Aleta and Richard Collins of Angeleno Heights are big hockey fans. When she was a little girl, Aleta’s mother used to drive the family from their Costa Mesa home to attend L.A. Kings games at The Forum. Richard adopted his wife’s enthusiasm for hockey by learning how to skate and play the game in his early 40s. So, with the Kings headed to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in nearly twenty years, the small black and white team pennant hanging over the Collins’ front porch failed to match their support and enthusiasm for their favorite hockey team. So, Richard surprised Aleta last Friday by unfurling a 14-foot-wide by 16-foot long banner from the side of their Eastlake-style home showing a 15-year-old photo of the couple standing next to the Stanley Cup in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Kings’ appearance in the finals will make up for all those years the couple watched the rival Anaheim Ducks compete in the NHL playoffs and win the Stanley Cup Championship in 2007. The couple has even purchased Duck-shaped piñatas to take a whack at. “It’s been painful,” said Aleta.
The couple has shown their support for other Los Angeles sporting teams. Richard Collins has flown the City of Los Angeles flag from their 1887 home to show support for the L.A. Lakers. But, he concedes: “If it’s not hockey, I don’t care as much.”