... among the tall stories on Ell Pond ...
On the Tremont Street side of Ell Pond the city used to erect a regulation hockey
rink with side boards each winter. I was never much of a skater, but for some
reason I could skate backward fairly well, so I usually played defense.
One afternoon, when I was about 13 years old, an opposing player picked up a loose puck on my side of the ice and came roaring in on me. I skated backwards as fast as I could when suddenly I found myself in the water over my head. Luckily when I desperately came up, I found the opening, only a few feet wide.
I got my elbow onto the edge of the ice, and, projected by panic, thrust my body out of the water. It was said there was a spring on the southeast corner of the rink, an area that always was the last to freeze. The ice was thin where I broke through but the edge, luckily for me, was thick enough to hold my weight and allow me to use my elbow like a fulcrum to escape.
Then I had to walk home, about a mile, as the sun went down and a layer of ice
covered me from head to toe. I literally made a crunching sound as I dragged myself home. It wasn't until I slipped into the cellar to shed my clothing that I realized I had a cut from just under my ear, down across my neck and across the chest, caused by breaking though the ice. After that I stuck to basketball.
jack driscoll, Class of 1952
July 6, 2012