I finally got my new stick ready this weekend but I’m worried. I had to borrow a neighbour’s hacksaw to cut it down a few inches but when I compared it to my old wand, the curve on the new one just doesn’t seem quite right, the way it did in the store. The toe curves a bit more than I thought and seems to curl under a bit more than I like. Maybe it grew this curve out of spite from being forced to sit in the front hall un-used the past three weeks?
I officially put the old stick, a yellow Easton, down after I got the new one all taped up. It was pretty beat up and gettin’ long in the tooth. Old yeller’ I guess you could call it.
There was no back o’ the woodshed involved here though. No, in my case, putting down a stick means relegating it to the corner of the garage where my old sticks go when they hit their end of life. It’ll stay there for a year or two and then finally get taken to the landfill some Saturday in May when it’s clear to me I’m never going to wish I had kept it in the event I need to press an old stick into emergency action for any reason.
Old sticks get treated a little differently than they did in days gone by. Built with all these new-fangled fancy materials in lieu of wood, they don’t easily go through the power saw and end up as one-foot lengths that get fed into the fireplace as they did when I was a boy.
I can remember my dad more than once grabbing broken sticks out of the bins as we left the arena after a game which he would then cut up and use in the fireplace. They were hardwood so didn’t work too well as kindling but they did burn nicely once the fire was going. If you’ve never warmed yourself after a game by the flames fueled by an old Sherwood 5030 being cremated, you’ve never really lived.