LAST WEEK’S RECAP | October 28 – Nov 3, 2013

A Tenafly regular brought a friend, also from Tenafly. Word of mouth is our greatest compliment. The newcomer had so much fun that he forgot about leaving early. He’s a great addition to the group.

A player from Secaucus finally made his comeback after a few months of necessary break. Glad to have him back. He said his timing at the net was a bit off but I’m sure it won’t take him long to get back into the swing of things.

A player from Rockland County gave Tenafly a try and thought the distance was quite feasible for weeknight. She plans on coming again.

Several players could not make it tonight, as they were either out partying it up or going Trick-or-Treating with their young children. One player from NYC said – “My 15-year-old is done with that I’m afraid. I was just saying to … [his] wife that that part of our life is over. Didn’t stop her from buying a truck load of candy.” I always enjoy reading his emails, full of insight and excellent writing, our Ernest Hemingway.

Friday players started a trend, making their own buttons to represent themselves, e.g., Angry Bird, a Yankee, Skull and Cross Bones, etc. A player from Montclair arrived tonight with a button for herself, a Sunflower, and a button for her son, a transformer, I forget the name though. They were quite catchy, as other partygoers examined the buttons.

As players came off the court and discussing Marie Antoinette, the player from Hoboken said – “It was fun to watch her, as she was serving, look for the second ball.” Another player from Butler smilingly said – “Maybe she never found the second ball. It might still be in there.” And one more player from NYC said – “She should curtsey when she wins a point.” Kudos to her for playing in her beautiful gold costume.

A player from Teaneck said he came as a tennis player.

Like the player from Teaneck, a player from NYC said she came as a tennis player. Their costumes were not identical.

There were so many newcomers this week and they all had a great time, no matter whom they played with. You can tell that they just love tennis. It reminded me of me 30 years ago when I didn’t care whom I played with, if it was singles or doubles, if the balls were new or dead, if it was with people or against the wall. Like them, I was just happy to play.

Newcomers came from New York: Cortlandt Manor, Manhattan and Woodside; and from New Jersey: Bridgewater, Franklin Park and a few from West New York.

A player from Red Bank was so surprised when she saw 2 newcomers from Bridgewater and Franklin Park. Having known each other from elsewhere, they hugged and greeted each other and talked all night besides playing tennis of course.

The Woodside newcomers gave their age away when they went for the vending-machine junk food! They’re attending college. I heard from other players about how quick they were and what great hands they have at the net. A player from Clifton made a winning drop shot. So he and his partner from Wyckoff thought. As they started to walk away, suddenly the youngster got to the ball and hit it back, not quite Superman but incredibly quick and young! I’ll tell them the next time they come that the junk food machine is broken!

One of the best players of the night played with various friends he made at the parties, players of all levels, from low to high. It was refreshing to hear him say – “I don’t care whether the opponent or partner is weaker or not. There is no bad match for me. Every ball…, every play [is fun]…!” It’s no wonder that he’s well liked by all.

A newcomer from West New York, NJ, originally from Italy, attended the first time a couple of Thursdays ago. Tonight he brought a neighbor, originally from California. The all-American looking Californian surprised players on his court when he spoke to his Japanese partner, whom he had just met, in Japanese. I wonder if his mother is Japanese since his last name isn’t. The two West New York newcomers kept saying how much it was and – “This is great!” I think so too – to have a place you can go to, meet new people, play with different people, eat some food, keep playing until you drop, or not…., and then go home…. Not bad for a Saturday night fun!

A recent newcomer from Yonkers feels same, as this is her third week in a row, and she keeps telling more friends about the parties.

Last but not least, a mention about Sunday players who attended tonight. Although I forgot to put a match together with all 4 of them, they were still happy with their coincidental reunion. At the end of the party, they were exchanging news of their matches. I interjected and said – “Oh right that newcomer from California, Fisk is the last name.” They all started saying at the same time – “Like Carlton Fisk?” I asked “Who?,” not knowing much about the sport. These baseball buffs then started to rant other famous names and what they were famous for. I have heard of some of them: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mattel…. I almost felt as if I was back at Packanack, as they sat around talking about things, just anything, at the end of each Sunday parties.

One more mention about the last outdoor Sunday party on October 20th. The weather was extremely cold, in the 40’s which I didn’t realize until a week later. I waited all day for a match but everyone was done playing. So I guilted (is there such a word?) a few players to play one last set for the season. Boy, did I feel bad later that one of the players, from Edgewater, got really sick from the frigid temperature and didn’t recover for over a week! It was a fun and unforgettable Sunday, but I hope to never do this again to another player.

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