NEWS NEWS AND MORE NEWS I am going to get all of my memories down, before I forget what I remember!. . . . quote from Stanley Forman

28Mar/122

Fenway 100, Stanley 66

July 10, 2011, 66 years old

Yes, there it is my name is up in lights, day­lights that is and don’t think I don’t love it.

I have always been a Red Sox fan. I prob­a­bly went to my first game before I started remem­ber­ing all that I remem­ber. My father was a big sports fan and it trick­led down to me. He used to love to go to Bru­ins and Red Sox games. The Celtics came to Boston long after he was a teenager so he did not see as many of those games. I remem­ber him tak­ing me to after­noon Celtics game; com­ing home and then he would take my mother and go back to the Gar­den to see the Bru­ins at night. Since he worked most week­ends, it was a big deal if he was off on a Sun­day. My par­ents espe­cially liked when the Mon­treal Cana­di­ans were play­ing as the fans would sing French songs and the Gar­den would be in a fes­tive mood.

We grew up with fam­ily all around our neigh­bor­hood and my Uncle Jack Burnim, a real Red Sox fan, would go to a Sox game every chance he had and many times offered to take me with him. The only prob­lem with going with him is if you were with him you had to eat a hot dog almost every inning and lots of pop­corn too (to mix in all the Fen­way tastes). To hear his grand­son, Judge David Lowy, tell the story, after a while it became tor­ture to eat so much junk food.

Jack took us to many games; one being the Memo­r­ial Day game against the Yan­kees in 1961, the year Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. I just Googled the box score and although I remem­bered all the home runs by Man­tle and Maris I did not remem­ber Bill “Moose” Skowrun’s 2 homers along with Yogi Berra hit­ting one that day. Man­tle had 2 home runs that game, his #12 and 13 of the still-early sea­son, and Maris hit 2 home runs, bring­ing his total so-far to 11. Both were well on their way to chal­lenge Ruth’s record of 60 home runs in one sea­son.   Since that sea­son, my stan­dard for judg­ing whether some­one was going to break Babe Ruth’s years’ record of 60 in a sea­son has been if the per­son has reached 11 or 13 homers by Memo­r­ial Day like Man­tle and Maris did that year.

When I think about how mes­mer­ized I was by Mark McGuire’s quest to break Maris’ record only to find out it was tainted; it still pisses me off. Such a big deal break­ing it, but really not a big deal. That is what aster­isks are for. I think most peo­ple in 1961 were root­ing for Mickey Man­tle to beat out Maris for Ruth’s record but an injury late in the sea­son took him out of the run­ning.  Accord­ing to the movie “61” about the chase, Man­tle was root­ing for Maris to pull the feat off anyway.

Going to Fen­way Park was an easy task when you grew up in Revere. When there was noth­ing to do you could always hop on the train at Revere Beach Sta­tion, ride to Gov­ern­ment Cen­ter (it was called Scol­lay Square back then) trans­fer or walk to get to Park Street Sta­tion and then get the trol­ley to Ken­more Square. You had to make sure you got the right trol­ley oth­er­wise you ended up in never, never land some­where off of Hunt­ing­ton Avenue and no one from Revere would know where they were.

Of course you prob­a­bly would not have walked from Scol­lay Square, as it would have been another fee of a nickel to get back on a train at a dif­fer­ent stop. Those trol­leys were great back then; you would rock and roll all the way there. The old cars were shaky, crowded and not air-conditioned. Can you imag­ine a non air-conditioned train after spend­ing the day in the hot sun at Fen­way, not fun! After a day game we would go to the Ken­more Hotel to the lit­tle ice cream par­lor and get a deli­cious Sun­dae (and I mean deli­cious) cost­ing a quarter.

Any night a crew of us hang­ing around in the 50s and 60s could go to Fen­way watch Dick Rad­datz mow them down along with the other 10,000 peo­ple who may be in atten­dance. Jim Pier­sal, a long time Red Sox cen­ter fielder, vis­ited our local gro­cery store, Arthur’s Cream­ery, while endors­ing a choco­late drink and, yes, I got his autograph.

Tom Yawkey was prob­a­bly the only rea­son the Red Sox stayed in Boston with the small crowds in atten­dance. It all changed in 1967, the “Impos­si­ble Dream Year” when sell­outs became nor­mal busi­ness. Back then, there were no play­offs, you were the best team in base­ball in your league or you ended your sea­son when the sea­son ended. With the two num­ber one teams play­ing the World Series you got the best of the best, at least supposedly.

