It's not constantly simple being a musical icon or a hockey star. Sure, you make lots of cash, you can live in a fancy location and drive quick vehicles ... but what if you simply want to be kid again?
That is, unless he desires to do something he's enjoyed because he was in single digits-- play hockey.
He'll rent the ice at the historical, century-old Allman Arena and play pickup hockey with his friends from his school days. I remember when being at the arena for some other event, but ended up seeing them play.
Justin had actually purchased them all white jerseys-- his was yellow. Why? "Don't hit the man in the yellow!"
Not that striking or, specifically, lipping at the referee was ever an issue for young Justin. When, when my kid was playing midget, he got suspended for a game for mouthing off at the ref.
He was called before the "commissioner" of the league for a rather correct dressing down. However it ended with a smile.
"Will", the commissioner stated, "you did wrong, but it will not destroy your future. Just keep in mind, the kid who holds the record for the most suspensions here in Stratford is Justin Bieber." Willie took some pride because.
I've never ever met Justin, however I used to see him resting on the steps of the Stratford Festival's Avon Theatre when he was approaching teen status and my better half, Cynthia Dale, was performing in musicals on stage.
He was strumming a guitar and singing for loonies. Within a couple of years, he was crooning Babyand making millions.
He has actually led a complex life, to say the least. Not one without errors, however one thing that's never changed has actually been his love for hockey and his desire to be a kid permanently, imagining playing with the huge people.
A couple of days prior to Christmas, Justin called the city with a request. He understood the Allman was usually closed on Boxing Day, however like any other Stratford citizen, if the overtime rate for rink personnel was paid, and if they were prepared to come in to work, he might bring along a few of his old school friends for shinny.
All he wanted in return was that the moment be kept as peaceful as possible so they might enjoy some personal privacy. An affordable request and quickly it was video game on.
The pals it turned out, included some other "kids" who probably have the exact same dream on event-- just bet fun with your good friends.
No coaches. No analytics. No pylons on the ice to run drills around.
Those "buddies" had their own star status: Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner, Tyson Barrie -- all of them players on the Toronto Maple Leafs. I think Justin couldn't find my number. Call me. Possibly. Next time. (I understand, not his song, but I like the idea.)
They played four-on-four, continuous, for a number of hours and then loaded their gear and went out the door.
Combining a community
Plumbing technicians, electrical contractors, insurance coverage salesperson and a No. 1 draft choice along with a worldwide pop star. Your typical hockey crowd.
Word had taken a trip a bit and as a result there were kids outside. The stars stopped, and signed, and had images taken with fans and rink staff too. Nobody complained.
Now, before you get all huffy and dispose on Justin and his pro friends for spending his Stratford time and cash on himself, he's really not that sort of person.
Bieber's been a generous contributor, quietly generally, to all sort of local charitable causes including the soup and the museum cooking area.
He comes home, and he brings pals and his new family with him, since he keeps his connection to his Stratford household no matter how far from the California lights it may be.
And because, at least for this week, he's not that different than the rest people. Surround yourself with friends and household, remember how fortunate we are and take pleasure in a couple of hours just having a good time.
Editor's Note: An acoustic edition of this story is readily available on Peter Mansbridge's podcast "the bridge."