Ronald learns about basketball
The Playground of Fir Circle
Our home was located on Fir Circle, 1455 Fir Circle. All the streets in the area were named for trees hence this area of town was known as “Tree Streets.” Turning off 900 East, opposite Deseret Towers and driving just a half block up Fir Avenue you make a right turn into the cul-de-sac and our house is on the immediate right. The Larsens were at the end and the Clarks on the left. Traveling East just over three blocks past our houses brings one to the foothills of “Y” Mountain (so called for the large block Y that has been laid two-thirds of the way up the mountain). This little enclave, together with our three surrounding yards and the proximate foothills, were marvelous lands of fun and adventure.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the boys, from grade school age up, would gather in the roundest section of the cul-de-sac and join in a game of basketball. This would involve Tom, Jim, Jeff and David Clark, Frank Begay–the Navajo Placement student–Eric and Steve Larsen and Larry and I. Years before, someone had cemented a pole topped by a backboard and rim at regulation height into an old tire but Steve Clark, who took a fatherly interest in his younger brothers, had installed a second backboard and rim against their white picket fence that bordered the cul-de-sac. This goal had the advantage that it could be moved up and down to accommodate young shooters and we all preferred it over the higher one. The older players would set it at the level where their highest straining jump would just allow them to dunk the ball.
The game would get underway, sides being chosen, the youngest of us always being taken last. It was good of the older boys to include us in the game but I’m afraid that it left me convinced, by comparison to the taller and more skilled, that I had no ability to play the game. I dreaded taking a shot for even the easiest attempts would arrive off the mark. With their older brothers on the court, it seemed that David and Jeff did not suffer from the same reluctance and I admired how they would drive and shoot and contend to be a meaningful part of the game.
Just when these Sunday afternoon games would be at their height, Larry and I would be called in for Family Home Evening by someone calling out from our front porch. This fact rests in my memory as fond illustration of my father’s considerate yet careful techniques in allowing us this indulgence on the Sabbath but not allowing it to interfere with this hour of instruction.
However kindly my memory paints it now, I did not care for the interruption then.