Dick Williams showed up as man­ager in 1967 and things just came together. I did not cover any of the games as a pho­tog­ra­pher but I had a press pass and could go to any game I wanted and sit in the photographer’s box. I did not take as much advan­tage of the perk as I should have. This was before the photographer’s box next to their dugout. Every­thing was shot from above or you floated around look­ing for an aisle seat. A big treat going to a game with the press pass was to be able to eat in the press lunch­room, where there was deli­cious food and it was free. A tip of $1.00 was the stan­dard and where could you eat as much as you want of good food for a buck.

The week­end the Red Sox won the pen­nant in 1967 every­one was work­ing. I was in the lab at the paper. We were play­ing the Min­nesota Twins and had to win both Sat­ur­day and Sunday’s game while one of the other teams in the league lost. I was very busy with many rolls of film being shipped in to make our many edi­tions. Then it was over, the Sox won and John Lan­ders had a great photo of Jim Lon­borg being car­ried off the field on his teammate’s shoul­ders after beat­ing the great pitcher Dean Chance in what you could call a non-playoff, play­off game, win­ner take all.

I went with pho­tog­ra­pher Kevin Cole to St. Louis for the World Series that year. I never got to the park as I worked out of the St. Louis Post Dis­patch doing all of Kevin’s lab work and trans­mit­ting over 60 pho­tos back to Boston to be used in our edi­tions. Kevin did his usual great job catch­ing all the action.

Ear­lier in the sea­son Lon­borg got engaged and the hunt for his fiancé was on and I was on the chase. There I was at Fen­way Park look­ing for his fiancé, not know­ing where to look, all of a sud­den a car pulls up by the player’s entrance, Lon­borg gets out of the car and she was dri­ving. Very gra­ciously, she held up her hand to dis­play her ring. I prob­a­bly yelled out ask­ing her to hold up her hand, thank­fully I knew which hand the ring was on and if you were dri­ving the left hand is on the win­dow side. Lon­borg did not marry this woman, and went on to be a South Shore area den­tist. I have never seen him again in person.

Ken “Hawk” Har­rel­son throw­ing his cast away, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital

When Ken “Hawk” Har­rel­son (now the Chicago White Sox announcer) had his cast removed from leg injury I was at Saint Elizabeth’s Hos­pi­tal and asked him to throw the cast away for the cam­era. He was a very media savvy ath­lete. Har­rel­son came to the Red Sox dur­ing their Pen­nant drive to replace the injured Tony Conigliaro.

Carl Yast­trzem­ski, Tony Conigliaro, Hank Aaron, open­ing day 1976

In the Conigliaro era there was always some­thing going on. What­ever he did we did. There was the night he got into a car acci­dent in Somerville and was taken to the hos­pi­tal. Then I was cov­er­ing his younger brother Richie play­ing foot­ball for Swamp­scott High School and the whole Conigliaro fam­ily was there. I was assigned to show every­one. I was tak­ing some pho­tos of the fam­ily and Tony came play­fully charg­ing at me like he was going to tackle me. Of course, I wasn’t sure whether or not he would throw me to the ground so I moved out of the way. I met his brother Billy sev­eral times as he was in high school with a friend of mine from Swamp­scott, Susan Feldman.

Jim Willoughby, Rick Wise, Juan Beniquez, Doug Grif­fin, Fred Lynn, Dick Drago, Reg­gie Cleve­land, Dick Pole, Johnny Pesky, Denny Doyle, Carl Yas­trzem­ski, Dwight Evans, Bob Mont­gomery, Rico Petro­celli Might have been 1975, start of World Series?

In 1975, when Car­leton Fisk hit is game win­ning home run against Cincin­nati in the World Series I was in the photographer’s box shoot­ing color film watch­ing Fisk wav­ing his home run ball fair. I ran out on the field with every­one else and it was fun. Still haven’t found those slides.

Oops! Danielle Tor­rez, with score­card in hand knows the Red Sox sea­son is over after her hus­band Mike gave up a 3 run homer to Bucky Dent!

