The Final 4 concluded last night and Kentucky won. Do you care? Me neither!
Now I do know that the Final 4 took place in New Orleans because for the last few years my brother Jeff and Marla and some of their kids and friends attend the event. Marla does a great job at choreographing the experience with great restaurants and a bit of touring but I’ve always been relieved that I don’t have to make sports a central part of my life.
I’m not putting organized sports down. When my brother Rick played high school basketball it was exciting to sit in the bleachers and watch him shine and I have watched my nieces play on their teams, but it has never had to be a central part of my life. Tuvia has even less interest. When we watched Moneyball, I took on the role of baseball teacher, imagine.
Whoops… hang on. How could I forget that we actually anchored our friendship on the tennis court? I don’t remember who first had that idea, but that first summer I was on my way to Rockland County and a new teacher position at Pearl River High School, that’s the summer we started playing tennis, every day, in the hot sun. I took lessons from Kenny Baxter at the Fallsview Hotel. I think you did too and then we met to keep going. Often we had Jenny with us who at 5 was happy to race for our balls when we missed a volley response. Even with help we spent most of our time on the court racing for the ball. We did get better over the summers, but it was hot out there and we ran around a lot.
Tennis was our game and even though I was officially living in Nanuet, I kept my Ellenville tennis teacher, my dentist and hairdresser for a very long time.
Yes, I liked playing tennis with you but the reward of lunch when we finished was what I dreamed about. And as I think more about it, we played tennis for the exercise, for the challenge to sustain a volley and for the fun it was to take lessons from a wonderful teacher. I don’t remember ever playing to win a match even though we both knew how to score. In the beginning, when we were just happy to keep the ball in the air we didn’t worry about serving but the lessons with Kenny did move our game to include the serve but I don’t ever remember losing or winning. We were all winners with enough exercise under our belts to enjoy a lunch without any guilt.
I don’t remember why we stopped. I think we both lost some steam and Jenny probably moved on to more exciting ways to spend her summer vacation but we founded our friendship on the courts of Ellenville. How could I forget that?
This is the end of our first week of virtual conversations and the first Slice of Life Tuesdays after a full month of March Slices. Seems like we need to celebrate, no?