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Lake Placid 1982

Train Ride to Lake Placid!

Chicago, IL
March 31, 1982

Attendance: 18

We had a great Trip in 1982!
I was checking out the Duffer Road Trip page and when I clicked on Lake Placid, the only thing that came up was our Team picture. I decided to record some memorable moments from that trip to go along with that picture. I have a hard time remembering things that happened a day or two ago, so 30 years was a challenge, but thanks to Frank, Klinger and Boris at lunch and Thor and Magoo in the locker room, I was able to get started. John Koss responded to an e-mail and added a few things thanks to his

"Duffer Virtual Reality"* and a Video Tape that he watched years ago. Stump was our Video Photographer back then. I asked Stump if he could find that old tape and a few days later, he brought me a DVD copy that helped me dig up some bones from 30 years ago.

* "Duffer Virtual Reality" takes place when you hear a story many times in a smoke filled bar while downing a few beers. Soon your brain puts those stories into a section of your brain where you can tell those stories better

than the guys who were actually at the event. The term "Duffer Virtual Reality" was coined about 20 years ago when Klinger was describing an event that took place in 1979 at the Duffer Banquet. He had every detail down like he had taken copious notes. Then I reminded him that He was not there. He looked puzzled and started to argue until I reminded him that he didn't join the Duffers until 1980. Unlike some women I know, he said, "You're right."  The rest of the Banquet story can be found here.. 

How did we do it?

How did 18 guys in their 30s and early 40s, most of them married with children, manage to get away for a 5 day hockey trip to New York?   

Go to Page 2

Our destination

How did we do it?

To answer that question, we have to go back in time and look at the 1980 section of the Duffer History page. 
In February of 1980 I just turned 40 and thought I was getting too old to play this game that I just learned to love.  I just coached my son Ken's Junior team to a State Championship, Don Granato coached my son Dan's squirt team to a State Championship too.  Four other Lake Placid Duffers were involved with coaching youth hockey teams that year.  We were all moved to an emotional high when the USA Olympic Hockey team, that was made up of college kids, beat the Russian team that contained some of the finest professional players in the world. 

Beak and Thor were enjoying the sunset and a beer on the Train to Albany.

In 1981, The King found out about an over 30 hockey tournament in Lake Placid.  With the "Miracle on Ice" still fresh on our minds, he didn't have a hard time getting 3 lines plus 2 goalies to give him a deposit for a train trip to Lake Placid.  (Even though trains didn't go to Lake Placid, but Hacksaw arranged for us to rent 2 huge vans at the Albany, New York train station.)  Most of us had great wives who were happy to get rid of us for 5 days.   

The Train Ride

On the train, The King impressed everyone by unscrambling the Rubik's Cube. (The Ideal Toy Corporation started selling them in 1980 It is widely considered to be the world's best-selling toy since it has sold over 400,000,000 of them.)  Wally became a "Bag Head" when he and Thor took a brown paper bag, punched some holes and made a funny mask. The Unknown Comic made the paper bag famous in 1980. New Orleans Saints, fans started wearing bags by the hundreds when they lost 14 straight in 1981. They painted them black and gold, decorated them and called themselves Bag Heads.  The train was filled with cigar and cigarette smoke. Thor and I got removed from the Dining Car for making animal sounds and giving off foul odors. Back in those days, most people preferred smoke to flatulence. Thor and I were approached by a businessman who was sure that we were high on something and he wanted to buy whatever we were on. He offered to buy whatever we were taking. We told him we were just drinking beer. He showed us his ID and business card to assure us that he was not a narc. We couldn't get rid of him. He reminded me of Willy Loman, the character in Death of a Salesman. Thor finally did a little racial profiling even though R.P. was not invented until 20 years later when Klinger was searched before getting on a plane. Thor pointed to a guy that was passing through the car and said, "See that guy? He has some good drugs." The guy took out after him and they disappeared into the next car. 25 minutes later, we saw the salesman rolling a joint and thanking us for hooking him up.

