August 9, 1988. A day that will live in hockey infamy forever. At least in Canada. Or maybe just Edmonton.
But however you remember it, wherever you were that day when you first heard the news (heck, it might have taken a week to hear about it back in those days with the pony express and all), it's something that hockey fans will remember forever. At least those of us who were old enough to remember it.
With all due respect to those I'm about to make feel really old, I was three months short of my second birthday on August 9, 1988. However, that doesn't mean I can't speak on the topic. It only means that I'm not a historian so, you know, my memory might be a little cloudy.
In fact, the earliest memory I have of Gretzky, aside from seeing him on A LOT of hockey cards, is rather odd. It's the biggest trade that never happened (and may have never even been discussed by either team). One day, in what was likely 1994, I was sitting in the stands of the Nassau Coliseum reading the Islanders' program with my Dad prior to a game. It's all really fuzzy, but the cover article had something to do with how Gretzky was rumored to become an Islander. As you might imagine, that worked out really well for everyone. Or maybe just Wayne since he was probably better off never joining the mid/late 90's Islanders. Maybe. I bet it would have worked out.
Anyway, going back to that fateful day of Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Eight, I can say that I remember it well. After waking up from my afternoon nap, I was treated to a nice dinner of warm milk and strained peas. It might have been carrots. After that exhausting dinner, I received a much needed diaper change and probably laid down for the night. Life was tough back then.
In all honestly, I figure I probably found out about the trade years later, when I was coherent and could understand the concept of men skating around on frozen water using sharp metal blades. Wherever I was when I learned about Gretz and 'the Trade' , I'm sure it was somewhere important. Hopefully ,I was doing something really badass, too. But I was probably five or six ,and at that age, all I was likely to be doing was either sleeping or watching TMNT.
So my memory is really pretty cloudy after all, but what were you doing on that fateful day? Surely ,you can remember. Hopefully ,your story is better than mine, and hopefully ,you can actually remember it. Feel free to share in the comments!