Home > 2012-13 Season > Simple Pond Days by John Barlow

Simple Pond Days by John Barlow

The East Lankville Journal of Small Water Areas and Amateur Sports is pleased to present a new feature by Oversions owner and GM John Barlow.


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The quagmire that the Pondicherry Association finds itself in now has me recollecting quieter, simpler pond days.

The pond froze over beginning in late November, allowing us several months of uninterrupted play. We had two benches on either side, one affording a fine view of an abandoned gas station and a cracked, disused road. We had two goals, constructed from spent copper pipes, lobster netting and certain glues. Later, Pappy came down and nailed them into the ice using some sort of mysterious power tool. The task completed, the tool was shoved into his denim coat, never to be seen again.

Pappy bought us three pucks. “Use these wisely,” he said. “None will be forthcoming.” He watched us for awhile, taking a libation from a golden flask and then he made his way slowly across the drifts back to the barn. No one had any idea what he did in there.

I was a fine player, capable of an excellent slapshot and adept at defense as well. I had figured out a clever way to dump an opposing player via use of a long shoehorn that I kept hidden in my jersey. The fallen would glance up at me into the grey gloom– utterly flummoxed. Upon occasion, a penalty was called for but never admitted.

Bjorge was the finest player. He had come over from Sweden to live with three uncles in a cavernous white mansion on the hill. He spoke English poorly and had a puzzling medical condition which prevented him from recognizing faces. But he was the fastest skater and routinely unleashed a series of feints that could not be defended. Nor was it possible for me to utilize the shoehorn– by the time I fumbled for it in my jersey, he was gone.

Bjorge and I were both drafted. He had a short career with the Broad Hill Totems, I with the Dragons of the Barrens. We played against one another once or twice but by then it was clear that his skills had somehow faded. He was crushed viciously into the boards many times and before long he quietly retired.

I became a steel magnate shortly thereafter. The old pond was eventually drained and some kiosks placed there. The pond eventually returned (Mother Nature would not be denied) and the kiosks slowly collapsed and were ultimately submerged.

Categories: 2012-13 Season
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