I’m making an exception to this blog, as I’m writing this one in English, for everyone who knew him to see the following.
Gerald Pytlewski, one of the founders of the new movement of table hockey in Chicago/Lemont, died last saturday after game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals. His son Scott found him lifeless in his recliner. He was 61.
I am one of those who were privileged to have been in his life since that time when Jerry’s garage became a table hockey venue in august of 2002! I was already in St. Louis when I figured that I may as well take the Greyhound bus early in the morning from the old bus station in St. Louis on friday august 16th 2002. Jerry and Jim Rzonca greeted me at the Greyhound station in Chicago in the early afternoon and the first place we went to was Navy Pier! Did some sightseeing around the main venues, then headed to Lemont for what was to be known as the US Open. On that saturday I met some key members of the Lemont Table Hockey League, and still have a great time with the Krols, Salazars, Chargos, Marsiks, Farwells, Lords, and when they were alive, Butler and Daniels!
Jerry is the third LTHL member who played Rose Bowl to perish. He loved his times in Montreal and I still have the seat he brought on his last trip in 06, the year after his first stroke. And he got the privilege, along with Jim to meet Wayne Gretzky, who acted as Commissioner of the Bubble Boys Table Hockey League, as they represented the Chicago market in Anaheim in june of 03 (after playing the second edition of the Rose Bowl Classic). When Jerry and Jim played during that event, Jim took most of the rods, but Jerry said: I’ll play right wing, he knew his time as a player was nearing it’s end. I’m sure Jerry managed to surprise a few people back then with timely RW goals!!!
To his wife Chris, son Scott, who played the first 2 RBCs, daughter Andrea I use this blog to offer my sympathies during this tough time. I’m sure that during the week Jerry would have taken the time to call me as he was so happy to see the Hawks back to the Stanley Cup Final! Guess that in my dreams I’ll have a talk with him! When the finals started I wanted either team to win the Cup, but then again Marian Hossa was to be headed towards a third straight cup finals loss, with a third team… but Jerry’s passing is in a way like the Bomber’s, as Gary died a few days before the White Sox broke their championship droughtof 86 years in october of 05. For Jerry I want the Hawks to win. I’m sure that in Heaven Jerry is checking out what’s going on at UC! My dad passed away in april of 1993, which sparked the Habs’ improbable 16 win oddysey to win Lord Stanley’s mug, which included 10 straight overtime wins during that span!
« All this is irrelevent! » as Jerry would have pointed out. The Hawks did win game one, and as I’m writing this right now they’re scoreless after 35 minutes in game #2. Guess the 11 goals were too much on that saturday night, as everybody was hoping for both clubs to score 15 and tie the Finals record for most goals in a game, which was set when Hawks won 8-7 at the old Forum.
However, Jerry’s spirit will be shining atop the Rose Bowl bowling complex in Montreal, as myself and 23 others will be remembering him this week-end. I will never forget Gerald Pytlewski, as he was a good man, who loved to talk about the old days (something I always love to hear!) and of other things. You will be missed!
Now if only I could find those pictures of 03 at the time his Chicago Stadium stood in his living room…