Tennis Club News

Sunday, July 20, 2014


"Aw, geez."

-Joe DeBassio

Cora presides.


We had a party, all right, celebrating, of all people, little me. Little me, BIG PARTY. I got swag, I got a Lifetime Membership with a spiffy scroll attesting so. I got an embossed medallion worthy of the Sforzas. I had applause and hugs and handshakes. I was a bit overwhelmed.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the party, and thanks to the attendees and to those who sent along best wishes. Thanks to Cora and the Board who have been very supportive. Thanks to all my friends at the CTC for years of camaraderie and good times.

Craig declaims.



If you have any good photos of the event, please send 'em along. We do have some pics:

Bob, Phil, and Cora

Past Presidents salute. (I worked with 13 presidents.)

Holly, Sheila, and Bob, mentors and guardians.

Matt, Susannah, Lu, and me.

Tom Ames, who made life better and funnier, and me and my medallion.


Now, Bob Bradford gave a remarkable toast. We've had requests to put it up on the website. (We'll get Craig's poem next week.) Here's Bob:

TOAST TO JOE DeBASSIO, JULY 16th, 2014, Cambridge, MA

Delivered by Bob Bradford, at Cambridge Tennis Club Special Reception

We all know Joe DeBassio to be a man for all seasons.

He’s the one out there in freezing November snow squalls, taking website photos of a few remaining club stalwarts trying to finish just one last game. And he’s the one making gothically humorous website images of mallard ducks still swimming on our back courts in late March. (Can you hear the sardonic chuckle?)

Later in the spring we’ll often find him in his horticulturist mode, out watering the Club’s magnificent Rock garden, he loved so well, almost lost in the rainbow mists and fragrant springtime scents of a sunny new day.

He’s also the shivering shadowy solitary figure out there in frigid zero midnight temperatures, laying down a beautifully smooth fresh layer of Cambridge Skating Club ice with a fine-spray hot water hose. And he’s the familiar shirt-soaked person we see out there laboring under the hottest midday summer sun, hefting heavy bags of virgin clay, and then carefully raking them onto our court surfaces.

However, Joe is living proof that being an invaluable caretaker, also involves becoming an unforgettable care-giver. And for so many of us, over thirty years, Joe has been like a beacon for this club’s community-at-large; almost a psychic glue.

He’s like a one-man social nerve center, the club’s all-time kibitzer, a trusted confidant, best friend, and a remarkable real mensch. He’s been our favorite raconteur, our literary critic, our imaginative practical joker, and our obliging indispensable life-of-the-party head bartender.

His website creativity and whimsy have long been legendary---especially all those selected daily Shakespearean one-liner aphorisms which have both titillated and motivated tennis club players for decades.

Well here’s one for you, Joe, although The Bard quite obviously didn’t pen it himself:

“Forsooth! Behold this splendid fellow’s departure with a heavy heart; but know ye that his irreplaceable fair countenance and noble character shall never be forgot.”

Dear Joe, there’s not a doubt that Shakespeare would have loved you, just as we do today. And it’s a rare and distinct pleasure to now be welcoming you as an honorary lifetime fellow member of the CTC you have served so faithfully.

So, don’t be a stranger, old sport!

Aw, geez.


A call for contributors: The newsroom staff is reporting from a nearby friendly country. We need some on-the-spot correspondents. Please send us opinions or comments or jokes or observations or pleas. Or stories.

The tennis ladder has relocated. Check the Table of Contents tab for "Tournaments & Ladders."

The ladder is up to date as of 10-8-13. We will try to update tennis ladder play in a timely fashion.


We have some sort of reciprocity with the Mt. Auburn Club. What is the deal? Please take a look at the 'Member's Portal' over there on the left in the Table of Contents.

Pierce Harman took zillions of pictures at the last year's Memorial Day party, most of which can be found at:

Pierce Harman.zenfolio. com/ctc_memorial.

The club book should be in your hands always. In the case of some misfortune whereby the book is not, the website has all of the year's activities and other info up-to-date.



The club has a new member named Pierce Harman who is, aside from being last year's Singles Champ, a professional photographer. Pierce seems to be mighty good at action shots. You can take a look at a slide show of Pierce's action shots of club members: 2012 slideshow. You might also follow the link to the section of Pierce's website to see a whole gallery of CTC pictures.