Bucky Dent hits his game win­ning 3 run homer and I was the floater for the one game play­off with the Yan­kees in 1978. I was walk­ing around try­ing to get “dif­fer­ent pho­tos” for the later edi­tions. I was behind the home plate screen tak­ing pho­tos of Mike Tor­rez pitch­ing and keep­ing an eye on his wife Danielle who also behind the back­stop.  Dent came up to the plate and hit his blast and the Red Sox sea­son was over. Danielle knew it also and I had this really good photo of her expres­sion, which got a one col­umn cut in the paper. The front-page head­line the next day was this very, very, very small type, which said “Red Sox Lose” and you were not a base­ball fan you would not have noticed. Sam Cohen our great sports edi­tor always had great ideas to be different.

Of course there was Bill Lee, Red Sox pitcher; talk about some­one who danced to his own drum­mer!  Must have been a Wednes­day night when he walked off the team or some­thing like that as I was work­ing and I was dis­patched to his Bel­mont home to get a shot of him. I was in front of his house when he came jog­ging up the street. I stood there and took some pho­tos of him arriv­ing, fol­lowed him down the dri­ve­way and of course he knew I was tak­ing his photo as he acknowl­edged my pres­ence. Next week I heard from Jerry Buck­ley the Red Sox pho­tog­ra­pher back then that Lee had said he was stalked and I came out behind the bushes to get his photo. Two sides to a story, he was danc­ing as far as I was concerned.

When Oil Can Boyd (a Red Sox pitcher) flipped his lid so to speak reporter Ron Gol­lobin and I were sent to his Chelsea apart­ment try­ing to seek him out for what­ever he wanted to say. It did not go to well. He came out the door, spot­ted us and took steps towards us. He was yelling at me flay­ing his arms and Gol­lobin stepped between us. He cre­ated a real photo opp. In that same era while hon­ey­moon­ing in Hawaii I bumped into the very friendly Dwight Evans and his wife vaca­tion­ing there.

There were many side­bars through my years of Red Sox cov­er­age. There were the 4 peo­ple mur­dered at Sammy White’s Bowl­ing Alley, Sep­tem­ber 22, 1980 in Brighton. The for­mer Red Sox catcher owned the alley. I was out­side when the police inves­ti­ga­tion was tak­ing place and got a photo of a dis­traught rel­a­tive wait­ing for word from the Boston Police.

In 1986, Red Sox vs. the Mets for the World Series, every­one was excited.  I was with reporter Susan Wor­nick, Neil Unger­lieder (now head of our inter­net site, “thebostonchannel.com) and Chan­nel Five Berra­neck Fel­low, Rebecca Rowl­ings. We were doing a story about the pros­ti­tutes doing busi­ness in Boston. We pulled over on Wash­ing­ton Street near the for­mer Wang The­atre to watch the end of the game, as my com­pany car was equipped with a TV.

Neil who is a very big Red Sox fan com­mented, “the Red Sox are going to win a World Series!” We were very intent watch­ing; know­ing if they won our story would change to local cel­e­bra­tions. Then it hap­pened, Bill Buck­ner missed the grounder to first in the tenth inning after the Red Sox were up 3 to 2 in games and every­thing unfolded. It was over, and all that was left was the Red Sox to try and recover the next night. We all know what hap­pened after that, it took 18 more years to finally win a World Series bring­ing the total up to 86 years between championships.

I was at Fen­way Park when the Red Sox came home in the early morn­ing hours. In those days we were a wel­come sight to the play­ers and had good access to the bus and the play­ers. Pitcher Bob “Steamer” Stan­ley one of the nicest ath­let­ics you could ever meet got off the bus and there was a fan yelling, “Bob you’re the best!” It was just after the ongo­ing con­tro­versy of whether he threw a wild pitch or the catcher Rich Ged­man had a passed ball. Most think it was a passed ball but he took the hit gra­ciously. A lit­tle name-dropping here, his daugh­ter Kristin worked at Chan­nel Five as a pro­ducer and I went to her wed­ding in 2010.

After that there was the time reporter Jack Harper and I went into the Red Sox dress­ing room, before yel­low tape, when all you needed to do was show up at Fen­way show your Fen­way Pass and walk around includ­ing the locker room. We walked in and there were a cou­ple of play­ers sit­ting there (must have been after the “86” loss) includ­ing Jim Rice. Every­one knew Mr. Rice did not like the media back then. If looks could kill Jack and I would not be here now.

