Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bobby Orr one of hockey's greatest and how I met him

Spice Girl with Brown Thomas (teddy) listens to my story
Recently I walked passed Indigo Book Store in Toronto.  A large banner in the window said
"Meet Bobby Orr here today. He will be signing his new book "Bobby Orr My Story"

In the Winter of 1978 I decided to take an extra job as a waitress at Ryan's Sport's Bar.  This large, crowded newly hip bar attracted athletes from  the Toronto Argonouts and Toronto Maple Leafs and fans wanting to catch sight of their favourite player.  Not being a sports fan I did not know how to tell a football player from a hockey player.  Our Bar Man Jamie knew every player and statistic and was appalled that I did not know the regular stars that visited.   Cash and carry was the term used, where the customers paid each time a round of drinks was delivered to their table. Tabs were given to trusted clients who surrendered  their credit card to the waitress who held it till the end of the evening.(I had a tiny leather pouch where such cards were stored). 

Two couples arrived and ordered drinks.  One asked if he could run a tab. I said "yes, of course, can I have your credit card"  I put his card safely in my tiny leather pouch.  They ordered appetizers and several rounds of drinks.  I chatted with Peggy one of the wives and she told me she had lived in Florida which I found interesting.  We talked of travel and all types of subjects.

As I was replenishing drinks at the side bar, Jamie the barman became animated and breathless, saying:  "OMG, OMG,"  I asked what was the matter with him.  He replied: "OMG Bobby Orr is here tonight".   I said "Who".  He said:  "Helen, don't start this with me...Bobby Orr is the greatest hockey player of ALL TIME" !!       I reached into my pouch and pulled out his American Express card and politely told Jamie that his name was "Robert G Orr"...       Needless to say, I was teased for asking this famous star for his credit card before I ran his tab.  Others said it was probably the first time Bobby Orr had dined out where his wife got more attention.

Thank you Heather Robinson Lost In Arles
for prompting this story. Heather served Lou Reed in a NYC restaurant




45 comments:

  1. Oh Helen, what a wonderful story! I've missed reading you but being out in the South Pacific we were in a land of little technology for a period of time. It is good to be back in the blogosphere!

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    1. Hello Jackie and Joel. I had missed you and wondered where your travels had taken you.
      Welcome home

      Helenx

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  2. Great story, Helen!! I can relate as one of my earliest jobs was at a busy bagel shop frequented by many politicians, dignitaries and celebrities. I had no idea who I was serving. Thinking back, they probably didn't mind......nice to have an off-day! Cheers!!

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    1. Hello Loi

      You can indeed relate having served celebrities unknown to you. There are not any more important that other customers really.
      Have a lovely week
      Helenx

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  3. what a fun story... I am going to check him out, my husband is a sports fan and maybe he will receive the Bobby Orr book for Christmas : ) Have a lovely day dearest Helen...we are off to Nebraska for a football game.

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    1. How exciting you are off to Nebraska. Have a great time and I hope your team wins. There are often good life lessons to be gleaned from books written by athletes.
      Who is mind the cats?

      Helenxx

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  4. Helen,

    Your title today totally caught my eye! Growing up in Toronto, Bobby Orr was my favourite hockey player! Yes, he played for the Boston Bruins, and later, the Chicago Black Hawks, but he was Canadian...and CUTE!!

    Loved your story and the nonchalant innocence of it all!

    xo
    Poppy

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    1. Hello Poppy

      Of course you would know Bobby Orr. I agree he is cute. His wife is American. Some time later I did have the privilege of attending some hockey games and really enjoy the sport and skill involved. Hockey night in Canada EH?

      Hope your week is special
      Helen xx

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  5. Such a lovely story. I must admit that I always skip sport news in a news paper and probably the same would happen with me.. ;O) Happy Wednesday, Helen!

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    1. Thanks for visiting. You would have let a superstar slip through too. How funny!
      Helenxx

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  6. So funny, Helen! You never know, he may have enjoyed being treated just like a regular customer.

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    1. Hello Sulky - nice of you to visit. I felt Gwynneth P would have hacked your computer and wire tapped your phone. Glad you are still enjoying freedom.
      Yes, I think Bobby Orr was delighted to be left alone.
      Helen xx

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  7. Even though I know who he is, I wouldn't recognize him either. And he was classy enough not to let you know who he was....I bet Justin Beiber makes sure his waitress knows who he is....the old guys were the best.

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    1. Hello Chania
      I believe hockey players are modest and usually well behaved socially.
      It would be interesting to see how Justin would behave. I feel it is so orchestrated today and any publicity is good publicity.
      Helen xx

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  8. Helen, loved reading your post. I suspect there are many in the public eye who appreciated being treated like the average guy.

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    1. Hello Bonnie

      You are right. Stars pay a huge price for their fame. I treasure my privacy.

      Helen xx

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  9. It is lovely how another blog can remind you of a long lost story and bring it to the fore again. I would be the same as you I wouldn't know any of the sports star myself.

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    1. Hello Rosemary
      It is indeed lovely to get a prompt from another blogger. You may not know sports stars but you certainly know flora and fauna Rosemary.
      Helen xx

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  10. That's a very cute story. I bet Bobby Orr found it refreshing that he was a "commoner" for one evening.

