Welcome to

The Duffer Picnic is Saturday July 16th at Tommy’s House
Downers Grove, Il  60515
• 1 keg & 4 cases of beer - Mike
• Deliver the grill - Hammer
• 20 lbs sausage, 5 lbs of beef and cooler - Tweedy
• Desert - Rags and anyone else
• (4 bags of charcoal), jardinière, onions, green peppers - TZ
• 36  feet of bread - V-man
• (Electric lighter, extension cord), butter can, awards and apron - Beak
• paper products - Franek
• Cooler, pop (2 cases) water (2 cases) - Geno
•  32 hot dogs, cooler, buns, and condiments - Terry
• case of corn, 2 lbs of butter, in a cooler - Ken Kroll

• Picnic Sign - TZ

Permit;  Boris

We’ll modify as necessary

Duffer Calendar

Wednesday July 13, 1:20 Picnic Committee meeting at York Tavern.
(Rags and T&A need to return their Awards for processing)
Saturday July 16, 12:00 Duffer Picnic at Tommy Z's house.
Monday July 18, Cane County Cougar game at 12:00.  
(In past years, we have met at Frank's house and car pooled from there.)
Friday August 12, 8:00 Last Duffer Summer Game at Canlan Ice Rink
Saturday August 27, Shot Gun Start at 9:00 Golf Outing at Billy Caldwell golf course. Give me $65 and you are in.
Details are listed below. 
Friday September 9, Our season starts



Our Referee Ryan (Front row far left) is in Edmonton. His Dad sent the following report: Beak - here's some action shots of Ryan in Edmonton at the Brick Tournament.  They are 2 - 1 as of this email.  Ryan's got an Assist so far.  

THANK YOU!!!  The Duffers made this very possible for Ryan - THANK YOU!!!

That smile says it all!

Duffer Summer Game Schedule

July 8, 8:00

August 12, 8:00

Golf Outing August 27 at Billy Caldwell Golf Course.  We have room for a few more Duffers. Give Beak $65 and you are in.

See details below:

Duffer News

Grandpa Ken Returns!

Romeoville, IL June 10, 2016  Attendance: 22
The Game as T&A Remembers:

Grandpa Ken Lopatka returned to the ice for the first time since he tried to play with us on St Patrick's Day in Pittsburgh.  Our bus picked him up in Cleveland where he was at a work seminar.  He was excited about skating with Tony G and Coach Bylsma, but he had to quit after skating 20 feet and trying to stop.  His knees said, "Forget About It!"  Last fall, he had those knees replaced and June 10 he was able to skate with his Dad, sons and grandchildren!  (Pictured on the Right)  It was a cause for celebration as he skated pain free and even picked up an assist on one of Tommy Z's goals.  He fired a shot that the Anvil blocked but could not control before TZ pounced on it.  His Dad, Beak, had a similar assist when his shot went through the Czar's legs and hit The Barron. 

Four Generations pictured here.  Beak, Son Ken, Grandsons Jeff and Mike and great grandchildren Carmela and Lennie.

Beak's grandson Jeff poked in the rebound.  Harvey had the first goal of the summer when he put in a rebound from T&A.  Bill BTW also got an assist on the goal.  Dan the Birdman made it 2-0 when he redirected a blistering hot pass from Monet Mike into the net with 2 seconds left in period 1.  The Birdman repeated the buzzer beater in the second period when he converted a pass from T&A. Tom "TO" O'Connor scored in the third period when he was set up by T&A and BBTW.  Tom Ambrosia's 3rd assist would qualify him for a playmaker patch if only we paid dues to the Illinois Amateur Hockey Association.  Jeff added a

3rd period goal to give the Reds a 6-2 win.  Tommy Z had both goals for the Whites. 

Player of the Game = Kenny Lopatka (After two new knees he still has it!)

Commander Ken and Ryan say Thank You

Beak - Please consider including the below picture and a big THANK YOU to all the Duffers in your next post. The Duffers were Ryan's largest support group for this very expensive team. Ryan is the farthest to the left on the bottom row. Ryan's BRICK team won the elite division of the Chi-Town Shuffle in May. They beat the Minnesota BRICK team in the finals, 3 - 2. They play next in Winnipeg in June, and then the 8 day BRICK tournament in Edmonton in July. Wish him good luck!

The Anvil welcomed Ken back with some Crown.

Summer in Review

Our summer fun started with Co-Ed hockey.  Dock, Monet Mike, Birdman Dan, Olgie and Beak had a lot of fun.

When the Hockey ended, Beak got talked into a 12 week Beer and Brat bowling league. Mrs. Beak has high series scratch. 

I visited 2 old Duffers. Slime Dog and Dental Doc Suchy.

Slime Dog ruled the Duffer Nets for many years with Stump.

Our Duffer Referee, Carmela had a lot of fans cheering for her.

Carmela's team won the championship with an assist from her.

Tweedy turned a piece of ash into a bat for his son Luke.

Dan's Daughter Amanda's softball team won the championship.

My Granddaughter got a car to replace the one that got totaled.

We had lunch at the York Tavern where Coach Q came in for pizza.

