First of all let me express my gratitude for all the kind comments on my first posting; I wasn't sure that the musings (and sometimes ramblings) of an oldie (yikes! I never thought I'd ever be calling myself that) would be of interest. N.O. might have "who dat"? as their phrase, but we have "Finish the Kitchen".
In any case, here's another tale to tell; hope you enjoy...
Up in Cujo country (Keswick) there is a nine hole golf course (Orchard Beach) which was designed by Stanley Thompson way back in 1926. It is a semi private club, owned by the members (shareholders) Back in the 50's one of the more prominent member/shareholders was Conn Smythe. As the story goes, Conn would invite guests to his summer home for weekends...these would have been entertainers who had played MLG: some of these included Bob Hope and Tony Bennett.
As the story goes, Bennett was golfing with Conn and Stafford and after the round, he gave $20 to the young caddies to split among them; at that point Stafford grabbed the $20 away, gave it back to Bennett and then gave the boys $5 to split, saying to Bennett, "our boys aren't used to getting that much". And that's pretty much how they treated their hockey players as well....no wonder it wouldn't be too much longer before agents/lawyers entered the scene. During this time period as well, the Smythes would send up one of the Leafs for the summer to be the "golf pro"....they paid him something like $25-$30 a week and they really thought they were doing him a favour by employing him. (Based on his hocky salary, they probably were) Of course, when training camp opened, the club would have to do without thier pro for the rest of the season.
Yes, the golf couse is still there, they even have a trophy (the Silver Smythe donated by Conn) on display. A few years ago they started a renovation on the course to return it as much as possible to the original Thompson design and layout and in effect, they "finished their kitchen", much to the enjoyment and appreciation of the current members.