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Erie hockey fans sure to enjoy flattering profile of Connor McDavid

Erie Times-News logo Erie Times-News 10/18/2021 Kevin Cuneo

A lengthy profile of Connor McDavid in the Oct. 13 New York Times brings back so many warm memories for Erie Otters fans. The article by Jonathan Abrams calls the 24-year-old McDavid, about to enter his seventh season with the Edmonton Oilers, the National Hockey League’s most exciting star.

In the middle of an eight-year, $100 million contract, McDavid is among the league’s highest-paid players. When he starred in Erie for the Otters, McDavid was a great kid who always went out of his way to connect with local fans. He was a joy to watch on the ice, sparking the Otters to a league championship.

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) celebrates a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during first-period preseason NHL hockey game action in Edmonton, Alberta, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP) © The Associated Press Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) celebrates a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during first-period preseason NHL hockey game action in Edmonton, Alberta, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Times story point out what a low profile McDavid keeps in the pros, even though he’s in great demand. That’s kind of the way I remember him in Erie. Even when he returned to town for a banquet a couple of years ago, McDavid wanted no fanfare. He just wanted to see his old Otters teammates and toast former Erie Lions great Rick Chartraw.

2019: Erie hockey royalty visits for fundraising gala

A mural that honors Luther Manus Jr., a retired Erie teacher and counselor, is visible at Manus Sunoco at 26 E. 12th St. The mural, created by artists Ceasar Westbrook and Antonio Howard, was sponsored by Erie Arts & Culture. © JACK HANRAHAN/ERIE TIMES-NEWS A mural that honors Luther Manus Jr., a retired Erie teacher and counselor, is visible at Manus Sunoco at 26 E. 12th St. The mural, created by artists Ceasar Westbrook and Antonio Howard, was sponsored by Erie Arts & Culture.

• The recent outdoor party honoring Luther Manus on his 94th birthday turned into a special reunion at the family’s gas station and mini-mart at East 12th and French streets. The large mural on the wall there depicts highlights of Manus’ life from his time as a heroic soldier during war years to the many leadership posts he held in Erie through the years.

Wanda Salvia, who raves about the Manus mural, enjoyed chatting with Antonio Howard and his wife, Sarah, who completed that mural as well as two new ones. Wanda said one of her favorite Erie tours is a ride around town checking out all the murals, many of which are outstanding. The Howards recently painted a beautiful mural on an outdoor wall at the former Wayne School at E. Sixth and East Avenue, honoring the late Carla Hughes.

a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Kevin Cuneo, columnist © Andy Colwell Kevin Cuneo, columnist

The Howards worked with a nationally-known painter from Jacksonville, Florida, on that one.

More: New mural celebrates the life of Erie dance teacher Carla Hughes, who died in May at 50

• The racing season at Presque Isle Downs and Casino is winding down and, at this writing, jockey Mario Pino stood just a handful of victories shy of 7,000 for his career. He will join some of horse racing’s all-time greats when the 60-year-old Pino reaches that milestone.

Live racing at Erie’s track concludes on Thursday, and here’s a hint for the 2022 season: Hire an arborist to trim the trees and bushes on the track’s backside. To everyone watching the races, the horses and riders disappear from view when they pass behind the large stand of overgrown trees.

• A recent story in Politico on Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senator Bob Casey points out that he’s shedding his laidback image in Washington, D.C., and becoming a more forceful voice on issues that matter to him. It’s a nice tribute to Casey who is widely respected in Washington.

• The pin oak trees in our yard are shedding hundreds of acorns, which seems to happen every couple of years. Several squirrels have moved in to scoop up the nuts, and they’re certainly welcome as long as they stay out of our attic.

• NASA engineer Moogega “Moo” Cooper will speak Monday night at 7:30 at Penn State Behrend’s McGarvey Commons in the Reed Union Building. Cooper will discuss her work on Perseverance, the drone and camera which landed on Mars in February and continues to send back fascinating data. The presentation is free and open to the public.

• Good news on Frank Lloyd Wright’s snazzy Cord automobile, which is on display at the Hagen History Center. The roadster, which accompanies the fascinating Wright office exhibit, was scheduled to depart Erie at the end of this month, but its stay was recently extended through the end of March. If you haven’t seen Wright’s office or the car, be sure to stop down. It’s well worth the visit.

• When the Rolling Stones recently performed in Pittsburgh, Mick Jagger was seen all over town. He even stopped at a local tavern to enjoy a beer with the regulars. It’s part of the reason the Stones’ popularity never seems to wane. The band’s Pittsburgh show received good reviews.

Review: Rolling Stones deliver another masterful Pittsburgh performance

Esther Malispina, who died Oct. 11 at the age of 93, volunteered at a dozen organizations around Erie in recent years and was a well-known figure. She adopted Erie as her hometown after retiring from her position as a medical records administrator at hospitals in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Once you met Esther, you always remembered her.

• Erie Philharmonic music director Daniel Meyer is looking ahead with enthusiasm for the coming concert season. Meyer is especially excited abut the delivery of a new concert grand Steinway piano and the installation of a theater pipe organ at the Warner Theatre.

More: Inside the $27 million upgrade of Erie's Warner Theatre: 'The whole building's pretty cool'

The Philharmonic will help kick off the newly-renovated Warner in style with its Come Home for the Holidays pops concert on Dec. 4.

More: Erie Philharmonic sets schedule for 2021-22 at Warner; free summer concert list to come

Kevin Cuneo can be reached at kevin.cuneo1844@gmail.com.

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Erie hockey fans sure to enjoy flattering profile of Connor McDavid

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