LAST WEEK’S RECAP | January 6 – 12, 2014

It was the 2nd time I heard about the midnight run at Central on New Year’s Eve. The 1st time was probably when I was a teenager about half a century ago. Whenever the player from Wayne stood next to me, I couldn’t contain my excitement and told everyone nearby that she did the midnight run this past New Year’s Eve, despite the freezing temperature. What a novel idea and a brave and ambitious soul!

A player from Wantage, Crystal Springs area, came to the party on her way back from NYC. I always like to let the players know that she has a farm and rescues animals: horses, cats, etc. I don’t know anyone who has farms or elects to do this full time, though she’s ready to pass the baton soon.

I normally don’t mention names of players in the newsletters but this time it’s almost necessary. Two regulars by the name of Dave couldn’t make it this week. However, 2 more Dave’s took their spot, making for a total of 4 Dave’s tonight. Had the weekly regulars been able to come, it would have been 6 Dave’s. The regular from Westwood in some other topic discussion in her joking way said – “You should limit the number of Dave’s that come.” It did get a little confusing when they were all the room at the same time when I was trying to give out their court assignments. When I called for one name and 4 heads would turn. I felt badly. I needed to address them by their last names. But then newcomers would never know that they had a first name.

What are the odds of having more than 1 Oliver? This year there are 3! They could easily bump into each other the same night, either Friday or Saturday, especially because they’re floaters. They’ve gone to both Friday and Saturday parties.

There were about 5 Vince’s at the Friday night parties back in 2007.
There were about 5 Joel’s at the Friday night parties, also back in 2007.
There were about 5 George’s at the Saturday parties back in 2007.
There were about 5 John’s at the Saturday night parties.

I don’t remember having this situation with women’s names but I used to get all mixed up with variations of the names: the Elaine’s, Elena’s, Eileen’s, Ellen’s on the same night.

On the subject of lefties, there were 4 tonight. There’s at least one at almost every tennis night of the week and as many as seven one night, and no one seems to like their crazy spin serves.

A player from Fort Lee wanted me to know how much he has enjoyed the parties – “I always appreciate your events and arrangements. Thanks to your party, I make a lot of new friends….On the up side, my play is getting better. On the down side, I can’t wake up early on Mondays and Tuesdays…”

A player from Bridgewater and Somerset drove an hour to the party. One brought his dedicated girlfriend to watch for 4 hours! She’s really interested in tennis. I hope she will pick it up in this summer.

A weeknight player is converting to playing on the weekend. I’m very happy about that because it means I get to see him and chat with him more since players are not continuously on the court.

A player from Edgewater, originally from England, said he had a really nice time. I’m glad he got to play different people tonight, as there were a lot of non-regulars. I hope to get more fun nights for everyone.

Quite a few players from Westchester crashed the party. They had a lot of fun playing New Jersyans. Some left early, while others stayed to the very end.

It was good to see a player from NY finally healthy again. He took a 2-month break from a shoulder injury. He jumped right back into hard hitting with other former college players, though I wouldn’t recommend doing it so quickly for anyone as one should always slowly return to the game.

A regular from North Bergen brought his adult son tonight. Another player from NYC, originally from Edgewater, arrived for the 9 PM start time and saw the son playing on Court 6 and recognized him right away from the long hair, his left-handedness and style of play. He said they, now in their late 20’s and early 30’s, played in their youth at a local park. In fact there are two hands full of players in their age group that have started meeting up on Saturday nights. It’s a good pattern to see local kids come back as adults to playing in the area. I’ve always said that tennis is a small world. You will likely see people you played with 20-30 years ago.

Lastly, there have been so many newcomers the last 2-3 weeks with similar names or backgrounds that I’ve been needing to pay extra attention and remind myself of who is who. With all this effort of remembering names, it’s no wonder I can’t remember anything else. Or, at least it’s a good excuse 🙂

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