Michael Langlois writes the popular “Vintage Leaf Memories” blog and has now authored “The Maple Leafs of My Youth” to help bridge the past and present for Toronto Maple Leaf fans around the world. Born in 1953 and a Leaf supporter since the late 1950s, Michael shares personal stories and memories about players, events and moments from his younger days as a fan that are part of the unique and lasting legacy of the Maple Leaf franchise. “The Maple Leafs of My Youth” is not a book about statistics, research or what is commonly known about the blue and white. It is in fact a very personal memoir of what it has meant to be a follower of the Leafs through very changing times, and why the franchise still matters to this day to countless supporters—despite decades without a Stanley Cup championship.
A History Lesson For All Leafs Fans
I received an important history lesson thanks to Michael Langlois. I have been a Leafs fan all my life. My earliest memories of the team are from the mid 80's, one of the toughest eras in the team's long and storied history. Even at the young age of 5, I was gaining a sense of what it meant to be a Leaf fan. It meant many highs and lows but above all, it meant a loyalty and passion that is unlike anything experienced by any other fans of any team or sport imaginable.
For all that I thought I knew about my beloved Leafs, Michael has shown me through his book that my knowledge of the Blue and White was only a drop in the bucket. Michael takes the reader to a time when there were just six teams in the league and some of the greatest talent imaginable took to the ice night after night. Rather than treat the exploration of this time as a history lesson, Michael tells stories about Leaf moments as he remembers them as a child growing up in a predominantly Montreal fan-filled home. The combination of Michael's folksy approach and the magical feeling of the fifties in Canada during hockey season makes you feel like you were there for all the moments and memories, even if you weren't born for another twenty years! Michael has a rare talent that he expresses with an ease that makes you feel like you're sitting with him in his living room having a chat. That comfort and pure joy you feel reading this book makes it a must read for all Leaf fans and all hockey fans generally. I can't wait for the next instalment!!!
Must read for Leafs fans young and old
I became a Leafs fan unconsciously. The Leafs were surrounded me where I'm from, and my parents never let on that I might have had a choice in the matter. Michael's experience as a Leaf fan is far more captivating, coming from a Montreal Canadiens-oriented background with a intensely passionate Habs fan for a father - with whom he had a hockey fan rivalry so intense it often times went unspoken.
This book never tries to be a history lecture for the younger generation (like myself), which in part is what makes it so great; we can glean so much about what this team means to people, and gain invaluable insights into its history along the way, simply by enjoying the unique stories of this Leafs fan who has lived through it all. Fascinating perspectives.
A Great Read
A wonderful trip through the last true glory days of the Leafs, told in a way that evokes memories of watching hockey in a very different time.
Fun to pick up at any time to learn about another player or a new story and tough to stop reading.
Looking forward to the next edition and more on Lanny!