WEDNESDAY, JULY 13th, 1977, Mercersburg Academy

There are times when the mornings drag and its an eternity to lunch. We all love Forde Hall with its beautiful long tables and its high ceilings, I even like the cafeteria people, especially the guy that looks Cheslock in “Cuckoo’s Nest”. He watches the pudding like a hawk and its imposible to grab and extra one because he’s right there saying ‘hey buddy, one desert.’ The other guy there looks exactly like the famous Woodstock singer Richie Havens. I keep expecting him to break into the song ‘Here comes the sun’. They are so kind to us and the kids and we are very fond of them.

The morning was cloudy, it was humid and with humidly comes the knats. They chew up the legs and fly into the eyes, there’s also swarms of mosquitoes that are trouble. I always have scabs…and the bugs are bad when its humid.

This is my favorite time of day, 4:15. The work day is over and we can play tennis or take a nap, or read, this is the magical time of day. I decided not to play today because I need a break…I am have lost so many close matches, I think its all focus…I need to play each set like it’s my last. I get too far ahead of myself, I dig in too late. I need to take the initiative early…play with the lead instead of catch up all the time.

Mr. Brennan had a great lecture today about excuses. He said that we should never make excuses, he said “Don’t make up excuses to lose, think of excuses to win.” Very wise words. Often a player will be close to an upset and Mr. B says they will talk themselves right out of the match because they are more afraid of winning than losing. Excuses get you no where…
Liz was violently ill last night, shes been sick for more than two weeks straight and tonight the girl counselors took her Dr. Prevost at the infirmary. He was very put out, he didn’t want to open up and treat her. Liz turned hysterical, it was a huge scene and Mr. B intervened and called her parents and when she is able she is going back to Florida. it’s a sad situation.

Mark and I went up to the third floor, the maintance crews still have not cleaned out the rooms and they are a treasure trove of books, decorations, and junk destined for the garbage. We found some curtains to put in our room and needed them badly. We also found some cool posters, including a great one of Illie Nastase. We keep our room very neat and its comfortable. We have our radios and photos from home. This is a great life and this summer will be over soon and that is sad to think about right now. At home I lived in a small apartment with my Dad during the first semester. He and my mom had split and he moved out into this dingy apartment. I moved in with him just to keep an eye on him. I slept on a couch for a long time, then I moved to a great house just a few blocks East of the campus with Duane Stotland and Bonnie, Cathy and Debi. We called the place the ‘halfway house’ because so many of us lived there. It was nice but not as comfortable as this dorm.

I just talked to Mr. B and he was thinking out loud, he is now short a counselor and is going to bring in a CIT to take the open slot when Liz leaves, He knows this kid from Northern N.J that he can bring in. I think the kid will work out, we are all sad about the Liz situation.

Its now bed time, we just put all the kids in bed, we are all so tired but we had a little meeting with Sheridan, he told everyone why Liz is going home and that everyone will have to pick up the slack. Some of the counselors have been going downtown for beers after lights out, he said that has to stop. Other than that the camp has been running smoothly and Mr. B is happy.

A while ago I called Mom collect, it was great talking to her and she and Jerry miss me. I also talked to my sisters, Brenda and Tamy. I miss them and I cant wait to get home. My sister Tamy just graduated and my other sister will be a Junior at Poky High. They are growing up so fast and Tamy will join me in the fall at ISU.
After the phone call I went into the Lobby to see what was happening, everyone was gathered around the TV and watching the great blackout in NYC. The networks were covering it live and there were reports of looting and people stuck in elevators and babies born in cars and murders. Absolutely crazy stuff. The news showed some clips from looters in Crown Heights, then the fires on Broadway in Manhattan, I can’t imagine being a fireman in that mess, thousands of people are being arrested. The Mets were losing to the Cubs in Shea 2-1 when the stadium went dark. Its now past midnight and the madness continues…I hope our power doesn’t go out.

Tuesday July 12, 1977

It was a good morning, the series of storms that have pounded us have cleared and we are back to hot, clear days. The morning really flew by past, we worked on backhands with the campers, in the demos Mr. B showed the one and two hander. All the Borg-Connors clones use two, I would say over half of all campers use the two hander. I think you give up too much reach with the two handed backhand, and its very hard to hit underspin. I like the one handed stroke but if I have a player that’s doing a good job with the two-hander I’m not going to change it, I will help them make it better.

After lunch I took a little nap before we gathered up our dirty clothes for the trip to the laundry. Its about a four block walk, I have a big laundry bag that I can put clothes in, This laundry mat is expensive .50 cents to wash and .25 cents to dry. So, I got three dollars in change and leaves me enough money to buy a coke too.

The walk through Mercersburg was fun, I love looking at the houses, they are so ancient and this is such a beautiful town. Bevin chatted the whole time, most of the talk is about her sisters and Dad, about school and her classes. She told me all about her home outside of Philly, a place called Haverford. When we got to the place it was reading time, Bevin is reading the book ‘Valley of the Dolls.‘ I’m still reading Farewell to Arms, and Im at the part where Catherine dies in childbirth. I’m really into Hemingway.

We finished folding and then walked back to the Academy. I didn’t feel like sitting the dorm the rest of the day so I walked downtown to the Fredrick Library and just hung out and read all the magazines and newspapers, then found some great picture books to leaf through. One book had all the photos of Mathew Brady…to think that this was where the war was fought…being so close to Chambersburg, Antedium, Gettysburg. The photos were amazing. I made it back to the Dining Hall just in time to eat.

