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Carl Wiens
Ice Cold
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It's an annual obsession and it's back in the backyard. This year conditions were perfect and I was able to get the rink together in record time. Lucas has skated on it twice and with a couple more floods it should be thick enough to support my bulky frame. I'm looking forward to getting the kids from the neighbourhood over and Lukie's hockey playing pals as well.
 
Not everybody has the space or the time on their hands to get something like this together, but in Canada, the outdoor rink is the stuff of legend. Countless pro hockey players grew up skating on ponds and backyard rinks. It's even part of our currency - check out the back of the five dollar bill.

In fine print on the back:

'The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places - the school, the church and the skating rink - but our real life was on the skating rink.' - Roch Carrier
 
Roch Carrier wrote a book called "Le chandail de hockey"(The Hockey Sweater) and a fine animated film was created from the story. An absolute classic for any sports-loving kid and one of my all-time favorites. Even as a kid who grew up a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, I could really feel for the film's main character. The cartoon bubbles of Maurice Richard are simply awesome and the story is laced with hilarious send-ups of politics and power struggles. Thanks to You-Tube you can check it out.
For a backyard rink building primer, go here. For photos & stories from previous rinks, you can take a look here, here and here as well. Keep moving & don't stay inside too long - you might get cabin fever!


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