For our fifth anniversary, it was a small but rabid group of players. Nine of us played our favorite game in the “Casino” at Georgian Court. As I have expounded in the past, this building is just not to be believed. Besides court tennis, it has a former racquets court (finally being used as a student lounge and not as a random storage area), an indoor polo ring, bowling alleys, a pool, and squash courts. My favorite part of the court is the bucket built into last gallery for Gould’s famous railroad serves (ironic, as his grandfather was a railroad baron). I mean, why walk all the way back to the dedans to get a ball?
It’s hard to believe that this was the fifth time we’ve held this event. This year only three clubs were represented. From the T&R we had Arthur Drane, Gary Multer, Tony and Maureen Ashmore, and Ken Forton. From Prince’s Court we had Dave Sterrett. And from RCOP: Schuyler Wickes, Joe Spera, and Baird Standish.
Our day started at about 10 or so with Schuyler and Joe the first to show. Folks eventually trickled in and we were off. As in past years, we played informally, all doubles, for one standard set, then the next foursome would play. People were content to talk and hang out while the others played. With so few players, we each played five or six sets before the day was over.
For the third year in a row we were joined by Geoff Fitzgerald, who worked for Pierre Etchebaster at the R&T in the 70s. Jeff’s mother was a secretary at the club, and he spent his school-time summers cleaning the court, stringing racquets, and introducing people to the game. This year, Geoff showed up with his own racquet, despite not having played since the Invitational last year! And he is going to teach his son how to play the game! This is what this event is about—generating more interest in the game as best we can.
The hospitality this year was even more meager, as the University is tightening things up. Besides not being able to bring adult beverages into the building, we were not even allowed to bring in lunch for the group. If we wanted to bring food in, it had to be individually. The court fees also went up, so we didn’t have as much to contribute to the maintenance of the court and balls.
Notwithstanding these road blocks against fun, this event continues to be a wonderful, casual, annual tradition. If you haven’t been to Lakewood, then you have not seen all of the existing American courts. I’m sure there are some of you who have played Chicago by now—and rightly so. Now complete the board by heading to Gould’s court next year!