Red Sox World Series Parade, 2004, 86 years after the last one.

Today, I do very lit­tle Red Sox cov­er­age although I was there in the 90s after they won the Pen­nant by beat­ing the Angels in the play­offs, ran out on the field with every­one else to the pitcher’s mound for the cel­e­bra­tion and got excel­lent video. I cov­ered the local cel­e­bra­tions after they won the Series in 04 and 07 and hope they do it again while I am still working.

Johnny Damon, Molly and Han­nah, great Christ­mas card, 2004

But my high­light of Fen­way will always be get­ting my birth­day wish up on the bleacher screen unless I ever get to throw out the first pitch and make a fool out of myself when I can­not reach the plate.

 

20Jun/111

Lord Stanley, The Bruins And The Stanley Cup

Bru­ins Cap­tain holds up the Cup for all to see dur­ing the Rolling Rally.

It took almost 45 years but I got to cover the Boston Bru­ins win­ning the Stan­ley Cup for the third time. There was almost 40 years in between the 2nd and 3rd cham­pi­onships; the first two hap­pened when I was an avid fan and sea­son ticket holder.  I saw every game Bobby Orr played at Boston Gar­den and even drove down to watch the Bru­ins and the Rangers play in New York back in the days when hockey was very impor­tant to me.

The morn­ing after the win was fun, got called into work early to go to Logan Air­port for the team’s return from Van­cou­ver and thought I might get to see them get­ting off the plane for their bus ride back to the Gar­den.  Not to be, every­thing was secre­tive and the news crews were not sure which gate the bus would come off the tar­mac through and they fooled us all as they went out an open­ing none of us real­ized would be used. Beat before I could even get into 2nd gear.

From Logan I went to Cause­way Street and think­ing the way I did 40 years ago I for­got the bus would pull into the front park­ing lot and we could see them get­ting into their cars and maybe even get to talk with them. I had thought they would drive into the Gar­den like they used to, inside via the long ramp in the back of the build­ing and flee the news hounds. I guess some­times I do live in the past. Had I known the great access we were going to have I would have gone a lit­tle faster and skipped the pit stop I made before I got there. When I did get there and real­ized what was going on I ran through the traf­fic to be where the action was.

The first player I spot­ted was Zdeno Chara, the big foot­ball player size defense­man, who was in the back seat of a limo but the guest with him was what made me take notice. He had the Stan­ley Cup sit­ting next to him and was the first of the play­ers to take it home.  He is the Cap­tain so I guess he might decide who is first or maybe it is an auto­matic. After I tapped on his car win­dow sev­eral times to see if he would open it for me I real­ized it just was not going to hap­pen so I moved on to the big­ger group which was slowly becom­ing smaller and smaller and only a few of the play­ers were still there. I did stick my mic in one of the car win­dows but I don’t even know who it was being interviewed.

From there the day got bet­ter. Mike Dowl­ing, a WCVB sports reporter, caught up with me and we went look­ing for the Bru­ins play­ers who lived in the North End with no clue where that might be. This ven­ture only lasted a few min­utes as we got word we were going to inter­view Kevin and Lynn Marc­hand the par­ents of Brad, the Bru­ins star rookie who had three points in the 7th and decid­ing game and may have been one of the final­ists for MVP.

Talk about a class act. They walked down to the Gar­den from Brad’s apart­ment and talked to us for quite awhile giv­ing some insight into their won­der­ful adven­ture chas­ing the Stan­ley Cup with their son Brad. What fun. His father had gone to 20 play­off games and his mother only 16. They told us she was banned from the games after she attended two los­ing games. When they lost a game she wasn’t at she was then allowed to con­tinue the run. Mike Dowl­ing told me another par­ent of one of the play­ers also suf­fered the same fate after she was at a cou­ple of los­ing games. Super­sti­tion is super­sti­tion and being a lot­tery player I know what that word means.

Mrs. Marc­hand went on to tell us how she really dis­liked his beard and hoped he would be shav­ing it ASAP. They joked about what a mess his apart­ment was and she was hop­ing he would get some­one to keep it clean. They also talked about their other ath­letic son and two daugh­ters even let­ting us know Brad’s younger brother was a faster skater and tougher on the ice.

