VBT – MEMOIR OF A HOCKEY NOBODY
Memoir of a Hockey Nobody
by Jerry Hack
GENRE: Biography and Autobiography / Sports
Memoir of a Hockey Nobody is the unlikely true story of an average Canadian kid who grew up playing street hockey. Although he didn’t learn how to skate until his late teens, he took a shot at entering the world of professional ice hockey with, shall we say, haphazard results.
This is an “against all odds” tale of one man’s journey from Vancouver, to all over Western Canada, California, The Yukon, and Alaska. Seemingly blocked at every turn, from managers who believed that someone who came from such humble beginnings couldn’t be any good, to coaches who would rather see big names with bigger reputations. It’s a story of tragedy, triumph and determination. A roller coaster ride with hilarious anecdotes of all the characters he met along the way.
This is a tale for those who dare to live their dream!
“In the spring of 1980, the New York Islanders won the Stanley Cup, beating the Philadelphia Flyers in 6 games. Bob Nystrom scored the Stanley Cup winning goal in overtime. I was happy, because finally someone other than the Montreal Canadiens won the cup. Despite rooting for the Canadiens when I was nine, I had grown to hate them. I was a diehard Vancouver Canucks fan by then. The Canadiens just kept on winning and winning. I was so tired of watching them win all the time. four straight years they won the cup without breaking a sweat. Little did I know that the Islanders were now on their way to doing the exact same thing. I would grow to hate them too. It was about a month after the Islanders had their first parade that I was over at the Aitken’s house. John and I still hung out, but not as often as in the past. At this time, I was eighteen and had my own vehicle, (a 1969 Datsun pickup). We were discussing how happy we both were that the Montreal dynasty was seemingly over, when the topic of his hockey team came up. He was always playing in one beer league or another. (At one time he played in the N.H.L. The “Natural Hockey League”) At this time he was playing on a team called the Burnaby Kings, and they were playing at the Columbian 4 Rinks. At one time, this was the largest indoor hockey arena in the world, and was even in the Guinness Book of World Records. As it turned out, the Kings were renting one of the rinks once a week, all summer long. Summer hockey was a new thing, all the other rinks became lacrosse rinks for the summer. John was telling me how terrible their goalie was. The guy’s name was Lonnie. I don’t remember his last name. John was telling me that the guy was the worst goalie he had ever played with. They had nicknamed him “Red Light Lonnie,” because he would let in so many goals. He said that Lonnie was so short that shots would regularly hit him in the head and deflect into the net. One time John said that the puck had been shot into the corner and Lonnie went to go get it, fell down, and while he was trying to get up, the puck went up on edge and had such spin on it after it hit the boards, that it reversed itself and curved right into the net. John said Lonnie was like “Bad Luck Schleprock” of the Flintstones.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Author bio: I was born and raised in Burnaby, British Columbia. My sisters and I were raised by hard-working blue collar parents. We were and are a tight knit family. I grew up loving sports but hockey most of all. In fact, it was my passion. I read about it, watched it and played it. I was an average student and a good athlete. I could play most sports without looking out of place. But I was born to be a goalie. I graduated from high school in 1979 and a year later began my journey playing ice hockey. 40 years later, I am happily married with a 12 year old daughter and loving life more than ever.
Jerry Hack will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Tell us about you as a person.
I like myself. I always have. I enjoy being alone but not all the time. My brain never really shuts off and goes into some really crazy places. I love music, all kinds. I am a movie guy. Probably my favourite place to go, other than home, is the movie theater. Nothing like seeing it on the big screen. I am the world’s worst (or best) procrastinator. I once did all my Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve after 5 O’Clock. I am a positive thinker and always look for the silver lining. I hate negativity and unnecessary drama. I think the strangest thing about me is that I am never in my dreams. They are usually about someone being chased but never caught.
If you could hang out with one famous person, who would it be and why?
Tough question. When you think about all the famous people throughout history there are so many choices. Isaac Newton, Shakespeare, Carl Sagan, Einstein, Tesla, etc etc. Any of these would be a great choice but I would like to pick someone I have something in common with. I love movies so much that I would have to say Morgan Freeman. I find the man fascinating and endlessly interesting.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
It’s my memoir. I grew up loving the game of hockey, especially the goalies. From the time I was 9 I never wanted to do anything else. I was born to be a goalie, I firmly believe that. The book chronicles my time chasing my dream, and all the obstacles I faced along the way.
What is your writing process?
This whole writing thing is so new to me, I don’t really have one. I find it easier when my wife and daughter have gone to bed and the house is quiet. But sometimes I like to have the TV on just for background noise. I write whenever the mood strikes me, it could be any time, day or night. Right now I’m writing this at 1:00 in the morning on a Saturday.
If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why?
Another tough question. The lead role would be me. I think Adam Sandler. He and I have the same sense of humour and easy going manner. But underneath he seems to have this sense of himself. He seems to have this underlying desire to be the best that he can be. My second choice would be Mark Wahlberg, just because I like him.
What are you working on next?
I really thought that “Memoir of a Hockey Nobody” would be my one and only book. But I never expected the overwhelmingly positive response that it is getting. The book has only been out for only four months and people are already asking me when I am going to write another one. I have decided that I am going to write a novel. It’s in the beginning stages and it’s going to be a comedic murder mystery. I know death is not really something to joke about, but this idea has been rattling around in my brain and I’m going to see if I can bring it to life. I am going to finish it and then let my wife read it. If she thinks it’s any good, I will try and get it published.
What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
If you can afford it, hire somebody to market it for you. Somebody who knows the publishing world. That was the smartest move I made. It’s not cheap, but it is well worth it. If you can’t afford it, there are many helpful YouTube videos that can guide you through the process.
What is your favourite book on your shelf right now?
11/22/63 by Stephen King. It grabbed me right from the start and I hated putting it down. Great story, great characters. In my opinion, his best book since The Stand.
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I am somewhat ambidextrous. Not completely, but I can do a lot of things with either hand. I am left-handed when I write, eat, shave and brush my teeth, but I am right-handed at almost everything else like swinging a golf club or a baseball bat. I can eat using chopsticks in either hand. I work for a Japanese company and sometimes the management will take us out to dinner. They are always amazed when I put a pair of chopsticks in both hands and start eating.
You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
I don’t know if it’s a super power or not, but I would love to have the ability to be able to tell if someone is lying. Imagine what a different world we would live in if people were forced to tell the truth because you could tell when they weren’t.
List 5 things on your bucket list.
- To rent an RV and travel the United States and Canada to see sporting events (NHL, NBA, MLB, Nascar, PGA) and visit museums and historical sights.
- To take my wife and daughter to Greece.
- To see the Vancouver Canucks win the Stanley Cup (just once before I die please!!!)
- To be a better person than I was yesterday
- Pet a lion
Where can readers find you on the web?
Any final thoughts?
Just thank you very much for having me on your website/blog! I really enjoyed the questions. Also, when you buy my book, partial proceeds will go to help my friend Suzanne, who is fighting stage 4 cancer. I am hoping to raise $3,500 to go towards her treatment. I have already raised over $700 so thank you to everyone who donates or has donated. If you so desire, there is more information on the Facebook Page. Thanks again, it was a pleasure being here.