Every year we’d make our annual hockey trip to Syracuse for a three day hockey tournament and every year Jimbo would arrange for the best places for the kids to eat and more importantly the best places for the Dads to enjoy a beverage or two. Jimbo was a great host and always made time to attend my son’s games, most times with Henry and Charlie in tow. One particular year the tournament fell on Martin Luther King weekend and Liz and Megan were out of town and Jimbo had the boys and a plan – it was Spring Break in Syracuse.
We started out by watching my son Declan’s hockey game, then lunch and a few adult beverages at Tulley’s where Jimbo held court with the Dads from our hockey team, who were immediately drawn to him and he quickly became the center of attention. We were about to leave for Charlie’s hoop game, when one of the Dad’s said to me “Jimbo’s not leaving is he?” I said, “Don’t worry we’ve got his son’s hoop game but I’ll be sure to bring him back at some point”
Fast forward a few hours after the games had ended, Jimbo took Henry and Charlie home to get them settled in and I headed to the team dinner with the parents at Tulley’s again. The moment I walked in, the head coach and another Dad both asked “where’s Jimbo, he’s coming back right?” Well Jimbo did come back and regaled us with his stories, jokes, imitations of Flipper, bacon and a giraffe eating grass. Jimbo was an instant hit with the Hockey Dads and they started calling for me to be replaced by Jimbo, he was now an honorary Hockey Dad of the team.
As the night went on I pulled an Irish Goodbye and was gone in a flash BUT Jimbo hung tight with his new posse of friends. The next morning we had a 7am game and several glassy eyed dads met in the lobby of the hotel and told me how much fun they had with Jimbo and how funny he was. It was at that point when one of the Dads reminded us that Jimbo promised he’d be at the game with Bloody Mary’s. A couple of the fathers debated back and forth if Jimbo was serious or not ….I said, “If Jimbo said he’s bringing Bloodies at 7 am, Jimbo’s bring Bloodies at 7am”
At 6:55am the kids were warming up and across the ice from the stands in walked Jimbo thru an exit only door (he convinced a worker to let him in). We all saw him standing behind the plexi-glass bigger than life, in one hand a dozen red solo cups, in the other a thermos of Bloody Mary’s - he raised them high above his head as if head just been presented with the Stanley Cup - all the Dads started laughing and cheering and one Dad turned to me and said, “JIMBO is AWESOME….”
Everyone who met Jimbo loved Jimbo!!