LAST WEEK’S RECAP | November 25 – Dec 1, 2013

Years ago I brought my partner Dwight to play at my home court, the Binghamton Racquet Club. Almost the same time another player started playing there also. They bonded immediately and played together for years. Slowly this player started to drift away, though still playing but a different group. (They were smart to lure him their way.) We stayed in touch throughout our 10-12-year history and occasionally I ask him to attend my tennis events when there are players his level needing a fourth. As I watched him play tonight, I could see why the people in his community have elected him into various positions in their organization, including treasurer and more recently president – he’s just down to earth and always doing things to help others, genuinely a nice guy. He was the only one on the court tonight that wasn’t as serious as the rest of the players on the court. He smiled after a good point, smiled after a bad point…At the beginning and end of the night, he mentioned that he felt bad that he didn’t give the others a good game. His arm was a little tired from carving 17 turkeys at his daughter’s grammar school in Tenafly. To all the Tenafly parents reading this, he’s the one that took the week off from work to yet again, to pitch in (while his wife enjoyed mingling with other parents). He made Thanksgiving a little nicer for everyone. We were lucky to have him tonight and anytime he can. He will always be my reminder to do good things. It’s wonderful to have people like him in the world.

It was one of the busiest parties of the year. So many came out to play and burn off the turkey! It was also a festive party with people talking about holidays. Oh how I love holidays and parties….

A friend who moved to VA this fall returned to spend Thanksgiving with her NY and NJ friends. It’s amazing how many people she managed to see in one visit, driving up Friday morning and returning Sunday evening. Staying with friends on Staten Island, visiting a dear friend from Cedar Knolls and playing at the Friday party and visiting other friends in the area. From meeting her the first time in January of this year until now, I have pieced everything together. She’s just one happy and energetic person. She smiled each and every time I saw her and spoke of happy things. I hope to have more time to talk and play with her at the next party than the hectic night.

Four players, 2 from Englewood and 2 from Jersey City wanted to just hit their first hour. I thought I was just putting them on the court for the hour but somehow a player from their court came up to me each hour and asked if they could stay together for the next hour, and the next and the next. I knew they would get along well but not that well! There have been multiple 4 musketeers at different times in the group. Two of them came again on Sunday and played together again the whole night, no surprise.

Like the two who played together the whole night on Friday and again on Sunday, there are 2 players from Fort Lee and Hoboken who wanted to play together the whole night. I noticed that they were really enjoying talking and playing together more so this time than any other time, even thought I had planned this to happen for the last 2 years. What took them so long?

What a treat to have a special player! A player called me in the morning stating that he was in town visiting a relative in Edgewater for another 2 weeks and was wondering if there wer players that he could play with at the party. As he started to answer my questions, I realized that he’s one of the tennis greats, having played on the pro circuit and run tournaments in Qatar for 15 years. I knew I had to recruit players to meet him. And that I did…. We were all happy to have met him and some to have played with him. I rotated as many players as I could so they could get to play with him. It was a great night of tennis and I hope he will visit his relative often!

Here are some of the responses:

  • “I think I want easier matches.” – a former college player from Boonton
  • “I’m still sore from last night.” – a player from Englewood
  • “I’m still sore from last night but I’ll let you know if I feel better.” – a former college player from Lyndhurst. It sounded like he was still in bed at 1 PM.
  • “I would love to come and play tonight but I’m still tired from last night…. I will have to massage my sore arm and feet.” – a former high school player from Brooklyn

Some came and some didn’t. Of the people in the responses above, none of them attended except for the one who didn’t play the night before. It’s a good sign that they all had a good time at the Friday party 🙂

I totally enjoyed and chuckled to myself upon hearing that each one complained of soreness. Mission accomplished!

There were a few old timers that resurfaced tonight, some from many moons and others one or two moons ago. I scheduled them to play with their old friends here and they had a nice time. It’s always nice to see old friends return.

Two Saturdays Ago
I received a flattering email for a player from Red Bank who brought 2 friends 2 Saturdays ago, which says – “They both were very happy last week and are very impressed at the way you organize the group.”

I answered a couple from NYC that I’m just functioning in chaos sometimes. The wife said – “It’s organized chaos.”

It’s funny that I tend to remember things from weeks ago and not days ago.

Two Sundays ago, I recruited a Saturday player from Edgewater to attend. He said he had just finished “swimming at the fitness studio” [term used in Europe, I guess] but will attend. Another player from Jersey City that I recruited said that he was thinking of going to the cross fit gym but decided he will come to tennis instead. Both players are two-timers, having played either Friday or Saturday already. The Jersey City player mentioned that he was really into rock climbing. I asked if he knew of a particular climbing gym in Astoria, to which he surprisingly said yes. Small world, he attended the gym that my nephew works at.

Four players who played each other all night said they had so much fun playing for 3 hours straight. I don’t know what the secret ingredient to that match was but I hope to be able to recreate.

On another court there were also the same players for all 3 hours. I heard that their matches were neck and neck. It doesn’t get any better than that. In their case, I do know what the magic was – they’re players of similar level and each point goes on forever. It took me forever to get players of their (high) level but it was worth every second, just to see them have a nice time. Boy, things I do for players….

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