As a father, I spend a good deal of time attempting to recreate my youth for my son's entertainment. Sometimes this is very successful, such as the trips to Disneyland: early and often. On the flip-side, there is the subscription to Spider-man. This lasted a year, but my son' sensibilities and the comic book never completely meshed and he lost interest. I was probably rushing him, forgetting that my initial brushes with superheros came from the racks at the supermarket (ironic?). It was the thrill of discovery that made my web-head obsession stick.
These and many other examples swirled through my head as I chose to buy tickets for my family to go see the Harlem Globetrotters. When I was a kid, the Globetrotters were experiencing what few would argue was their Golden Age: Meadowlark Lemon, Curly Neal, Marcus Haynes, Goose Tatum. They had their own cartoon show. They played in China. They played on Gilligan's Island. ABC's Wide World of Sports kept them in our consciousness and when the Globetrotters came to Denver, my parents knew it was a special night that we couldn't miss. Did I see them more than once? To tell you the truth, it's hard for me to distinguish the many television appearances from seeing them live because they delivered the goods: The rubber band ball, the water bucket full of confetti, and of course, Sweet Georgia Brown.
How would this all translate over thirty-five years? Would my son find any of this amusing? He did. He ate it up, as they say, with a spoon. I bought him a red, white and blue ball and a pennant, and when the "game" was over, he went down on the floor and braved the crowds to get an autograph from "Hi-Lite" Bruton, and then stood in line on the way out to get his ball signed by Showman "Special K" Daley. On the way out of the arena, he couldn't stop tossing, spinning, and dribbling. With a great big smile on is face. Ah, youth.