After dinner I had another counselor tournament match, this time I played Roger Dickinson. We ran each other into the ground, it was a battle and I had the edge down the stretch but he tied it up at 8-8. We played a tiebreaker and he pulled it out 9-8. There were no bad line calls, no controversy, just steady tennis. I have to hand it to him he played well with a deadly topspin lob. Rogers forehand is very steady and he hits it deep, he has a just one weakness, he hits short off his backhand side, I needed to attack off that side but didn’t think of that until it was too late. The match lasted neary 3 hours and we both lost a lot of water, I’ve downed at least a gallon of water tonight, I’m pleasantly tired, I feel good because I played good, I’ve had a bunch of close matches lately, I’m closer to figuring it all out.

Mark and I planning a weekend trip to Washington, D.C. for our only weekend off. It should be fun because on Saturday the Washington Star Tennis tournament gets underway. We plan on attending Sunday and then join the rest of the camp there on Monday. Mr. B rented buses and we’re taking 86 campers. I have never seen a pro tennis match, I cant wait to see how they hit. Mark and I are very excited. The Washington Post reported today that Villas is the number one seed with Brian Godfrey, Raul Ramirez, Eddie Dibbs and Harold Solomon are all scheduled to play.


Monday, July 11th, 1977

It was a tough day, we woke up to dark foggy, morning with mist, the sky was dark gray…again we headed into the gym. Mr. B sent Roger, Riley and I to the hardcourts to try and get them playable, puddles were everywhere and just as the courts became playable it started to rain.

I noticed a big berry bush outside the courts, a mulberry bush and its branches were heavy with dark berries. Dr. Prevost from the infirmary came walking by and I asked him if it was okay to eat the berries, he said they were safe but in the future refrain from eating anything red in the wild. We picked at least a quart a piece, the berries were so ripe and sweet. I think our purple lips gave us away when we returned to the gym.

Inside it was two counselors to a court and a massive round of 'around the world' with the kids starting from one end and rotating to the far end of the court. So a camper running the gauntlet would get 16 running forehands and then would have to sidestep or run around the backside dodging balls. At least one kid per session get beaned, and at least a counselor or two, it’s great exercise, good practice but very tiring. Its also very loud. The kids were so exhausted that we played volleyball in the afternoon, the sky was the darkest gray I have every seen, almost eerie, the volleyball was a welcome treat and the kids loved it.

After dinner the rain quit and the clay courts were playable. I played Tom Vrana in singles, again he had me down 7-1, but I came back losing 8-6 in a very close match. I had the adrenaline pumping and while Tom attacked early, I started attacking and kept him at the baseline and stole momentum. At one point the pulled me off the court and I ran down a ball into the next court, dove for it, hit a high lob and he missed the overhead. What a way to win a point! Had I started attacking I would have beaten him. I was just a point from evening the match at 7-7. Tom V. is a very gracious winner and admitted that he had chocked and was lucky to pull out the match, he complemented me and made me feel better about the defeat, that was very classy.

Mr. B says over and over again that the breaks go the person that’s hustling, digging and trying the hardest. Mr. B says nice players seldom win, you have to have a bit of hostility to win, but Mr. B says take it out on the ball not your opponent. He told me once of watching a Rod Laver match once at Forrest Hills. He said the Laver lost the first set 6-1 and he could tell that Laver was upset, said his face was red as beet. He said that Laver took the court in the second set with an incredible amount of hostility. He punished the ball with that menacing forehand and Mr. B said the guy Laver was playing wasn’t even there, Laver was so pissed off at the ball. In the end Laver won the next three sets easily with a bagel in the fourth. I love that story.

Mr. B also talks about the concept of blood in the water. He says that when BJK plays she plays with the hopes of getting blood in the water. The concept works like this…in a set there’s a turning point. Both players can hold early and usually do but at 3-3 BJK would step it up and go all out for the break by attacking the second serve, once she got the break at 4-3 she serves. BJK seldom losses her serve, so she’s up 5-3. When BJK hit’s the magic number---5 games Mr. B says she’s a shark with blood in the water. She senses the blood and moves in for the kill…he calls it a ruthless but humane kill. I will never forget this story. Because for the first time he gave us a glimpse into BJK's thought make up and one of the great tennis minds. Mr. B says the other girls on the tour know that if BJK pulls ahead they don’t have a chance because she’s so relentless with her attacking game, many just fold. That's why BJK is perhaps the greatest to ever play the game.

I’m sitting here at my desk contemplating my match, I need to just hang with these players and then go for the break and the kill. Im just now getting used to clay, I need to focus more so I don’t get tight in a match. This tennis is so complex, it’s the hardest sport in the world to master, it’s a running chess game and its hard to make decisions when your head is pounding and pulse racing. I know golf is hard, there too you have to have concentration, tennis is much harder because you have stay in a high level of concentration while at the same time you’re running your ass off. If you can keep your head, while those around you are losing theirs….

I have no clean clothes, everything stinks to high hell. Mark Sanderson is in the same boat so our first order of business is to do laundry. I just got back from the girls dorm, Bevin and I sat and listened to Lenny Saks play the piano for about an hour, this guy is really amazing. We had our own concert and it was simply perfect.

Bevin needs to do laundry too and the three of us are off tomorrow afternoon so we will all walk to the laundrimat and tackle this mountain of moldy-sweaty clothes.


Sunday, July 10th 1977, Mercersburg, Academy

Tom S asked me to drive some of the kids to church. So Becky Craft, Lenny Saks and I took 11 kids to the Catholic Church downtown and attended the service. It’s very interesting because much of the service was in latin, I was so lost and spent a lot of time kneeling and getting up and shaking hands and I must have looked like the village idiot because I kept getting blindsided by the movement and motion. The church was very old and beautiful, lots of stained glass and icons, it was a good time. After church we stopped for ice cream and all the kids loved that. We made it back to camp at 11:30, I changed clothes and soon it was time for lunch.

