On Family, Hockey and Healing by Gretzky, Walter (2002) Paperback
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old. We were playing competitive hockey when we were five or six. We didn’t miss a practice, and afterwards we’d come home and skate in the backyard. He’d come out with pylons and nets, and he’d videotape us and instruct us on how to skate, how to shoot. You know, he’s the best coach we’ve ever had. Because we were his kids, he knew us better than anybody. Even in the pros, there’s different ways to treat players. They can be yelled at or pampered. My dad knew how to relate to us. I don’t think
any more about the negative attitudes some people had toward Wayne. A little while back, I was out at the arena with my friend Warren MacGregor. One of the parents who was really among the worst for verbally abusing Wayne out on the ice in those days came up and shook my hand, all smiling and friendly, asking me how I was doing. Afterwards, Warren said to me, “Wally, how can you talk to that man after the way he used to behave?” But I say, what’s the point of holding a grudge? It’s over, move on.
Who better to help the Foundation in this mission than Walter Gretzky? When he had his life-threatening stroke on October 13, 1991, it seemed as if the whole country was waiting for news about his recovery. As his family members flew in to be at his bedside, the prognosis was grim. But Walter battled back, with the help of excellent medical care, dedicated therapists and the love and grit of his family. Not only was he leading a full life but he was constantly giving back to charities and
were some rocks along an incline to the shore, very rugged, but if you went gingerly you could walk along until you got down to the sea. So one morning, I just said, “Come on Jesse, let’s go.” Ron and Gino wondered how the heck we were going to do it, and followed behind us, as I led Jesse along by the hand. They were worried that we were going to fall in, since I can sometimes list to one side and Jesse couldn’t see his footing. It was fairly precarious and slippery, but I was determined. And in
himself.) It’s true I was manager of the basketball team, even though I didn’t know anything about basketball. Our gym teacher, Gerry Barnhill, said that was okay, I could still do the job. I think I had a spare fifteen minutes in my schedule, so I had to fill it up. Mainly, I used to post the scores from the game on the bulletin board. ALBERT: Walter’s kind of like Wayne, you know, he had everything. He was smart, he had talent, all the girls were after him because he had all that, and he was a