Description 55 - City of Champions

Done with business, I look around Edmonton and find what's changed since the days I admired it from afar. Includes music from The Ambers, wading in wading pools, and taking pictures of Wayne Gretzky's immortalized nose.

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Associated links
Get "Gretzky Rocks" from Maplemusic!
West Edmonton Mall
Sir Winston Churchill Square
Art Gallery of Alberta
That building I thought was part of the university is Edmonton City Hall!
Stanley A. Milner Library
Edmonton City Centre and CBC Edmonton
Citadel Theatre (it's rambling because it's a few theatres in one)
Winspear Centre @wikipedia
The Ambers @myspace! (Go bug them to put up more new music!)
Southbound on the LRT on YouTube (I went from Churchill Station to Health Sciences Station, later from Coliseum to Corona)
Whyte Avenue @Trip Advisor
Old Strathcona (of which Whyte Ave. is a part)
Blackbyrd Myoozik
Blues on Whyte
Rexall Place
Edmonton Oilers Heritage Website

The CD I was looking for at Blackbyrd is by these guys, who are not remotely Canadian.

Thanks again to Pam for her local knowledge that finally got me to Churchill Square. She'd also wanted to take me to Rexall Place, but she was doing her main work on our CRTC project while I was doing my running around and found my way up there myself on the LRT. The previous night at dinner, she'd also told me an amazing story from her youth that made my jaw drop further and further as she went along. I'll try to recount it here, though I know my memory will screw up the details very badly.

During those halcyon days of the Oilers in the '80's, she was a teenager. One hot summerish day, she and some friends held a car wash around the West Edmonton Mall to raise money for something (a dance, or a kids' charity...can't remember). Things were going pretty slowly. Out of nowhere arrived an extremely expensive car requiring no washing whatsoever, and it was soon followed by another one, more of a very sexy Italian sports car. Some young men stepped out - including Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky. Of course, the girls did their best to not totally freak out. Everyone chatted a little bit, autographs were signed, pictures were taken, and Messier asked what was going on. Seeing these kids were suffering in the hot sun, he offered to get them something to eat and/or drink. A trip was made to a nearby store for many Slurpees. Then he asked how much money the girls were trying to make, and the reply was something like $1500. The guys looked around among each other like any other group of guys pooling together for cab fare to get an out-of-town buddy home after a long night at the bar. Scrounging in their pockets, they easily found enough money to reach their goal, and then some. With smiles and hugs all around, they got back in their extremely expensive cars and drove away.

I couldn't have daydreamed that any better reading my Sports Illustrated back in Ohio.

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