In the dining hall I spotted Roger Dickinson and I pulled up a chair and we talked baseball. The all-star game is coming up and we agree that the American League is going to kick ass this year because they’re heavy with good hitters like Carew, Brett, Yaz and Reggie Jackson, but Roger argued that it wont be easy becaue the the NL has Sutton and is loaded with other great pitchers, Roger is bummed because the only Ranger that will play is Bert Campaneris. Anyway we were sitting there and Roger bet a camper that the AL would easily win…so we will see.

After lunch Bevin and I played Mark and Becky. On paper they should have won, they have better serves and better returns, but Bevin and I dug in, hit a bunch of service return lobs that split them and got em off the net. We played relaxed and we joked around a lot. I worked on making sure that I was thinking two shots ahead of each shot. In the end we won 7-5, I stretched out the back of my knee sliding but it’s okay now.

Later I played Bobby Dickinson in the second counselor tournament, he had me down 7-1 but I came back and won 5 straight games before he pulled out a 8-6 win. I had him running. I wish I had hit short angles early in the match…he didn’t handle the mouse traps I set for him. Mouse traps are short angle drop shots and cross court lobs and they worked like a charm. There’s no way I can stroke with the guy from the baseline so I have to give him junk.

After dinner Tom Sheridan and I had to get out and away from the dorms and the sound of slamming doors and kids, so we drove over to McConnellsburg. It was fun doing something out of the normal like going for a drive, we went to a diner and ordered corn fritters and cokes, we talked about the U of G and his frat and it sounds like those Georgia guys party down! We got back in time to put the kids to bed. When I got back Roger was in the upstairs lounge listening to a baseball game and arguing with Feinberg and Solomon about….baseball. Xavier was in the corner with his practice pads drumming away. Tom Vrana and the camper Rick were listening to Springsteen music, If I hear Born to Run one more time I will go insane. I love the song but they have taken it to another level,They never seem to tire of that song and the Thunder Road song.

Mark was reading when I got in, he was happy because he won his counselor tournament match against Andy Greenspan. He said his serve was on…I wish I was 6’4.…like him I would crush the ball…5’8 doesn’t cut it.


Saturday, July9th 1977 Mercersburg Academy

What a great morning to catch an early breakfast in Forde Hall, then walk across plush lawns to the beautifully maintained courts for a few sets of tennis?
Xavier Combe from Paris asked if I wanted to play and I readily agreed because he is a clay court specialist. He is graceful with classic ground strokes and on this surface he can mix it up with anyone here. In Paris that’s all he plays on, he says the red clay is much slower and have to be steady to survive the long rallies. I took the initiative in the match, by hitting short angles and drop shots to take control and I had him running around pretty good, but then he started attacking my forehand with short angled cross court shots of his own. I started missing, a few shots at first to make me bleed, then the hemorrhage started. We got into 5 ball rallies and then he'd throw in the short cross court forehand and I'd hit it long or in the net.

I lost confidence in the forehand and the match losing 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Despite the defeat it was a fun match, X is such an even tempered guy. He doesn’t say much but when he does it's something you can use, and dwell on. We were changing sides and he said that I need to trust the forehand and glide into the short balls. He was right ,I was taking too many steps which is good on hard courts but a disaster on clay.

Later we talked all the way back to the dorms, with Bevin it's art, Roger it's baseball, with X it's music. We talked a lot about Eric Burton who X claims is French. I didn’t know that. I think Burton is one of the all time greats, with great lyrics and interesting hooks in his music. X agreed. He's a drummer and asked me who I thought was the greatest drummer of all time, I answered John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, or Keith Moon from the Who. He thought Watts from the Stones was the best in terms of rock, he said Ringo Starr was a terrible technically so we disagreed there. All in all he thought I had a good start but then rattled off a bunch of jazz drummers that I have never heard of, I decided then and there not to challenge X in the field of music. I’ve heard him practice on his pad in his room and he's very impressive. X asked me who I listened to when it came to jazz. I told him Coltrane, Monk, and Davis…again he thought I had a good start.

I love this game. I had a talk with Mr. Brennan yesterday about tennis. He said it's more than a sport, it’s a business tool, it’s a social life, it's a fitness regime, its a running chess game and keeps the mind in shape. But he said most importantly that if you play the game seriously you strive to get better. When you strive to do something you set goals and he says when people quit setting goals they stop living. He said too many people his age quit playing, quit doing anything active at all and they die too soon. FXB said tennis is also part of the great network, you meet good people that trust you and want to do business. He says tennis doesn’t have limits, you can be a great player if that’s what you’re into or you can be a great networker, or a great social butterfly. He said that tennis in terms of rich and poor is classless, and colorless and can lift you he said that on the court you are free of the pressures of work, that youre no longer a too young for too fat, or too slow, no longer this or that. Tennis is the great equalizer claims FXB, where kings and paupers play on equal ground. That it frees you of everything in life that tends to drag one down. I never thought of it but he’s right. In my case Tennis got me to college and got me to this wonderful Tennis camp, theres no telling where it will take me next. Tennis took Mr. B to Camp David and on the court with the President of the United States, hard to imagine that the Patterson boy made it to Camp David to hit with the world’s most powerful man.

I haven’t had mail in two weeks, until today. I had 4 letters…all from that sweet Chris Russell-Vick, how nice is that? The letters were very campish and newsy and I found out more about what the girls have been up to all summer. She told me which girl counselors had crushes on which guy counselors. The letters were funny,cheeful and thoughtful just like the author; Chris Russell-Vick, who is nothing less than a hero in my eyes.

Again, its starting to rain. We were planning on taking the kids to Saunderosa Park, Its almost noon now and Im heading back to Forde Hall for lunch. I hope this rain doesn’t kill the whole day.

I had lunch with that cute Chris in the the fancy dining hall and I imagined we were dining in a London castle. I thanked her for the mail and later asked her about Wimbledon and she told me what its like there, how much fun it is to get a field pass and walk the grounds. She told me about the strawberries and cream and how nasty Nastase really is and how easy it is to spend a day watching tennis with good friends. I hope one day I can see it all.