But the real fun began a few hours later when we found out the Cup was being wheeled down Com­mer­cial Street in the North End to Tia’s restau­rant on the water­front where many of the team would meet for cock­tails. It was very crowded at the out­side bar with patrons snap­ping pho­tos or just gawk­ing when they real­ized the stars of the day and the Stan­ley Cup were in plain view for every­one to see and all had their cell phones click­ing away with some of the peo­ple man­ning real cam­eras. I showed one of the wait­resses how to use the zoom on her newly bought IPad and made her day.

What a thrill to see today’s “heroes” out mix­ing with the reg­u­lars and enjoy­ing every moment of it. I could have recited every player’s name in the NHL back in the 60s and 70s but to tell the truth today I have not a clue who is who. This year I watched all the play­off games and the play­ers on the Bru­ins did not shave dur­ing the play­offs and all had play­off beards. It threw me for a loop on Thurs­day as they had almost all clipped their beards when I saw them and I had fig­ure out who is who. I have not fig­ured it out yet.

These play­ers had mus­cles on mus­cles, 6 pack abs that peo­ple would die for and if I were to try to get them I prob­a­bly would die. I don’t think the ath­letes of today are bet­ter ath­letes than those of the long gone era but they cer­tainly are stronger and have more mus­cle. Then there is the tat­toos; or as the kids call them “ink”. The only ink on my era’s ath­letes would have been from a leak­ing pen after sign­ing an autograph.

My first rally was after the Celtics won one of their 18 cham­pi­onships and Boston finally hon­ored them with a parade in the 60s. They were in con­vert­ibles dri­ving through the Park Square area. I was so mes­mer­ized by the John Havlicek’s beau­ti­ful wife Beth, (what a hot­tie and that word was not even invented back then) I don’t think I shot any­thing but pho­tos of her.

On City Hall Plaza in the 80s there was another Celtics rally and Larry Bird told the tens of thou­sands, “Moses eats shit,” refer­ring to Moses Mal­one after the Celtics beat the Hous­ton Rock­ets. Did that set off a pound or two of let­ters and phone calls!

Bru­ins Locker Room, 1969, Bobby Orr and team­mates the Year before they won the Stan­ley Cup. See other Bru­ins story in blogs.

After one of the Bru­ins cham­pi­onships in the 70s, Phil Espos­ito had surgery at MGH and the Bru­ins were hav­ing their breakup din­ner at a nearby restau­rant.  There was no way Phil wasn’t going to be there so some of his team mem­bers pushed his hos­pi­tal bed with him in it to the restau­rant. The story goes they broke the frame to a door or two get­ting out of the hos­pi­tal and he was still hooked up to IVs. With that team the whole story could be true.

For their first Cup win at Boston Gar­den my seats sec­tion 73, seats 3 and 4 gave me a great view of Bobby Orr’s over­time goal and in 1972 I was at Logan Air­port when the Bru­ins returned with the Stan­ley Cup after beat­ing the New York Rangers at Madi­son Square Gar­den. We were allowed up to the exit ramp and I was tak­ing pho­tos of every­body when Bobby Orr appeared walk­ing with a young woman, (he handed the young woman I was with a bot­tle of cham­pagne from the cel­e­bra­tion) I mis­tak­enly iden­ti­fied as his girl­friend  Peggy, his future wife, WRONG! The next day I was scram­bling to fig­ure out who she was. I went to Welles­ley and knocked on the State Trea­surer Bob Crane’s door with photo in hand to find out who she was and of course Bob knew it was a sec­re­tary from the Bru­ins’ office. He was bud­dies with Orr and knew all about the team.

Who can for­get the Bru­ins first Stan­ley Cup Cham­pi­onship rally on Boston’s City Hall Plaza when Johnny “Pie” Macken­zie poured a pitcher of beer over Mayor Kevin White’s head and then the Mayor returned the deed after they won their 2nd cup in 1972.

In 1975 after Car­leton Fisk hit his famous home run against the Cincin­nati Reds I ran out on the field with all the other pho­tog­ra­phers as I was cov­er­ing the game. In 1986 there I was again run­ning out to home plate after the Red Sox beat the Angels in 1986 to go to the World Series.

Who can for­get the 2004 Red Sox pre-rolling rally event at Fen­way Park when I chose to not work and take my girls to the parade. We walked up to the gate at Fen­way on a whim and there was a Boston Cop I have known for­ever at the door. A few moments later, we were inside enjoy­ing the fes­tiv­i­ties, run­ning on the field as the Duck Boats loaded. Our Christ­mas pic­ture that year was my girls with Johnny Damon.

