Chryslers on My Mind

It started off innocently enough in early April 1954. Junius Kellogg and his Harlem Globetrotters teammate Boyd Buie, “The One-Armed Wonder,” decided to travel down to the Pine Bluff, Arkansas area to do some barnstorming. It was common practice in those days to mix in a few pro’s with amateurs and to take on the locals.

Kellogg had recently made the Globetrotters and played in a few exhibition games. Junius and Boyd knew that money would be tight until the season began just a few weeks later. In fact, the first major trip would be taking Boyd and Junius to South America. How excited he must have been.

The trip started in Chicago, where Junius and Boyd had been in 3-a-day practices. Boyd had an older Chrysler, possibly a 1948 or 1949 model, maybe a little newer. On the way they picked up three players of Marques Haynes “Harlem Magicians” team. Perhaps it was on the way that the five decided to form a team. Boyd was from Arkansas and knew the area well.

There was a reason that they called Boyd “The One-Armed Wonder.” When he was a young man he was in a car accident and it cost him his left arm. Over time he not only built up his strength, but he became an incredible dribbler and shooter. He was allowed to drive without mechanical “assistance” in those days, and he apparently liked to drive fast.

The five players, supposedly on their way to Pine Bluff, were involved in a horrific accident. Buie’s car had bad rubber, he was going too fast for the twisty 2-lane road, and either while passing another vehicle or as the result of drifting onto the shoulder the right rear tire blew. The 1949 or 1950 Chrysler got launched. Reports were that it flipped up to five times. Buie had a hip contusion, the three men in the back were unhurt, but it was Junius whose body was badly traumatized.

No one at the scene (including the ambulance drivers) thought Junius would live. No one in the hospital thought he would live. Junius would never play basketball again.

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