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Tony Esposito - The drawing of Tony - 1995
Theo Fleury

Ken Dryden

" Esposito "

This is a 11" x 14" drawing of Tony Esposito

of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Copyright by Joe Versikaitis

Back in the early 70's as a kid I grew up in a small town of Brooks, Alberta. There was not much to do in the summer except playing football, riding bikes, swim at the old pool and of course street hockey.

I did create summer work for myself by mowing lawns in our neighbourhood. But this story is about this drawing and how the memories of my childhood lead me to draw Tony Esposito.

With football we found ourselves in the Brooks fire hall lawn.  Riding bikes, well that was a venture that we did all over town. In the winter it was all about going to school and playing street hockey or going to my Uncle Ed Albrights farm to play on his frozen pond. But in the summer there was only one place where we played hockey. That was at the Brooks Liqour store parking lot. It was located on First Avenue and First Street East in Brooks, AB. Now adays the building is owned by Alta Gas.

On the weekends and at night after 6:pm the store would be closed and we would have the parking lot all to ourselves. 

Well you see we couldn't afford to buy our nets and the liquor store had these metal pillars.

The ones that protect the over head doors. They only stood 4 feet high, metal pipes filled with cement. The width was about the same size a regular hockey net. Yeah, the overhead door wasn't very wide. Now, this parking wasn't like any normal parking lot where at the end and the sides you have a nice curb. This parking lot had rail guards like the ones you see on back road over culvert or small drain crossing. These rail were the arena boards to us. They went from the one corner of the liquor store building to the one corner of the parking lot and then it followed the outskirts of the parking lot towards the side walk. The side walk that joined the parking didn't have the rail.  At the end of the parking lot the rail had an opening big enough to get a small car through it. Im not sure if somebody hit it and the Liqour store didn't want to get a new piece..but..it was net number two...!

It always seem that when ever my brother and I played hockey we both ended up being goalies. He on one team and me on the other. 

As a kid growing up in the 70's even though there was only 18 NHL teams there was only three that really matter to us. Toronto, Chicago and of course Le Canadiens.

My hero was Ken Dryden and everytime that we played hockey I was Ken Dryden in net....Until my brother played net for the other team, then heeee was Ken Dryden and I became....Tony Esposito!!!! 

Its funny as a kid how our imagination take over. I mean I always watched Esposito and Dryden on TV and I guess studied their moves. Everything from Drydens famous resting his blocker and glove on the top of his goalie stick to Esposito's butterfly stances.  As soon as we had a chance we would go outside to practice these moves and stance. My brother was the one that ended up playing ice hockey in Brooks and he became a pretty goalie. Not bad for a Venezuelan. I couldn't skate if my life depened on it so I just stuck to the old street hockey scene.

I remember one game I got hit in the face with the tennis ball that we used as our hockey puck. I said enough of that. I went out and mowed my share of lawns to save up enough money to buy my own Esposito mask. CCM didn't quite know how to mass reproduce Drydens mask but they did Esposito's. I remember taping the Sears catolog to my legs so that I could go down in the butterfly stance. It was awesome!!

We never had periods we just played first team to 10 wins. Then we take a brake and start over again. We be playing until the street lights would come on and then it was next goal wins no matter who was ahead....

I only played soccer in Venezuela and you guessed it I was a goalie. That was fine by me because I was a little chuncky and running just wasn't my thing...

 After moving to Canada in  September of 1972, my love for the game of hockey grew and as a young artist I would always draw the only heros I knew,.,.Dryden and Esposito.  

Throughout the years, as I honed my art I realized how important it was to me to have those childhood memories of my heros.  It's what makes me appreciate creating and showing sports art all that much more.

" Esposito " is a drawing that was done in the early days of my art venture. It was my very first art piece that I ever sold. I remember the gentleman that I sold it to had Mcleod as a last name. I wish I could remember his first name. I guess it's better than not remembering it all.

If you have any questions on the this or any other paintings please click 'contact' and we will be happy to provide you with any information we can.

Thank you and I really appreciate your visit.  I hope you enjoy viewing and reading about " Esposito "

Joe Versikaitis

All works are under the Canadian Copyrights Law. Any reproduction in part or whole without the written consent is strictly prohibited!

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