I can't remember exactly what year it was, but it was in the early days of Wayne's World with the Edmonton Oilers. I was working for TSN and I had organized a sit-down interview with Wayne at his apartment in Edmonton. And that was the thing about Gretzky in that era. He was super accommodating. It is almost unheard of in this day and age, to actually go to an athlete's home and have that type of access. I could walk up to Gretzky at practice and talk to him directly about an interview at his home. Now, you would have to go through Team PR guys, agents, and a variety of other people in between. It would be worse than a root canel. I just walked up to him, asked him for an interview and he said when and where.
It just so happened it was a Sunday Morning that he was available and I had organized my cameraman to be at his apartment in Edmonton overlooking the river valley. For whatever reason my wife was working or out of town and we had no one available to take care of our son Kori, who was probably about 4 or 5 years old.
So I took him with me to that interview. There was no problem with doing that with Gretzky or with Kori. When we got there, Kori just sat in the corner on a chair and watched the proceedings. The interview process took about an hour or so. Overall myself, my cameraman and son Kori were there for about an hour and a half. As we were walking out the door, Wayne asked me to wait for a second. He went into his kitchen and opened a cupboard and pulled out a box of "Prostars" cereal and handed the box to Kori. Now Prostars cereal was only around for a few years and featured a number of big time atheletes on the box, including Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky. There was even a cartoon show featuring "Prostars" If you google "Prostars" there is actually a petition to bring back the cereal. An unopened box I noticed is worth about $70 on ebay. Scary. Anyways I digress. So Gretzky gives my son Kori a box of his cereal with his photo on the box. It was Sunday morning and maybe he looked hungry. We thanked him and left. Next on my agenda that day was Sunday Brunch with my family. I was telling them about our interview and remembered the box of cereal was in my car. I went out and brought it into the house. And realized it was a half-a-box of cereal. Gretzky had already opened it and had some, which I guess shows he actually ate Prostars cereal. I am sure most people will reflect back on his career and remember the great goals he scored and other achievements. Having covered the Oilers for 20 years with TSN, most of those are a blur. Non really stand out from the rest. He was an amazing Hockey Player. A Half eaten box of "Prostars" cereal illustrates his human side. That's what I remember. Happy Birthday Wayne.
Ken along with his wife Lori are the owners and operators of Vagabond Lodge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
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