From "A Prairie Boy's Winter" series "Hockey Hassles", 1971
ProvenanceThe Isaacs Gallery Ltd., Toronto.
Marlborough Godard Gallery, Toronto & Montreal.
Private Collection, Waterloo.
ExpositionsThe Isaacs Gallery Ltd., Toronto, William Kurelek: A Prairie Boy's Winter Exhibition, October, 1973 (no. 6).
Toronto, Alan Klinkhoff Gallery, September 15 - October 1, 2016, Montreal, Galerie Alan Klinkhoff, October 15-29, 2016, Fine Art & Hockey: A Point of View
DocumentationWilliam Kurelek, A Prairie Boy's Winter (Toronto: Tundra books, 1999), repr. in colour, unpaginated
William dreaded arguments, and there always seemed to be arguments in hockey games. A common cause was the lack of a net. For goal posts, two oak poles had been driven into the ground before flooding, but without a net it was often difficult to tell which side of the post the puck had gone. William was a poor skier and preferred not to play on skates, so he was made goalie. This put him right in the centre of the arguments. All the boys joined in. Sometimes, one side pretended to be generous and give in on a goal. But usually the side that shouted the loudest and longest won the point.
William made his own shin pads by cutting off old trouser legs and sewing them up and down at regular, spaced intervals. Into these narrow pockets he slipped thin slats from apple boxes and then attached the pads to his legs with rubber sealing rings from his mother's preserve jars.
The goalie's stick was easier to make than those of the offensive players. William had only to nail two layers of support slats on the side of the board. But other boys spent days examining branches and small trees on their way home from school in the hope of finding one suitable for a hockey stick. Some simply nailed two thin boards together neatly at the right angle, and hoped they would not come apart at a crucial moment during the game. A lucky few got real hockey sticks fro Christmas. Jesse, the star player, was among the lucky and it was often he who argued with William over which side of the post the puck went."
William Kurelek, "A prairie boy's winter". Toronto: Tundra Books, 1973.