Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/2/2016 (2290 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
SELKIRK — They were born together, just minutes apart.
As kids, they were inseparable.
As adults, they still have the same haircuts and still work together at the same business, Larsen’s Memorials.
And, until this year, they curled together every winter — one man skipping and the other playing third. They had a lot of success, too — even losing a Manitoba final to Kerry Burtnyk back in 2008.
But, after a lifetime bound together, identical twins David and Dennis Bohn decided last fall that, at the age of 40, they would for the first time do something apart — skip their own respective curling teams.
"We probably should have done this 10 years ago," says David.
"It was time," says Dennis.
But this is where the story gets weird. In a season that was supposed to be all about putting a little bit of distance between the twins, they have instead found themselves drawn back together, over and over and over again all winter long.
Think Pacino in Godfather III: "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."
First, it was on the cashspiel circuit, where the two brothers and their new teams faced each other four times this winter, an unusually large number of times for teams curling independently of one another to meet in one winter.
How’d it go? They each won two games. Of course.
And then it got even weirder Wednesday at the Manitoba men’s curling championship, where the two brothers not only found themselves curling together on the opening draw, but also on adjoining sheets.
And the capper? Well, with both Bohn brothers winning on Wednesday’s first draw — David, 11-3 over Springfield’s Rylan Young and Dennis, 8-6 over Dauphin’s Greg Todoruk — the brothers will face each other once again at the Selkirk Recreation Complex this afternoon. The winner will advance to an A-side qualifying game, while the loser gets bounced to the B side.
Separate? Sure. But also still very much inseparable.
"Yeah, we wondered what it would be like to play against each other after all these years," says Dennis, "but we got that out of the way a couple months ago. It was very competitive — we both wanted to win a lot.
"But at this point, it’s just kind of strange how often we keep facing each other."
Funny story: longtime former Jeff Stoughton third Jon Mead — who’s here this week coaching the Mike McEwen foursome — says the word on the cashspiel circuit for years was one Bohn brother was better at draws, and the other was better at hits, and they would switch positions as needed over the course of a game without their opponents being any the wiser.
"Some people were absolutely convinced," says David. "One guy even asked us once to put a piece of tape on our pants so they could keep track of us."
Well, did they need to?
"We don’t like to talk about that," says Dennis with a laugh.
So why, after all these years and a fair bit of success, the decision to split this winter?
"It’s something we’ve talked about for years," says Dennis. "We wanted to see what we could do on our own. It just got kind of old."
It also got kind of mean, as anyone who has siblings could imagine. "You’ve got to be very careful when you’re brothers doing things together," says Dennis. "We would say things to each other that we would never say to a regular teammate. It got intense."
So what now?
"I’ve enjoyed curling apart this winter," says Dennis. "We both have."
And today’s big game?
"I hope it’s a good game and a close game," he says.
"We both really want this one."
Paul Wiecek was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and delivered the Free Press -- 53 papers, Machray Avenue, between Main and Salter Streets -- long before he was first hired as a Free Press reporter in 1989.