It’s been a while, since I blogged. As you know from my prior blog posts I like to travel and lately I’ve been doing just that. But, what happened last Thursday night is special to this Washingtonian, a lifelong Capitals’ fan.
As everyone in DC and its surroundings suburbs knows, the Washington Capitals won Lord Stanley’s Cup for the first time in the history of the franchise. Personally, I have waiting my entire 34 years for this moment. I thought it appropriate that I share with everyone my two most cherished memories of going to games as a young boy. Both of my stories take place at the original home of the Capitals, the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland.
I went to my first Capitals’ game when I was one year old. Now, my mom tells me all the time that when she was pregnant with me and she went to games, I too went! Nevertheless, I have many memories of my childhood, as does anyone, but one of my earliest memories is going to a hockey game at the Capital Center in 1987 when I was four. I remember walking in the Capital Center parking lot that night with my dad holding my hand as I was intimidated by the cars and many fans loudly passing by us. As we entered the arena, directly ahead of us were the ticket gates. As we walked through the gates. I was handed a Bengt Gustafsson jersey and it became one of my favorite things to wear for many years. I cannot recall who the Caps played that night or who won the game, but I do have this strong memory of going to the game and getting that jersey.
My second memory is a bit more memorable. In 1994 the Caps were at home against the Vancouver Canuncks. The year before Al Iafrate, the Caps all-star defenseman, had set a record in the slap shot competition at the NHL All-Star game. He was well-known for his motorcycles. My dad had a softball teammate who was a former NHL player who work for the Caps. His name was Mark and after games he always was in the locker room. He was always telling me at softball games how he’d sneak me into the locker room after a game.
Well, that night was the night. Mark met us at the end rail and my dad passed me over the railing and Mark led me down a hallway to what was the reception area outside of the Caps' locker room. Sitting there in front of me was Al Iafarte. Now, most kids would be star stuck and to be honest I was. I shook his hand and really didn’t know what to say. I got his autograph on my ticket, and went back to my dad. Shocked that I met someone so important on the Caps at the time, my father asked me if I had asked him about his motorcycles (I didn’t) but even though the Caps had only tied that night (this predates shootouts), I went home very happy.
I have many other fond memories of going to Caps games as a child, later as a teen, and then as an adult. Even when I lived overseas and I was six hours ahead in time, I would find a way to go to work without sleep after watching the games on TV. The Caps may never again win the Stanley Cup, but I will forever cherish the memory of last Thursday night. Winning the Cup has made my childhood complete.
The Captials Victory Parade will be this Tuesday. You can more information about the parade and route here:https://wtop.com/dc/2018/06/so-about-that-caps-parade-dc-police-chief-mum-for-now/
Anyway, if you want to talk hockey with me, D.C. sports, about growing up in DC or most importantly real estate, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-251-8721. Also check out my Instagram page @thebuckmanteam.