LAST WEEK’S RECAP | May 20 – May 26, 2013

This was one of the best turnouts for weeknight tennis with many players coming in a single day rather than spanning over the usual 2-3 weeknights of tennis. Players who don’t normally play during the week also attended and got to meet some weeknight players.

Missing was one regular from Jersey City, who was traveling for work and didn’t make it back in time. He always has an interesting way of phrasing things. For examples, he said – “I knew I had one more email to answer but couldn’t remember what it was. Yes, I’d like to play.” The following week he said “I was thinking about whether I could play all day. Unfortunately…I’ll be coming back from Philly on the train and if our meeting goes long I will likely be late.” I always enjoy reading such emails.

As the Hoboken player walked through the front door of Tiger Tennis, she noticed the salon and joked – “We can get our hair done and play tennis, killing 2 birds with one stone.” This youthful and joyful player loves to entertain herself and everyone around her.

Two players from Hoboken and Morristown got in their tennis fix before leaving for vacation, the former is visiting Japan and Korea and the latter Vegas. We all kidded that the Morristown player will have to bring her id because her teenager face will require it. The Hoboken newcomer said he was serious about getting back into tennis and he sure got it, playing 4 days with us in just a week, Friday, Saturday, Wednesday and this past Friday. After receiving my email update, he told me that it sounded like I was addressing a motorcycle gang when I left out the letter “o” in my salutation: “Hell Friday Players:” I must have been thinking of all the Friday players who wore leather jackets this past winter.

At the end of the night many asked me if I was having a Sunday party due to the weather forecast. I told them that the Poker Player told me earlier in the evening that the weather was going to be nice. Someone said that the Poker Player wouldn’t lie and so we all should believe him. So a few more Friday players signed up that night for the Sunday party.

As players arrived I announced that I have a picture of one of NY’s tennis great figure, Dr. Deborah Antoine with the world’s tennis great Billy Jean King. The players were happy to hear.

A player from Astoria, NY said he also has a picture of himself with Billy Jean King. By the time he made the short but slow walk from the reception desk to the stairs he mentioned Marty Fisher and Rafa Nadal. Right before he started to walk down the stairs to go to his assigned court, he remembered another name, Christian McHale from Tenafly, NJ. He has quite a collection!

A player from NY heard about us through a friend in the group. (Word of mouth is our greatest source of advertisement, thank you very much!) He had a few questions but after my reassurance, he gave us a try. At the end of the party he said that he was “jonesing” for tennis and was glad he came tonight. This is what he was looking for, lots of tennis and a good level of players. Everyone who played him, an NYC baker, and another player from the Bronx, an NYC racquet, told me how much they enjoyed playing them. The Astoria player, the Bronx player told the stringer about us.

For several weeks now I have been seeing the regular from Tenafly who is working in Atlanta and splitting her time between the two locations. I asked why she travels so much. The retired and well-traveled Cliffside Park player who is friendly with both of us, overheard me and said – “Because she’s a mad traveler!” Actually both of them are mad, and are travelers; it takes one to know one.

At the end of the party the Astoria player mentioned at the top of the Saturday recap, bode farewell to me and said yet another name “I also have a picture of me with McEnroe!” He left me with a happy parting thought – he has a nice way of making people smile.

Thanks to the Friday player who said on Friday night that it was going to be a nice day Sunday. The day looked gloomy in the morning but got better and sunnier as it went on. By 3 PM showtime, it was a nice day and the wind died down as the evening arrived. Players got to enjoy the first Sunday outdoor party at Packanack Lake, celebrating Memorial Day and the official start of the summer season.

Everyone said wonderful things about how beautiful Packanack Lake is. It is my favorite outdoor place in NJ and I am happy to be back for another great season!

It was a day of friends bringing friends. Some players decided last minute to play and brought along a friend or two. Players from Midland Park told a newcomer/friend from Fair Lawn; a player from Warren told a friend from either Basking Ridge or Warren; another player from Basking Ridge introduced her daughter who has just graduated from college; a player from NYC brought a friend also from NYC; a player from Yonkers brought a friend from the Bronx; and a player from Crystal Springs, Vernon, brought a newcomer friend from Hamburg, NY….a diverse group.

Upon check-in one couple from Allendale whose child graduated with Dwight’s son said they will stop by the pizza store to pay for the party fee. The regular from Hackensack joked and said – “I will bring mine to the pizza store,” while handing me his party fee. The couple said they will try Dwight’s food during the week, if I remember correctly.

It’s been a tradition of a player from Hackensack to bring his friends to our annual Memorial Day Sunday Tennis Party. This year I got to talk to the friend from NYC more. He and his wife had a nice time and will return when they can. He said he had a nice challenging match with his partner from Wayne vs. his co-worker from Rutherford and partner from Basking Ridge. They yo-yo’d back and forth, leading 3-0 and trailing 3-4. As he said they “couldn’t “put a fork in it” but eventually won 6-4 after they got into a rhythm. This is the second time this week that a player had used the word rhythm to describe a match!

Added to the already beautiful day, one of our youngest members of the group, 13 years young, had an idea to spruce up the party with the popular King of the Court tennis game offered at most children’s tennis clinics. He attended the Saturday party but was excited about playing again Sunday. His father wasn’t too thrilled at first because he had made other plans for the day but was glad he conceded, for he had a great time. They even brought cool prizes that the dad had purchased before coming to the party. The two co-conspiritors gathered players on “center” court and fed a ball at at time to each pair of players to start off the point. When each pair of doubles partners wins a point, the winners would run to the other side of the net to replace the ousted “Kings of the Court.”

The player from Hoboken asked who chose the Twizzlers. The player from Wayne, who’s back from college for the summer, yay!, said the player from NY (poker player) took them. Hoboken players said – Awh he didn’t even share! Of course this Hoboken player is very young and must really like Twizzlers. Dwight chose the goo, which was no surprise to anyone since he’s like the class clown.

In all of this it was interesting to see the dynamics amongst the players during their search for a partner, who chose who and they said during the search. I wish I had been there during the initial pairing process as it would have been interesting to hear all the interactions. It was interesting to see the 20-year-old choose the 60-year-old whom he played regularly with on Friday nights prior to his departure for college this past school year.

I have decided that it would be fun to post some of these moments on Facebook to share. I hope you will check out pictures and videos on Tennis Buffs Facebook!

Towards the end of the party I introduced a newcomer from Fair Lawn to hit with a player from Rutherford. The Fair Lawn player said – “We have the same uniform,” pointing to the Bandit arm band for tennis elbow. The Rutherford player said – “We share the same pain” and we all laughed. It was a nice icebreaker before they got on the court to hit a few more balls before their evening ended.

A pair of friends from the Bronx and Yonkers couldn’t get enough tennis and played at least 5 hours of tennis, into the wee hours. They loved playing against the teams of 13-year-old and the 20-year-old, the Clifton and Hoboken players, Basking Ridge and another Hoboken players. They ended their marathon tennis playing the Clifton player again and Dwight. There was great tennis and bantering amongst these friends before they finally bode farewell until their next tennis meet.

It was very nice spending the holiday week/end with everyone, adding to my growing and fond memories!

Comments are closed.