Saving Gaylord Picture from Garbage Heap
It began with an email gone awry to an email address I rarely use. I usually don't open emails from people I don't know, and I certainly don't respond. But something, or someone, compelled me to open this email from Wamper23. It obviously was not for me. I emailed back telling him he had the wrong address. For a year and a half, we sent jokes and useless stories. Then we started emailing about ourselves and families. We graduated to MSN and the telephone.
Larry convinced me to fly to Canada December 4, 2004. I thought, "What am I doing on this plane? Tell the pilot to turn around and take me right back home." We met at the Toronto airport and we immediately knew there was something special about this relationship, not-to-mention, saving Gaylord Powless.
One morning Larry abandoned me while we were in the comic book store less than one block away from his apartment he fondly calls the Gaylord Powless Lounge. He was aggravated with me for looking for Katy Keene comics, when all he wanted was sports card sleeves. When the cat's away, the mice will play. I got into a conversation with the owner. He mentioned he was going to remodel. Upon Larry's return, he promptly changed the conversation to his first love, lacrosse. At this juncture, the owner mentioned there was a huge picture of a lacrosse player in the basement, and the picture had been there when he purchased the building in 1984. Larry's ears perked right up. The owner promised to dig it out so we could see it. There was a lot of speculation. Who could it be? Newsy Lalonde? We hoped it would be someone Larry would recognize. He did dig it out a few days later. There, was this almost life-sized photograph of the Marvelous Mohawk, Gaylord Powless, covered with layers and layers of dust. I had already told Larry to keep his big mouth shut, and let me do the talking.
For those that don't know, Larry tells EVERYTHING. After a bit of dickering, I purchased Gaylord for the princely sum of $75, and we lugged Gaylord down the street. Larry had this big grin on his face. Now, the original hangs in the Gaylord Powless Lounge where it always belonged.
Mike Gray was quick to point out that because Gaylord is not wearing a helmet and the game is being played on a wooden floor, it was taken in 1964 at Queen's Park Arena. Donnie Stinson's old scrapbook led to identifying the very game when the picture was taken. It was taken at the final game for the Minto Cup in September 1964 at the Queen's Park Arena in New Westminster, British Columbia. The other players in the picture are New Westminster players Terry Bolton (#13) and Mac Tyler, and Oshawa's Larry Ireland. On that same night in 1964, Gaylord won the McConaghy award for the most valuable player in the playoffs.
Larry and I met quite by accident. It was like divine intervention. Larry and I were supposed to preserve the picture. Just think, if it had not been for Katy Keene, no one would have known Gaylord's picture was less than a block away from the Gaylord Powless Lounge all those years. And if we hadn't discovered it, Gaylord might have wound up on a garbage heap and forever lost.
There is still a bit of a mystery surrounding the picture. No one knows how it got to Oshawa, presumably from British Columbia. Jim Hinkson recalls Jim Bishop lending him Bishop's convertible to drive to Toronto to pick up several large framed pictures for the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame Dinner that used to be held at the Civic Auditorium. Hinkson does not recall if Gaylord's picture was among them, but does remember there was a picture of Bobby Orr.
Four other reproductions of the picture exist and each have been donated to either the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in St. Catharines, the General Motors Place in Oshawa, the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Ohswegan, and to Akwesane, where it hangs either in the Turtle Dome or the Akwesane Hall of Fame.
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