My scari­est moment in sports came in Jan­u­ary 1986 when the Patri­ots beat Miami for the right to face the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl. I was dis­patched to Green Air­port in Rhode Island for a 2am arrival of the team. Works out there must have been 10,000 peo­ple who also wanted to greet them.  We were some­how in the mid­dle of the tar­mac after the plane landed wait­ing for the play­ers to come down the walk­way. All of a sud­den these 10,000 peo­ple broke through what­ever police lines were there and came charg­ing out to the plane. I was with Jim Reddy a tech­ni­cian at the sta­tion who was sent with me to help. They came rush­ing, I thought it was over, Jim grabbed me and put this big bear hug on me and we just stood in the mid­dle like a street pole and thank­fully the crowd went around us. I bet $50.00 on the game and I think the Patri­ots lost by almost 50 points.

In 1986 after the Red Sox lost to the Mets in one of the games after the con­tro­versy that stemmed between a pitch by Bob Stan­ley being a wild pitch or it being a passed ball by catcher Rich Ged­man, I was at Fen­way when the heart bro­ken team arrived home I heard one of the fol­low­ers yelling out to Stan­ley, “You’re the best” and not many agreed at that point in time.

Patrice Berg­eron ges­tures to the crowd while rid­ing in the Rolling Rally.

Today, June 18, was the big rally for the Bru­ins Cham­pi­onship. In all the ral­lies I have cov­ered this was the biggest crowd pleaser. They had to be more than a mil­lion folks lin­ing the streets of Boston for the rolling rally. It was great to be able to share it with those folks even if I was behind the camera.

So in my 45 years of news pho­tog­ra­phy I have worked 3 Super Bowl cel­e­bra­tions, two World Series ral­lies, numer­ous Celtics cel­e­bra­tions and 3 Bru­ins Stan­ley Cup “par­ties.” Not bad for a man whose only ath­letic pur­suit is read­ing the sports sec­tion of var­i­ous publications.

My daugh­ters at 21 and 22 have seen all of the home­town teams win a cham­pi­onship, a feat that took me 55 years.

Out­side the gar­den the other day when the Bru­ins returned I bumped in Tom Farmer, for­mer Her­ald reporter and long time friend. His ques­tion to me was “I bet you have cov­ered all three of their cup wins?” My answer was “yes” and now I am won­der­ing if he is try­ing to tell me I am old?

The only thing I do know if it takes another 40 years to win the cup again I will not be there for the celebration.

 

21Nov/107

Boston Bruins 1969-The Rest Of The Story

Fred Stan­field, Don Awry, Ken Hodge, Ron Mur­phy, Johnny “Pie“McKenzie, Dan For­re­stal, Wayne Cash­man, Bobby Orr, Glen Sather, John Bucyk, Eddy West­phal, Phil Espos­ito, Dan Canny

I was cov­er­ing the Bru­ins prac­tice in 1968–1969 dur­ing their play­off run the year before they won the Stan­ley Cup.  D. Leo Mon­a­han, the great hockey writer for the Record Amer­i­can, came out of the Bru­ins locker room to get me while I was shoot­ing stuff on the ice and said, “Bobby wants a team photo.”

Bobby Orr had received a poster from a group of sol­diers in Viet­nam and Orr wanted a team photo with the poster to send back to the sol­diers.  I took this photo of the group.

I saw every game Bobby Orr played at Boston Gar­den includ­ing games when the Oshawa Gen­er­als, his minor league team, played at the Gar­den. I had two sea­son tick­ets for sec­tion 73 Row C, seats 3 & 4.  I even had a Bru­ins stock­ing hat that I would wear at work and around the office and of course every­one got their laughs from that.

The first time I saw Orr in per­son was when I went to the Gar­den with UPI pho­tog­ra­phers Don Robin­son and George Riley for his first offi­cial prac­tice as a Boston Bruin.  He was there with Giles Marotte and as a hockey fan and future news pho­tog­ra­pher this was big.

We cov­ered Orr all the time and when he got hurt at an away game I was sent to Logan Air­port for his return along with Globe Pho­tog­ra­pher Char­lie Carey. In those days you could get down to the air­line ter­mi­nal but Bobby was none too friendly with us, as he was hurt­ing. It was not his usual demeanor.  On the other hand, Phil Espos­ito, who walk­ing with Orr tried to pacify us, being friendly but also try­ing to get us away from Orr.