I just got back from lunch and its still raining, Im listening to WRCV and that great Fleetwood Mac song is on again…Rayana. That’s good music, I wish I had a stero, but its just another luxury a poor college student can't afford.

It's after 11 now, we ended up going to Saunderosa after all but it rained all the way there and it was so dark. Luckily they have a little club house there and everyone was inside listening to the juke box. I talked to Bevin for a couple of hours, she told me about life at William and Mary college, and it sounded good. She told me about the house on the Cape all the while we were wading in the lake, getting soaked by the rain, we didn’t care, good talks with a good friend is more powerful than an umbrella.

A bunch of us walked downtown with the kids to see the movies. I sat with Bevin and on the way home we talked about how movies are mini vacations for the mind, an escape. That’s why I go, to get away, but it was fun getting away with her!

Im looking out the window of my Fowle Hall dormroom, up toward Tippits. All the girls are in bed and its dark. I can see the outline of the trees in the night. With all this rain it smells so fresh. I hope it’s a good day tomorrow because I want to play some more tennis.


Friday, July 8th 1977

It was a spectacular night, at 11:30 I was dead asleep when I woke to a loud crack of thunder and a blinding bolt of lightning that struck a tree out near the highway. It was deafening but the smell was fresh and indescribable. So much for sleep, Mark and I we rode the storm out the rest of the night, sheets of rain came down and we sat out on the porch of Fowle and watched the spectacle, soon other counselors joined us and we talked and watched in wonder. Tom S was there, Roger, John Day, Xavier, Andy Greenspan, Kenny Feinberg. I can’t remember rain like that. At about 1:30 it let up and we were able to go back to sleep. It was so hot and sticky inside but we were exhausted then in a few minutes morning broke.

The sun rose clear but it was too wet to roll the courts, the hard courts were unplayable too, we ended up in the gym for the first two hours. Thank god for Mr. B’s stories, he talked nearly an hour about the pro tour, about Billie. I heard stories I hadn’t heard before. He told us about the early days, when she was in High School and how she used to come to Upper Saddle River every summer. He said that she came to train and play in the big USTLA tournaments. He said she was up early in the mornings and had breakfast with the Brennan clan, that she was one of the kids. Then she was out on the road, just like a boxer, jogging to the courts. Mr. B would then have her hit with two guys at the net, sometimes Frank Jr. in the later college years, Larry King. FXB says it was modeled after Harry Hopman’s successful training routine that he used on his Australian Davis Cup team. The guys would stand at the net and hit ball after ball to the corners while BJK scrambled to get balls back, this lasted for a couple of hours. He said she ran ladders on the courts, jump roped, sprint intervals, and said no worked harder than Billie. It was an amazing insight.
FXB said that in those days there was no money in tennis, that all BJK had was a clothing and racquet contract. When Coleen Brennan was here during the Adult session she was wearing a Fred Perry shirt embroidered with the initials BJK. I asked Coleen about the shirt and she says they still have a stack of BJK clothing around the house, a reminder of the days when there was no money in tennis, Mr. B called it bullshit shamatuerism with contempt.

I remember the first time I heard about BJK, it was in grade school when she won Wimbledon doubles, I read the story in the Weekly Reader Newspaper back in first grade. Women sports heros were rare that it was a novelty . I remember later, must have been 5th or 6th grade when she won the singles title and I caught that match on TV and read about it in the Idaho State Journal. I was fascinated by her. She had drive and determination and you knew that she was going to win, kind of the woman’s equivalent to Laver. She was the only woman athlete that when we played tennis handball against the wall at Whittier Elementary, we would pretend we were her. I wish I would have started tennis back then. I wanted to but it was impossible because we didn’t even have pavement anywhere near our farm house, so it was baseball and football until junior high.

We finally made it outside at 11:00, the courts were freshly rolled and it was humid and hot but anything is better than being in the gym. We worked on serves and overheads and the kids were into it. In the afternoon it was match play and all the counselors were worn out after the late night, the gym and the humidity. As soon as Dickinson called ‘balls in’ and we walked the perimeter and got the balls up, we ran back to the dorms to take a nap. I slept almost till dinner time.

We had a dance tonight and the kids had a great time. I danced almost all night with Bevin, she is so kind because she didn’t say a thing about my dancing. I am the worst, the very worst dancer of all time. We played matchmaker and got the little boys and girls out there dancing. It was so funny, some of the boys just were not into it, but they loved the ice cream that Mr. B dropped by at 10:00. Bevin is a great dancer and can dance to anything and look good doing it. She is graceful and beautiful and when it was time to go we talked art and who we liked and disliked, I walked her back to the dorm and I helped round up all the girls, and helped get them to bed, afterwards Bevin gave me a nice hug at the door and all is right with the world.


Thursday July 7th, 1977

Sandy was talking about the camp counselors, stating that everyone here is very accomplished. He pointed out that everyone played college tennis or were high school super stars. I agree but think he’s feeling sorry for me because I’m struggling so badly. There are players from Iona College, Rutgers, Harvard/Wellsley, Georgia, Idaho State, John Hopkins, Plymouth, York, Holyoke. GW, its no wonder it’s so hard to win a match. I think the East Coast players have the edge because they’re used to playing on clay and in this humidity.

Every day between 10:30 and 11:00 is a magical time, that’s when Mr. B shows up at the courts with the mail. He climbs from the station wagon with brown-wrapped packages, letters of all sizes and for homesick campers and counselors and it’s a beautiful sight. Mail is nothing new for Mr. B, he told me a while back that he worked in the APO post office in San Francisco during the war, sending and sorting Navy V-mail. He said it was the dream war time job because he got to live in a hotel by the Bay and didn’t have to worry about dodging bullets.

