My brother was Tournament Director for a high school hockey tournament at a local private school last weekend.
My father was a Scorekeeper on one of the two rinks. He scored games on Friday evening, for 17 hours on Saturday and then for the last games on Sunday.
His lovely wife Jannie and I sold tickets at the admission tables. She worked a table from 6:30am until nearly 11pm on Saturday. I worked a morning/afternoon shift on Saturday and Sunday.
My brother? He was at the ice rink for the most of the weekend. Doing his thing…
We worked together; counting money, taking tickets, organizing supplies for the restrooms, locating the trainer, directing teams into locker rooms. It was impressive that we laughed about our quirks and didn’t lose patience (or our tempers) with each other.
On Sunday, I arrived at the rink at the crack of dawn. Because that’s when hockey games start.
When I got to my post, my brother was in my seat. I asked for my chair. He kindly pointed to a storage closet across the lobby. I trudged to the closet and dragged a chair back to my work table, picking my way through clusters of parents. Chivalry was dead. Or not awake at 6:30 am?
Brother said nothing to me. He was in his duffel bag, looking for what? I had no idea. Most people have some sort of system, possibly a clipboard to hold important documents. Not my brother. He had a red duffel bag stuffed with files, stray (crumpled) papers and only God knows what else…
Me: Do you have a time sheet in that thing?
Brother still hadn’t addressed me directly. He was distracted and mumbling.
Brother: I can’t find my keys.
More mumbling as he felt his pockets and more papers fell out of his duffel bag. I’d only been on the job 5 minutes, but I knew I was NOT giving him my time sheet.
Brother: Dad must have them.
Brother: Go over there (his hand waved vaguely in the air…) and see if he has them.
Brother: Dad is SUCH an airhead, sometimes.
Me: Dad isn’t looking for HIS keys.
I meandered through a maze of doors, out into the ice rink and looked for my Dad. (Scorekeepers sit next to the Penalty Box, which is between the team benches.) By the time I got back, Brother had the elusive set of keys.
Where were they? Hanging around his neck on a lanyard.
My brother headed off to take care of business. Which was a nice break for me? Or would have been if my brother didn’t have a Walkie Talkie. Whoever gave it to him needed slapped.
Static…static…and more static…
Brother: When the other game is over, get The Guy to give you his money.
Brother: There’s nobody in the front office, but there’s a Guy who will open it.
Me: Huh? Who IS The Guy and what is getting opened?
Some time passed. Then Brother’s voice came over my Walkie Talkie…
Brother: Get The Guy to find the trainer.
Brother: We need The Trainer in rink two.
Me: Where IS The Trainer?
Brother: I think she was in rink one handling a bloody nose.
It wasn’t long before I wondered why in the he#& I had a Walkie Talkie. Why not give one to The Trainer? And maybe they tried, but she declined. Which I understand. Believe me, I do.
The Guy had a Walkie Talkie. And thank goodness for it. He floated about like a ghost. I never saw this mysterious Guy, but Brother contacted him via Walkie Talkie. I know this because of all the static I heard…
Their biggest problem? Me.
Followed by noise from the Walkie Talkie.
Me: No, it’s me.
Brother: I need maintenance…
I was sort of amused for a while. But by the end of the day, I wanted to shove the Walkie Talkie up…well, I won’t say where.
At noon, Dad stopped by my table on his break.
Dad: Did you hear him (Brother) announcing in there?
Dad: He sounded GOOD. He’s great at talking.
Dad: But it’s ALL talk.
He walked away laughing…
Toward the end of the day, I needed to find my brother.
Me: Hello? Hello?
Me: Where are you?
Brother: Getting ready to cut the ice.
Stunned silence on my end for a few seconds…
Me: YOU are going to cut the ice?
Apparently, these people hadn’t seen my brother drive a car. I pictured the Zamboni skidding across the ice and smashing through a wall. As the Zamboni rolled onto the ice, I said a prayer of thanks that my brother was NOT aboard the thing!!
Overall, this weekend was a beautiful thing. We had a great family bonding weekend. Shared many laughs. And worked well together.
Which is a REALLY good. Because I just found out that there are THREE more hockey tournaments next month.
In another couple of weeks, we’ll be gathered at the rink again. I am planning to brush up on the lyrics of “Hail, Hail, the Gangs All Here!” That way I can sing it to my Brother over the Walkie Talkie. He should really, really like that.