LAST WEEK’S RECAP | November 30 – Dec 6, 2015

Though no one brought their loved ones today, they enjoyed playing with new and old friends they made at Tennis Buffs tennis parties.

One new friend is a transplant from Texas four months ago. He reached out to me this summer looking for a place to play. There was something about his email that jotted my memory. I wrote a late follow-up email asking (hounding) when he would like to start participating. Boy, am I glad I did! He turned out to be one of those I’m always of (besides the visiting Syracuse professor, of course!) who is so jovial and attract friends wherever they go. Unbeknownst to him, already he was a hit with players from tonight and Saturday night (which he also later attended this week) with players saying nice things and requesting to play with him again. Hey don’t get a big head now, there are several players like that throughout the party nights, but do know that you’re a keeper! I may have to start distinguishing players by “A keeper from Hawaii, a keeper from Syracuse, a keeper from Texas, etc.)

A weeknight regular from Hoboken found us last year. Having forgotten where he’s from originally, I asked today and he replied Hastings and asked if I met someone from Westchester. No, I need to know because sometimes a story requires more details to distinguish one player from another, especially one when an interesting point occurs. I happened to be down on the court inspecting matches as I often do when I saw his partner, a newcomer originally from Turkey, drop his racquet after returning a ball. The opponent from Secaucus, originally from PA, (our resident movie star in many Law And Order episodes) hit a what was supposed to be a winner. The Hobokenite ran for the ball to hit the final winner and won the point. The movie star said “You’re not supposed to get that ball. How did you reach that?” And they all smiled, having such a nice match and time. PS: the fourth player is originally from Japan and now in Fort Lee – to complete the story of where everyone is from 🙂

Coincidentally I overheard the Hobokenite tell a player last night (he played 2 nights this week) tell another Wednesday night player that he works at MLB. What’s the likelihood that 2 players in this group, work for the same company, live in Hoboken and play only weeknights. It isn’t as if they come to a larger party like Friday or Saturday party with many more players. I’ll have to officially introduce the two, as they’ve only seen each other in passing at work and at tennis.

A regular from Hoboken who plays all over NY and NJ, brought 2 friends from Jersey City and Weehawken. As if a mayor of Lincoln Park, he meets so many players and has introduced quite a few to the group over the years. He kids that he’s going to start a car service just for my parties but he actually drove both of them. Thanks for telling friends about the group!

This has got to be one of the best Friday night parties with so many laughs off the court! When I say Friday parties are my favorite night, Friday players challenge saying that I tell players at other nights the same thing. Not true, here I remind you again 🙂

I enjoy Friday nights because I get to participate in the conversations, the camaraderie and great exchanges everyone has. The lounge area is small enough for everyone to hear everyone else’s conversations (if shouting) and large enough to accommodate 5 round tables with everyone able to carry out separate conversations. Other clubs are larger, other nights are 2-hour nights when less time is given for my on-court or in-lounge interaction.

It was so great to have great interactions from the beginning of the party to the very end. There were at least four 30-year-olds, 2 husband and wife from West Caldwell (story later); and 2 friends from Morristown the pharmacist and Waldwick the great net ball slammer who got married last year, who became good friends in junior or high school. I later introduced the wife originally from Utica area later that night to another player from Utica. Then her husband originally from Caldwell said that they lived in Hawaii for a year or two (forgetful I am) and played tennis 2-3 (?) times every morning. Naturally I introduced them to player form Jersey City who was born and bred in Hawaii, who has lived in Jersey since he left the rock for college and post college. Next to them was a player from Little Falls who plays tennis 5-6 times a week, amazing! There were so many laughs, so many commonalities, so many everything I can’t quite put my finger on it. It was just fun!

A newcomer from Flemington drove quite a bit of way to join us! This gives you a perspective of how far one drives for the love of tennis. Welcome to the group!

Oh how I love meeting family and friends!

