|Howie Meeker at the Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver Circa mid 80s|
Without going any further, because when I arrived in Vancouver with my Rosemary and two daughters I had no knowledge of the sport of ice hockey, I have never really warmed to it.
To begin with I am not a lover of the Hammond organ. I have no idea why in games of yore the organist at the Pacific Coliseum at the PNE insisted on playing the Mexican Hat Dance (correctly called el Jarabe Tapatío). I hate that tune. But I can confess that I enjoyed watching Guy Lafleur as he flew down the ice with his long hair.
I attempted to explain to my Argentine friends and family in Buenos Aires the following, "You tried to kill that player with your hockey stick. You are going to have to sit in that penalty box for 15 minutes." They all thought I was joking.
Even now I cannot stand the terrible hockey photographs I see in my daily Vancouver Sun. There is still hockey in spite of the pandemic? And because I worked for local magazines I found that I was constantly being assigned to photograph hockey players and coaches.
One such person was Howie Meeker. Because at the time (mid 80s?) he was a well-known TV hockey commentator I decided to photograph him on centre ice sitting in a wing chair that was on a Persian rug. In those days Vancouver Magazine catered to my creative whims so they paid for truck rental and I obtained the wing chair from a ritzy furniture company and the rug from Ararat Rugs on Granville. And then it was the permissions (before email communications) and the getting of a long extension cord to connect to my heavy studio flash.
Meeker charmed me and it was easy to take his photograph. In the mid 80s Vancouver Magazine had me shoot colour negative film in my medium format Mamiya RB-67 so that they could air brush imperfections. What you see here is a scan of two Professional Colour Prints (long gone) proofs before they printed out the 11x14 prints. I also shot the job in black and white