When I was nine, we moved from the north end of Peterborough to the south end for a brief period of time until the new house my parents was building was ready. The new house was in the same school district as our old house and so I could attend the same school as before but the temporary switch in location meant living for a year in a new neighbourhood. As luck would have it, there was an excellent outdoor rink in a park just down the street from our temporary house.
Being a kid who always liked school, playing hookey wasn’t something I really ever remember doing except for one day that winter. I complained to my mom that I felt sick one school morning so she kept me home. In reality, I felt fine and suspect the idea of having the entire rink down the street to myself during the school day while all the other kids were interned was the trigger for this little conspiracy. However, it wasn’t until mid afternoon that she let me go and I do recall she was a little miffed about my miraculous recovery. I threw on my skates and skate guards and ran down the quiet street, which had no sidewalks, to the rink which was about ten or so houses past ours. As planned, I did indeed get the entire sheet of ice to myself for a little while before the others from the new neighbourhood joined me one by one as they got home from school.
While I made many new friends that winter, most were fleeting and I never really saw any of those guys again after moving back to my old neighbourhood. There was a kid whose last name was Cheeseborough (if memory serves me) who predictably got tagged as Cheeseburger and another named Randy something from across the street who ended up being a good buddy of mine both on and off the rink. There were a few other regulars whose names and faces escape me now but it was a great winter of hockey on that rink on Hamilton street in Peterborough.