I have never been to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
I'm sure this is true of the majority of people in the world, and even true of the majority of Americans. Except, of course, I grew up in the next town over, and I can't think of too many people in my life who have NOT visited the BBHoF at some point in their far-more-interesting lives. Indeed, it's kind of a standard school field trip destination when one is in elementary school, although exactly WHY I cannot say. Not being a basketball fan in the first place, I have the sneaking suspicion a field trip devoted to learning about basketball--let's face it, the rules AREN'T THAT DIFFICULT TO FOLLOW--would be about as appealing as a trip to, oh, say, the box factory.
The only reason why this little confession rankles my otherwise pristine and guilt-free mind is, when Mojo was a Wee Lass, her two OLDER SIBLINGS both went on the mandatory field trip to the BBHoF. (I have a younger sibling, too, but she does not enter into this story except in this parenthetical aside, so just forget about her and her parental-affection-stealing ilk.) My point is, both siblings, when they came home from said field trip, had as a memento a little rubber basketball, branded with the HoF logo, about the size of a softball. I don't know if the kids got it for free as part of the field trip, or if each sibling decided to spend fifty cents or a dollar on it in the gift shop. That part doesn't matter. My point is, being very young and very impressionable, I played with those two gift shop basketballs as often as I could steal them from my siblings, and dreamed someday of GETTING MY OWN when *MY* class went on said mandatory field trip to learn about the oh-so-important important skill of throwing balls into bushel baskets.
And guess what? Of course, being the usual reader of Mojo--meaning you are of a particular brand of perspicacity and intellect, above that of the mere ant-like mortals you must daily contend with--you have already figured this part out. To the rest of you I will say, using tiny words: for some reason my class DID NOT GO. Maybe I was out sick that day. Maybe Miss Nowak thought it was a slap in the face of educators everywhere to make impressionable children genuflect at the shrine of overpaid athletes while she herself was working part time at JC Penney to make ends meet. For whatever the reason, I did not go, and I NEVER GOT my very own rubber mini basketball. Not that this little factoid has ever had the SLIGHTEST impact on my young life. OH NO.
Of course, in sixth grade Mr. Fox had a friend at Hamilton Standard who let us borrow a real NASA spacesuit (along with the tubey underwear suit) for a week, which was pretty cool. But we weren't allowed to bring it home. So yeah--Mojo's Sad Childhood of Deprivation and Neglect continued. And yet I soldier on, brave lass that I am...