The highlight of the summer came when Grandpa Ken returned to the ice with 2 new knees. The last time he tried to skate was in 2011 when he joined us in Pittsburgh.  His knees said, "No way!"

Here is Ken's son Mike and Daughter Amanda who just graduated Nursing School this spring.

Harvey treated us with bottles of Avalanche that were left over from our Colorado trip.


Ken celebrated with his first tattoo.

The Tennessee Smokies beat Pensacola 11-1

Grace won a pennant and Audrey threw out the first pitch.

Beak and Carole celebrated their 55th Wedding anniversary.

We celebrated in Kentucky on the way to the Smoky Mountains.

We celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary at the Duffer Picnic last year. 

On June 25th, 2011 we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on Mackinac Island at the Grand Hotel. We celebrated our 51st in Galena with Kathie, Michelle and Michael. We celebrated number 52 in the Smokey Mountains  where we watched the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup with many family members when we gathered for our 2nd Lopatka Family reunion.


Luke won a hat in a contest between innings on the field.

My grandson Michael went fishing in the Smoky Mountains.

Michael loves trains, so we had fun at the Railroad Museum.

Sabina and Michelle took Michael and Audrey for a trail ride.

We descended over 200 stairs into the Tuckaleechee Caverns.  When we climbed back up those stairs, Audrey said, "I'm so proud of you grandma and grandpa, I was getting tired coming up."


Michael drew this farewell picture as we were leaving for Nashville.  I thought he would enjoy the Music City, but he was pining for the Smokies.









We had a great time in Nashville, Our Detroit Gal Kim got us a great deal the the Renaissance. We filled 10 rooms.

I watched the Cubs at this bar on Broadway.

We drank a toast to Steve the Hammer at the Kilt.

Our favorite Waitress gave us our Duffer discount!

T&A and Hacksaw were disappointed when Steve didn't show up.

Steve Hit 50 on July 6th

George Carlin's Views on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

"How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

"How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . .You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30 ; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92."

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!"
May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay "them."

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10.Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.



Go to the Last Duffer News

Beer League Hockey

Tuesday March First, 2016:  Ryan Dzingel's 2nd goal gives him a shooting percentage of 20%.  They lost in a shoot out when 11 Ottawa shooters failed to score.  Here is a link to Ryan Dzingel's 2nd Goal

Tuesday March Fifth, 2016:  Ryan Dzingel's 3rd goal gives him a shooting percentage of 20%. Second on the team.  Here is a link to Ryan Dzingel's 3rd Goal


Go to Duffer History   Duffer Nicknames

Wags Hockey

  Alphabetical Nicknames

Classic Duffer News

Go to Lake Placid News for some laughs.


1996 March Hayward Trip  We saw Comet Hyakutake

December 6, 1996  Duffer news #85

December 15, 1996  Duffer news #86

December 20, 1996  Duffer news #87

Go to 10/25/96

Go to 9/6/96

January 12, 1996  Duffer news #50


Go to 2012 The Last MLF Game

Go to 2011 MLF Game

(Anvil's Daughter won it!)

Go to 2010 The First MLF Game

Visit The Rampage Women's Hockey Team web site at: http://www.rampagehockey.org/index.cfm

They Have 2 WODs and  on their team. Their DOD moved to Canada for Graduate School.

WOD=Wife Of a Duffer, DOD = Daughter of a Duffer

Links to Duffer Hockey Newsletters

2008-2010 Stats page

Tweedy's Wags Game

Links to 2016

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Peoria History

Nashville Game 2

Bill Gaston interview

Michelle Spillman hits and fields


To E-mail the Duffer News Web master, just click here! g.lopatka@comcast.net

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Opened Monday May 11, 2015

16030 S. Lincoln Highway Unit 106 (Lincoln Plaza/same strip as comics)
Plainfield, Illinois

Mike won 11 awards for his artistic creations at the Tattoo convention in Champaign.


(Above) Mike's work of art on Joe Mazzarella III's leg.

(Above) Mike's work of art on Joe Mazzarella III's ribs.

Ann Arbor Music DVDs are ready to ship.  $10 includes shipping and handling. you can also get classic copies of:


You may find the following links useful:

Ben Oskroba's First professional goal for the Peoria Rivermen

Drago's Hockey Lessons

Here is a video, thanks to Perry and Paula on How to be a Hockey Player 


100_7229.JPG (2030505 bytes)

Michelle Spillman

Michelle Spillman 10-31-10

Michelle hits a 2 run home run for Romeoville High School in a 3-0 victory against Joliet Catholic Academy.


Michelle Spillman hit a 2 run Home run to beat Joliet Catholic on April 18, 2012. ... greg Lopatka ... Michelle Spillman and Romeoville High School. ...

Highland Park-Homerun.MOV

Michelle Spillman hit her 4th homerun on April 21, 2012 to beat Hershey High. ... greg Lopatka ... Michelle Spillman "outdoor sports" ...


Michelle3Base hit.MOV

Michelle hit a triple to help beat Highland Park High 8-5 on 4/21/2012.


Patrick Kane Stickhandling:


Brandon Bollig Stickhandling: