LAST WEEK’S RECAP | April 8 – 14, 2013

When one Tenafly player after another emailed to let me know that they’re on vacation, I could only deduce that it was spring break last week for Tenafly middle school since they all have kids in that age range. These dedicated dads deserved a break!

An avid player introduced a newcomer to the group last week and one more this week. I was more excited that the newcomer is a professor of psychology than a tennis player, feeding my interest in people and human psychology. A player from Guttenberg jokingly said I should be happy and I should set up an appointment with him. I kidded back – Well at least I won’t have to pay for the session if I can get him to come back to the parties. Of course it would totally be for him and other players, who enjoyed meeting and playing him! When it came time for him to leave, I persuaded him to stay a bit longer so the rest of the players could meet/play him. Being a people person, he stretched his time to play one more set. My effort worthwhile, the players were happy he stayed. Ahh… so much goes on at tennis parties, besides just tennis.

A player from Jersey City brought his wife. I took the opportunity to have them be up close and personal – she in front row seats and him on front court – Court 1. It turned out to be a great outing for her, meeting his Friday night friends. Everyone made great spectators, cheering and jeering on every point as if we were at MSG. His on-court opponents had fun at his expense, not letting him forget – “No pressure, your wife is watching. Make your shot!” We had fun until it was time for him to depart at the midnight hour. As usual, yoga awaits him the next morning, a great routine, tennis and yoga.

Inevitably the subject of tennis and marriage came up. Some said tennis is non-existent for a while once married. Others said the level of tennis goes way down due to lack of play. I’m not sure if there’s a choice or no choice.

A former regular from Montclair made a surprise appearance tonight. A player from Butler smiled and said in his friendly voice – “What the heck are you doing here?” A nearby player who didn’t know they’re old friends from the parties smilingly said – “Gee what a way to greet someone!” They chatted and were happy to see each other again. I told the Montclair player that she just missed a newcomer this week who’s also a transplant from Ireland, Tullamore. She knew exactly where that is. I can’t wait to hear them converse in their Irish brogue.

A Yonkers couple finally made their comeback after one of them has recovered from an injury. It was good to see them, healthy, again. I wish them and everyone good health!

A player who moved to West NY, NJ, from Atlanta about a year ago attended tonight. He and his dad made a formidable team, impressing many of us that he wanted to pair up with his dad all night. Although they did not stay until the end of the party, those who played them had quite a nice time and some competition as they both played well. I briefly introduced them to another player whose family will be visiting again this summer from France and Spain. I mentioned that the families should play if they’re in town the same weekend. Wouldn’t that be fun! I thanked his absentee friend who introduced him to the parties for referring such nice people to us. We hope to see everyone again!

After pointing out the father and son team to a player from NYC, the NYC player said that he also has an older uncle who plays. Moreover, the uncle is a former Davis Cup player from India! Without hesitation, I asked if he would kindly invite his uncle to attend one of the clay court parties at Packanack Lake this summer. He said that’s a good idea! I recall, about 4 summers ago, we had the pleasure of meeting another former Davis Cup player from Japan, invited by a Saturday player to the Packanack party. What an honor to be watching a former champion. These are rare moments to be treasured.

A regular from Hoboken had a mini reunion with a couple of friends from NY. They got to play together for at least 2 hours and decided to take an hour off before playing again, to catch up, over dinner. In fact the food was so good that I had a hard time getting players down to the courts for the 2nd and 3rd hour. I told Dwight that he shouldn’t make the food too delicious because the players have got to play! In hindsight, it was really to see people sitting down talking on the couch, at the dinner table, standing and talking to each other. It’s part of the wholesome party experience.

Finally on a silly but fun side, 2 players from NYC paired up against 2 players from NYC and Crystal Springs, NJ. It was the 3rd hour of tennis, everyone was not as fresh as the first hour and remembering scores was a bit challenging. They played several games, no one remembered the score, they tried recounting and came up with 3-3. Everyone agreed. They played 3 or 4 more games, no one remembered the score, again they tried recounting and came up with close to the same scores 4-3. They played more games and again they came up with 4-3 or 5-4. After even several more games, what else! 5-4. They agreed. Finally, they played several more games and it was determined that the set was won 6-4 and someone won. They all agreed. While they might not have gotten the scores correct, it was for sure that they were all easy going, no one cared about winning or losing and they all had a long set of fun. That’s all that mattered, at least for this group of players this night.

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