May 10th 1973

“Had pass check on Coach – borrowed Rusty’s pass ‘cos ee was going to Harlem Globetrotters. Moved bedroom about”

Yes, USA exhibition basketball team The Harlem Globetrotters were putting on performances as far back in 1973. Their popularity doubtless fuelled by a popular Saturday morning Hanna-Barbera cartoon wherein Meadowlark Lemon, Curly Neal etc would right all the worlds wrongs by the use of a crafty dribble or two.

In 1995 the Globetrotters lost to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s All Star team, ending an alleged run of almost 8900 consecutive victories, dating back as far as 1971.  If that’s true then that’s pretty impressive.

Thank heavens Rusty went to see them this day in 1973, lending me his coach pass in the process. One of those rare pass checks on board could have smoked me out as an “illegal boarder” without it!

Just as a sad aside, the Rusty I refer to here died just a few years ago, following a long and protracted fight against cancer. I lost touch with him over the years so I can’t talk about him in his middle age, but I remember him at school as a genuinely funny and cheerful fellow who was always a hit with the ladies. A ‘serial dater” if that’s is not too disingenuous a phrase to use. Purely by chance I happened to be back in the UK when his funeral took place and so was able to go along and pay my respects. The phrase “far too young to die” sprung to mind all the way through the service as other friends told their stories about him.

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