A former regular from Warren, NJ who moved to Garden City, LI last year brought his 16-year-old son, the 16-year-old son’s friend, and 2 friends from Warren. The son had an opportunity last year to train at McEnroe’s Academy on LI, paid by the academy because he’s that good. He and his friend met up during training, the two gave our players and another junior player (15 years old from Englewood Cliffs) a good challenge tonight. So nice to have everyone during this holiday weekend and they’re coming back before the year-end, as they’ve always loved coming here for the past 2-3 years. The new 16-year-old friend enjoyed his first time so much that he couldn’t wait to be back before the year-end along with the others in this group. The new friend from Bridgewater liked it so much too, he wanted to get on the mailing list for the weekly schedule.

An original Tennis Buffs member (since 2006) from Englewood Cliffs came as a spectator tonight, bringing her now 14-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son to play. The son has been attending every now and then as needed for tournament play since he was 11. The last time I saw him 2 years ago he stood up to only my chin, now at least 5’10”. My how kids grow! The 13-year-old was not strong enough to play with the group until about 6 moths ago when she brought a friend. This year she brought her friend 15-year-old friend from Leonia. Of course it was the Englewood Cliffs mom’s idea to have them practice at the party for their upcoming USTA junior tournament in the 16 And Under. Naturally I found two nice people (the resident movie star from Secaucus and another player who’s long-time USTA 4.5 player) and other good players to aid them in their quest, giving them good pointers. The 2nd hour they played an equally competitive mixed doubles with the two 16-yo’s above. What a match to watch, everyone in the lounge was in awe with the teenagers, not surprisingly as they trained at the renowned CourtSense at Bogota and McEnroe Academy in NJ/NY. The final match the girls played with the girl’s 15-yo brother and Dwight. Dwight a former college player requested and enjoyed playing with them, had fun executing lobs, drop shots, conversing and joking with them as if he were their coach. He loves to hang with teenagers probably to reminisce about his sports teenage years. It was great that everyone in all the hours had fun.

I finally got to introduce a regular from Nutley to some new friends. Funny I haven’t met too many Turks but since he and his wife found us last year, more and more Turks started joining the group. Just last week 3 Turkish friends came last Wednesday and Saturday and I told everyone they should meet. The Nutley player also brought his friend also from Nutley tonight.

A regular from NYC, a transplant from Nebraska 20 years ago, brought his friend, his friend’s cousin and the cousin’s wife, who just landed at the airport today from Columbia. The cousin got to play and was so enthused and will play again this coming week. Of course, the NYC regular thoroughly enjoyed his matches he played with the teenagers.

A former regular who moved to Reston, VA brought a friend. They both got together to play but went out for dinner and a drink prior, which didn’t seem to affect their games. They enjoyed their women’s and mixed doubles matches. They’re returning once more before the year-end.

Last but not least, the final hour of the party 3 players needed a fourth. To leave a good impression and initiate a newcomer from Texas (also came this Wednesday above) into the Tennis Buffs group, I strong armed him into playing the 5th hour even though he was exhausted and wanted to sit and relax. Other players in the group know that I embrace FDR’s policy – Speak Softly And Carry A Big Stick – to persuade and recruit a fourth for the final hour at every weekend party. Such a nice guy, the newcomer didn’t shoot me for interrupting him every time between breaks as he was trying to relax and enjoy a bite to eat – to get him down on the court to be a fourth.

As I checked in players and collected their fees, I said thank you to them for the payment. I said to the Kinnelon player, you’re free since you have a husband who will pay for you. I turned to a former regular from Teaneck, originally from Teaneck LOL (as everyone else in the newsletter is a recent transplant), and said – You’re not free since you don’t have a husband. Smilingly and gladly he paid – No, I don’t have one. Occasionally I get emails from the Teaneck player whose writing skills I wish I had. Since his retirement about 3-4 years ago, I thought he would be perfect for the job as an editor for the USPTA as they’re looking for one but he’s been busier than ever as he said he’s “been getting work in the private arbitration business…,pretty well occupied (between work, golf, tennis and grandkids).” This is the trending new retirement! He had a nice time playing and seeing everyone. It was really nice to see him and everyone too!

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