In the small world that makes up our hockey community I never cease to be amazed by the connections, coincidences and potential for the next person you meet to become a fun story in a rambling hockey blog.
Such was the case with Ebby Gerry. Max was in his first year at Tilton. Things were going well. Lots of ice time. Proud family. Lots of promise for the future and the ultimate goal of playing hockey at the highest college level possible and getting a great education.
I had recently taken a deal and jumped ship to go to UBS in La Jolla. My business partner and I had been at what was then known as Smith Barney in the downtown San Diego office for the past fifteen years. UBS sent us to Chicago to meet all the research, money management and product folks we'd be dealing with.
We attended a presentation by a municipal bond portfolio manager named Elbridge "Ebby" Gerry. He ran muni bond portfolios starting at a minimum of a half a million bucks. Nice presentation. We'd hope to be able to put some of our clients' monies to work with him.
Back in San Diego, we had a number of conference calls with Mr. Gerry and clients exploring the possibility of hiring his group.
If memory serves me, it was I who put two and two together. I had subscribed to the best source of prep hockey info around, ushr.com. The acronym stands for U.S Hockey Report. The website is the best source of both prep hockey and college recruiting news in the New England area that I've found.
I was perusing rosters on the website one day, looking to see any California players that I might recognize. When I got to the page for The Proctor team roster I noticed the name of one of their goalies; Ebbie Gerry.
I called my Ebby Gerry and mentioned this finding. Yes, in fact his son Ebby was the goalie for Proctor. Ebby, the dad, attended Bowdoin and I believe he may have played hockey around the same time I was playing at Uconn. Bowdoin always spanked us. You may recall I had a chance to attend Bowdoin, as well as Colby, but opted for Uconn. Not my best decision.
Max and Ebby, the younger faced each other a couple of times. The schools are a half hour from each other and are big rivals. We dad's would call and talk after each game. We were both watching on fasthockey.com.
So that was all pretty cool. But what impressed me more was this.
The Ebby Gerry I met has one of the most fascinating family histories I've ever come across. His great-great-great, however many greats you need to trace back to 1744, grandfather was also named Elbridge Gerry. He was born into a wealthy Boston merchant family, attended Harvard at the age of 14 and went on to be a founding father of our country.
Elbridge Gerry was involved with organizing resistance in the early stages of the revolutionary war. He was elected to the second continental congress, signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. He refused to sign the Constitution because it didn't include a bill of rights. After ratification he was elected to the inaugural U.S. Congress where he was instrumental in drafting the Bill of Rights. Later he became Governor of Massachusetts where he is best known for redrawing districts to help win elections, a practice that was named after him and what we now call "gerrymandering". He became the nations fifth vice-president under James Madison. A number of his descendants became members of congress
Quite a lineage. Just some guy I bumped into in my life as a hockey dad.