and I took the boys to see the Harlem Globetrotters last night (a co-worker had free tickets so we decided to use them).
When I was a kid I was obsessed with the Globetrotters (as I'm sure many kids of the seventies were). I had an autographed picture of Meadowlark Lemon hanging up in my room that my grandmother had gotten for me. She made Keds at Uniroyal in Naugatuck, CT and made quite a few of them for famous basketball players like Wilt Chamberlain (she also made me a pair of kick-ass sneakers when I was six that had my name stitched into them and shiny red reflectors and a whole bunch of other neat things. Unfortunately, when they wore out, I think they were thrown in the trash). Occasionally the players would come in personally to have their feet measured and this was the case with Meadowlark so while he was at Uniroyal, my grandmother got his autograph for her grandson. And because my grandmother made his shoes, I always felt a connection to him and the Globetrotters a little more than other kids my age, might. I could look at him and think, he's wearing shoes that my grandma made.
Anyway, last night the Globetrotters came out for their introductions and then, after, the PA started playing "Sweet Georgia Brown" and the team went into their Magic Circle routine where they spun basketballs on their fingers, their heads, over their arms, threw them under their legs, balanced them on the their heads and backs, flipping them back and forth to each other and I was instantly transported back to Saturday morning when I was seven watching the Harlem Globetrotters on Wide World of Sports
and just waiting in anticipation to see my favorite gag, the bucket of confetti thrown into the audience. Last night, the shoes were different, the uniforms were looser, and there was no Curly Neal or Meadowlark or any of the players I remembered, but "Sweet Georgia Brown" still made me just as happy as it did when I was seven. And I did get to see the bucket gag.