please click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf2yYWHbQG8&feature=share&fb_ref=share
This is an interview from yesterday by radio host Terry Sol on the Derby life of the legend Charlie O’Connell, who left us on Monday.
He was the last to go of the great Derby heroes of that era: Joan Weston, Ken Monte, Ann Calvello, Bob Hein, and most recently, Annis Jensen. Others still survive, thankfully.
Charlie brought a rugged sports mentality to the Derby, which relied much more on finesse prior to that time…..A bigger than life (6 foot 2, 200 pounds) skater who towered over most of the others. And he played the game as he played football and hockey, skate fast, hit hard, and never backed down. The pivot positon – the player who could block, jam, and quarterback the pack was really created for him. The recalcitrant hero, didn’t like interviews, autographs, was gruff, but adored by fans everywhere…..He and Joan Weston signified the Bay Bombers for years to the millions who watched on television and in person.
I felt bad that the interview was just hours after I had heard the unexpected news of his death; I didn’t mention his wife, Judi McGuire, who was not only his soul mate but was a great athlete herself, skating for the New York Chiefs for years…..She survives him as does Charlie, Jr, and Shari.
Hope you will take the time to listen and watch (about a half hour, if you have ADD like me, break it up). It will help you understand (and some remember) what the world was like for all of us in that magical era.
I still can’t believe it.