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:
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.
• 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.
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…