I remem­ber many times I was asked to cover events with Bru­ins play­ers. One time, the two Espos­ito broth­ers were doing some kind of pro­mo­tion for either an air­line or a travel agency and we were out on the run­away while Tony and Phil waved to the cam­eras.  It was fun and funny.  I did a visit with Gar­nett “Ace” Bai­ley and his wife just before they got mar­ried. They were such a nice cou­ple and it is truly sad that Ace lost his life in the 9/11 ter­ror­ism.   A home visit with Ken Hodge was great, as I took a photo of Ken stand­ing in front of his fig­ure 8 swim­ming pool. I was wel­come to his home as if I was one of his family.

I only cov­ered a few Bru­ins hockey games; but, the few I cov­ered were mem­o­rable. As a sea­son ticket holder, I knew that Jacques Plante always skated off the ice with the stick in the air if he won a game.  They were play­ing on a Sat­ur­day after­noon and I got to cover the game. I planned this photo all game and when the Bru­ins won I got a great photo of him skat­ing off as he always did with the goalie stick up and a huge smile on his face.

The year before they won the Stan­ley Cup I cov­ered a game that you could almost con­sider a riot.  Lots of fights with Forbes Kennedy of the Toronto Maple Leafs going wild dur­ing an 11–0 Bru­ins win. The ice was wild and so was the crowd.  What a night!

Bobby and a group of rookie hockey play­ers became friends with a group of girls from Revere and I got to meet him at one of the girl’s homes. It was excit­ing to meet the future Mr. Hockey.

When the Bru­ins won the Stan­ley Cup in 1972 beat­ing the New York Rangers at New York, I was at Logan Air­port and on the run­away when they got off the plane, another excit­ing hap­pen­ing.  The only prob­lem was Bobby got off the plane next to a woman who I thought was his girl­friend (future wife) and went with that for the newspaper’s story. Only prob­lem was she actu­ally worked in the Bru­ins office and I iden­ti­fied her wrong. I found out by tak­ing the photo to Bob Crane the State Treasurer.

When Ray Lussier made the great photo of Orr scor­ing the win­ning goal in their 1970 Stan­ley Cup win, I was at the game in my seats and after the game I went to the office.  There was Mike Andersen’s great photo of young Bobby Orr drink­ing cham­pagne from the top of the Cup.

Ray Lussier saw me and told me to fol­low him. He took me to the photo engrav­ing depart­ment where back then engrav­ings were made to put pic­tures in the paper. There it was one of the best hockey pic­tures ever and he was so proud, Orr in the air after shoot­ing the over­time goal to beat St. Louis Blues.

I just looked up at the TV while typ­ing this and on NESN  there is a spe­cial on the Bru­ins and Bobby Orr fly­ing through the air and they are talk­ing about the Lussier photo.

I have lots of Bru­ins pho­tos to post in the future and have most of the neg­a­tives from the above stories.

Now the rest of the story about the Bru­ins group photo from 1969.

In Sep­tem­ber of 2010 I was con­tacted by a friend of the artist who drew the poster for this photo.  We exchanged sev­eral emails and then I exchanged emails with the artist who actu­ally drew the poster from Viet Nam.  The fol­low­ing is his story.

My Boston Bru­ins Viet­nam Poster Story By Don­ald Souliere

I first learned my reserve unit was being acti­vated for Viet­nam duty from the local news­pa­pers’ front page head­lines. They con­tained a list of all the reserve units acti­vated.  My 513th Main­te­nance Bat­tal­ion was on that list.

We left the Boston Army base and left my new com­mer­cial art career behind one cold morn­ing in Octo­ber. An Army con­voy was tak­ing us to Fort Dix New Jer­sey to be retrained for our over­seas duty. I thought I would not have the oppor­tu­nity to exer­cise my graphic design skills for at least a year; how wrong I was.

We flew out of Fort Dix in a troop trans­port plane. I slept most of the time to make the trip seem shorter. We arrived in Alaska to refuel. It was the first time I had ever seen any­thing like Alaska’s Blue Moun­tains. I had never trav­eled before. Now I was going to Japan and finally to Da Nang, Vietnam.

