by Denise Bonin Wednesday, August 17, 2005 11:13 PM

I confess... I have always had a desire to drive a Zamboni. I'm not sure if this stems from my love of skating and the fact that I learned how to skate on a quintessentially Canadian back-yard ice rink in Saskatoon or from playing road hockey with my brothers and all the neighbourhood boys where I grew up in the frozen north. Maybe this desire is deeply rooted in the hilarity of seeing those Shultz cartoons of Snoopy driving a Zamboni on the frozen bird bath for Woodsock and his buddies or perhaps it is just from watching those wonderful machines doing their so incredibly specialized duty at the ice arena. When I was a girl there were no ice hockey teams for girls; at least not in my small community. The closest I came was teaching all the little hockey-playing boys how to skate and specifically how to stop before crashing into the boards. I did play on a women's hockey team in New Zealand, but I had to laugh when I was asked why I kept calling it grass hockey; they asked what other kind of hockey was there, anyway? Oh my goodness where have these people been? They kept referring to Canada's national sport as ice hockey. I had to ask why add the ice! Just think what a different person I might be today if I had been a member of the Canadian Olympic Gold medal womens hockey team! Anyway, I had my Zamboni driving (actually more like riding) desire fulfilled just the other day in the most unlikely of places: Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. We were on a family holiday and the temperature was hot: 30 plus degrees. We were driving along a nice country road heading towards a park for a bit of a hike when on the side of the road I saw a sign reading GOT ICE? Well, that caught my eye on that hot day and especially what was behind the sign… any guesses? Yes, a Zamboni! Imagine a Zamboni on Salt Spring Island! What was it doing there? How in the world did it get there? What were the people thinking when they brought it there? I convinced my husband to pull over on the return trip past it, which he did without hesitation, as he knew I had this deep down obsession with Zambonis and my daughter took photos of me on the big blue machine. It was a beautiful thing! At last a life long dream partially fulfilled! Now I just need the ice.


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