Hockey: Family and Community

An inspirational story by one of you FiCP contributors and photographers. Mel shares how being a part of the hockey community is about more than just watching games. Thanks for writing this Mel. We are glad you have joined usl!!

I remember going to caps games when the caps weren’t really that good of a team, but it was time I got to spend with my dad..and that’s all that mattered to me.

My dad passed away this past July from a stroke. He was only 73 years old, even in the hospital towards his last days, I would talk to him about the Stanley cup playoffs.. Was it going to be Chicago or Tampa Bay?

My dad shared his passion for sports with me and I grew up knowing more about DC area sports than any kid in my school. At current events contests in 8th grade; I used to answer every sports question with no problem and my friends were like how do you know this stuff?!  I would say, my dad taught me and quizzes me about it daily!

mel Caps Center Warmups
Warm ups at Caps Center
As I grew older, and got my own car I would go to caps games on my own with my friends. I showed them how fast and exciting hockey was. And my quest to capture that excitement in photos led me to start my own business selling pictures at Baltimore skipjack games  (Caps AHL team at the time)


It was great until I got sidetracked by love. I even got my ex-husband to start taking photos. But his love for drugs and selling my cameras for his addiction turned my love into anger and I chose to take another path.

I now found myself so busy trying to get my captains license for my new job, that I had no time to get to games and had missed hockey so much. My dad and I went to the last game of the season in 2009. It was like old times. Dad shouting profanity at the refs and me getting that quality time with my dad!

I started taking pictures again at games and going to Kettler to watch practice like I used to at Mt Vernon with my high school buddies. Since my dad has passed; I look for him in the Verizon center. I know he’s there with me-as soon as someone yells profanity I’m positive that’s him there with me.  I just recently lost my mom in January; she was so supportive of everything I did. So not only is my dad with me; now I look for my mom at games too. She’s the one not yelling profanity and helping me find great fans like Maggie and her daughter Brittney!

I am so happy to be a part of such a positive and supportive team Just like Washington Capitals hockey team, these ladies are in it for the win and make sure everyone is on the same page to be successful.

The cover picture is from a caps alumni game at Laurel Garden Ice House, the right picture is from a Navy hockey game, and bottom left from fan appreciation day at cap center .. My dad showing off!

Mel Abernethy

Author: Maggie Marcum

Managing Editor for Friends in Cold Places.

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