This picture was taken last June when my daughter graduated from 6th grade. Just saw it and it makes me happy, so i figured i’d post it in these archives so i don’t forget about it. I dig the summer months of the year…
January 17th, 2009
As we drove to the game, i had two questions thrown at me with 12 year old pre-teen attitude: 1) I didn’t know you liked sports teams? and 2) why do you keep whistling that song? I was about 7 years old back in Michigan when my grandpa whistled that same song on our way to Cobo Arena. Unlike my daughter today, back then I knew exactly what it meant…
While “that song” had been sung before (by anyone from Bing Crosby to Louis Armstrong,) ol’ Brother Bones taught us long ago that Georgia Brown was sweet enough that you only had to whistle it Served Bones well as his nickname back in the day, when he was a Long Beach CA shoeshine boy, was “Whistling Sam” because he whistled while he worked. Since then, the Harlem Globetrotters claimed Georgia as their mascot / theme song and have brought the sweetness of Miss Brown to over 120 countries and 20,000 games. Oh, and they’ve won more than a couple of them too….
I bet my daughter a dollar (and i’d give her ten dollars if i lost) that my team, the Globetrotters, would win. “You really don’t know about sports,” she taunted back at me with a grin as she agreed to the bet. I just whistled some more as we pulled into the San Jose Pavilion.
By the time I made it to my first game, the Globetrotters were well known stars that everyone knew. Curly and team were all over the airwaves when i was a kid, helping Scobby Doo and crew solve mysteries, getting trapped on Gilligans Island, and showboating prime time in the “Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine” variety show (that had players like Fred “Curly” Neal and “Geese” Ausbie singing, dancing and acting along stars like Bill Cosby, Sally Struthers and Dom DeLuise.) In the 70′s, you could clearly identify a star by who they hung out with and the way they dressed….
70's Ballers- Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine!
Tonight at the game i got a chance to meet “Curly,” as he was attending as a special guest. Even got him to sign my daughters ball– even though she wondered why i wanted the old guy to sign it. (Jeez, kids these days…)
chicago's savoy ballroom, 1927
first game as the "New York Globetrotters," 1927
The Globetrotters didn’t even come from Harlem. In reality they started in Chicago playing at the Savoy Ballroom in 1927. The teams owner, Abe Saperstein, first called them the New York Globetrotters because he wanted them to seem as a world traveling team from the city. He then went with Harlem Globetrotters so that everyone would know they were coming to watch a black team (i guess not to disappoint rednecks who wanted to come see a serious basketball game– which i’m sure they thought only white boys could play…… lol, im picturing a white boy layup in my head.) After initial success locally, the Globetrotters packed into Saberstein’s old Ford Tin Lizzie and traveled the country…. and soon the world.
As the game started in San Jose, my daughter thought she caught on and thus just knew that the bet wasnt fair and the game was fake. I had told her that the Globetrotters won the game my grandpa first brought me to, and that’s why i thought they might win this one too. Well, and also because they’ve won over 22,000 games in 120+ countries over the years– with a win ratio exceeding 98%. Those poor Washington Generals never have a chance…. Maybe it’s time to replace that sneaky old coach they have?
In the end, I won the bet….
We had a great time…
And the tradition of Georgia Brown continues. My daughter was whistling it as we got out of the car back at home.
January 17th, 2009