My old pal Karen Cousens, who went westward a decade or so ago and didn’t stop until she was about 3,000 miles away, having landed in Ray Allen’s former stomping ground (answer: Seattle), usually returns eastward once or twice a year. She’s got a new last name now, Gates, and sometimes she brings friends who share that name. Yesterday was one of those sometimes.
This is where I’d like to show you a picture of that beautiful Gates family, but in fairly typical me fashion, I failed to execute the simple task of taking the picture. (Very frustrating to live inside this head sometimes.) So we’ll have to go with these:
(Ain’t Facebook grand?)
In February, Karen was solo when she was kind enough to stop by to help collect some basketballs at the Epsom Central School gym. Yesterday, near the tail end of a three-week stay in Sunapee, the whole crew — from left, Doug, Jack, Karen and Ben — came for a visit, along with their traveling companion Tessa, a soon-to-be seventh-grader who apparently never has anything but a smile on her face and joined them in order to see New Hampshire and help out with the kids.
Well, the hang-out-with-the-Gateses-and-Tessa portion of our day went wonderfully. The shooting baskets part of the day, however … less than excellent.
I had made 1,000 earlier in the morning so we wouldn’t need to dedicate their entire stay to the Hoops, and thank goodness for that, because at the pace I was shooting, yesterday might very well have leaked into today, and Mr. Lyman Cousens of Boscawen might still be waiting for his daughter and her family to show up for Sunday lunch.
“Let’s make 500,” I said. “It’ll take about a half-hour.”
I think it was almost an hour later that No. 500 for the session, 1,500 for the day, went through. The rebounders — Doug, Karen, Tessa and Noah — were great (and extremely patient), but the shooter was lousy. At the request of Rosie, we made the first 20 with her in the backpack …
… and bad as that got to be after those first few makes, I probably should have kept her there, because it only got worse. There was a little bit of a wind thing, but I’d say it was more of a concentration thing, and … well … thanks for sticking around for it, you four (especially Karen, who’s having knee surgery soon).
So … the un-photo and un-Ray Allen-like shooting notwithstanding, it was an absolutely great day, the kind of day that makes you wish the country was a little narrower, so as a person on the right side you could spend more time with your friends from the left side. Until then, we’ll enjoy our annual-ish visits with the Gates family, and maybe we’ll even make it over to the left side one of these days.
That’s 359,507 down, 640,493 to go to 1 million made foul shots.