Monday, January 29, 2018

Willie O'Ree: the Jackie Robinson of Ice Hockey

Hubby and I went to an ice hockey game over the weekend, and I was surprised to see some African- American players. I'm black, and I hate the cold, so I suppose I'm stereotyping by believing that all black people hate cold and cold weather sports just because I do.

Recently, however, I learned about an athlete named Williw O'Ree who was known as the Jackie Robinson of Ice Hockey.  Here's an article from that tells his story:

Back in 1958 the world was a different place. Racism was more openly rampant and no black person had ever taken the ice in the NHL. But Willie O’Ree came along and changed all that. He broke the color barrier and became known as the “Jackie Robinson of hockey.”

It wasn’t easy for O’Ree, who had to endure the racially tinged chants from fans, as Mike Walsh recalls O’Ree saying in Walsh’s “Soul on Ice” story on

"Fans would yell, 'Go back to the South' and 'How come you're not picking cotton?' Things like that. It didn't bother me. I just wanted to be a hockey player, and if they couldn't accept that fact, that was their problem, not mine."

While a lesser man might have caved in under the weight of those difficult times, O’Ree didn’t let it bother him. He used his love of hockey and his strong will and character to persevere beyond what many others could have accomplished.

But it wasn’t just his color that he had to overcome. During the 1955-56 hockey season, O’Ree played for the Kitchener-Waterloo Canucks, a junior league team. He was struck in the right eye by a puck, and the injury was so bad that he was legally blind in that eye. Though doctors advised him to quit playing, O’Ree persevered.

In eight weeks he was back on the ice.

But he was a left-winger, so his eye problems forced him to switch to the right side, a move that he made with the same grace and success he did with everything else.

O’Ree’s history day came on January 18, 1958, in Montreal. He took the ice with the Boston Bruins, becoming the first black player to make it to the NHL. He expected a stronger reaction, hopeful that the publicity could help other young black athletes, but the story was handled with little fanfare.

Life was hard for a black hockey player, but O’Ree never backed down or let it stop him.
Guys would take cheap shots at me, just to see if I would retaliate. They thought I didn't belong there. When I got the chance, I'd run right back at them. I was prepared for it because I knew it would happen. I wasn't a great slugger, but I did my share of fighting. I was determined that I wasn't going to be run out of the rink.
One night, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Eric Nesterenko butt-ended O’Ree in the face with his stick. He knocked out two of Willie’s teeth and broke his nose. O’Ree didn’t back down, however, hitting the Hawks player over the head with his stick.

After being traded by the Bruins following the 1961 season, he never again played in the NHL despite his talent. To this day he is regarded as a footnote in the sport, which isn’t right. What O’Ree endured was more than what any single hockey player has ever had to endure. There will never be another such first in the game. Fittingly, it was Willie O’Ree, a fighter to the end.

Had you ever heard of Willie O'Ree? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Shredded Turkey Sandwiches

My Friend Lorie gave me this recipe recently and she says it's absolutely wonderful and incredibly easy! It's for the crock pot, so how can you go wrong with that? I hope to try it this week! Enjoy.

Shredded Turkey Sandwiches 

1 frozen Butterball boneless breast (thaw in fridge for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours)
1/2 bottle or can of beer
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of butter
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary

Remove plastic wrap from turkey, remove gravy packet, cut off netting over turkey and trim excess fat (pull up on fat and it trims off very easily with kitchen scissors)

Wash the turkey breast and place in crock pot with beer, water and butter.  Add the rosemary to the top pot for flavor.

Cook on low for 5 - 6 hours.  (Cook on high if the breast is still partially frozen.)

Discard rosemary.  Shred the turkey using two forks.  Turn crock pot to low and cook on low until ready to eat.  Serve on favorite buns either alone or with you favorite BBQ sauce.

One Butterball breast feeds about 7 people.

Don't you think this sounds healthier than pork BBQ?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Free Books!

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, I'm offering two free books today, the Civil Rights novel of romantic suspense, The Governor's Sons, and my newest romantic historical, Deseré: A Love Story of the American South!

