Canadian Pickers Find Henri Richard's Tavern Tables
By Dennis Kane
I finally was able to see last weeks’s episode of Canadian Pickers that Tammy, the server/bartender at TC’s pub, told me about as she put down a nice cold Labatts and stayed and chatted for a bit. (I’m through with Molson’s until things change with the hockey team).
And with Tammy describing this television show she’d seen earlier in the day, I found myself much more than curious, especially when Tammy couldn’t remember the player’s name. Just some old guy, she said. Some old hockey player’s tables.
Who could it be, I wondered. Toe Blake? Butch Bouchard? Maurice Richard? Henri Richard? Yvan Cournoyer? All guys who had pubs, and there are others too. So I decided to look for this episode of Canadian Pickers, and lo and behold, they showed it again later in the week.
Pickers are people who roam around the countryside looking for stuff to sell to antique stores and the like. They’re the ones who find all those old gasoline signs and vintage bicycles and milk cans you come across at stores and flea markets. If you were ever wondering how antique stores stock their shelves, it’s the work of pickers, a job I wouldn’t mind doing, although my problem would be that I wouldn’t want to part with anything, therefore negating the whole idea of being a picker.
The two bubbly and slightly over-the-top pickers on the show happened to find themselves in Montreal, Hudson, Hawkesbury, Lachute, and surrounding territories, and not only did they come across a nice hoard of old La Presse hockey photos from the thirties, and several other old goodies, but were digging through piles of junk in a turn-of-the-century hotel when they discovered nine old tavern tables. The owner said they came out of Henri Richard’s tavern (closed in 1986), and although there was no proof they were the Pocket’s, the pickers scooped them up for a few hundred bucks for the lot of them.
It gets a bit scripted, though. The pickers, back in Montreal, decided to try and find out if the tables were actually from Henri’s place or not, because if not, they’d just bought themselves some old tables they might be lucky to get $50 for, and eventually they found themselves in a little pub on a sidestreet in Montreal, of which the name escapes me. In talking to the owner, the guys told him they had these tables and wanted to know his opinion on if they were the real thing or not, and the owner simply told them to ask Henri Richard himself, WHO JUST HAPPENED to be sitting at a table enjoying a Molsons with Rejean Houle. JUST HAPPENED. Right.
Henri looked at the tables, said they were indeed from his pub, and he and Houle signed the top of them and invited the guys to sit down and have a beer with them. Eleven Stanley Cups, they gushed at Henri, and the fine gentleman said, for probably about the eight thousandth time over the years, that he was just in the right place at the right time.
I wish I would have been there. I would’ve liked to have heard their thoughts on the poor excuse for a team we have this year.
I also found an auction site that is selling two of these tables, with the autographed tops, for $600 each.
My wife and I, along with Mike Williamson and Diana, had dinner at Henri Richard’s tavern in the late 1970′s, and for the life of me I don’t remember tavern tables. It was more of a restaurant I thought, although maybe a beverage room was located in another part of the building. Or maybe I’d had a few too many Molson’s.