was indeed a sad day that effected people all over the world. It seems to bother us more when the tragedy happens to youth. These kids did nothing wrong and didn’t deserve to die at such a young age. My heart goes out to the parents and the families involved and to the great country of Canada…. prayers and peace my friend….prayers and peace. ❤

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