Space, Basketball and Musicians

By Mike Bossy

I have been doing some closet cleanups. There are many things I am finding and wondering, “why I have kept them so long?” Or better yet, “why did I keep them in the first place?”

Three items caused me to ponder.

The Moonshot: In 1961, John F. Kennedy said, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

I heard that speech, and that began my lifetime fascination with space exploration. It was the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions I couldn’t get enough of. “Star Trek” eventually became my history of the future. I remember where I was when man landed on the moon, and when the first space shuttle landed. I can remember my room at home. I didn’t have posters of athletes or musicians like my friends did. I had pictures of space and astronauts. During the Apollo missions I would write NASA twice a month and was always rewarded with letters and pictures in return. I even dreamed of being an astronaut.

UCLA Bruins and Michael Jordan:

My dad put up a hoop in our pack barn and help us move the bales of tobacco around so we could shoot hoops. When he put up our first hoop at the “Bossy Dome”, he handed me an oversized ball. He said he didn’t know much about the sport, but the general idea was to put the ball through the ring. When I heard my first “swish” I was hooked. I dedicated my free time to basketball. I don’t remember much about the games I played, but I will always appreciate the fun things that happened, the mentors (coaches) I had a long the way and the journey I found myself on.

John Wooden, the UCLA Bruins and Michael Jordan are individuals and a team that had an impact on my psyche. It could be John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success or a quote from Michael Jordan; “I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come” that drove me.

Springsteen and E-Street Band: I do like music, but the only music paraphernalia I could find in my closet cleanup was a Bruce Springsteen program. He never made it to a wall in our home. You just don’t do that as an adult, and besides I don’t have a “man cave’.

Bruce is 7 years older than I am, and he would have been 35 in July of 1984 when Jill and I attended the Born in The U.S.A. Tour. I can remember thinking that he had incredible amount of energy for someone his age (lack of perspective on my part) and I would never let lack of energy be an excuse for anything.

What I have come to realize on this little journey is that the past is not real because we get to choose what we bring along to the present, and our experiences of what we do bring along are often embellished.

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