The Curling News Blog

Memories of Shorty

As the Twitterverse is indicating, today’s passing of Ice technician maestro Shorty Jenkins – at age 77 – is being met with sadness and some amazing memories.

Our 2008 blogpost first reported his initial hospitalization and sadly, from that day forward, the curling world has steadily heard less and less from one of its favourite sons.

The Shorty Jenkins Classic, the Brockville, Ont. event that is a mainstay on the World Curling Tour, is still going strong – and there’s no doubt the September 2014 edition will be an extra-special tribute to the man who loved to wear pink.

That blogpost, above, also provided a mailing address in Trenton, Ont. where friends and fans could send messages of support. Today, that address can receive messages of great memories.

What are some of your memories of Shorty? Write in the “Comments” section below…




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  1. Brian Said,

    April 11, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

    I met Shorty a few times… but my favourite story was at the Welton Beauchamp in Ottawa. It was Saturday night, and there was a pretty good party going on all around the club. I wandered over to the big TV in the corner to have a look at the score of the hockey game that was showing. Shorty was layed out on the couch watching it as though he was relaxing in his own living room.

    He saw me and popped up. He asked me to make sure that nobody stole his couch while he went to the bathroom. So I guarded the couch until he got back.

    To me, it was a testament to how he could feel at home in any curling club, and would be welcome to lounge on any curler’s couch in the country.

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  2. Lisa Said,

    April 11, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

    I met Shorty when I was 14. Saw him again when I was 16. Again at 20 through 23. Left curling but took it up again when I was 35 and he walked up to me and said “Where’ve you been? I missed you!” To Shorty: I will always miss you!

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  3. Colleen Said,

    April 11, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    I remember his pink curling shoes and when he was at the Sudbury Curling Club for the Heart to Heart and he was Marg Hardie’s skip. His contegous laugh. A legend to the game he was. Always took the time out to talk to everyone. Shorty you will be missed.

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  4. Susan Said,

    April 11, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

    I met Shorty a couple of times when curling in the Best Western Challenge Provincials in Stirling. What a nice man.
    Tim Hortons should re-air his commercial in honour of his passing.
    RIP and thanks for the great ice!

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  5. Savs Said,

    April 11, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

    RIP Shorty. Thanks for letting me sneak out onto your legendary Tankard ice as a kid. You made the game far more enjoyable for everyone playing it today.

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  6. Gord Said,

    April 11, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

    RIP Shorty, it is a sad day for the curling world every curler has benefited from your innovations and desire to make great ice that curled. They now have the best ice in curling heaven! I’m sure you have called God “Harry” a few times by now.

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  7. Paul MacDonald Said,

    April 11, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

    I have known Shorty since my junior days at CFB Trenton curling club. Starting in 1978. One of my fondest memories was at the mixed nationals in 1995. We were on our fifth end break and Shorty came to see us. I told him we weren’t doing very well. He said “You’re here aren’t you, how many teams did you get past to get here?” Those words have stayed with me always and will forever be a good memory. Thanks Shorty.

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  8. Ulrik Said,

    April 11, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

    I have met Shorty a few times – years apart. One time I passed by Brockville and wanted to visit the club. Shorty was there and took for granted that I wanted to throw some rocks. Although it wasn’t the plan, I ended up throwing anyway. He prepared a sheet for me, before I had time to open my mouth. Always helpful, always friendly and always interested in talking “ice” with us curlers. RIP.

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  9. Rod Bosch Said,

    April 11, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

    I first met Shorty when I was looking for a new Ice Maker for the Port Arthur Curling Club. I told him of our need, on a short notice basis and after about a half-hour conversation, Shorty pointed me towards to he affectionately called one of his most talented proteges. He mentioned that the guy came with some excess baggage, but hey, didn’t all Ice Makers back then? After our new guy was in place, Shorty called to see how his boy was making out and I was proud to say “just fine”, which pleased Shorty a good deal. We met several times throughout the years, the last being the Heart to Heat in Sudbury, where that crazy old pink-clothed devil was a celebrity skip. We all know how Shorty shied away from the limelight, so he was no fun at all (yeah right). Shorty will be missed by many, from the best of the best, right down to the everyday shotmaker at the smallest of clubs. Once you met him, you could never forget him. RIP Shorty.

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  10. Mike Harris Said,

    April 11, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

    When we (our team) met Shorty for the first time (1992) there was a feeling among some of the better teams in our province that he made ice to suit one or two teams… That myth was quickly dispelled by Shorty himself… He was accommodating and patient with me as I asked him questions about the ice and rocks etc… He always made me feel part of elite part of the game, long before we had earned our way into that group. I’d like to feel he treated us “specially” but I know he treated everybody that way. He was protective of the curlers in the best possible way. He wanted the conditions to be fair and perfect and clear so that everybody had a chance… He also changed the way icemakers approached dealing with rocks, which REALLY changed the game… even more than his great ice making prowess…

    Anyways, for all of us who knew him in that light, he was universally admired… and everybody knew how much he cared about the sport. That made us care about him even more! He was on our side… the player’s side…
    He was a true ground breaking pioneer in our sport in so many ways

    Wasn’t afraid to change the rules

    Oh… and by the way… one of the most kind hearted, fun, sincere people to grace the earth. He is one of a kind… for all the right reasons…

    I’ll miss him…

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  11. Mike Said,

    April 12, 2013 @ 2:36 am

    What an honour it was to have spoken with such a legendary curling icon. The first time I met Shorty, he didn’t know me from a hole in the wall, but he immediately knew that I was passionate about the game, and was interested in the nuances. So he showed me a few of his “secrets”, which weren’t really secrets, but it helped me understand what was going on – especially with the best players. Whenever I saw him after that, he always remembered my name and wanted updates on how I was reading the ice and rocks at various clubs.
    I would see him at various Briers and STOHs and other major events (through my work, or just on the bonspiel circuit) and he was beloved by curlers. I remember the participants at one STOH banquet giving him a standing ovation when he walked into the room. Not sure where the pink hat started, but he would never put it on during the week until he was completely happy with the ice.
    He might not have been the first to make a science out of ice-making and rocks, but I’ve never heard of any serious claims before Shorty. Before his methods were finally accepted by the CCA poobahs (and that was too long in coming) we had numerous “straight-ice Briers”. Once he started teaching his methods to others, ice-making was never the same.. leading us to the game we see on TV today.
    The curling world won’t be the same without him.

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  12. Brian Merriman Said,

    April 12, 2013 @ 9:06 am

    I met Shorty for the first many years ago at Avonlea CC when he would just drop by for a coffee with the boys. His many visits to the Kurl for Kids are for some very memorable and legendary. When I first entered into the world of icemaking, having never been there before, he was my mentor and always there when and if I need him. One call was all it took and he would never think twice about driving to T.O. to provide me with his knowledge and advice. He taught me so much and I will cherish our friendship until it’s time to once again seek his guidance. Until then, my friend…

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  13. El Buttero Said,

    April 12, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

    Maybe that’s why we have ice in Southern Ontario in mid-April. Shorty’s showing the Big Guy (or Gal) how to do it.

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