If You Freeze It, They Will Come
The long-standing winter tradition of hockey on Magnolia’s West Pond.
There has been skating on West Pond as long as anyone can remember. Back in the ’70s, Tony Muller from Magnolia devoted his winter seasons to shoveling, setting up the goals, getting the kids skates, and taking care of the ice. We moved to our current house next to the pond 20 years ago. Tony must have been in his 60s by then.
I first met Tony one cold winter day on the ice with my three toddlers. He came over and started skating with the boys, teaching them tricks and letting them shoot on him. The kids were entertained and I got hooked by Tony’s patience and sense of fair play.
My kids grew up playing hockey on the pond. They still play some, but my wife Amy probably plays more hockey now than of all of us. The kids are all in college now, or graduated. They come back for weekend games when they can. We play most weekends when the ice is good. Usually we get a mix of local kids, friends like Archie and John, and of course, the regulars like Arnold and Tony’s son Phil.
Arnold is probably the official ‘pond manager’ now. Well, he shovels the most anyway. I usually send the email blast and we text around to make sure we have enough players. To start games, we throw our sticks into a pile and separate them to pick teams. Usually we skate until it’s too dark to see the puck. This is what I love about winter here in Magnolia.
— Tim Greiner