I was in the line and I had no business being there.
I had weaselled my way in to the event.
I had played hockey against one of the oldest brother’s and golf with the youngest.
It was a miracle.
I was next.
I had the 8×10 ready.
I was going to meet a legend.
The Chase For Bobby
Several years earlier my brother was able to meet him and get a picture with Robert Gordon Orr.
That picture to this day hangs proudly in my dad’s garage.
You see I never met Mr. Orr.
My brother was able to get me a signed 8×10 of Bobby during that time which is a cherished piece within my collection, but I had yet to meet the legend.
Fast forward to the following year.
It was that time of year once again that the Bruins legend was coming to Moncton.
A friend of mine and I drove to golf course to meet him.
I was so confident.
Today was going to be the day that I would meet the great Bobby Orr.
As soon as my friend and I started walking up a security guy approached us from the tent where Bobby was greeting some golfers.
We were content to wait until the group had teed off.
I had one picture and a camera with me.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the time or place to get into an agreement with a guy just doing his job.
Suffice to say I was extremely disappointed and discouraged.
If memory serves correctly the following year Mr Orr came to town was around exam time.
It just so happened that a fellow colleague and I were talking about Bobby’s tournament yet again.
I didn’t want to be greedy or anything plus I did have a spectacular 8×10 signed by the legend himself, but I still wanted to meet him.
I had a student walk into class for fourth period just after lunch.
She knew I was massive Bruins fan by some of the posters I had up in my classroom.
“Hey Mr Eagles, guess who I’m having supper with tonight?” she said.
Without hesitation, “Bobby Orr,” I said.
Her jaw dropped.
How do you know that she said.
“I put two and two together,” I said.
The student in question was none other than Ashley Howard, Russ Howard’s daughter.
It just so happened I had the Legends of Hockey book in my car.
“I could get something signed for you Mr Eagles if you want?”
My jaw dropped at that point.
“Are you sure?” I said.
“Of course, that’s no problem, Bobby is such a nice guy she said.”
Just put it this way I hurried hard to my car which was parked in the teachers parking lot at the bottom of the bus slips at the old MHS.
I knew the exact picture I wanted signed.
That picture captured Bobby in his first year with the Generals.
All I could think watching the Legends of Hockey series and rewarding it over and over again watching Milt Schmidt describe going to watch the Generals for the first time and seeing Bobby play.
By the time I return to the class I was in a pool of sweat I carefully took my scissors out and cut the picture out of the book and handed it to Ashley, thanking her a million times over and over again.
Sure enough, the next day I heard a knock on my door.
It was Miss Howard smiling from ear to ear.
“Here you go Mr Eagles, he laughed when I told him it was for my teacher, plus I thought you might want one of these as well,” she said passing me a signed golf ball.
I was on cloud nine.
Fast forward about two years later.
There I am in the line.
I’m so nervous because I didn’t belong.
I had heard stories of Bobby remembering the names of all the participants in the golf tournament.
What if Bobby called me out.
What if he knew I didn’t belong there.
There I am, up next.
I walk over to him and place the 8×10 on the table.
In that moment words I couldn’t speak.
To Craig, I said.
“Sure he said, nice day out there eh?
“Yes, I think I said with a smile and that was it. It was all over.
I remember thanking him like four times, but that was it.
That was my chance to talk with Bobby Orr and I blew it.
To this day Bobby Orr is the only NHLer that I have ever met that I couldn’t speak to.
I was speechless.
When they say certain people and former athletes have an aura around them that definitely applies to #4, but you would never know it by how down to earth, humble, giving and thoughtful Mr Robert Gordon Orr actually is.
Over the years I have had a few friends play in the event.
Knowing that I was a massive Bruins fan two friends called me over to their cars at our golf course parking lot.
“Here you go Eags, I want you to have this,” they said.
For those that know me best, I’m never lost for words only when it comes to Mr. Orr.
#4 is truly one of a kind.
Happy Birthday Mr. Orr.