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by Ralph Strangis / Dallas Stars

A guy tells me one time – he was a writer this guy – I’m trying to learn about writing a screenplay and he says remember – anybody can write a good first act. He tells me this like 20 years ago and it’s been bangin’ around in my head ever since.

What he doesn’t tell me – this guy – and it’s something I only find out by working on writing books and movies and plays in my spare time over the years – he doesn’t tell me how hard it is to know when to end Act 1. And how to start Act 2. Turns out art’s like life that way. Messy. No straight lines. No right or wrong answer. Just yours.

My timeline isn’t your timeline – I know that. You wish I’d be here forever. I would if I were you. I always wanted Ray Scott to do the Vikings and Al Shaver to call the Stars games forever. See how it works – Al has the chair – then another guy has the chair – then I have the chair – then another guy has the chair. It ain’t our chair to begin with.

To be in the chair for 25 years – that’s a rare thing. Saw lots of big stuff – huge – you probably heard me tell you about those things as they happened so we’ll share that forever. Also went through the tough times with ya. Shared those with ya too. Again like life. You’re up – you’re down. They come and they go…

Never know what you’re capable of and what’s out there you don’t try. So I’m gonna try. Change of scenery for sure. Nothin’ wrong with this view but I’m a guy that wants to see as much as I can. Might stay in hockey – still have a passion for it – might not. Might do other things. Writing and acting for sure on the side – or maybe I’ll teach or live someplace unusual.

Felt like I couldn’t leave my team until things got squared up again. Wasn’t that long ago a bank owned us and people were worried and we needed each other to get through it. Now it’s so good. Oh man. The Benn kid. Leaving on “Benn… Benn… Benn… Benn…” Guy like me doesn’t get to close Act 1 like that too often. The owner’s a great hockey guy – loves his team – goin’ through walls for ‘em. Hockey side – check. Big check. Office side – smooth and sharp. You’re gonna be fine. I got no worries about that. And they’ve been good to me. Especially now. Makes me feel good knowing how we’re doing this together.

My daughter worked here the last 3 years. Think about how great that is. Worked in our production department. Got to be with her everyday this year at my job. Now she’s going away to college. So it goes. And I’m single and light. I don’t own much these days and enjoy going off by myself for long stretches with just a backpack. Don’t even have a car payment.

Act 1 I got no complaints. None at all. The opposite for sure. What a ride. Even though you know you don’t know. Unreal.

Not easy this Act 2 business. Nope – not hardly easy at all. But you look in the mirror and check the clock and make a call. Ships in port are safe but that’s not what ships are built for. And so on.

So right now I’m going to the bathroom and getting a snack. Do that always at intermission. Then start Act 2. Scary – exciting – exhilarating – complicated. But here I go…

Summer ’93 I come to Texas with the team everybody says “don’t you miss your family and friends and your home…?” Always said – “can’t really think too hard about that or I’ll miss everything down here and what’s in front of me now and I wanna do a great job here.”

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