-You might think that I'm crazy, but I'd like to reserve a court for 2:00 today.
-But the temperature is in the high 90's...
We've been mighty busy this last week. Between deluges, we've had lots of play, especially in the middle of the day when the temperature is boiling hot.
-Are you sure that you should be playing now, at, like, noontime? It's really hot.
-It's okay: we're all doctors.
The action slows down on weekends. SUV's have appeared at the club, and folks are going away 'for the weekend.' Two new trends.
A Wimbledon experience - probably duplicatable.
We were in London recently for three days, on our way to cooler climes, and we heard about this tennis tournament at a London suburb. Reportedly tickets for the stadia were essentially impossible to score 9 days into the action, but we took advice from informed sources and took the Tube ( what the Brits call the T) to a nearby stop (Southfields) at about 5:30 pm Wednesday afternoon, boarded the shuttle bus to the All England Croquet, Lawn Tennis and Snooker Club, and arrived shortly after 6 pm.
THE ONLY LINE WAS A TWO MINUTE QUEUE TO GO THROUGH SECURITY. Ten pounds each for grounds passes and we were in.
Wimbledon is small, and very green, and very organized. The outer courts are readily visited and you are close to the players, very close indeed. In addition to the touring pros from the ATP and WTA, there are the "masters" (old favorites), and the juniors (under 18 up and comers). All of these folks are really good. Mens Doubles, womens doubles, (oops, Gentlemens' and Ladies' Doubles) mixed doubles, singles. Even so late in the tourney, there were lots of matches to watch.
Given London's latitude, the summer days are long - we didn't leave till 9 and many matches were still going. (No lights at Wimbledon, so it's natural light only - at least this year.) Also, bring an umbrella, a big one. There is an upside to the near certainty of rain - it means that a lot of matches get delayed, so latecomers are rewarded. We are informed that those who choose to be on the spot when play opens find the lines to be very long indeed. (The Brits love a queue, so this may be masochism in action.)
Wimbledon is a great experience, and moreover, it is easy.
Long-time and well-liked member, Leo Poverman, died on July 8 after a long battle with illness. We hear that a memorial service is being planned for September. Leo was a real gentleman and a good sport (though he sure hated to lose), and he will be truly missed.
Leo Poverman was a fine tennis player, wonderful doubles partner, a consumate gentleman on the court, a wonderful friend, a great raconteur. Needless to say he will be very much missed.
Leo Poverman was a member of the Cambridge Tennis Club for many years. He was a bright, warm, open-minded man who enjoyed tennis games with a great number of our members through-out the decades. We shall miss his smiling presence at the CTC.
Leo was noted for his exceptional good humor and the intensity of his interests and conversation. He was sensitive to all that he encountered and gave thought to many things that others let pass without thought.
I knew him mostly through tennis at CTC and the B&T. He was dedicated to the game. Last winter he had to stop playing because of his cancer treatment but by spring he was ready to try it again. In spite of a very brave effort he concluded that he could not do it. It must have hurt, but from talking to him you would not know it. Always up beat.
Staff member and friend, Tom Wassner, died on July 11 after a long battle with illness. We understand that his family is planning to hold a memorial service on the one-year anniversary of his death.
Tom worked here at the Tennis Club and the Skating Club for a few years now and we knew him well. He played music and sang and wrote songs. He was working up his act to appear at open mike night at a club in Harvard Sq. He was always a good worker, especially during the spring opening. He was a good guy and we'll all miss him.
The really amazing thing about Tom was how he handled being sick. He was never down. He never complained. He never even wanted to talk about it. Right up until the end, he kidded around, he talked sports, he said he'd be back. He was coming back.
Maybe Tom was right, maybe Bill Belichick was the greatest pro football coach of all times, maybe Tom Brady was the best quarterback, even better than Joe Montana.
Tom was the center of sports talk at the club. All sports, every season.
Sometimes we hesitated to argue about sports with Tom because Tom had all the stats at his fingertips, he watched every game, he read every analysis. (He remembered that player in a college game, a playoff in, say, 1992.) Before Tom came to work at the club, he worked for years and years as a camera man for a cable sports network. He had stories. He had anecdotes. He was there for the games and he was there after the games, in the locker room, for the post-game interviews.
Tom skated and was learning to play tennis. He played lots of softball. He was in several leagues at once, a twilight league, a frost league. He and his pal, Sam, won championships. Tom umpired softball. In one year he umpired over a hundred games.
Tom thought that he knew sports, that he saw into the secret heart of sports. He wasn't dismissive, though, he liked to debate, to analyze, to appreciate.
Well, we can't ask Tom about Larry Bird or Roger Clemens any more. But we'll remember some of Tom's stories, some of his verdicts. And we'll remember Tom rendering them.
Tom never wanted to talk about his sickness. A lot of us just didn't know about it for a long time. If you asked how he was doing, he'd say fine, what with the Patriots' draft going so well. That Belichick.
Tom, tell us again the story about Bird on the exercycle.
We'll miss you, Tom. We already miss you.
|The next round robin is scheduled for Thursday, August 3. The meal will be pizza, the weather sparkling, the company scintillating. Tennis begins at 6:00.|
|The club is planning a hodge-podge tournament. A hodge-podge tournament is a tournament where you signs yourself up and your partner's name is drawn from a Red Sox hat. You could be partnered up with oh-no-not-her, or wow-we're-gonna-win.|
The club book is back from the printer and should be in your hands now. Meanwhile, much of the book's information is now available on the website. (Thanks to Sheila and Ann for getting the info to us in a timely fashion.) Events, Rules, Governors and Committees are all updated, as is the New Members List. When is the next Round Robin?
The website has a long overdue new feature: a Champions Page (recently updated). Check it out.
The website has another new and important feature, the President's Corner. Check it out.
And we've added new info on the membership process. Check out MEMBERSHIP.
We still have the tournament draws (from 2001 to 2004) available on-line (including all of the results), thanks to the Java Kid. We are re-locating the links, however.
"On the court, tennis players exchange not only ground strokes but lots of information. It's a richly interactive sport, both verbally and non-verbally. If players communicate clearly, simply, and consistently, the game will proceed more quickly, and with less fuss and misunderstanding. Here are a few guidelines that can make the game more fun, friendly, and fair for all...."
We've had some requests to run Craig Lambert's piece, sampled above, on Tennis Communication. (We'd better leave this link up on the newspage permanently.)
Some useful links:
And here's a link to the espn site, with pro ranking.
And a club member (let's call him Sol) suggested a link to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. The site is rich.
Website note: The website does have all of the information available in the club book on-line.
'Timelines' is for adepts.
Yearbook link will take you to the last newspage from 2005. From there you can see the whole of the Persistent Archive of last year's news.
Website Note: The time and temperature icon below is a link to a Boston weather site.
Joe DeBassio, Webmaster
Website Note II: The honey-comb icon is also a link. It takes the clicker to an archive of all the past news pages so that you can read the news pages for the whole year (2006). The less-than link (<) next to the honeycomb icon will take you to the previous issue of this year's newspage.