Jeff Sarmiento; former Gears stickboy
I can remember Walt doing the ice after a Friday night game and coming in on Saturday morning thinking he was all set. We had been in the locker room that night doing laundry and getting the room ready for the next day, but during the night we put the stereo speakers out on the vending machines put on our gear and skated all night, Johnny the Rat would have Mario's gear on so we had a goalie! We would get us a couple of brand new sticks and heat them and put some wicked ass curves on them to see how high we could shoot pucks up into the end stands.
I remember ole' Walt coming into the locker room in the morning with his blue insulated vest, pipe hanging out of the corner of his mouth. He was mad as hell for us being out there skating all night. He would come in hollering at us like we were his step kids,"who gave you little bastards permission to skate on the ice last night?!" We would be usually sleeping around the room by the time he would arrive in the morning and we would scramble to our feet and say, "Sid said it was ok!!!" Sid Morris was our savior and we used to get him sticks and pucks and an occasional practice jersey and in return he used to let us skate at night when we were in there by ourselves! Late night hockey came to an end (at least for a while) one night when an errant shot broke the window to the sound control booth.
We had a love hate relationship with ole' Walt.
I would give just about anything to be sleeping on the locker room floor one more night and smell the aroma of the ole’ boys’ pipe as he was coming into the room to give us a ration of shit !I grew up there, a true Rink Rat!