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Hockey Night in Provence

November 2018

It’s autumn in California, and in Toronto —

and in Provence.

This autumn 2018, the French translation of BOOK 3, Guillaume, proceeds apace, along with the fast pace of the skates of the San Jose Sharks and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The past year of letting-go-of-Marleau has come to a merciful end. I am now fully enjoying the new, young, dynamic San Jose team, coached by the firm but compelling leadership of Pete DeBoer. Steady pressure is the operative approach. This strategy works for me too!

This year, my traditional hockey-spectating is not business-as-usual, but I am working with it:

Due to NHL Local Blackout Rules, my viewing of any San Jose Sharks game is delayed. I therefore use the time difference to my advantage. I watch the Sharks game 48 hours later, on my schedule. I employ the same tele-visual viewing method with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The happy absence of commercial interruptions and the wonderful absence of any Period Intermissions have speeded up an already fast game to a view-time of approximately 1 hour.

Those late-night shoot-outs are a thing of the past!

It’s always exciting for me to watch The Shark-Veterans: Captain Joe Pavelski, “Pickles” Vlasic, and Alternate Captain Logan Couture. Defenseman Brent Burns is a bit less flamboyant without his Man-Bun this year, but the season is still young for this Alternate Captain!

Tomáš Hertl, still baby-faced at 25, and his family in the Czech Republic are waiting for that Stanley Cup too. Goalie Martin Jones (“Joner”) is doing his quiet, level-gloved best to help make that dream come true.

Defenseman “Jumbo” Joe Thornton, whom I call Thumbo, has returned to the ice after a series of injuries. During his first game back from injuries this season, he scored the tying goal against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Way over yonder in Toronto, Canada, the Maple Leafs are super-charged with Auston Matthews (presently on Injured Reserve), Alternate Captain John Tavares, Jake Gardner, and Nazem Kadri. It’s not surprising for me to see Patrick Marleau wearing the A - as an Alternate Captain — of his Leafs. Coach Babcock keeps making the right decisions!

Keeping track of two NHL teams keeping score has significantly aided my progress with composing L’AUBE. I am motivated to keep an ever more resolute but compelling watch over Guillaume de Vallon as he leaves behind the life of an aristocrat and forges a new identity as a French resister.

I do believe that Guillaume would have made one sensational forward!

He is most unlike that player, “La Rondelle” who is all over the place!

And just who is La Rondelle?

The story of La Rondelle came to me more than a few years ago while I was watching a television show about the early days of broadcasting professional ice hockey. A young man, living in the north-northeastern United States, was listening one night to a hockey game — broadcast on the radio in Canadian French from Montreal, Canada.

This hockey fan wanted to know who was that player, La Rondelle: He was on the ice all the time, and he was all over the place.

Of course, he was!

“La rondelle” means the puck in French.

Guillaume is not all over the place. He’s just in France, with a brief trip to London to meet le général de Gaulle. Guillaume does return one day to France, to Roussillon where he surprises Camille with some crèvecœur chicks.

Book 3, Guillaume, is followed by the final book of Volume 1 of THE DAWN/L’AUBE. This section is entitled Operation Nottingham — or Op Nott, as the nickname has it. I am hoping to complete the translation of Book 3 by the end of the Games of Elimination, or the Stanley Cup Finals!

Next year, I hope to see either — or both — of my favorite NHL teams go all the way to the Stanley Cup! Until then, it’s Hockey Night in Provence!


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