Thursday, October 3, 2013

Chapter 35: Do You Know Why I Pulled You Over?

First of all, an apology.  I just read this article on the The Fifty Most Expensive Private Schools in the U.S.   I don't know what I was thinking.  I was in pretty good shape and I'm happy with our decision to send my son to prep school, but holy crap is that shizzle expensive.  I just checked.  Tilton is up to $49,750 per year. There is aid and scholarship money available, but that's a hefty nut.  As wonderful as it was, I would never consider paying this much today.  Like I said, we made this decision prior to the beginning of the economic crisis that left me and many others limping in its wake. I pretty much blew my 201K on this...and yes, I called it a 201k.  Anyhow, if it were today I would say screw it and go the highest and best junior route as early as possible, unless money wasn't an
issue then I stand by everything I've said up till now. 

The pre-Christmas concussion at the Governor's tourney gave us quite the scare.  Fortunately, as I previously stated, the violence and drams surrounding the hit were not matched by any actual damage.  The kid must have a bone head.  It seemed to do its job protecting his software.

We let him play once the neurologist and team trainer cleared him.  We watched with trepidation, but he showed no signs of any lingering effects.  

Whenever I tell people about my own history and all the back injuries I experienced and suffer to this day, I fear they must think I am an idiot for "letting" my son play hockey.  I probably am, but at this point there is no "letting".  Early on, of course, I encouraged and supported it, but at this point he's his own man.  I don't "let" him do anything.  Once I was talking to someone and they surprised me with the response; "Wow, given all your injuries, I think it's really great that you let you son play".  I never thought of it like that.  I'm glad someone did.  

The second half of the hockey season at Tilton got to be pretty exciting.  I had my neck surgery in early January.  I was recuperating and wasn't really fit to travel, but I figured I'd take my chances in the ice and cold of New Hampshire instead of the wind and rain of So Cal in January.  

I flew to Manchester New Hampshire.  Flying was terribly uncomfortable.  I got stuck sitting in an exit row. I should have complained but I didn't think to.  The seats in this row do not recline. It was a miserable flight. 

It got worse when I landed.  I got in my rental car and headed to my sanctuary at the Hentz's in Meredith. The drive would take an hour up highway 93.   

In SoCal people whip around on the freeways.  The average speed is often around 80 mph. You can drive all day going 85 and probably won't get pulled over. 

I was heading up the 93 as I approached Concord, NH.  In California it's required to add the word "the" before any highway number. It escaped me, but the speed limit dropped just before Concord on a dark stretch of highway from 65 to 55.  Just as I came up over the slight hill I saw a few cars parked on the median.  As soon as I passed the blue lights came on and the highway patrolman pulled me over and gave me a $100 ticket. 

This wouldn't have been such a big deal had it not been for the gobs of money I'd recently lost in the global financial stock market meltdown. So a hundred bucks was a big deal to me at this time. 

My buddy Doug Hentz is friends with a couple of NH state troopers.  Unfortunately I didn't know their names so I wasn't able to schmooze the patrolman in this case.  I took it like a man and went on.  I did ask Doug the name of his friends for future reference. 

I got to watch Tilton play a handful of games.  They were in the midst of what was shaping up to be a very good season.  They played and lost to Cushing Academy 3-1 earlier in the season.  I got to see quite an exciting game this trip.  Cushing got off to a quick start and jumped out to a 4-1 Lead.  Early in the 3rd period Tilton started to get some chances and finally cashed in.  With under five minutes to go in the game they got two more quick ones to make it cut the lead to one.  Tilton pulled their goalie with under a minute to go and with the clock running out with seconds to go,  and this happened.

This miracle goal tied the score to force overtime with .4 seconds left.  Unfortunately for Tilton the ended up losing 5-4 in OT.  Still a crazy and exciting play. 

Here is a highlight clip from another game, another loss for Tilton. This was against, Kimball Union or KUA.  In this game, Denis Kravchenko of KUA had four breakaways against, William Flachbinder, the Tilton goalie.  Flachbinder stopped every one of them. Not an easy task against the slippery kid from Southern California.  Also on the highlight clip is Max sniping a wrister past Martin Quillette.  Kravchenko had committed to UVM as a prep school sophomore.  He was to have reported to UVM and would be playing there now but he recently decommitted.  Word has it he wasn't happy with the departure of UVM coach Micheletto.  Micheletto is at Umass and Kravchenko may end up there unless he ends up going the major junior route.  He is currently playing with Sioux Falls of the USHL. Quillette is at Maine and was an NHL draft pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Tilton had a very good run to the end of the season and playoffs.  They only had three losses in their last eleven games of the season. They won the Lakes Region Tournament by beating KUA 3-2 and got to the finals of the "Small Schools" playoffs where the lost 2-1 in the championship game, once again facing KUA. Here are max's final moments of prep school hockey. screen shot last prep game.
Tilton loses 2-1 to KUA in Small School
Championship finals

I was heading back to the Hentz's house late one night during a snow storm.  I was on a back road heading from highway 93 to Meredith.  I was going about 35 mph in a 25 mph zone when another highway patrolman, who had been hiding out on the side of the road turned on his blue lights and once again I was pulled over.

I was seriously near tears when this happened.  This time I figured I would give it a shot and try to talk my way out of a ticket.  The officer came to my window and asked for my license.  I mentioned the Hentz's.  I mentioned the name of their friend who is a NH highway patrolman.  I even threw in something about my son playing hockey at Tilton.  I was willing to say just about anything at this point.  I did not need another $100 ticket. 

No reaction. The officer was not impressed with anything I had to say.  He walked back to his car.  I sat there stewing, almost crying.  You have no idea how badly I'd been hurt by this mess in the market.  I don't think I could have taken one more bit of bad news.  He made his way back, slowly to my car, handed me a slip of paper and told me he was giving me a warning and to drive more carefully.

Yes sir!

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