Wednesday, April 04, 2007

House of Hearts

PHOTO CAPTION: Yes, there is First Aid from Canada available to all

Story by Tim Wright

DULUTH, Minnesota – If The Curling News was looking for the Jon Mead scoop for the second year in a row, they should have been in Duluth, Minnesota for the sixth edition of the House of Hearts Charity Bonspiel – a spiel Mead has twice dominated.

But this year the title went to another Winterpegger, Kyle Werenich (yes, the nephew of you-know-who) who stunned another Pegger in the final – Taren “No Chance” Gesell. And led by fellow Pegger Ryan Fry, the Sliding Rock Handstand and Stoughty Spinerama took a seat to some new creative slides – while fellow Peggers Kristy Jenion and 2006 spiel nurses (see photo above) Chelsea Carey and Cherie-Ann Loder stood nearby taking notes.

Meanwhile the entire city of Winnipeg turned on its cumulative fog machines and kept them stuck in Minneapolis until Monday night.

Enough about Peggers – Pal Trulsen and Hammy McMillan crossed the ocean yet again to see if previous years were indeed for real. Jetlag is not an issue for them, simply because there is no sleep at this spiel. A heavy dose of Quebec hit Duluth this year, led by Eve Belisle and newly crowned D-Ranger princess Brenda Nicholls (who somehow returned home via Newark, NJ). Don Bartlett came, as always so he can make up for all those years of not throwing takeouts. And he did. 2006 USA Olympian and 2007 World University Champion John Shuster dethroned two-time defender Jenion of the TV Draw title – drawing the lid to win two local Duluthians a 24-inch flat screen. The list goes on and on.

The stories continue to grow as HOH legends like Craig Savill – currently exploiting his YouTube fame at the Edmonton Worlds – and George Karrys – currently watching Savill in Edmonton – are distant memories now. Even Heath McCormick’s infamous shirtless 8-Ender is old news.

We now have sorority girls dressed as referees on the ice, including pig-nosed ladies with shooters in hand to penalize any infractions. The infamous Minnesota Broom-Drop (TM) continues to confuse the Canadian visitors – despite its simplicity. Once again the North Dakota Chicken demonstrates how to drink Miller Lite from his nostril. Don Barcome donates $300 to free a young lady from Small Fry’s evil clutches. New urses Scharf (Krista) and Schultz (Jessica) pin you in exchange for a five-buck shooter. Alberta’s Geoff Walker finds out the three-man lift is indeed possible. And the dance floor changes flavor as each hour passes – coincidentally as the music goes from classic rock to hip hop.

All this for a great cause as the HOH has raised close to $175,000 in its six years of continued growth.

Great people. Great times. Great purpose.

This is Duluth.

This is the House of Hearts.

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