My father played hockey for the Hibbing Bluejackets in 1951, up on the Iron Range in northern Minnesota, and this is a painting of his skates. The Eveleth Golden Bears had a 79 game winning streak going when the Bluejackets derailed them 5-4 to go on to the Region 7 finals where they had to play the Golden Bears again in their den. 3500 fans packed the hippodrome that night and Eveleth came out firing with a goal in the first 52 seconds. Hibbing returned fire with 6 consecutive goals and a 6-2 victory that clinched their first state tournament appearance. Since Eveleth was the runner up they too were automatically entered into the state tournament. The Bluejackets and Golden Bears met again in the state final where Hibbing cinched it’s first state tournament victory 4-3.  

It took “perseverance” to do what those young men did and it earned my father a ticket to college at the University of Minnesota Duluth where he also played hockey in this same pair of skates.  His hockey journey got him a degree and launched his life as a successful businessman.  I think the title is appropriate for what my father has accomplished in his life and also for what these skates endured over the years to get him there.

Original painting, price available upon request