all zebra, and a leopard-patterned bedspread

keith's house 1

Keith Magnuson made his debut as an NHL defenceman in 1969 for a Chicago Black Hawks team that lined up Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull, Pat Stapleton, Pit Martin, and Tony Esposito.

That’s Magnuson above, at home. On the domestic side, he found an apartment with fellow rookies Jim Wiste (a left winger) and Cliff Koroll (he played the right). All three were Saskatchewan-born, and before they got to the NHL, they’d all played together, too, at the University of Denver.

As rookies, on the ice, Wiste got into 26 games and notched eight assists. Koroll collected 18 goals and 37 points, while Magnuson had 24 assists (no goals) to go along with his NHL-leading 213 penalty minutes.

Vancouver claimed Wiste in the NHL’s expansion the following summer, so he moved out and: as the new season rolled around, Chicago reporters noted that the apartment previously known as “Bachelors III” was now “Bachelors II.”

Or — sorry, apartment is wrong. The proper terminology is contained in a Hawks’ profile that Robert Bradford wrote for The Chicago Tribune in December of 1970: Magnuson and Koroll inhabited an “ultramod pad on the outskirts of the city.”

Some of the glory of that space is apparent here. Judging by Bradford’s description, what we’re looking at here could be Koroll’s bedroom. With the stools and the bar, though? I think we have to accept that zebra-stripes ran rampant pad-wide, including into common areas like this one. A den, maybe? The real question, though, is whether the huge hockey stick on the wall with the sun rising over it (and the highway) clashes with a carpet so strongly suggestive of the savannah. But I don’t know whether that’s for us to say, one way or the other. Seems to have worked for Magnuson and his roommates. For us, the best, I think, we can do is simply to savour Bradford’s further description of what lies beyond this view:

In the Koroll-Magnuson living room there’s a black-and-white houndstooth couch; three contour chairs and a coffee table set in a sociable semi-circle in the bulge of a bay window; an off-white wall-to-wall carpet and a stereo unit mounted on flat, black walls. The halls are very white, and in Keith’s bedroom — among the “now” hints of flared, belled pants, blazer suits, buckle shoes and Wellington boots, as a traditional Swedish instinct for personal tidiness — is a large print of a leopard hanging above a leopard-patterned bedspread. (In Cliff Koroll’s room, it’s all zebra, more hi-fi and the apartment’s large TV set.)

One thought on “all zebra, and a leopard-patterned bedspread

  1. Reblogged this on Palio and commented:
    Those Saskatchewan boys probably knew little about deco styles back in the day but I bet they knew how to party it up.

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