The mind is available, so the body doesn’t have much choice

Mike Duggan and his hockey buddies were strapping on their gear one recent morning when their banter turned, as it often does, to the topic of joint replacement surgeries.

Duggan, 74, the proud owner of an artificial hip, marveled at the sheer number of titanium body parts in the locker room. He nodded toward Mitch Boriskin, who was putting on a pair of skates along the opposite wall.

“I don’t think there’s an original part to you,” Duggan said.

Boriskin, 70, smiled. “Two fake knees, a spinal cord stimulator, 25 surgeries,” he began, as if he were reciting a sheet of music.

“And a lobotomy,” Duggan chimed in, as laughter rippled through the room.

All that titanium, at least, was being put to good use. Their team, Oregon Old Growth, had joined dozens of others from across North America to compete this month at the Snoopy Senior hockey tournament in Santa Rosa, California, about 60 miles north of San Francisco.