Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 319 - HOOP: The American Dream

There's a new coffee table book that really peaks our interest...its photos of basketball hoops.  I love basketball as anyone who knows me knows that about me.  Recently we met a person who has season tickets to the Duke games and mentioned that infrequently he does have other commitments and has tickets he would be able to offer me, I said when and where and I'll be there.  No questions asked.  These are moments of a lifetime, a hot sweaty gym with the other Blue Devil Crazies.

I recently moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina and wear my DUKE shirts (notice I have more than one) proudly around town.  I'm a minority as noted by people walking through the same doors as myself.  On the way into the cable company, a woman held the door open for a woman BEHIND me and said to her..."YOU have the 'riiieeeght' shirt on'." as she walked through wearing her light carolina blue Tarheel shirt.  So as I left, I opened the door for myself and said, "Yes, yes I know I have the 'wrong' shirt on."  Again yesterday, a man held the door open for me and commented, "I usually don't hold the door open  for Dukies."  I responded, "If you can get past this," as I put my open hand motioning around the word DUKE, "I'm really a nice person!"  He said, "That was really good, I've never heard that before!"  And when served at the local cafe, the lady behind the counter stated, "You are so nice and I really want to like you but THAT as she put her open palm and made a circular motion toward my DUKE chest..."  I said, "Really, you are a Tarheel fan?  I sooo wanted to like you too!"  It is an on going rivalry that will continue until the day I die but I will be a Duke Blue Devil Fan til the end of time.  And more so I'll be a fan of the game.  Basketball.  Hoops. Which leads me back to this new book.

Basketball for me is MORE than just a game.  It is a spiritual experience that changed my life.  It lead me through an incredibly painful time. For a young girl, who had just lost her home due to a terrible storm that literally blew the roof off her home (think hurricane here as the circumstances were the same) it gave me a new focus, a new goal.  I didn't know at the age of fourteen that I was capable of being an athlete. That I could run and not die, that I could look at a rim and put a basketball about 1/2 it's size through that diameter by learning the precision-like form it takes to shoot.  And then to do it so often that the rote shooting motion becomes mindless and missing is the rare moment instead of making the basket.  That Swish sound is not just a sound but a melody on the backdrop notes of harmony played by the sneakers squeaking against hardwood floors.  Give me the gymnasium philharmonic any day as I'd rather be wearing the outfit of t-shirts and shorts than an evening gown for that other symphony anyway!

So when I heard about this book HOOP: The American Dream, I was curious about the photographs that she had taken and am glad to see the American Basketball Goal (once a peach basket) has been captured as art.
I watched an interview of Robin talking about her journey across America which included 35 states and admired her commitment of taking over 100,000 photos.  During the interview she commented about taking this "mundane object and ..."  and this just didn't sit right with me. Simple maybe but definitely not mundane.   Mundane is an unexciting, dull, and less than spiritual object.  If anyone loves the game like I do, which are the same people who are potential buyers for her book, this is offensive to us.  Mundane is definitely NOT the word for those of us who played, coached, officiated and just plain love the game and the HOOP.  If we thought a HOOP was just a mundane object, we wouldn't still be jabbing each other over what shirt we wore when we see each other in Western North Carolina in passing and opening the doors for each other.  Now that door, THAT DOOR, THAT DAMN DOOR is mundane.  But that HOOP is Beloved.

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