We run to the water fountain during the morning break to check the stack of mail. Mental mail inventory is taken to see who is getting what from whom. Mr. B neatly sorts the mail near the water fountain under the giant oak tree but in a matter of minutes its scattered. On this day I had high hopes of getting a letter because I’ve written to everyone I know, including the Dean of Students at ISU…but nothing….only two letters in the past month.

I was sullen the rest of the morning. I told Chris Russell-Vick about it because she always gets a stack of mail, I asked her secret she says she writes everyone in her family at least once a week, she says that seldom a night passes that she isn’t writing someone. I’m so bummed. Cathy Davidson gets a lot of mail from Massachusetts, as does Mark. Bevin gets tons of mail from the parents, brothers and sisters. Riley does well too from Scotland. Roger and Bobby never get mail, unless its from a camper. Roger got a letter from Billy Sigmon, the 12 year old from last session sent him a 5-dollar bill, payment of all the cokes he lost on Roger’s hard court. Funny how mail is such a validation and at the same time a status thing here.

This has been a very difficult session because of the heat. Tom had a meeting last night in his room and said that we were getting lazy in the afternoon and we need to stay on the court to supervise the matches and coach the kids. Some counselors and sneaking off to the shade, Mr. B drove by and only two counselors were on court, Tom got chewed out for that. Tom said they are going to allow more water breaks but we need to make an effort to stay out and work otherwise day offs will be taken away. I think that woke a few people up. Also we’ve lost an astonishing number of balls and Mr. B wants Sandy and I to take over ball duty. We don’t mind, I think its relaxing to walk the perimeter of the courts and pick up balls.

We took the kids to Chapel night or Bells as we call it. We take the kids up the narrow staircase up to the gothic bell tower to watch Bryan Barker play. Bryan has a wonderful old english accent and an artist with an artist touch, he puts on a show and tower is his stage. This is his Carnegie Hall and its worth it. He is an entertainer plus its an inspiring sight, an 80 year old, pounding on the keyboards, playing Back and Beethoven and then giving an eloquent speech with quotes from Shelly and Keats. Bryan wears a headband when he plays to keep the sweat out of his eys and he pounds the keyboard with incredible energy and passion. He starts every performance with a Keat‘s quote “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” Then its back to the carillion. Brian pounds on the keyboard with pads on his hands crafted from tire tread, he works up quite a sweat and the kids sit transformed. Its so nice to look from the tower out on the greenfields of the campus and of course the inspiring music of Ludwig Van!

Wednesday July 6th, 1977

The heat wave continues and last night it was like sleeping in a blast furnace and tough sleeping. The sheets get wet from sweat and humidity and dont dry. My hair was wet and matted and never dried. WRCV FM said that it was 85-degrees at midnight! It was up to 97 this afternoon, that’s nothing in Idaho but when you consider humidity into the high 80’s it's unbearable.

Mr. B. talked for a long time today. He said on a tennis court you have many fights the opponet, the heat, the wind, bad breaks, the sun,horrible line calls and few can win against those odds and elements. Instead Mr. B says its smart to team up with a few of the elements to level the playing field. How hard is it, reasoned FXB to figure out which way the wind blows and use that when lobbing or hitting drop shots, to pay attention to the sun and put a lob or two up. Heat can be managed by being prepared, conserving energy and making the opponent run. As far as breaks, breaks go to the person that’s digging in and working the hardest. Line calls can be managed by calling lines as tight as your opponet. In the extreme heat of morning Mr. B was cool and refreshed and the lecture was perfect for the occasion.

At 11-am Mr. B came to my court and said he needed me. Tom S. found someone to take my court and I climbed into the station wagon. We headed toward the Chapel and I asked what was up. FXB said he needed me to take a look at Brian Barker’s TV set. I'm studying video and documentary film production at Idaho State and know a lot about video so I was the best candidate. Bryan plays the carillion bells in the Chapel tower and plays wonderfully. Mr. B. says he’s been here since the 20’s and just recently celebrated his 50th anniversary at the Academy. Bryan’s white hair and blue eyes gives him a regal look. He lives in a nice brick home a couple of blocks from the chapel.

Bryan greeted us at the door and I checked out the television set. I spotted the problem right off, the antenna wire in the back was disconnected. I reattached it, turned on the TV and Bryan was happy. He asked Mr. B if we could stay for tea, he had the tea boiling and pot was whistling. Brian had a fancy tea service with cakes and cloth napkins. I could tell that Mr. B was more than amused. We had a cup and listened to Brian’s lovely, formal English accent and the tea was green and strong like my grandmother's. Brian went off on a story from the old days and I was reminded of the great old book‘ Goodbye Mr. Chips”.

In the car Mr. B says that Bryan disconnects the television set a few times a summer and he's called upon to come and ‘fix’ it. He brought me along just so he could say that ‘Jake has to get back to work.’ Mr. B says that sometimes Bryan has more than tea in the cup with a wink. FXB thinks he's just a lonely guy. At that moment I thought ole FXB was a softie, playing the visit game, I was glad to ‘help’ Bryan and honored to be a guest.

We drove past the beautiful gothic chapel, past the tree lined streets to my dorm then to the Dining Hall. FXB said I did such a great job that the job is mine for the rest of the summer. I thanked him and both rolled our eyes.

The afternoon was brutal on court. We stood in the sun for 3 hours and I downed at least a gallon of water. We kept the little kids in the shade and watched the others closely to make sure none of them got heat stroke. We kept on them to make sure they were drinking water. We still had three go to Dr. Prevost at the infirmary. Prevost then came to the courts and told Mr. B. he was worried about the heat, so we sent the smaller kids to the pool.

I went swimming at 4 and that helped …then I took a nap until dinner time. I m so scorched, sunburned and bleached, I hope it rains soon, the heat is killing me.
I finished reading the Fitzgerald book and started in on Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms, its an amazing read. Im facinated with him, he used to live in Idaho and I've adopted him as a hero.

