Cold ride home – Basketball trips
October 1, 2014
Here comes a throwback story from my childhood.
Back in the spring of 1992 I was an 8th grader and my brother James was completing his junior year of high school. Snoop Dog had just made his debut in the radio-rap world. My family has this thing for basketball and we were pretty good at it. James was invited to play in a high end league based in Houston, Texas. The basketball kids were the best of the best from the south east Texas region. Any given Friday night you would walk into a gym and there would be division 1 college scouts sitting there waiting to pick the next crop of freshmen college b-ball players. The logistics of getting out of school in the afternoon and making it to Houston on time were rough. We were prepared to hit the road running when the last bell rang. It took about 3 hours with no bathroom breaks to get there in time for James to walk in for the last 5 minutes of warmups.
To get ready for the trips I would have my pillow and blanket packed in the car so I could sleep on the way up. Once in Houston the games were always entertaining and worth watching. We would hit up Ninfa’s Restaurant and head back on the same night. That is right 6 hours of driving for a one hour basketball game. Did I mention we had a thing for basketball in our family? The end payoff for all the travel was a basketball scholarship that covered Jame’s full ride through his undergraduate degree and priceless family memories. The Houston basketball league trips evolved into a family road trip to Arizona. That trip will be its own blog post or quite possibly its own blog.
Well back to the quick trips to Houston. One night riding back I woke up between El Campo and Victoria and being a smart ass kid I popped off to my brother who was driving. I asked, “Hey James do you think it can get any colder in here?” He didn’t say anything. He just reached over and turned the A/C on to max. My mom loves the cold so there we went down the road in a meat locker. I had my blanket and pillow and it was still not enough. Being the little brother you take crap to prove you are man enough to hang out with big brother and all the perks that come with that. So I just sat back and figured, If he can take it, I can take it.
The next 2 hours home were bitterly cold. I shivered, I shook, but I did not break. I’m not sure if there was a true winner of the cold weather stand off, but we have a story to tell because of it. I was so happy to get out of that car and get into my warm bed.
Well that is the way I remember it.