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The Malik Report

Quite the ‘classic’ conversation with Gordie Howe

This article from "The Daily Beast" (please note: George does not endorse "The Daily Beast" any more or less than he does "The Blaze," which is to say not at all) pretty much speaks for itself, and it's a gread read:

In 1959, the peerless sportswriter W.C. Heinz caught up with professional hockey legend Gordie Howe at the height of his considerable powers.

The Stanley Cup Finals are upon us. What better time to revisit this day-in-the-life profile of one master, Gordie Howe, by another master, W.C. Heinz. Originally published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1959, roughly halfway through Howe's incredible career, the story is reprinted here with permission from Heinz's daughter, Gayl. Please enjoy “Work Horse on Ice.” -Alex Belth

In five hours Gordie Howe would play hockey with the Detroit Red Wings against the New York Rangers. Now it was 3:30 in the afternoon, and he was sitting at the kitchen table in his new home in a residential suburb fourteen miles northwest of downtown Detroit. He was eating the meal on which he would play—steak, peas, lettuce, fruit jello, and tea.

“When we play those Saturday afternoon TV games,” he was saying, “I just play on my breakfast eggs. Once, when I was with Omaha, I played on a milk shake.”

There is a radio built into one of the kitchen walls. It is the center of a communications system that reaches upstairs to the three bedrooms and downstairs to the oak-paneled recreation room, and now the voice of Perry Como was coming over it.

“Don't let the stars get in your eyes,” Como was singing. “Don't let——.”

“I was 17 years old,” Howe said, “and it was our first swing around the league. We were in Minneapolis, and about 4:30 I went downstairs in the hotel to eat. Some of the guys were eating there, but I looked at that big dining room and it looked so nice that I didn't want to go in. I went around the corner to a drug store and I had the milk shake.”

He is six feet and 201 pounds and has brown hair that is beginning to recede at the temples. His face has been cut by pucks and sticks more times than he remembers, but the only scar that is obvious is in the form of a small crescent on his left cheek bone.

“Don't you still sometimes feel that way,” he said, “when you start to go into a dining room or a restaurant that looks extra nice?”

Continued at extended length...

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.