When two or more curlers gather for a friendly chat, sooner or later the conversation will be directed to a discussion of certain characters that frolicked on our ice in the days of yore. As a friendly warning to the current membership, be careful of what you say and do because in another fifty years or more, you may be discussed in the same way.
And so, let’s talk about some of the old boys. As starters we can consider John and Horace Dodge fresh out of Niles, Michigan, who were making more money that they could spend. Their idea of a fun evening was to wreck the Ponchatrain bar and then cheerfully pay for the damages the following day. In all fairness you couldn’t call them the “good guys with white hats” in those days.
Another favorite haunt of the Brothers Dodge was our own hallowed halls. A well authenticated story has it that one night, following a close game and while they were relaxing as curlers have always done, one of the brothers decided we should have a new club house. This seemed like a good idea and so after another hour or so of elbow bending, one of the Dodges took out his ever ready check book and wrote one payable to The Detroit Curling Club in the tidy amount of $50,000.00. The story should have ended there but it did not. One outsider in the group – not a Dodge – took the check in hand and after the rink had called it a night, tore same up, probably figuring that brother Dodge had not known just what he was doing and would probably have stopped payment in the clear light of the following day. This particular boy scout has never been identified, which is just as well, because he no doubt would be remembered today in infamy. A few days after this incident, the writer of this check dropped dead. In the light of subsequent events, would the Dodge estate have ever missed this one little item?
The above story is from the unpublished writings of John W. Taylor (Past President 1942-43). It is printed here for the first time.
Lang may ur’ lum reek, Angus