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    1. Hello Christa

      Thanks for your comment. He seemed like a fairly modest guy. His wife was beautiful and they seems low key.
      Helen xx

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  11. You're such a nice person, Helen, that kindness rather than celebrity is your currency.

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    1. Hello Mise

      What a delightful compliment You have made my day. You word it so beautifully.
      Helenxx

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    1. Thanks Becky for visiting - have a glorious week

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  13. Loved the story...and I wish I'd said what Mise said. ould I say ditto?

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    1. Hello Becky. Your words are music to my ear. I do agree that Mise has a gift with the nib and her writing is original.
      Helen xx

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  14. I think it is charming that you treated them like regular patrons. You treated them excellently, of course. I've never heard of this guy, but you know we don't have much soccer in the USA. Football, yes, but our kind of football. :)'s

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    1. Hello Marsha
      I still do not recognize sports players with the exception of a tiny few. American football I have not followed yet it brings joy to many of my friends
      Helen xx

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  15. What a great story Helen. Something you will always remember.
    You have so many lovely stories to tell us.
    thank you
    hugs val xx

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    1. Hello Val

      I think blogging triggers our stories which, while trivial, are fond memories.
      Hope you are keeping well
      Helen xx

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  16. I don't know this athlete, I admit complete ignorance about sport stars and games.But I'm sure that some of them keep their authenticity and low profil.This is more evident when they meet persons like you Helen.
    So glad you are back and thank you for your sweet words.

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    1. He is Canadian, played hockey for Boston Bruins and then Chicago Black Hawks. Hockey is a very important sport to Canadians and the dream of all young boys to become players. It is very skilled. My husband played, not professionally, but he is a great skater.
      Hope you have a delightful week and thanks for visiting
      Helen xx

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  17. OH HOW FUN! To meet famous people, and tell about it! I saw Fred Astaire once walking his dog on Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills; I was a teenager and he was already well into his 80s....in Paris, I was crossing the street and coming toward me was Patti Lupone! I met John Denver on the streets of Boston and I think that's it....teeehee

    HI HELEN! Thank you so much for coming to view my post. I see that my troubles with Blogger have caused the wrong post to appear on sidebars - The fear of the night....WRONG! I hope this gets fixed for my next post!

    My mother died 27 years ago, and the piece I shared on my blog was a poetry assignment. However, this art form brings life back to forgotten places, things, and beloved family. How I love poetry! Anita

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  18. Replies
    1. Good Morning Jen. I am happy you enjoyed this story

      Helen xx

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  19. My dearest Helen,

    What a charming story. I think I would be in the same boat if I ever meet a celebrity or a sport star. Since I have no interest in sport and I don't watch TV, it is hard to keep up to date. But I think that Bobby Orr and his friends would have appreciated your tactful and professional gesture for treating just like a normal human being instead of a famous celebrity. I think this is a courteous way to treat someone in a professional capacity - the trick is not to swoon over them no matter how much one admires them. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your post makes my day, as always.

    Have a lovely weekend.

    ASD xxx

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    1. Dearest ASD

      Again you have sage advice and suggestions on celebrities. "never swoon" . Actually when Jamie the barman informed me of the celebrity in my station, it actually made no difference. A gentleman is a gentleman regardless of rank and I must say Bobby Orr was humble and polite. I have later noticed that hockey players are in general well mannered. One time, we were in Chicago airport, waiting a connecting flight and noticed a $10 bill on the floor. My husband Mike warned me not to pick up the note. Sitting politely on each side were 25 handsome men, all decked out in suits, white shirts and polished shoes. He recognized them as hockey players from the New York Rangers. They had fishing line attached to the $10. bill and each time some treasure hunter bend down to get the note, they retrieved it. Innocent fun.

      Thank you for visiting my dear friend an wishing you a day of sunshine
      Helen xx

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  20. I love this story Helen and I would have done just the same, I'm hopeless at recognising stars, I always assume I've just seen them around somewhere- perhaps the local supermarket! Jane xx

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  21. I've never had a conversation with anyone famous but I once bumped into, quite literally, Tom Hanks at Universal Studios when I was a kid. He did not give me his credit card, unfortunately.

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    1. Oh how amusing your story is. I am giggling that you did not get his credit card. He is a wonderful actor
      Have a glorious day

      Helen xx

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  22. Darling Helen! HELLO! Many thanks for coming to visit my post! Now wouldn't that white castle from Jade's photos be a stunning oil?

    Inspire and be inspired my dear. Your art is gorgeous! Anita

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  23. What a fun story, Helen. He probably enjoyed that you let him keep a low profile. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to sports stars myself and would probably have done the same! Happy Monday. XO

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  24. That is such a cute story Helen!
    I can just see you chatting away completely unaware of anything.
    I love your stories... Thanks for sharing!

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  25. what a fun and playful post! loved it Helen!

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  26. Dear Helen,
    Lovely story!
    Having my little trip to the blog world today....after a long time of absence. Your blog is right on top of the list.
    First, thank you so much for still reading and visiting my blog and all your very friendly comments!
    Reading all your recent posts....very enchanting. And - really love always your paintings and the 'little' stories!
    Warmest greetings from the Périgord, Karin

    Sorry for short comments, but I'm such a lousy writer. I only can assure you that you'll be in my mind, just thought about your Irish roots - St. Patrick's Day!

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