Bromance was alive and well in the friendship between Hook and his Canadian friend, Kelly Scott. Whenever Kelly would blow into town, the exchange between these two men was always the same:
Hook: “Dr. Scott.”
Kelly: “Dr. Hook.”
I often wondered if Kelly’s visits would have been complete if he hadn’t heard Hook’s cat-like response.
Kelly stood as Hook’s best man in our wedding, was privileged to help my husband die gracefully, then honored him by hosting the Hookabration five days after Hook passed away. Kelly shared some of his history with Allan at the memorial but it’s even more touching when read. Enjoy …
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A Timeless Bromance by Kelly Scott
When I saw Rosemary’s request about giving her a story about Hook I was of course in a bit of a quandary. You see if anyone has stories of the good Dr, it is me. Hook and I have been together for a long time, through all sorts of situations and events, and of course he has also shared with me many tales of adventure he has had through the years when we have not been together. So the dilemma is not which story to tell, but which ones not to tell.
I wracked my brain for the appropriate story. Should I tell about the fire ant in the West Texas store; the “Hook can you wipe my bum?” storey (as requested by my then 2 year old son Connor); night putting on the Municipal Golf Course; wandering the halls of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad; Hooks Shirts!; imparting female ‘wisdom’ to Dan (my youngest); getting a pack of wives down on all fours looking for a wasp he missed with his net (my field people still talk about coming across that one, 6 females all on all fours helping him find an elusive bug – he is still regarded in reverent terms in the Alberta oil patch males for that one – but in complete Al Hook innocence); icing down a road at Brackenridge during a rare Austin cold front so we could slide, Charlie Brown style, down the path; blowing up a camp stove in Drumheller; ‘wearing’ a toilet paper tube Santa (‘Merry Christmas’ indeed!); whacking golf balls across the river at the mansions across from BFL; hurtling through back country slashing down logging roads in BC with Crosson looking for fish that didn’t exist; teaching my mid son Brent how to pick up wasps with his fingers (ouch!), bocce games anytime-anywhere; wheel barrow races; any number of his manly-man tales; or one of the hundreds of collecting, teaching or mentoring moments. Ya, I have more than a few stories of the great Dr. Hook. How to choose?
So after much careful thought and deliberation I figured the best storey to relate to the world was our very first encounter. A ‘how we met’ tale so to speak. Creating a timeless bro-mance for the ages.
First off, for those of you who don’t know me (and only know the polite version of Hook) I must start by saying that while many things have kept Hook and I together over the years the foundation of our friendship of course revolves around hockey. You would think it would be various life science items as we are both biologists, and indeed much of our time together has been spent discussing various animals, fungi and plants, ecological principles, fossils, weather (oh my lord how he and I can talk about the weather) and travelling to collection places. However, sports and especially hockey has been a mainstay of our relationship. So this is a tale of how I met a gentleman, a scholar, a friend, a monster and a true street hockey legend.
So anyway, the first game ended. Hook had himself two-thirds of a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist and almost a fight). He presented himself well. In between games, everyone was dying from the heat and headed off court up the hill to the water tap to try to cool down and prepare for the next game. We were all drinking, swearing, panting and sweating when Rob came to me and asked “hey, what’s with your buddy?” With that, I looked down at the court and there in the middle of the court, in 100 degree brutal Texas sun, stood Hook. By himself. Cap on. Having a smoke no less! ‘Who Is This Freakin Guy?’ I thought. What kind of monster have we gotten ourselves associated with? He is a madman, ironman, tough as nails and a street hockey god. Certainly not someone to be screwed with for sure. His bravado frightened the young ones who were now not so sure they wanted a piece of this guy anymore. Hook had achieved instant legend status! We played the second game and once again Hook showed his talent and tenacity; laid on a couple of hits and scored a couple of goals. The man was a machine. His wry sense of humor was starting to emerge as after every goal he scored, assist he got or hit he completed Hook would yell “and the cheerleaders are going wild for Hook!” or some such variation. As the game ended he enthusiastically accompanied us to the Deep Eddy Cabaret to rehydrate with several pitchers of bad cheap beer, his position as an Austin Street hockey elder and legend firmly in place. A couple of years later when Ian, Crosson and I were sitting around reminiscing about that first game Hook revealed that during the in-between games time, he was dying. “I just didn’t want to have a heart attack in front of all you guys.” My Hook! Always thoughtful.
So there you have it! From that day on Hook has been a part of my world, my life, my family and of course; my friend and the friend of my friends. He is responsible for making sure I completed my Ph. D. even though I had a lucrative business and started not to care. He was there and part of, or associated with the birth of all my sons. He helped raise the monsters in a way that only Hook could. Hook later introduced me to the love of his life, Rosemary. He asked me to stand up for him at his wedding as his best man. Both ceremonies. An honor beyond belief, beyond words. My sons were the ushers of the most important event in Austin’s history. He has provided stability, sober second thought and pure disapproval when I did things wrong. He has taught me and my sons, been a confident, and has been a friend beyond description.
He is, and always will be, The Dr. Hook.
And in true Dr. Hook fashion, no fish were injured in the writing of this story.
WATCH YNN AUSTIN interview about Hook
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