Author Bruce Valley grew up playing hockey in Rye. His experiences as a hockey player and as a military veteran — a Navy rescue pilot in Vietnam, and later an experimental test pilot — have heavily influenced his writing style.
He is the author of “Seahawk: Confessions of an Old Hockey Goalie”, “Rye Harbor: Poems of the New Hampshire Seacoast”, and his latest, “Zen and the Art of Collecting Old Cars.” “Seahawk” clearly captures the golden age of hockey in the state and in New England.
Growing up, Valley enjoyed playing hockey, emulating older players, particularly members of the Rye Seahawks, a town team consisting of returning World War II combat veterans who played in both the New Hampshire and New England Senior B championships in the 1950s, losing the latter to the Lynnfield Massachusetts Knights, 2-1, after six overtimes.
Over the decades, Valley’s fascination with the game of hockey became a passion. Early on he became a goalie, a position that afforded unique insight and understanding of hockey’s inner game.
As a result, he developed an informal storytelling writing style that resonates deeply with those who love the game.
This short excerpt from “Seahawk” perhaps says it best:
“Most would find a certain incongruity between the speed, violence and apparent brutishness of hockey — and the softness, caring and intimacy of the emotion we call love.
My half-century of playing hockey, however, suggests nothing of the kind. There is no incongruity at all.
“No other contact sport inspires the enduring loyalty and deep love that hockey does—not football, not baseball or basketball, and not rugby or soccer.
And while hockey fans are legend, the true believers are those who have actually played the game.”
Valley is being inducted into the media category for helping to preserve and celebrate the fascinating story of hockey’s golden era in New Hampshire.