Tabletop hockey? Priceless.

My dear friend and former colleague Earl sent me this link from all the way across the country in Victoria, B.C. And with it this message (pegged to my mid-century theme when it comes to all things Manse): “One really can’t do mid-century Canadiana without one of these little babies.”

I think he’s right. Don’t you?

14 thoughts on “Tabletop hockey? Priceless.

  1. This is dear friend and former colleague Earl checking in between the first and second periods of Saturday’s Habs-Leafs game, so I have to be fast (bonus, I’m missing Coach’s Corner). First, I am right. Second, I adore this blog but I’d call it Mansing the Stone. And third, here’s my entry to the song quest, although it technically falls slightly outside the parameters, having first been recorded in the spring of 1964. A much misunderestimated girl group, à mon avis, and salut to Ray, who I’ll bet hasn’t heard it in decades:


    Thanks for reminding me of my early years in Hamilton (Ontario) when I was given a wooden hockey game one year.

    Six fellow students (all boys) started a hockey league and I was the statistician. We kept track of every game and had a sheet of slotted bristol board where we recorded individual stats. It was fun and we were happy to get the chance to go up to the attic, where we had a “gaming room” (table tennis, cards and hockey).

    I’ve kept the hockey game over the years and it’s now stored in a plastic bag in the basement. At least two of the players are dead, but seeing the game on the shelf reminds me of the fun the group had in elementary and secondary school.

    Similar hockey games are still top be found.

    • How wonderful that you still have that wooden hockey game, Gerry! I can just imagine the fun you and your friends had playing it – tabletop hockey was just terrific (though I was totally terrible at it). I also like the image you conjure up of a “games room” with ping-pong and table hockey and whatnot. Remember how much fun we used to have just playing games like that with friends? Much better than the video-game era, if you ask me.

  3. What a great video time capsule, Earl. I had one exactly like that. My friends and I played hundreds of games on it, and like Gerry we operated a league and kept stats, just like the NHL. I’m with you, Katherine, table-top hockey games were far superior to video games. Another of my prized possessions from that era was my Strat-O-Matic baseball game, in which we got to manage teams, use strategy, pull pitchers, trade players, etc. Raymond was more likely to have had one of those babies than a table-top hockey game.

    • Not to mention those 1970 vintage, vibrating, caterwauling Coleco Grey Cup electric football games, with the giant quarterback/kickers relative to the size of all the other players. I have one downstairs, next to my mother-in-law, and the field still vibrates … although I have to admit it worked better before that magical night the Rooper sisters dragged it into the bathtub. (An unforgettable adventure for the tiny magnetic football.) The wooden hockey games like the one Gerry has (I still have one, too, along with the type Jim remembers) were manufactured by a company in Burlington called Munro Games Co. Interesting story there, dating to that halcyon Murray Westgate era when Canadians still made things with their own hands:

      • Wow, thank you for sharing that, Earl. I’m really dating myself here, I know, but I do fondly remember the hockey game with clothes-peg players, nets that looked like they were made from chunks from someone’s woollen sweater and a ball-bearing puck. It really took imagination to see what you were playing as a hockey game. Let’s call it abstract table-top hockey. We had one at the one-room school house – one teacher, eight grades – that I attended. And yes, I had one of those vibrating football games.

  4. I know I must sound as though I’m as old as Methuselah, but I am really only the same age as Raymond. I did attend a red-brick, one-room schoolhouse. Mrs. Elizabeth Sitter taught all eight grades simultaneously during the last five years I was there. Think The Waltons and you’ve got an idea of what it was like. The year I first went off to high school, the province of Ontario closed all such one-room schoolhouses and started busing kids all over the countryside to amalgamated places of learning. I treasure the memories of my years at #SS No. 5 Tiny.

  5. Actually, there was no Mr. S. I think Mrs. Sitter was a widow. Or perhaps she was Miss Sitter. One thing I am certain of, she had plenty of boors in her classroom.

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