On the third floor of Fowle Hall there's a stack of books 3 feet tall all destined for the trash bin. I found 20 classics and that’s my reading list for the summer…everything from Hardy and Keats to beloved Hemingway and Steinbeck and this new guy Wallace Stegner. What a find,I love the books and my reading time.


Tuesday July 5th, 1977, Mercersburg Academy

Morning broke early, too early. I woke up just in time to make it to the Dining Hall. On days like this I slip on the adidias warm-up and call it good. I set a new Sugar Pops record, 6 boxes and at least a pitcher of milk! I was so hungry.
Everyone that went to Saint Thomas the night before compared notes, there were three groups and everyone split up. Some went on rides, others ate, while still others drank beer. When the fireworkds started we stood at the edge of a wheat field and under an orange moon the fireworks burst across the sky. It was so bloody hot but we had a great time and we all thanked FXB for the chance to get away.

I’m was so tired that I could hardly move, thank god FXB's lecure was a bit long this morning. It was good recovery time and once I got moving the weariness fell away. We worked on the looping forehand this morning and I had a good group so it went fast. In the afternoon as luck would have it, was my day off. I took a huge nap and feel better. At mail call I had a surprise, my Dad sent me a card, he never writes let alone a card. I think I’m going to frame it, it means that much to me. He’s not exactly a Hallmark kind of guy.

I was telling Mr. B that my Dad is blue collar all the way. He takes his lunch to work each day in a lunch pail. Sometimes his hands get so dirty that they never come clean. But I wouldn’t trade him, he’s a good guy, honest and smart and he likes to have his fun. When not working construction he trains quarter horses and drinks beer. He’s very good at both. One afternoon at the net post I told Mr. B all about my life in Idaho and how it was'nt close to the Country Club life. He said I wasnt missing much and that not many kids get to grow up on a farm and said I was lucky to be away from all that city pavement. He told me all about growing up in Patterson, N.J.; there were some interesting stories there.

I gave a camper tour of the Buchanan cabin just down the road from Fowle Hall. I had done a lot of studying up and I told them all about the President’s life, his Presidency and the kids were impressed.Thank god for the Fredrick Library on Main Street, they have a good collection and theres another great reference on campus the wrestling coach doubles as a history teacher, he taught me me a lot over dinner one night.
I was a nervous wreck all day, I had a match to play and the pressure was killing me.
In the consolation bracket of the Counselor tournament I had to play Jude-Marie from Washington D.C. A loss would forever scar my guy confidence...that's pressure.

First of all she showed up looking like a Vogue model, she is very stunning with long blond hair, and perfect cheekbones, but not that friendly, she came to play. Once we got going I had to fight for my life because rather than hitting away from me she kept the ball in play and on the baseline. She made me hit 6 backhands in a row to win a point. She also held her serve so it was tough. But I figured it out…I made her run. I hit cross-court drop shots followed by lobs and once I got her winded it was over. I won 8-6. After that Chris Russell-Vick and I played her and Tom Vrana in mixed. We lost 7-6 but we kept them off balance with the lobs. Both players really smack the ball. Chris is a wonderful player that seldom makes mistakes. In the previous round she beat Jude easily with her all-court game. Thank God I didn’t have to play Chris!

Afterwards I showered and walked down to Wises’. I drank a half gallon of water and three cokes. It was 93-degrees during the match, In Idaho that translates to 103! There is no escaping the heat, we don’t have AC in the dorms, we don’t even have fans. You lay there and just sweat. Its very hard to sleep, I hope this heat wave breaks soon. I’ve never felt heat like this before. I just heard on WRCV that its 92-degrees and its 10:30 pm. In Idaho you can always count on it to cool off at night.

Then there's the poison oak. I went up to the hard courts to relieve counselors this morning for water breaks. I got hit in the calf with a ball; now I have the perfect infected outline of that ball on the leg thanks to poison oak. The oak gets in the felt when the balls roll to the corner of the court. Three campers have poison oak as well and Mr. B dispatched Academy maintainance to the hard courts to kill the oak. The only solution is calamine lotion. It's 11:15, Im sweating, Im reading finishing up Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night and I’m so miserable.


Monday July 4th, 1977, Mercersburg Academy

More details emerge from Mr. Brennan’s amazing weekend at Camp David. He said they had dinner in the Main Lodge at 7:30, it was just the Carters, Caron and Amy. He said they joined hands and Mrs. Carter said grace. Mr. B said he sat between the President and Chip's wife Caron. After dining on barbequed ribs it was movie time. They watched the Mel Book’s film Silent Movie, which isn’t in the local theaters yet. Mr. B adore the movie and then turned in---he stayed in the lodge across the way, a nice set up he said with two bedrooms. He said that he couldn’t believe where he was and that he had an overwhelming urge to call everyone he knew…but he only called Mrs. B. He is very respectful of the First Families privacy. FXB got a wake up call from a White House Operator at 6-am, he and the President were out on the courts by 6:30 and under the watchful eye of the Secret Service Presidential detail. Mr. B’s says the President is an early riser just like him, so the early morning was perfect. They played for a little more than a hour and then had breakfast in the Main Lodge with Mrs. Carter and Amy,Mr. B then drove home.

Even though it’s the 4th of July we all had to work today and it was a long, hot day. We video taped all 102 campers. Kunz ran the camera, and I fed balls, this was a major honor because usually Eric Riley feeds or so I thought…feeding is very hard and tiring. It occurs to me now that I had been had, that feeding the ball to the hitter on tape is grunt work. But I enjoyed it because FXB was there and he's in great spirits and was full of stories and details from the weekend.

