The End of an Era


It’s been sitting idle for a few years now, it made parking in our driveway a little inconvenient, and it was a bit of an eyesore.

But it also held many great memories, much like this clip from Father of the Bride.

We put a basketball pole in our driveway about 20 years ago, and we certainly got our money’s worth out of it. Lots of games of horse and around-the-world, as well as the occasional shirts against skins pickup games with family, friends, and neighbors. A good deal of time was spent practicing our dunk moves and alley oops. With the rim set anywhere from six to eight feet off the ground we could all be like Mike. I’m sure I uttered the phrases “phi slamma jamma” and “with authority” more than a grown man should have.

I also enjoyed just going out there by myself occasionally and seeing how many free throws in a row I could make. It was a great way to clear my mind and just focus on the task. And as a numbers guy, it gave me a chance to keep stats on my performance. My goal was 57 consecutive free throws, to break DiMaggio’s record, but I think the best I ever got was perhaps in the mid-20s.

As our boys got older there was less time spent playing basketball as they pursued other interests, but it was still fun having it around just in case.

Then over time the net came off and wasn’t replaced, the pole got rusty, our driveway started to get some cracks in it, and our basketball days faded away. The backboard was still good for target practice if we were having a catch with a football, but other than that, it just sat there, a reminder of lots of happy times.

The past week or so we started to notice that the pole was leaning a bit to the right (and I couldn’t have that!), and so along with my wife and youngest son we were able to just push it over and put it by the side of our house. I’ll probably let it sit there a while, until I’m ready to say goodbye one final time.

In the meantime, thanks for the memories!

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