Mr. Bowie made a point of visiting Mr. Pop’s parents in Detroit, where they were living in a trailer. ‘He came to my parents’ trailer, and the neighbors were so frightened of the car and the bodyguard they called the police,’ Mr. Pop said. 'My father’s a very wonderful man, and he said, “Thank you for what you’re doing for my son.” I thought: Shut up, Dad. You’re making me look uncool.’
Gordie Howe, recognized as the greatest NHL player who ever lived, died Friday June 10th, the Red Wings announced.
Forever known as Mr Hockey, Gordie set a number of records that many fans worldwide had considered to be untouchable. Tough in many aspects of his career, Gordie was a player not to cross and not to take lightly.
Playing a grand total of 26 NHL seasons, 25 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and a brief season with the Hartford Whalers, and a 6 season stint in the WHA.
Gordie’s list of achievements:
Playing until the age of 52, Gordie scored 801 goals and 1,850 points in 1,767 regular-season games.
A 23 time NHL All-Star.
Four time Stanley Cup Champion: 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1955
He was the League’s top scorer in four straight seasons, from 1951-54, and again in 1956-57 and 1962-63.
Winning the Art Ross Trophy and Hart Trophy six times.
Pioneered his own hockey stable, the Gordie Howe Hat Trick.
Set standards that were believed to be out of reach until “The Great One”, Wayne Gretzky arrived in the 1980′s
Sufjan Stevens was found in a milk crate on the doorstep of Mr. and Mrs. Stevens, in Detroit, MI, on Canada Day, July 1, 1975. He was wrapped in cellophane, and tagged on the wrist with the mysterious note: “I love you.” Mr. and Mrs. Stevens had three other children: Jo-Jo, Zukey-Dukey, and Jam-Jam. Mrs. Stevens crocheted afghans for the flea market. Mr. Stevens was the custodian at the hospital. They had very little money, but very big hearts. They decided to keep the baby (using the milk crate to hold their National Geographics). They named him Sufjan Stevens, after Abu Sufjan Muhammad, the great Armenian Sufi warrior who slew ten thousand dragons to save the Fairy Princess. Despite his despondent looks, Sufjan was a good kid. Mr. and Mrs. Stevens did the best they could. They fed him carrots, they read him parts of the Bhagavad Gita, they combed his hair, they sang songs and tap-danced in the living room. Things were looking good!
Old hockey gloves, jerseys and framed photos were displayed on one side of Gordie Howe’s flower-draped coffin, friends and family members were seated on the other. Standing nearby were some of hockey’s biggest names — Wayne Gretzky, Scotty Bowman and Steve Yzerman to name a few — who swapped stories and shared memories of the man known as Mr. Hockey.
“Somebody said it best this morning that (Jean) Beliveau, the Rocket (Maurice Richard) and Gordie — they were the three people that probably could change a hockey rink into a cathedral,” Gretzky said. “And when you walked in, it was more like a church today. It’s really special.”
The Joe Louis Arena doors opened Tuesday morning for the 12-hour public visitation to honour Howe, who died Friday at age 88. A steady stream of fans and well-wishers shuffled slowly down a red carpet towards Howe’s coffin for the chance to say goodbye to the man many consider to be the greatest player ever.
“There won’t be another equal to Gordie Howe in my mind,” said Red Wings fan Jim McIntyre of Chatham, Ont. “In my mind, he was the king of hockey and he was also a prince of man.”
The Associated Press (Photos by Getty Images and The Associated Press)