I had asked Mr. B a question about Connors and he went off on a 45 minute story about Bill Rioridan and Gloria Connors and the rise of Jimmy from the juniors, what an amazing story. Connors was a blue collar kid blessed with the big four as FXB calls it: Ability,Hostility, Mobility and Agility, these are the keys to success. He stressed to me that nice people seldom make it to the top because they lack the fire and desire, the fear of losing is the coal that turns a player into a diamond; he said BJK was a diamond and Connors. That was just one of many stories. I should write them all down, they’re priceless.

After balls in at 4:00 Mark and I played Andy Greenspan and John Day, we were on fire and everyone held serve at 5-5 we ran out of time and had to run to the Dining Hall, afterwards we walked to Laundry Mat and washed out our whites. We're both dangerously low on clean clothes. In fact we were down to the sniff test in the morning, sniffing to see which clothes stunk the least. Its disgusting.

We have another 100 kids and they’re a handful. There's a lot of high school girls and boys and I can tell its going to be trouble, we will have to keep a close eye on them all. There is one kid here that no mater what comes out of his mouth, its hilarious. Robert London, Oh my god. His timing and sense of satire are razor sharp.

Mr. B ordered us all to go out and have a good time tonight. He and a few counselors stayed behind and got the kids in bed, the rest of us drove to St. Thomas which is just east of here. They not only had a great fireworkds display but a fair with lots of funnel cake to boot! I wondered why so many people were missing teeth...its the powder sugar on the cake! It was an amazing good time. Bevin joined Sandy, Tom and I in his car and we sat in the back. We talked all the way there and all the way back, did I mention that she looked absolutely stunning! Rivaling that is an amazing sweetness behind blue eyes. I was not very suave, I didn't hide my interest, I must have looked like a puppy, but at the end of the night I got a kiss on the cheek. Mark Sanderson thinks I’m a total spaz.

As I write, the window is open and Im looking out across the campus toward the Highway. Under the moon it's so light, it smells like grass and the crickets are loud. Mark is in the bunk across the room and is already snoring. Its 1:30 and I have to teach on what could be the hottest day of the year…


Sunday, July 3rd, 1977

While watching Wimbledon on Friday in Mr. B's apartment the phone rang. Ive been there a few times when Frank Jr. called and always enjoyed listening in as the two Brennans compared Camp notes, but this day it was different. Mr. B's eyes were wide--It was the White House calling. Specifically it was the President's appointment secretary asking if he was free over the weekend. As it turned out the President wanted Mr.Brennan to come to Camp David and give the First Lady a tennis lesson. I've been sworn to secrecy until now. I didnt even dare write this in the diary.

This was how it unfolded; On Saturday he drove Camp David some 30 miles from the Academy. He went to an unmarked gate and got out of the car while they searched it, they ran mirrors underneath, dogs sniffed inside and told me that uniformed and plain clothes agents were everywhere. The uniformed agents opened his hood and looked inside, 20 minutes later he was driving up to the Main Lodge at Camp David. There he met with Secret Service agents who briefed him on decorum, court location and if he needed anything and importantly how to address the President and First Lady.

Mr. B boarded a golf cart with the President's Aide de Camp, a Marine who drove him to the tennis courts. Mr. B's said they are har-tru just like ours and beautifully rolled and maintained. A few minutes later the President and First Lady arrived in a a golf cart with little Amy and daughter in law, Caron Carter, equiped with racquets.

Introductions were made and at first Amy and Caron hit around a bit with the President, while Mr. B worked with the First Lady. Then the President joined Mr.B and Mrs. Carter. The President retrieved balls and lovingly called the First Lady Ros and Rossi and from time to time cheered her on saying 'Run Rossi, run"! Mr. B said it was very affectionate and cute. Mr. B said everyone wore tennis clothes except the first lady who wore jeans instead. The President wore Fred Perry shorts and shirt and played with a Wilson Jack Kramer racquet. Mr. B said he was impressed at how down to earth the Carters are. He said he had Mrs. Carter hitting well and Amy too, then he got to hit with the President and said he was steady, very mobile with classic form. Mr. B. was invited to spend the night and just got back a while ago.

Meanwhile Mark Sanderson has the fastest serve I have played against, he crushes the ball I can only pick it up off the bounce...that said, I beat him 6-4 after a lucky service break. I did it just by blocking it back deep to the backhand side and pulling him off the court. This is an amazing accomplishment because he's beating everybody and is a much better player.

I just got my mail from yesterday, Mr. B had all the mail and was so busy he forgot to hand it out. My mom sent me three badly needed shirts and a dozen peanut butter cookies. I am in heaven, these cookies are so amazing. Im lucky to have such a great mom, she knows her homesick son all too well.

After checking the campers in, I hit with Bobby Dickinson, I have never got more than 3 games on hard courts, I played him even, but he pulled it out 6-4. He was friendly and we went to Wises and had Ice Cream. We talked about the team and about the season and it was real nice. Everyone here plays on a college tennis team, it was interesting to hear about their seasons and what they went through.

It's almost bedtime and I ran into Mr. B in the Lobby he had a great time and the food was fantastic. He said he was the only guest for dinner and they made him feel like family. He says he sat with the President and chatted a while and mentioned that they really hit it off well. He says the president loves to surround himself with common folk and that he had some friends of Georgia up on Saturday, they didnt talk politics at all, and thought their talk was a mini vacation from the pressures of the office. The President grilled Mr. B about the camp and the kids. Mr. B. told him that all of his kids were campers and they loved the experience. The President says he wants to send Amy to camp next summer, thats the secret that Mr. B is entrusting me with.

Im heading to bed, we have another 100 new campers to teach tomorrow morning...all of this excitement and Im so tired!