I stepped out of the plane and saw for the first time the Viet­nam that I had seen so many times in the news. It was a hum­bling moment. A con­voy was wait­ing to take us to Phubai. On the road to our new home the con­voy had to stop for a short time because the Marines were hav­ing a fire fight to clear a bridge of dan­ger so we could safely cross. Wel­come to Vietnam.

A few weeks prior I was sketch­ing fam­i­lies enjoy­ing the swan boats in the Boston Pub­lic Gar­den. A few months later I was in a bunker with a 30 cal­iber machine gun on guard duty on the “perime­ter” out­side the com­pound for the 513th. The army shot up flares dur­ing the night to illu­mi­nate the rice paddy fields in front of us so we could see up to the tree lines.  We hoped we wouldn’t see any­thing mov­ing. I was a reg­u­lar GI Joe just like the movies. Except this was not a movie.

I really believed the oppor­tu­nity to exer­cise my graphic skills in a com­bat zone would be nil. To my sur­prise I was used imme­di­ately by the Army as a graphic artist as soon as they checked my civil­ian occu­pa­tion. I did illus­tra­tion of trucks for their main­te­nance man­u­als. I did posters to warn our sol­diers of the pos­si­ble dan­gers they might encounter such as sab­o­tage, booby traps etc. I did mar­quee signs for the com­pounds for the Marines and our own bat­tal­ion insignia for our compound.

While in Phubai I was approached by 3 sol­diers to do a poster to cheer the Boston Bru­ins hockey team quest for the Stan­ley Cup. They mailed the poster all the way to the Boston Bru­ins. I used a Newsweek sport sec­tion photo for ref­er­ence on the slap shot pos­ture for the bear. I used Sports Illus­trated photo for the Bru­ins uni­form and I had a book on ani­mals to use for ref­er­ence to draw the bear. I used a Speed ball pen for the let­ter­ing and a brush and ink tech­nique to do the bear. I never real­ized at the time that my poster would be in one of the most famous Boston Bru­ins hockey team pho­tos ever.

After 3 months in Phubai I was recruited by the Army as a Com­bat Artist and was trans­ferred to Da Nang Com­mand Head­quar­ters. I never saw the sol­diers again and com­pletely for­got about the Bru­ins poster. I did not see the poster again until five years ago in the office of a Bru­ins fan. As I looked at the photo I said, “I did that.” After that the “I did that” got around very quickly. Later I dis­cov­ered the photo was in a book “A Cen­tury of Boston Sports,” it was hang­ing in the T.D. Gar­dens, and sold in stores sports photo section.

My last duty in Phubai before being trans­ferred to Da Nang was to escort a Viet­namese truck to deliver used wood to a dump for the Army. On the way I spoke to the Viet­namese in French and we made friends. As we drove by their vil­lage they had me over for lunch. They gave me “Tiger” beer and chicken wings.

In Da Nang the famous Navy SEABEAS built me a draft­ing table in the Com­mand Head­quar­ters where I did full color illus­tra­tions depict­ing our sol­diers in every­day life in Viet­nam. The illus­tra­tion where intended to be used as pic­to­r­ial doc­u­men­ta­tion for pros­per­ity.  As a com­bat artist I got to fly in a Huey heli­copter tak­ing pic­tures of the sur­round­ing com­pound area that I would later use to make a large draw­ing. It was pre­sented to a gen­eral for his out­stand­ing efforts dur­ing his years of ser­vice in Vietnam.

Dur­ing my Viet­nam tour in Da Nang, I was on duty 14 hours a day start­ing at 5:00 am. After spend­ing my day doing illus­tra­tions, I was off duty at 7:00pm. We did not always get the rest we wanted. The Viet­cong would hit us with rock­ets. These attacks would hap­pen mostly late at night. One time they hit an ammu­ni­tion dump a quar­ter of a mile away. It exploded all night with the smoke float­ing over us with flashes of lights from the explo­sions. We were told an attack was pos­si­ble and to stay on guard duty with our M16. After 36 hours they gave the all clear sig­nal. There would be no attack. The only casu­al­ties were some of my posters/signs that had shrap­nel holes in them.

I fin­ished my tour and went back home where the mem­ory of the poster and Viet­nam expe­ri­ences faded over time.

Don­ald Souliere, Spe­cial­ist E5, US Army, Vietnam