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Sault Ste. Marie

Randy Russon

Lisa Tucker 12 March 2024 1511 128 4


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TALES OF AN OLD HOCKEY WRITER

BOOK$ @ MANE ST. CAFE DOWNTOWN Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Randy Russon has released his first book, Tales Of An Old Hockey Writer. Randy is a long-time sportswriter and sportscaster in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and currently with Sault This Week as its sports editor. His first job was with CKCY 920 Radio, hired by then station director, Paul Leonard, in the mid 1970s. That is its own story.

Randy’s knowledge of the Sault Ste. Marie hockey scene and its history is unparalleled, and his memory quasi-impeccable.

ONE NIGHT IN WINDSOR (an excerpt from Tales Of An Old Hockey Writer by Randy Russon)

If I had a dollar for every tale that I could recant from days and nights and months and years spent in Windsor, I would be able to increase my net worth by at least a thousand bucks. But this one, as it relates to hockey, is one of my all time favourites.

It was a Thursday night in Windsor early during the 1975-1976 season — my first year in the media — and the Spitfires had just finished playing an Ontario Hockey League game against the Soo Greyhounds. I had hitched a ride on the team bus from Sault Ste. Marie to Windsor with the intention of staying in town for a few days after the game. I had a girlfriend in Windsor at the time and hadn’t seen her since the summer and was looking forward to taking her to venerable Windsor Arena for the game — and out for a few drinks after.

So, after the game, it was to — where else — my uncle Steve’s bar, the Grand Tavern on Howard Ave., for a few beers. Which, of course, were followed by a few more. After several glasses of Old Vienna on tap and a nice visit with my uncle, last call came and went and we left the bar. We were hungry so we headed over to nearby Ing’s Restaurant on Goyeau St. for some of Windsor’s best Chinese food. Afterwards, we walked back to where the Greyhounds were staying downtown, at the Viscount Hotel on Ouelette St., since I had a room there for the night.

Avoiding the crowded hotel lobby elevator — it was about 3:00 a.m. or so — we decided to take the stairs up to my room. We had just reached the second or third flight of stairs when we suddenly came face to face with Muzz MacPherson, who was the head coach of the Greyhounds, in the stair well. Muzz looked a bit startled when he first saw us but quickly regained his bravado and motioned for us to go on ahead. Which was easier said than done.

That is because, as Muzz was standing in front of us with his suit pants in disarray, there was a rather large woman in front of him, performing an act of, well, you know. Funny thing was, the woman paid no heed to us and just continued to do what she was in the process of doing. As for us, as we resumed our jaunt up the stairs, I dared take a glance back at Muzz. He just smiled and winked at me, showing absolutely no embarrassment at being caught in the act.

At any rate, without going into further detail from the night, I ended up seeing Muzz in the hotel lobby the next day as the Greyhounds were getting ready to board the team bus for London, where they were to play the Knights that evening.

And Muzz mentioned absolutely nothing from the events of the previous night except to look me straight in the eyes and say, “Remember kid, what happens on the road stays on the road.” Then he winked his trademark wink at me, chuckled out loud, and boarded the bus from Windsor to London.

There was, and always will be, only one Muzz.


Visit: hockeynewsnorth.com/author

 For mature audiences.

randy russon
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