The last time I saw my brother, he had been going through a nasty divorce and was really at a loose end. At my girlfriend’s suggestion, Keith sent his resume to Springfield College, where they were conducting a statewide search for a basketball coach. With his experience, Keith was a shoe in. Before he could settle into a protracted post marriage funk, he blew town and started a new life in Western Massachusetts.
Keith’s ex-wife didn’t leave him with much. The few items he could still label his own, he stored in my garage with some vague promise of retrieving them at an unspecified time. This was fine for awhile, but then I purchased a brand new Chevy Colorado pickup, and there was no way I was going to tolerate parking that puppy on the street.
That’s when I came up with the perfect plan. Pack all that pesky stuff into the bed of my new baby and schlep it all it to Springfield. Best of all, using the Colorado’s two tier loading system, I could fit everything in such a way that nothing would get crushed. Keith’s beanbag furniture, plastic dinnerware set and collection of lava lamps would make it to Western Massachusetts unscathed and ready for their almost certain upcoming appearance on EBay.
It was a glorious spring morning when I gunned the Vortec 2.9L I-4 Engine of my Chevrolet Colorado into life, and headed out west on Interstate 90. I knew right away that this was going to be a foot-to-pedal relationship like no other I’d ever had. I arrived in Springfield, in the afterglow of the inaugural long-distance drive.
It was great to see Keith, and he seemed to be in a much better frame of mind than the last time we’d been together. After unpacking his stuff from the back of the Colorado, we proceeded to get the ball rolling.
First stop, the Basketball Hall of Fame. Just in case you need reminding, Springfield is most commonly known as the birthplace of basketball. In 1891, James Naismith, a physical education teacher in Springfield, invented the sport at the Springfield YMCA, now Springfield College, as a way of filling the gap between the football and baseball seasons. Who better to be my guide in all of this than my brother the coach?