When we got to Albany, we had some time out in the fresh air while we waited for the large vans that Boris had arranged for us. There was an old guy making strange movements that may have been to improve his circulation. The King got some laughs when he started to mimic the guy's moves. We drove 2 vans to Lake Placid. Some of us were in red Duffer 25 year anniversary jackets, some wore Huskie Youth hockey jackets and some wore generic jackets. The King stood out with his bright red leather jacket that mimicked the Italian Flag.              Go to Page 3 

We are waiting to load the vans with our bags.


The Van Ride

Stump had the camera recording as we rode in the van that the King was driving. When we got into the mountains, we were driving through freezing rain and snow. Boris was driving the other van. We had 8 guys with luggage and hockey bags in each van. (Klinger and Fruitcake flew in.) The camera was pointed at Timmy Dubiel as he read "Real Men" from the latest Playboy Magazine. Beak asked Tim if he pricked his finger on the centerfold staple when he hears Tim say a swear. Beak then went on to suggest that there should be scratch and sniff centerfolds. Wally, who was always ready to invest in a sure fire money making idea, was all over that.  He was ready to write a check for research and development of "Scratch and Sniff" Playboy. Timmy was warned not to put that magazine in the penalty box, because it

Beak and Thor were enjoying the sunset and a beer on the Train to Albany.

would produce a rash of penalties. (Remember, that is the only off color entertainment that guys had in the 80s) Tim read, "Real Men don't wear clothes with more than 4 zippers or polyester." He went on to say that "Real Men don't look for a woman like their Mom, because Mom didn't know about S&M, bondage and all of the creative uses for a video camera." Tim then held up the centerfold and we all started singing "Elvira". Frank Herout* predicted that by Sunday, we would have wished we had gone skiing in Lake Placid instead of playing hockey.
The van that Boris was driving started to fade from our rear view mirror as the freezing rain and snow slowed him down, but the King put the pedal to the medal. When Beak looked out the front window and saw an icy patch of road on the curve at the bottom of the hill that we were speeding to meet, he yelled, "Wake up Frank, you want to see this accident!" I was so happy when we didn't end up like Willy Loman.

*Frank Herout passed away a week after I published this Lake Placid Memory Page.
I recalled Frank having a problem turning off the hot water faucet in the motel bathroom after washing his hands. He twisted it as hard as he could with his strong plumber's hands, but it would not shut off.  He called the desk and they sent a handyman over and he swore when he put his hand under the hot water.  He finally shut off the water and discovered that the faucet had to be turned the opposite way.  We all laughed!

Warm ups on The Olympic Rink

Our first game was on the Olympic Rink where the "Miracle on Ice" took place just 2 years before. When we went out for warm ups, we looked up at the scoreboard and it read Duff Vs. God. That didn't help our confidence. Thor came skating out with a 7 foot long section of toilet paper streaming out of his hockey pants.  Our warm up drill didn't go very well, even though we had a practice a few days before the trip where Geno introduced us to the Mohawk drill where you have pucks in each corner. The first guy in line skates up boards then curls in at the blue line and catches a pass from the next guy in line.  He then skates in and takes a shot at the

goalie. We did pretty well in the small Downers Grove rink, but in the Olympic rink we put on a Moe Curly and Stump routine. Either the pass was bad, or the skater missed the pass. Our goalies never got a shot on, as we were down in the opponents end retrieving our pucks.
Camera zoomed in on Slime Dog who was on the bench ready to replace Stump who was in the nets in a shooting gallery. He was facing more rubber than a dead skunk on the freeway. Slime Dog said, "I don't know why I'm here"
Go to Page 4 for the Big Game

Digital Dan, Hacksaw, Brinks and Fruitcake are lacing up for the big game.

