Averill Park Balling
From that first summer onwards, we could be often found @ Averill Park. As soon as it was plowed in early Spring through Fall. From 2 on 2 tournaments with the Steinkas, Weave, and Big Dave Sinclair through the days of Blah & the younger guys like Joey, Tripp, etc. Although it became less frequent as we played other sports and got jobs, it was a sanctuary for wayward hoop dreams. We even helped Ron install benches there one year. Later we would sometimes rally in its familiarity before and after various mischief. Unfortunately, the last time I drove past it, it was no longer well cared for. Therefore, I will always have a mental snapshot circa summer 1995, with crowds of us, sitting on new wood benches, drinking 2 liters of Faygo and shooting for teams of who’s next.
A sanctuary, indeed. I personally purchased and replaced more nets than I can count, as well as one of the backboards at one point. I would keep a push broom in my car to sweep off the court before we played so we wouldn’t slip and hurt ourselves. That stupid power line always got in the way though. Made it hard to launch full-court shots. Hell, once we were old enough to drive we would face our cars toward the court and turn on our headlights just to finish the game if it got too dark. Sometimes I miss those days. Over the last few years, they have redone much of that park. It’s nowhere near the same as when we were younger, but at least it’s in better shape now.
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