Van Wagnen’s Hardware was operated by former Lorain Mayor Harry G. Van Wagnen and was located at 253 E. Erie Avenue in Lorain. Its 1950 City Directory ad lists PAINTS, TOOLS, OUTBOARD MOTORS, PLUMBING, and CONTRACTOR’S SUPPLIES.
Anyway, the ad is interesting to me because of the hockey sticks. I was curious if the ad was aimed at local kids playing on frozen ponds, since I’m unaware of any ice rink in Lorain at that (or any) time that would have accommodated hockey as a school sport. Maybe that’s why the sticks were on sale.
Of course, you might remember that building an ice hockey arena in Lorain was an idea that was promoted and quickly slapped away back in 1968 (which I wrote about here).
Hockey has been a recurring topic on this blog through the years.
“The Chief” (as he was nicknamed, since his mother was part Ojibwe) spent all 21 seasons of his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and was Captain for 13 seasons. His Wiki page notes, “He scored the final goal of the NHL’s “Original Six” era as Toronto won the 1967 Stanley Cup.”
Here is his page on the Hockey Hall of Fame website.
Armstrong was featured in a few photos in that 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Program that I posted back here.
One of the really good books that I read in the last few years was Open Ice: The Tim Horton Story by Douglas Hunter. Besides being the consummate story of Tim Horton, the book also devotes many pages to his teammates, including Armstrong – who comes across as one of the nicest and most humble players in hockey.
I had been keeping track of a few Toronto Maple Leaf players from the days of the Original Six that were still alive, including Armstrong, and had just wondered about him last week. I Googled him just a couple days before he passed away.
Here is a link to an article about his passing in the Toronto Sun.