The Game

Klinger. who flew in and missed the train ride, was flying around (Remember he wasn't quite 40 in 1982.) in his golden LA Kings pants trying to get the puck out of the zone. An exhausted Wally came over to the bench for a line change and yelled, "Get out there, I'm dying!" Another line change was most memorable when we finally got out of the zone and dumped the puck into their zone, all 5 guys came over to change and nobody replaced them. The Canadians (Godfrey Good-timers) were racing up ice and there were no defenders! They had a 5 on 0 and went off side. We talked to them about that after the game and they said that they practice for 2 on 1s, 3 on 1s, 3 on 2s, but never saw a 5 on 0, so they got excited and went offside. 

Timmy shows off his new PF Flyers to Wally, Magoo and Dan Maz.

Slime Dog replaced Stump half way through the game and faced another 40 shots.  (Back then, the score sheets did not have a place for shots on goal) There is video of him stoning a hot shot Canadian on a clean break-away.  I remember Geno and Hacksaw getting "I scored in Lake Placid" Tee shirts. I did not see anyone score in the video that Stump had of the first game.  Timmy put it best when he said, "We were outplayed, but they were better than us."  After the game, that we lost 13-0, The King said, "One of these teams does not belong in this tournament.  After our next game, we will know which team it is."
We went out and partied all night then we realized that we had a game at 7:00 A.M.  Most of us got up and headed to the rink with 2 hours of sleep.  The King and Wally couldn't make it out of bed until noon, so Brinks got his 17 year old son Tony Granato to put on Wally's #2 jersey and fill in for the missing players.  Tony was a star at Northwood Prep School at that time and he was well known in the hockey world.  When he went out to take a face off, the referee recognized him and said, "What are you doing in an over 40 game?" Tony said, "My Dad made me do it."  The Referee just dropped the puck and said, "Play on."  We still managed to lose that game even with a future National Hockey League All Star helping us.  We did manage to get 4 goals in that 18-4 loss.  The score sheet shows 3 goals for number 22 (Geno) and one goal for number 16 (Frank Presecky)                          

The Owen Sound Game

This game attracted a large number of fans that wanted us to beat Owen Sound. Every shift that we held them scoreless, we got a standing ovation. I have never played a game with so much emotion. Every Duffer was hustling and back checking. (I know, what's that) They finally scored with 1:36 left in the first period.  Stump was on fire, holding them scoreless until late in the second period when they made it 2-0.

The back breaker came when they scored with 14 seconds left in period 2.  The fans let out a collective groan when they realized that we would need 4 goals in the 3rd period.  That is how many goals that we had in the whole tournament. When we went off after 2 periods for ice flooding as they say in Canada, there were fans (nice looking women too) lining our route to the locker room. They were patting us on our backs and offering encouragement to us for the third period. There was no storybook ending as we lost 6-0. Stump played so well that he was invited to play for the Laurentian Old Puckers in the championship game when their goalie got hurt. (We didn't do it)   Go to Page 5
(Next week)

Our Team Meal (Left to Right) Stump, Wally, Thor, Hacksaw, Brinks, King, Frank H, Tim & Slime Dog.


The Championship Game

Stump was invited to fill in for an injured goalie in the championship game because of his stellar play.  We all went to the game to cheer on Stump.  One of his teammates, Fast Eddie, was a guy that snuck out and partied with us, even though he was tied to a chair to keep him in.  Fast Eddie was benched in the championship game by his serious coach, who was the Ottawa Roughriders football coach.  We started chanting, "We want Eddie" every shift change, but Eddie never saw the ice until the third period when we erupted in cheers for our drinking buddy.  Stump came home with a medal from Lake Placid!

Page 4 Bars and Restaurants

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The Kink, Slime dog and Frank wonder why are we here?

