Name: John Diffley
Born: Minneapolis, MN
Hometown: Eagan, MN
Hockey Experience: My life-long quest for stardom as a rinkrat wannabe all began during the Christmas Holidays of 1949 when a carload of French-Canadian relatives pulled into our yard with their hockey equipment and incomprehensible French. Throughout the fifties my younger brother and I came to know all the outdoor rinks of the south metro area. We were always the last ones picked in those days of "twin cities slop hockey" - but at least we were picked - and we rode that charm even through high school (Nazareth Hall/St. Paul) and college (St. John's) where we proudly served as "last-line-grinders". Our function was to be cannon fodder until the boys from the Falls and the Range had time to re-group and continue the mayhem ... and, along with impromptu trips to our local dentist, the emergency room at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul (where we were frequent fliers), the fun never ended.
When I came to the Rochester area in 1970, Mark Janes happened to be my IDS rep. With the help of his kind words I began skating with Bill Carroll's (sr.) old timers. Some years later, I began a rag-tag Sunday night skate (ice time: $30.00/hour) - Randy Nagel, Al Bierly, and Norm Fitch were also in this mix which eventually became Keith Dickman's storied enterprise.
How did you get your start with MJDHL: I had been bothering Mark about joining his successful Thursday night group and he told me that due to so many inquiries, he was opening up a Tuesday night session as well. I think I started whenever that began.
Started playing with MJDHL: When the Tuesday night session started.
Jersey number and why you chose it: 21 - it was the only one left - in both high school and college, with moth holes, rips, and patches (they were all woolen back then).
Playing status: Every Tuesday night.
Family: My wife Kay, with roots in Manitoba,understands all the attendant vicissitudes of hockey; one son who lives in Eagan, two grandsons.
Occupation: Stewartville High School, semi-retired, three classes of German per day. I also run a small blugrass-oriented music business.
Other Hobbies/Activities/Sports you enjoy: Sailing, travelling to Europe whenever possible, always working on a new language.
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