Friday, September 28, 2012

Henderson Has Scored For Canada! by Margaret Ullrich, part 10, Weeding

A few days ago I posted about how plans don't always work.
Well, sometimes not having a plan is the best plan.
I mean, sometimes there are greater forces at work.
We just sort of go along for the ride.
And it works out even better.


We had crossed the border into Canada the last day of June.
We didn't know what Canada would be like.
So we lived as tourists for a while.
Saw all the sights.
We became very used to the nice four lane highway from Vancouver to White Rock.

By July 18 we were in White Rock.
Our trailer was set up in a nice shady spot.
To make room in the trailer, we threw anything we could into the car's trunk. 
Blankets, clothing, a coffee pot, etc. 
Our car's trunk and the back seat were our storage units on wheels.

Our fellow campers at Hiawatha Trailer Park were friendly.
They were retired folks, snowbirds, and expert campers.
They lived by Marjorie Main's code in The Long, Long Trailer:
"I'd like to know what a trailerite is good for if not to help another trailerite."


We joined the local Catholic church.
Father Leo was from the states.
We talked about life there, what we had studied.
Just the usual small talk.
Father Leo knew a local newspaper publisher who needed a fellow with Paul's skills.
By the end of August Paul had a job.


We decided to get our papers in order.
We chose a Thursday to go to the customs station.
Thursday was the day Paul had a later shift at the paper.
The paper was put to bed on a Wednesday, which always was a late night.

Mr. Hastings, Paul's new boss, had written a letter.
In it he said that Paul was one of the few people in Canada who could operate this certain kind of typesetting machine.
As no one had had the job before Paul, that sounded about right.

At that time Canadian immigration was on the point system.
Like passing a Math test.
At immigration, Mr. McGrath told us to cross the border to get our extra 10 points. 
We drove to the border, and there wasn't a line-up. 
The young U.S. customs agent took a quick glance at our trunk, and said, 
"Oh, you must've been camping, right?" 
We said yes. 
   
We had a coffee in Blaine, Washington, then drove back for our interview. 
Mr. McGrath had a small TV in his office, which he turned off.
After a couple of questions, we were done. 
We were allowed to stay in Canada!

    
We were sent out to the customs agent.
He was watching a small black and white TV.
He turned and asked what we'd brought across the border.
He was annoyed that we hadn't brought our trailer with us. 
But he seemed distracted.
Handing us a piece of paper, he said, "Make a list of what you've brought." 
He then went back to watching the TV. 
We wrote a list of all of our possessions.
It was a short list.

After we handed the list to the agent we drove back to White Rock. 
We went to a coffee shop to get our bearings. 
Everyone there was also watching TV. 

By now we'd figured that folks were watching a hockey game. 
There was much cheering.
But we were oblivious to the event. 
When Paul went to work he found out what had everyone so excited.

On September 28 Team Canada hockey team had played against the Russians.
It was the 1972 Summit Series.
Paul Henderson had scored the 6-5 goal at 19:26 of the final period.
Some compared the excitement to the celebrations at the end of World War II.

Here's a shot... Henderson makes a wild stab for it, and falls... 
here's another shot... right in front... 
They score!  Henderson Has Scored For Canada!

Almost any Canadian who is old enough can tell you exactly what he or she 
was doing on September 28, 1972.
Well, I know we can.


Paul was told he couldn't work for pay without a work permit.
After a month the permit arrived and Paul received all his back pay. 


Like I said, sometimes not having a plan is the best plan.
Paul later worked at Carolina Publications.
There he worked with Mr. McGrath's nephew Rick.
Rick worked as a reporter at the Richmond Review.
The Richmond Review was Carolina Publications main account.

On the 1972 Team Canada hockey team was Fran Huck. 
Six years later Paul was working with his ex-wife Barbara at The Winnipeg Free Press.

Coincidences or what?


Sometimes there are greater forces at work.
We just sort of go along for the ride.
And it works out even better.

2 comments:

  1. Love it, Margaret!
    Finally, someone has put in perspective this historic event. It has been terribly overplayed on the CBC. It was a big moment in our individual small lives. But it was big.

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  2. Hi, Doug!
    Glad you liked it.
    Maybe there is something to astrology, or something...
    It was a great day for Henderson, and for us, and for many others, I'm sure.
    Yes, it was big!

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