Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Shhh, No Slap Shots in the Library: Exhibit Pays Tribute to 50 Years of Blues Hockey

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Shhh, No Slap Shots in the Library: Exhibit Pays Tribute to 50 Years of Blues Hockey

Article excerpt

If Blues fans want a different type of hockey experience, they simply have to leave Scottrade Center and travel a few blocks north. Just follow the blue hockey pucks spray-painted on the sidewalks.

That will lead fans to St. Louis Public Library's Central Library at 1301 Olive Street, where there's a special exhibit called "50 Years of Blood, Sweat and Cheers A Tribute to the St. Louis Blues and Their Fans."

The exhibit is free and on view through March 4.

"Is this a spectacular building and a great exhibit? We couldn't be happier about it," Blues chairman Tom Stillman said at the exhibit's opening Monday morning.

The library's Great Hall was transformed into a hockey rink for the display, complete with original dasher boards from the Arena, a goal judge box and a complete goal judge uniform, and a goalie net. Fans can follow the pucks on the floor and go upstairs to the Carnegie Room, where there are eight display cases of memorabilia from fans, 30 player jerseys and 60 hockey sticks used in games. Two more display cases are in the special collections room, in the same place librarians keep things such as medieval manuscripts and Egyptian texts written on papyrus.

The Blues and the library came up with the idea for the exhibit in August, when Emilee Murphree, the marketing and communications manager for the Blues, was in a book club meeting at the library. She pointed out that the Blues were celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. More conversations happened, and in September the library and the Blues put out a call to fans seeking items to borrow or donate.

"They were amazing. That was probably the most heartwarming thing to me," says Cathy Heimberger, the library's director of marketing and programs. "They would tell us where they got it, how old they were and how hockey has changed their lives."

Alan Farris, 62, and attorney from Sparta, Ill., lent the library 30 hockey jerseys from his collection, 21 of which are on display. (He'd like to give a shout-out to his wife, Sarah, for ironing the jerseys.) Most of the jerseys on display were worn by players on the ice and are autographed.

"It's been a labor of love," Farris says, noting that he wears some of them off and on. …

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