Top Orono post of 2010: the Bryan Bickell Day Parade

The final tallies are in and, according to the WordPress statistics for Stories From A Small Town, the top post for 2010 was the Bryan Bickell Day Parade. Continue reading


The Sadies bring “haunting” songs to Orono


From left: Dallas Good, Travis Good, Mike Belitsky, and Sean Dean. Photo by Amanda Schenk.


The Sadies will be back in town to work their musical magic at the Orono Arena on Oct. 30th. The timing couldn’t be more appropriate for a Hallowe’en crowd, as the band promotes its latest album, Darker Circles, full of beautifully haunting songs of foreboding, and death.

But don’t let the subject matter spook you. The album (released last May on the Outside Music label) is an earnest collection of songs with a greater emotional depth to its lyrics than previous efforts. Exploring more mature themes like failure, addiction, and lost love, the Sadies’ writing talents seems to have finally caught up to their stellar instrumental abilities. Continue reading

Motor City Car Club takes a trip down memory lane

Gary Challice (left, with his 1950 Mercury), Rick Hodges and Russ Major (right, with his 1963 Tempest). Photo by C. Stapleton.

Members of the Motor City Car Club took a trip down memory lane recently, marking the birthday of their president with a mystery tour that ended at their original headquarters in Orono.

The car club, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, was originally called the Kontinentals Rod & Custom Club of Oshawa, but changed its name to the MCCC when it merged with the Igniters, another rod and custom club in Oshawa in 1962.

Often confused with antique car refinishers, rod and custom car aficionados typically modify the engines, transmissions and/or suspensions of older cars, rather than simply restore them to their original condition.

A member of the Kontinentals when the clubs merged, Gary Challice of Oshawa, is the current president of MCCC, and one of four original members from 1959. When his 69th birthday came around last month, his fellow MCCC members thought it was a great time to organize one of their “mystery tours,” starting at the Oshawa clubhouse on Taunton Road East, and ending with a surprise finish at the club’s original headquarters: the old flax mill on Orono’s Main Street. Continue reading

Parade route set for Stanley Cup in Orono

Mark Thursday, July 8th on your calendar, and try to stay in town. Otherwise you’ll miss seeing the grandest sports trophy in Canada as it visits Orono courtesy of Bryan Bickell.

Orono has a tradition of celebrating its sports heroes by parading them down Main Street atop the old Bickle fire truck. Next week, the tradition continues, as family, friends, and fans from near and far, gather to celebrate the accomplishments of Bickell, an Orono native and member of the National Hockey League’s 2010 Stanley Cup winning team, the Chicago Blackhawks. Continue reading

Will the Stanley Cup come to Orono?

The Stanley Cup

It is the question on everybody’s mind: will the Stanley Cup really come to Orono?

“That’s what everyone wants to know,” says Ashley Bickell. “And all we can say right now is that we don’t know.” Ashley is the natural person in town to ask. And she says everyone is asking her the same question. Will brother Bryan really be able to bring the Cup to Orono, and if so, when?

Ashley is the sister of Bryan Bickell, an Orono native drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He was called up from the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs to play for the Hawks on an “as needed” basis during the team’s playoff run up to becoming the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions. Continue reading

Bryan Bickell helps keep the Stanley Cup dream alive for Orono

photo courtesy NHL

Thanks to Bryan Bickell, there is a chance that the Stanley Cup will come to Orono.

Bickell, an Orono native, is doing what nearly every Canadian kid dreams about: playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He’s played for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League quite a lot over the past four years, but the last few games he’s played have been like a dream come true. The last four games he’s played for Chicago have been during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. Continue reading