Klinger, Thor and I were in a bar one afternoon and the owner's dog came over to us and started sniffing our shoes. I didn't move, so the dog started sniffing Klingers boots and decided to stake his territory on them. The dog lifted a leg and pissed on his boots. We couldn't stop laughing all day.
We had a team meal at a restaurant and believe it or not, we were a little loud for that quiet family restaurant. There was an older couple not too far from us that had put up with our laughter and jokes. The King went over and tried to apologize to them. He said, "I know we were a little loud," The old guy agreed with him, but before he could say he was sorry, the old lady said, "You don't have to apologize, I enjoyed every story and joke, you reminded me of our sons. Thank you for livening up our dinner."
Timmy was running around with a 35mm camera and was getting guys to do all kinds of crazy poses. It was poorly lit in the lobby, so I said, "Tim, you need a flash for those pictures." He whispered, "Don't worry, I ran out of film 2 days ago." 

Bill Allen tried to impress a young lady in a bar by poking her with an elbow and saying, ''I'm a hockey player!" She was not impressed since the town was infested with several hundred hockey players that were all over 30, except for Stump, he received a goalie dispensation. We were out late when one of the Canadians came in with one of few young ladies from the town.  He spotted us and came over.  He winked and said, "This is my sister eh."  We chuckled, until The Alien asked him how he was able to have a sister from USA and he was Canadian.  The guy looked puzzled as we all laughed.  That line got us a lot of laughs 2 years later when Papa Joe was staring in a play and we packed the house with Duffers and wives.  My wife was out of town at a bowling tournament, so I took my younger sister who was an attractive younger woman.  When we walked in, I was getting daggers from the Duffer wives, so I said, "That's My Sister eh!"  The Duffers rocked the house with laughter and the wives looked puzzled and relieved.
Page 5 The Ride Home

As the King was looking at the map, Timmy said, "I know a shortcut, it is half the distance, but it takes twice as long." The video of the guys on the way home was very uneventful. Almost everyone was asleep. I remember Timmy waking me up to tell me that I have to see something very funny, but I fell back to sleep
Frank, Boris, Alien and I took the Burlington train out of Union Station. The Alien had someone picking him up at the Western Springs Station. Bill forgot to get off there and ended up at the Westmont Station. A cell phone would have been helpful, but this was 1982, so I don't know how he got home.

Time to buy Souvenirs for the wife and kids.

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We had a few beers and laughs on the way to Albany.

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Boris was worried when the vans were late getting there.   

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Our Team Meal (Left to Right) Stump, Wally, Thor, Hacksaw, Brinks, King, Frank H, Tim & Slime Dog.

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We played our first game in the USA Rink where the Laurentian Old Puckers beat us 13-0.

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Timmy Dubiel is checking out his new P.F. Fliers

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The good old days, when nobody had to check his messages.

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The King, Slime dog and Frank (Eyes closed)

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(Left to Right) Hacksaw, Brinks, Frank Herout & The Alien.

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The Beak-Boris line teamed up for one of the few non-Geno goals.

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(Left to Right) Wally, Sod buster,  Klinger & Slime Dog.

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Tony's Prep School

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The Godfrey Goodtimers brought their wives and girlfriends.

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The Goodtimers beat us 11-2, but we had more fun with their wives.

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These guys can't decide if Tournament Souvenirs will make wives happy when given as birthday presents.  Geno knows.

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Want a thrill?  Climb up to the top of that slide then look down.  

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Only a goalie would  wear a hat in the hot tub.

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Boris had to show us that his name was in the paper for scoring.

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Thor got kicked out of the hot tub for creating excessive bubbles and too much hair.

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After further review, we had 2 goals against the Goodtimers, There was no score sheet for that game, so Hacksaw may have scored in Lake Placid after all.  We had 6 goals in the tournament!

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Beak Returns the Lake Placid Photo album to Frank. 

Faded Score Sheets

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When we got home from Lake Placid, some of the Duffers went to see Ann Jillian at the Blue Max.

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(Above) Ann signed autographs.  (Right) Frank's wife, Jan, with Ann's husband.

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(Above) Dan and Carm Mazanec (Right) Frank's wife, Jan, with Ann's husband.

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