The clock alarmed at 7:00am. It was time to wake up. It was a Saturday.
Why would I wake up at an unheard of hour on a Saturday you ask?
My idol, #16 himself, Trevor Linden was doing a charity meet and greet for the Happy Liver Society at the Save On Foods in Metrotown.
There was no way I was going to miss seeing him. I’ve met him before. One of the times was during the Olympics. It wasn’t official. But I managed to get him to sign my jersey. He wasn’t supposed to, so pandemonium broke loose as crowds started to form around me. Let’s just say, that jersey is not in the best of conditions because I was pretty much trampled on. Anyhoo, I digress.
I came prepared now with a game plan in mind. I only told a couple of friends about the meet and greet because I didn’t want hundreds of people beating me to it. Selfish, I know.
I arrived at Metro just before 9:00am. There were already at least 100 people in line. The meet and greet starts at 11:00am. Had I arrived any later and it would not have been good news; it wasn’t before long that the line up got a lot longer behind me.
ApuTheFish and Jen finally joined me. ApuTheFish brought her jersey and Jen brought some memorabilia. I brought the infamous photo of Trevor hugging Kirk McLean during game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs and the commemorative booklet I got from Trevor’s retirement ceremony. The Happy Liver Society were selling the exact same Linden-McLean photo for $10 and sold out. I guess it’s a good deal since proceeds go to the society. Unfortunately, Saturday was primo opportunity for autograph hounds (the very same ones that stake out the hotels where the Twilight cast stays). They perused the line up selling their not-so-awesome quality photos of Linden.
The Green Men were also in attendance. I took photos with them again.
Around a quarter after 11, screams echoed from the front of the line all the way to the back. That only meant one thing: Trevor is here. By the time it was our turn, it was already almost noon. I could have waited another 12 hours – I was that excited.
Jen, ApuTheFish, and I had all these plans on what we would say to him. We joked that we were going to say, “HEY! You’re the clearly contacts guy!”
I wanted to tell him that I grew up watching him pretty much my entire life. I was two years old when he first stepped on the Pacific Coliseum ice. I was four when I started getting more into hockey. I was eight in 1994 – we won’t even discuss how I was like then; that’s another epic story for another time.
But when it was finally my turn, I froze. I stuck my hand out for a shake, he asked for my name, and for a moment I forgot. He then replied, “Nice to see you, (insert my name here).” I quickly rebutted, “No, nice to see you again.” He gave me a weird look. I explained that I met him during the Olympics with Hayley Wickenheiser. He stopped signing my photo, looked up with me with wide bright eyes, smiled and said, “Oh yeah, that was a fun day. Wasn’t it?” *died a little* I gleefully said, “Yes, yes it was. I had a lotta fun.” What else could I have said? We posed for a photo, we both thanked each other, waved each other good bye… and it was over, just like that.
I will never ever forget that conversation and the way he drew you in. It was only a 10 second convo, but it felt like forever.
Trevor was so sweet and so nice. When you told him something, he was fully committed and paid all attention on you. ApuTheFish said to me, “I wish we could have lunch and chit chat with him.” I agree. Hopefully. Someday.