The Day I Hung Out With The Harlem Globetrotters… (R.I.P Meadowlark Lemon)

My Mom was raised in Galesburg, IL and thru out my life that place is the closest thing I’ve had to a hometown, since we grew up constantly moving around. When I was four years old we were visiting Galesburg and my Mom got word that an old friend of her’s from Detroit was in town, as she had moved to Detroit after leaving G-Burg and that’s where she met my dad. Anyway, this friend’s name is Nate Branch and it just happens that he played for the Harlem Globetrotters, so she regularly went to watch them play.

When Nate found out she was there, he invited her and whoever she had with her to the Galesburg High School Gymnasium to watch them play and I was lucky enough to be among her party of guests. I honestly don’t have many clear moments of the game, just these flickering images, but mainly I remember being amazed, entertained and amused. The memory of it instantly makes me smile.

Anyway, after watching the Harlem Globetrotters dazzle the minds of those in attendance, me included, they were all invited back to my Grandparents humble home. One key memory is that because of the low ceilings in places, including the front doorway, the tall Globetrotters had to stoop down to move about parts of their home. The guys were super cool and hung out with us and we also went out to eat together with them somewhere also, perhaps at their hotel. They also gave me a Harlem Globetrotter 1974 tour book, which many of them also autographed for me.

I wanted to share this story to pay tribute to Meadowlark Lemon, who passed away earlier this week. He was one of the guys who hung out with us and he also signed my book. R.I.P to a man of great talent, who also had a kind heart and great smile. Thanks to Nate Branch for making it happen and my Mom for being cool and having awesome friends!

Harlem Globetrotters Autographs

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