“Nine Lessons I Learned From My Father” written and narrated by Murray Howe
Ice Hockey, professional, biography, Red Wings, audiobook
October 31, 2017
5 of 5 stars (outstanding)
Gordie Howe was one of those special athletes who was well recognized by people who don’t follow the athlete’s sport but still know about that person. He was known as a fierce competitor on the ice during his legendary hockey career with the Detroit Red Wings. He even got to play professional hockey in the World Hockey Association with two of his three sons, Mark and Marty. His third son, Murray, didn’t play professional hockey but nonetheless still had a special connection to his father. That connection and the lessons he learned from Gordie are captured in this excellent book.
The audio version is narrated by Murray Howe as well and this makes it even more authentic and heartfelt. Throughout the book, the reader or listener will learn a lot about Gordie Howe’s compassion and care for other people, especially for women (Gordie would always rise when a woman entered the room and stay standing until she was seated) and children. The same was true if Gordie saw someone, any age, man or woman, with his assistance if someone was having difficulty with a task – anything from chopping wood (one of the more entertaining stories) to carrying bags of groceries. If there is one takeaway from the book, it is that each of the nine lessons Murray describes – they are the titles of each chapter – illustrates the kind of man his father was to him.
There are passages that are about Gordie’s childhood in Saskatchewan, memories of Gordie’s parents and of course, significant room for Gordie’s hockey career as well. But his on-ice accomplishments are not the point of the book, nor the reason that Murray wrote a moving eulogy for his father’s funeral in 2016. The love and care that Mr. Hockey (which is what Murray called his father very frequently throughout the book) is what he talks about, including the stories shared by other family members at the time when they gathered for the funeral. It should be noted that thousands filed to pay respects to Mr. Hockey at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena and many of those respects were about the man more than the player, including President Barack Obama. For any reader who wants to learn more about Gordie Howe the man, this is the book to read.
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