LAST WEEK’S RECAP | May 22 – 27, 2012

Our 5th Annual Memorial Day Sunday Bash at Packanack Lake stole the show this week!

It was a beautiful Sunday with players from all over NY and NJ. As each one arrived, there were hi’s, hello’s, hugs and smiles from players who met for the first time and players who had seen each other just days before.

There was a reunion of sort – several coworkers and former coworkers of an insurance company based in NYC. They made it a tradition to meet at this event for the 3rd year in a row. Many live in NYC, L.I. and a couple of them in Hackensack and Livingston, NJ.

I’m always excited to meet everyone, new and old friends. When Saturday regulars from Yonkers [there were quite a few] arrived, I was ecstatic to see them. The river separation makes them feel so distant.

Newcomers who joined this past winter season said they really enjoyed playing on clay for the first time and regulars enjoyed it just as much.

A newcomer from south Jersey (I forget where) said it was the first time he played on clay. He felt like Nadal at the French Open. The regular from Jersey City who introduced him to the group said he will call him Nadal from now on.

A newcomer from Wanaque said he was tired and happy. He played so much tennis from noon (I started the party at 12PM) to the end of the party and met so many people. He was very friendly, gelling well with everyone. I’m glad his plans of going parasailing fell through before finding us online that very morning.

A newcomer from Dobbs Ferry heard about us from one of the regulars from Yonkers. He said he had a nice time. I’m quite flattered that he made the trek and will do it again!

A player from Demarest brought his 11-year-old son and they both enjoyed it. Just goes to say, you can enjoy clay at any age.

A player from Weehawken introduced her friend from Fairview, who played earlier in the day elsewhere at 8AM and finished playing here at 8PM. She must really love tennis!

A regular from NYC brought his aunt and his wife to enjoy the nice day. I’m really glad I and his friends got to finally meet them. It was such a pleasure talking to them both. I made sure to ask Aunt Marie to return as she was full of stories of adventures and travels.

There were so many players to make matches for that I excused myself for talking out loud. A player from Cliffside Park who’s full of sayings said that it was fine and that when one talks to oneself, it means that they have plenty of money in the bank. But I don’t want to talk in my head.

A regular from Hartsdale brought along her daughter who’s just starting to play. She didn’t find the hours of watching to be boring at all. I saw her have conversations with at least half the people and smiling, you’d think she was the mayor. I encouraged her to try tennis again soon.

A regular from Jersey City played 3 days in a row. I was amazed. She said that’s because she didn’t get to play much the first day. She doesn’t stay up until 7AM [and was exhausted like me]. Hm there’s a lot of truth behind that.

A regular from Yonkers always cheers up the party. He arrived, pulled out some bills and asked – “How much is it $5?” “What!! It’s $25? ….” He went on to say more things and everyone just laughed, a lot. He’s one of many comedians at the parties.

A player from Cliffside Park brought a newcomer friend from Ramsey. They both had a nice time. Hope they will return.

A player that I met through my town tennis really enjoyed herself and said she would return. It was a surprise to see her enjoy tennis and meeting new people. I’m glad I kept her on the list.

A regular from Morristown said had a wonderful time. He “liked the whole environment and how you could cook, eat, drink … ” When he asked if there were more burgers and Dwight “the BBQ Man” was on the court playing in the late evening, I pointed to where the uncooked food was and asked that he help himself. Well, I never thought of it that way but it’s a nice alternative – “you could cook.”

Two Notable Stories
Everyone enjoyed my sister’s BBQ chicken. She was up at 6AM to marinate and pre-cook the chicken in the oven. That must be the secret recipe (precooking). I remember a regular from Hoboken at the Memorial Day Sunday party last year asked if my sister was going to be making the infamous chicken. It’s that memorable!

A Packanack Lake resident grew up helping his father (original builder of Packanack Lake tennis courts) was out there at 7AM getting the courts ready for us (with the tractor roller) when he heard that we were coming this Sunday. I’m grateful that he’s part of Packanack Lake Tennis Club and that he’s part of the courts rebuild. (Courts 1-3 are being revamped from ground up, with all new clay.) I had the pleasure of meeting him in June 2011, asking him history of Packanack. Borg and McEnroe revived tennis; it was hopping in the late 70’s – mid 80’s. I hope he will join us at the Sunday parties so we could pick his brain again for tennis tid bits. If we’re lucky to play him, it’d be a treat. No doubt he’s a fine player!

I hope to bring back the glory days of the Packanack in the near future, or at least before I retire from tennis parties 🙂

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