Saturday, July 19, 2014

Weekend practice

Lincoln High School, San Francisco
Gym Entrance, Lincoln High School
On my way home from errands this morning, I drove past a familiar spot I haven't visited in 20+ years, San Francisco's Abraham Lincoln High School. I stopped, rolled down my car window, shot the above photos, smiled and gave pause to remember my time there.

Lincoln High was where my first organized sports activity in San Francisco began. I played basketball in Lincoln's gym every Saturday morning, from 9 to 12, for about 3 years (1984-1987). Brenda, a former Sharper Image co-worker/fellow hoopster invited me to join her.

After a few months, Brenda stopped coming. I didn't. I became close friends with several of the girls. When the program ended, my friendship with Alice, Ada, Karen and Karyee exceeded well past the years we played basketball together.

Every few months for the next 10 years or so, the five of us would go out to dinner on a Saturday night. We'd pick up dessert, and hangout at one of our places until midnight or so. I'd often come home with a hoarse voice from laughing so hard. The gatherings eventually ended when Alice, Karen and Karyee got married and Ada moved to San Jose.

When my basketball playing days ended, I got back into playing softball. Again, Brenda, now a former co-worker, made the introduction. This resulted in an activity that lasted off and on for about 15 years, much longer than basketball.

My first co-ed team held Saturday morning practices for about 3 years at various softball fields such as Rossi, Glen Park, West Sunset, Jackson, Rolph or McAteer High School. My second co-ed team, Sunday morning practice at Potrero for about 5 years. Then lunch. Always.

Tomorrow, I'll have bowling practice at Classic Bowl with friends from my Wednesday night league. I can't describe it exactly, but I find it serene and comforting to see the same groups of people every week practicing a sport they love as much, if not more, than I do.

The classic NBC-TV series Cheers describes it best:
Music and Lyrics by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo

Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came...

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