The Hockey Dad Chronicles: An Indentured Parent’s Season on the Rink By Ed Wenck Emmis Books; $14.95 Hockey is imbedded in my culture. Growing up in the Catskills, going to college in Buffalo, PUCK has always had a lure beyond the imp of Shakespeare’s imagination. Ed Wenck’s book is about No. 74, his 10-year-old son, Oliver. Hey, what about Amanda, the lone girl on the team who travels the circuit of the Midwest’s sorry excuses for ice rinks? OK, quit complaining and get to the point. This is a must-read even if you’re as interested in hockey as Saddam Hussein is in democracy. Read it for the sheer joy of Wenck’s stand-up comedy in print. He’s one funny, poke-your-finger-in-your-eye-truth guy when zoning in on the subtleties, the sociology of sports. “It’s Mom who’s usually making all the noise … Moms don’t care if they’re wrong. If Pop is shouting, ‘Terrible call!’ at a ref about some penalty that was obvious to the rest of the spectators … then Pop will feel terribly embarrassed. Pop should know better … Doesn’t Pop get it? Mom can be wrong. Who cares? It sounds terribly sexist, but it’s true. There is no pressure on Mom to make the right call.” Sure, you’ll learn a lot about hockey from the ground — er, ice — up. The cost in money, time, dedication is staggering. You’ll shake your head and ask, “Why bother?” But you’ll keep reading and it’ll become obvious. You’ll also skirt through a lot of seeming trivia until you realize you’re getting pertinent back story about the sun-belt’s hockey craze, creepy feelings surrounding the State Fair’s Coliseum, politics surrounding the dire condition of Indy’s Pan Am Plaza, reasons a sane person actually volunteers to coach a hockey team. Most of all, you’ll experience a pre-teen’s coming of age told through the voice of his father. What Booth Tarkington provided to 19th century readers with Penrod, Wenck delivers through Ollie. A chubby kid on blades grows through a season of doubt and determination, becomes a lean, confident player who never forgets he’s a kid playing a game with other kids, even when adults have mental amnesia and behave badly. Editors note: Ed Wenck published a number of ‘Hockey Dad Chronicles’ in our pages some years ago — the genesis, we trust, of this book.