Some links of interest:

Rogers Cup

ATP World Tour

WTA Tennis



The club is booking courtson-line through a program some of you might know from the Mt. Auburn Club, Bookings Plus. What fun, what excruciating fun! Yup, no more painful dialing and re-dialing and hoping against hope that you can get that prime-time court. You will still be able to call the clubhouse between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. and talk to a friendly, playful staff-person who can enter your on-line reservation for you, but doing it yourself will be so much more gratifying and easier. And did we say fun? The on-line reservation system, as well as our regular phone reservations, will go live when the courts are open. Please note the link to our reservation system over there on the left in the table of contents. The link will also give you a brief tutorial on how to use on-line reservations and thereby increase your fun.

Much to our surprise and de-light, folks seem to be availing themselves of on-line reservations. As we get busier, you might try to click on at 8:00 a.m. exactly.

Note that your passwords have changed. Read the Bookings Plus blurb about the change. It is still easy and wicked fun.



Craig Lambert wrote a must-read article for Harvard Magazine about Bruce Wright's take on the 'high set' stance and movement in tennis. Take a look: High Set The article is accompanied by a separate video demonstrating the technique. High Set Video Thanks, Craig, for sending this nifty technical riff along to us.

The book? Membership for the coming year hasn't been settled, so the book will be a while in the making. In the meantime, the website will be updated as data dribbles in.



We are going to try out a new feature on the newspage. Let's call it The Book Blurb. The Blurb will note books not necessarily about tennis, but authored by CTC members. So, if you members have recently, or maybe not so recently, written a book that you'd like blurbed, please let us know.

Let's start with:

"The fundamental question of information philosophy is cosmological and ultimately metaphysical. What is the process that creates information structures in the universe?" Heady stuff, no?Well, the club's own Bob Doyle who works much magic here behind the scenes tackled this little issue in his book, Free Will: The Scandal in Philosophy. And the club's own Craig Lambert wrote a nifty, readable article for Harvard Magazine on Bob and his place in the free will issue. Take a look at Craig's article,

Two Steps to Free Will.

In the midst of renovating garages and ruling vast sectors of cyberspace, Bob Doyle wrote a bit of a magnum opus: Free Will: The Scandal in Philosophy by Bob Doyle. "The fundamental question of information philosophy is cosmological and ultimately metaphysical. What is the process that creates information structures in the universe?"

We have a new book by a club member, Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women's Sports, by club member, Susan Ware. The book is: A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Sports Book.

We have some new books from club member, Julie Baer:

Love Me Later

Julie Baer presents us with a unique book. Her fantastic artwork depicts nature and people in a special way. --

I Only Like What I Like

"CHILDREN BEWARE –will have you trying the untried, 'cause it's FUN! The collages fill you up to the eyeballs."

Take a look at: William P. Homans, Jr., A Life in Court, by Mark S. Brodin. Bill Homans was a long time member of the club with "a storied legal career." A lot of folks at the club knew and liked Bill. He could tell a story or two, couldn't he?

We want to mention New Classic American Houses, a book by Dan Cooper about the architecture of Albert, Righter, and our own John Tittmann. "New Classic American Houses is an architectural page-turner brimming with creative interpretations of traditional forms."

Hot off the presses, a new book by Faith Moore, Celebrating a Life, Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances. "Celebrating a Life" provides the ideas, inspiration, and how-to advice needed for creating a meaningful memorial service. Light-hearted but sensitive, this thoughtful guide covers it all."
While We Were Sleeping by David Hemenway.

"This book powerfully illuminates how public health works with more than sixty success stories drawn from the area of injury and violence prevention."

The Parents We Mean To Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children's Moral and Emotional Development by Rick Weissbourd.

The New Yorker review said, "In this ardent and persuasive inquiry, Weissbourd, a Harvard psychologist, warns that 'happiness-besotted' parents do children a disservice by emphasizing personal fulfillment over empathy."



The club directory should be in your hands always. The website has all of the information in the book except Membership.

Some useful links:

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.



"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.)



Take a look

at what was happening at this time last year.



The Yearbook link will take you to the last newspage from 2013. 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 Cambridge weather site.

Find more about Weather in Cambridge, MA
Click for weather forecast

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 said clicker can read the news pages for the whole year (2013). The less-than link (<) next to the honeycomb icon will take clickers to the previous issue of this year's newspage.


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