The Governor's Sons

During the summer of 1936, Ash Kroth, a young law student from a southern family of wealth and political prestige, falls in love with the help, beautiful "Negro" college girl Catherine Wilkes. Nearly thirty years later, as a segregationist governor in the midst of civil rights turmoil, Ash is forced to confront the inevitable consequences of his love for her. 

In 1965, Harland Hall, a black Civil Rights leader, moves to the capital city in an effort to quell the racial violence occurring not far from his mother's home. But what mysterious link does this young man have to the Governor's past?

Deseré: A Love Story of the American South

Deseré, a skilled seamstress and slave, lives on a South Carolina cotton plantation. Fair-skinned and astonishingly beautiful, she is owned by a kindly master and given his permission to marry the man she loves, a carpenter enslaved on a neighboring plantation. Yet when her master dies before her wedding and his nephew inherits the plantation and its slaves, Deseré's marriage is indefinitely postponed, pending consent from her new owner.

Lawyer Anthony Sinclair arrives from Ohio on the mend from a broken heart, leaving behind a career derailed by scandal. Owning a plantation presents a vibrant opportunity. Yet torn by inklings of abolitionist beliefs, Anthony struggles with the damning prospect of owning human beings. 

Upon first seeing the alluring Deseré, Anthony is immediately dazzled by her golden skin, shimmering blond hair and ocean blue eyes. Yet Deseré perceives the tall, dark-haired and handsome “Masta” Anthony as rather stupid. He knows nothing about running a plantation, nor being a planter. But as long as he allows Deseré to marry the man she loves, she will be happy. 

Anthony, however, desires Deseré for himself. To what lengths will he go to win the forbidden love of a slave? Will owning Deseré be the only way Anthony can ever possess her while her heart belongs to another man?

Hope you'll enjoy them! Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Meghan Markle and Other American Princesses

Are you keeping up with news of the impending marriage of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry? As an actress marrying a prince, her story reminded me of Grace Kelly. However, Meghan Markle will be one of several other American princesses! Here's an excerpt from a fun article in Forbes by Lisa Kacay.

Central Press/Getty Images

Wallis Simpson
The twice-married American socialite caused quite the controversy back in 1936. King Edward VIII of England was in love with her, but the governments of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries frowned upon their romance for moral reasons. After only 326 daysas king, Edward VIII abdicated his title in 1936,saying "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility ... without the help and support of the woman I love.” The two wed in 1937, making them the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Rita Hayworth
The Hollywood star, previously married to actor-director Orson Welles, married Prince Aly Khan in 1949. Khan and Hayworth's marriage lasted less than four years, but they had a daughter together—philanthropist Yasmin Aga Khan.
AFP/Getty Images

Grace Kelly
The film star left behind her Hollywood career to marry Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. The duo originally met when Kelly was in France for the Cannes Film Festival, and they did a staged photo shoot at his palace. The pair married one week after she finished filming what would be her last film, High Society. Kelly and Rainier were married for 26 years until Kelly was tragically killed in a fatal car crash.
Dennis Oulds/Getty Images

Lee Radziwill
Lee Radziwill, born Caroline Lee Bouvier, was Jackie Kennedy's younger sister. She married Polish Prince Stanislaw Albrecht Radziwill in 1959. Stanislaw’s family was left poor after the German invasion, but he married a Swiss heiress and eventually became wealthy in real estate. Lee was his third wife and the two lived together in 4Buckingham Palace—a house near the royal palace. They divorced in 1974, though.
Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

Hope Cooke
The New York socialite met Prince Palden Thondup Namgyal of Sikkim while she was an Asian studies student at Sarah Lawrence College. The two quickly engaged and were married in 1963. However, it wasn’t a fairytale ending for them—in 1975, Sikkim was annexed to India and the pair were officially divorced by 1980.
For the complete article and more American princesses, click here.
How many of these princesses have you heard of? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

I'm off for New Year's Day but will be back blogging next week! Hope 2018 is off to a great start for you!