After the death of a parent, life has a way of getting out of balance. The story I’m going to share illustrates ONE way I’m regaining my balance after my Dad’s passing. It’s just what the Dr. ordered!
One of my fondest childhood memories was my Dad taking me to Kentucky Colonels’ basketball games. The Colonels were part of the American Basketball Association or the ABA.
My team was the Indiana Pacers but I liked the Colonels too. I LOVED that red, white and blue basketball. I even had my own ball!
One of the biggest stars of the ABA was Julius Erving, a.k.a. Dr. J. I never saw him play in person but I did see stars like Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel, Mel Daniels, Rick Mount and many other names that might not mean anything to you.
For one exhibition game between the ABA and the NBA, I got to see the Kentucky Colonels play the Milwaukee Bucks and a young center named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar!
The ABA folded in the 70’s and unfortunately the Kentucky Colonels with it. However, my Indiana Pacers and a few other teams merged with the NBA. Dr. J. played for the Philadelphia 76ers and won an NBA title before his Hall of Fame career ended.
After Dr. J’s retirement, my Dad actually played a role in honoring him. A statue was commissioned to be installed outside the arena in Philadelphia where the Sixers played. The sculptor, who was from Louisville, needed someone to engineer the foundation that would keep Dr. J standing. That’s where Dad came in.
Dad was a professional engineer, working for companies that did everything from making biscuits (Pillsbury) to air pollution control (American Air Filter). He had a number of other engineering jobs throughout his career. Supporting Dr. J, was probably the most unique job he ever had.
Dad was given a miniature replica of the statue based on Dr. J in an iconic dunking pose. He used that small statue to do the calculations necessary to keep the full-size version upright in the most extreme weather conditions, even hurricane-force winds!
I remember him commenting on the pose. He said, “he was perfectly balanced!” That not only spoke to the skills of Dr. J but also the sculptor too.
The statue stood outside the Spectrum Arena from 1989 until that building was demolished.
The statue was then relocated to the Sixers’ new home.
Daily Doable: After the death of a parent, life has a way of getting out of balance. One way to regain that balance is to remember the good times. It will start you on The Road To Rebound. I know it has for me.
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