During the summer of 1988, Don and I traveled to Canada for vacation. We visited the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. It was in a modern building of the Canadian National Exhibition, not where it is located today.
We also visited Brantford Ontario - home of Wayne Gretzky. It was a Saturday morning as we drove down Varadi Avenue past Walter and Phyllis Gretzky’s home. On that same day, across Canada in Edmonton Alberta, Wayne and Janet Jones were being married on July 17, 1988.
We purchased newspapers in Brantford with the wedding photos on the cover. During this trip we visited the guys that John G. had told us about to purchase memorabilia.
And from this and more, the Gretzky Shrine was created. That is what Don called the spare bedroom in our Topeka duplex where my collection was displayed.
THE DAY THAT CHANGED HOCKEY
On Aug. 9, 1988, the NHL made headlines across both the United States and Canada. The NHL’s greatest player, Wayne Gretzky, who at the age of 27 had just led the Edmonton Oilers to their fourth Stanley Cup championship in five seasons, was traded (sold) to the Los Angeles Kings.
This was not just a monumental trade; it was a true piece of sports history forever to be entrenched in hockey legend and lore.
And less than one year later, the shrine is boxed and stored to make that room a baby nursery for Ann!