June 12, 1977

To wake up on the Mercersburg Campus is a lot like waking up in heaven. The first thing you hear is the sound of birds chirping, then there is the sunlight streaming through the big maple trees and the smell of the wet dew in the grass. To the east the sun comes up early and with no curtains in our room it was imposible to sleep past 7-am. I was tired but woke up in the middle of the night because Mark Sanderson snores a bit! At 6'3 he barely fit in the bunk bed.

We got a room on the main floor of Fowle Hall on Sycamore Avenue. This is one of the underclassman dorms and during the year 95 boys live here, the dorm is very nice. Our room is the first room to the left off the lobby, theres a payphone on the wall and every now and then it rings with people on the other end asking for phantom and long departed students.

By 7:30 we were on the courts next to Nolde gymnasium. Part of the gym is ancient, built in the 20's the other part is new and the pool is spectacular, one of the finest I have seen on a campus, much better than Idaho State's pool complex.

Mark is a good hitter with a solid forehand and backhand, hes a bit slow and doesnt handle the short shots well...but he smashes his serve, just crushes the ball. He plays with a wood Spaulding, perhaps the worse wooden racquet out there, he does well despite the equipment.

We had a meeting at 9-am with the Head Counsellor Tom Sheridan, he is a tanned and blond and from Michigan, seems like a nice guy. He just graduated from the University of Georgia and has a car here! The assistant head counsellor is a guy from Scotland by the name of Eric Riley, I hear he is the Scottish champion and even played in Jr. Wimbledon. I saw him hit and he about the best player I have ever seen.

The town of Mercersburg is very beautiful with cobblestone sidewalks old mansions, it doesnt look as though things have changed much since the civil war, there are buildings from colonial times in the city square.

After lunch at the amazing Ford Hall we hit again on the clay, its so slow that I can easily hit with the hardest hitters, I have never had so much time to hit a ground stroke!

June 11th 1977

I have never flown on an airplane, never been to the east coat, never been anywhere. The world is a lot bigger than I thought and it's all very cool, but I lost my luggage. I had a great flight meeting a cute girl by the name of Pam on the flight from Lincoln, Nebraska and when we parted in Washington, D.C. she gave me a kiss on the cheek and wished me luck. I really like this flying thing!

Mr. Brennan met me in Haggerstown, he is a bit taller than me, in his 60's, big horn rimmed glasses and a booming voice with a New Jersey accent. We talked tennis all the way to Mercersburg the guy impressed me. We talked a lot about Billie Jean King and he told me how they met, and how he was drawn to her because of her competitive fire and how the family adopted her. He said as a coach you can only give so much to a player and then they have to take that information and apply it, he said with he knew right off she was a 'one in a million talent' and that you can't coach speed or god given talent, but 'you can tell them to hit their approach shots down the line.' He said modestly that it was all her, he just showed her a few things. We arrived at the Academy around sundown, the ivy covered buildings and the clay courts gives the the place a graceful ambiance.

Mr. B asked about me, I told him that I was the first of my family to go to college, that my Dad is a union pipefitter and my Mom works in a bakery, that I had always dreamed of playing tennis as a kid but we didnt have courts on the farm where we lived. In 8th grade Garth Kegel gave me his mom's old Elsworth Vines Wilson racquet and I learned by hitting against the wall. By my sophomore year I had made the Pocatello High Tennis Team. A year after high school I met former counselor Charlie Fenske and he asked if I wanted to walk on at Idaho State. I made the team and Charlie set me up.

It's a long way from ISU's Reed Gym Courts to here. Everything is green and old. I walked down to the courts, they're green Hard-tru the same surface as the U.S. Open. I have never played on clay. I found some linen and met a tall sandy haired guy by the name of Mark Sanderson, he is a counselor too and we decided to room together, he's from Plymouth College in New Hampshire. We got settled in and headed for bed. I have been up since 6-am its 11:30 now...

ISU Tennis Season Over. June 5th 1977

We just finished the Tennis season, after a great fall (12-3), we finished 4-16 in the spring with losses to Boise State, Montana, Utah State, Weber, Hayward, San Jose, USF, SF State. It was brutal.

I have been playing number 6 singles and had close matches with all the Big Sky teams but the California teams were another story, they are in a different Universe...especially Stanford, they have an amazing player by the name of Mitchell. It was great seeing them on our spring break trip.
Now that the season is over I landed a job back east. Coach Fenske called Frank Brennan, Billie Jean King's coach and got me a job teaching at the camp and working as a counselor at the Mercersburg Academy. Bobby Dickinson will also work there, Bobby played number one singles and number two doubles all season and won the MVP award. I was lucky enough to letter and that's pretty good for a freshman. I started every varsity match, it doesn't get much better.

I played Jim Hall this afternoon at the Reed Gym courts, the guy is giving me fits because he hits a lot of spin and he has a good lob, I managed to beat him 6-3,6-4. I tried to extend my 5 match win streak over Mike Zaladonis but he is no where to be found.