Saturday, November 13, 2010

Basketball Wars

Weldon and I played so much basketball growing up you wouldn't believe it.  He use to win most often; he is three years older than me.  But in my mind it was because he cheated, and consequently we would often have fights after a few games.  We wouldn't always fight, but we would fight enough to keep it interesting.

After one such fight, I grabbed a rock, threatening my brother.  I was a pretty good aim with a rock.  He took off running, and actually was quite a ways away, running through a field across the street.  I decided to give the rock a throw anyway, not really thinking it would ever hit him, but at least it would give him a good scare.  So I threw that rock with everything  I had, well over his head.

But Weldon was running.  When the rock came down, Weldon had caught up with it.  It caught him right on the ear, and he dropped like a deer that had been shot.  I ventured towards him wearily to see if he was OK.  I knew if he wasn't dead, he was going to kill me.

As I crept closer, asking if he was OK, he jumped up and ran towards me.  But instead of pounding me, we just had a good laugh.  I survived that bullet.

Snow was our biggest enemy in those days, or at least would keep us from playing all the basketball we wanted.  The hoop was on the front of our house, and we had to fight the snow to play.  Some years the snow would win, and we were dependent on someone to let us into the church to play (a block away.)  However we would fight the snow and ice with our snow shovels, and would be out playing in the snow storms, as long as it wasn't sticking the the drive way, in the coldest of weather.  The cold would be invigorating.

I had brothers to play with, but I would also shoot by myself.  In my head I would be my favorite team, which was usually the Jazz.  Those were the Adrian Dantley days.  And they started to eventually win a few games.  Of course before the Jazz it was the Stars.  We loved them as well--Zelmo Beaty "Big Z" and Willie Wise, Jimmy Jones and Ron Boone.  They actually won the championship one year.  By the time they got Moses Malone strait out of high school the Stars were just about through.  They were not a team selected to move to the NBA from the ABA.

Me, Weldon, Clyde and cousin Reed Olsen, and Buffy running around

 As we got older, and Charlie joined the wars, we would play a lot of two-on-two.  We added Charlie's friend, Martin Smith to our fray.  Weldon and I would still be on opposite teams, but we would have a partner from the younger two.  Our favorite game was 22.  You had to win by four so a game could last a long time if it was close.

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