Saturday, July 2nd, 1977

The tournament final got underway this morning, both matches wrapped up about 11:30. Then the Volvo stationwagons rolled in, the parents wearing Kaki's and Izod came and gathered their children. The kids are changed, they're confident and tanned, some are taller all a bit more grown up and the parents pick up on it right away.
The parents and their newly aquainted kids sat down at the big barbeque at Forde. They dined on excellent chicken and a great time was had by all. Mr. B talked to just about every parent and beemed the whole time with pride, he was in his element. The parents got to meet the counselors their kids had described in the letters home. Many posed for photos, addresses were exchanged and promises made to stay in touch.
After many hugs I headed back to the dorm lobby to watch the woman’s Wimbledon final. I found this note on my door from Mr. B. I thought of all the things I had done in the past three weeks but figured I was okay so I went to see the boss.

I knocked on the door and Mr. B said 'Wimbledon is just about to start, have a seat.' The TV in the lobby is in black and white, while Mr. B has color, I was in heaven, I was in the company of tennis royalty and we watched the tape delay of the Borg match. We had a great time with Mr. B telling us about the times he had been there, about the time he was there and had a heart attack, which was scary. After a while Riley joined us. I opted for Soda while Riley had a Beck’s beer.

At four we headed to the courts and I played X. He gave me some trouble, but I was able to run him a bit and prevail 7-5. I think watching Wimbledon got me in the right mood, I could have stayed out there all day. I took the second set 6-3.

A bunch of the counselors headed into Haggerstown for dinner and then stopped at the Stateline drive in theatre for a movie. It was classic, four hid in the trunk so there was plenty of left over money for beer. I stayed behind and went downtown for dinner with Mike Kunz and Lenny and afterwards we went to the girls dorm and hung out. It was very relaxing and uneventful. Mr. B went somewhere last night, but Im sworn to secrecy. It's big, real big.

Mercersburg Academy, Friday July1st, 1977

It was at breakfast that I noticed a major mood change. The kids were dressed in their finest, the Borg and Vilas fans were dressed in Fila, the Connors kids were wearing JC clothes, the young Chris Everts were equipped with her Wilson autograph, BJK fans were playing with Bancrofts. Its hilarious. The Borg kids are all wearing headbands and playing with that awful Donnay racquet, they are even walking like him, this is something one has to see to believe.

We were all eating in Forde Hall when Roger Dickinson, X and Riley walked in, X had the draw sheet but he wasn’t sharing it with the kids. It was driving them all crazy with anticipation. The counselors were curious too, but we went on with our breakfast and eventually made it across campus, past the Buchanan Cabin to the courts. Mr. B was leaning up against the station wagon waiting for us. We did the warm up lap and then the boss went into a 30 minute talk on sportsmanship, on desire on excuses. He told them he didn’t want to hear any excuses, that they were to play their hardest and leave the excuses on the court. It was a great talk.

Play began, the bigger kids squared off on the upper clay courts, the little kids on the lower clay courts competition among the kids is great to watch. I brings out the very best and worst in their developing personalities. I love to watch the scrappers, theyre the ones that will do anything just to get a ball back, they don’t have the groundstrokes, just desire, those are the ones destined to win tournaments in their lifetimes.

The tournament favorite is this tall blond kid by the name of Rick. His Dad dropped him off here for the summer and he hits everyday with Tom V. He can beat most of the counselors. And he breezed through the draw and made it into the final.

It was the same thing on the girls side, a few of the older girls, High School players breezed through the draw and will square off in the final.

After the matches were over I played Sanderson, at 6’4 he can hit the ball over a hundred miles an hour, and he was on fire he smoked me 8-1. I never had a chance, that’s the worst beating I have had here, except for the Riley match. I know what to do next time, Ill soften everything up, take away his pace and make him run, then I should be fine.

Last night one of the campers came by and offered me $20.00 for my old Head Master. I readily sold it, probably at a lost because I need some spending money, I was down to my last $5-dollar bill. One of my Jack Kramers is broken, popped a string playing Sandy, so I have just one racquet and I cannot afford to restring it. That $20-dollars should last me a long time.
We had a big Dance starting at 8:30, all the kids and campers were there and it was a lot of fun. Mr B. brought some ice cream and punch by and he hung out for a while and took photos. I think everyone will be sad to see this session end, what a great bunch of kids.

McEnroe's run at Wimbledon is over, he lost to Connors and we were able to watch some of the match in Mr. B's apartment, Borg beat Gerulitis, both were sensational matches.

Its late now and we have to get up to watch the finals and then kids are checking out at 1:00. Parents can show up at anytime and we have a barbeque scheduled on the veranda at Forde Hall. Tom has a few of us on duty tonight to make sure none of the kids sneak out of the dorms. So Sheridan and I are going to walk around campus at midnight, should be spooky!

Thursday, June 30th, 1977, Mercersburg Academy

That McEnroe kid beat Sandy Mayer at Wimbledon! This is a major upset and this morning Mr. Brennan talked about that match and how in tournaments underdogs sneak through the draws because no one expects much because there’s no pressure. He says the underdog plays point by point, doesn’t think far ahead nor dwells on the past. Id love to see this kid play Borg.

This is the final preparation day before the tournament so Mr. Brennan let us teach what ever the campers wanted to work on. On my court we did the serve and service return. Mr. B. says that the most important part of the return is already knowing where you’re going to hit the ball, on fast courts chip and charge especially off the second serve. On clay its deep down the middle, Brennan says just get it back to cut down on errors. When serving its a fluid, slow to fast motion. Mr. B talks a lot about pronation and the whipping towel affect. I love to teach that serve to the kids and really snap the ball. It was a great day on the teaching courts.

As soon as Roger Dickinson got off the courts he went upstairs to the second floor lobby and started working on the camper draw. He had the roll call list all laid out, he went around and asked counselors about the various players. He had his trusty radio at his side and a big liter bottle of coke, Roger was excused for duties, he had the draw to complete.

Xavier will run the tournament, keep the kids on the courts and do results and run the draw sheet. The rest of the counselors will stand at the net posts and call out the score and referee each match. This is a huge production and its done right and the kids are so excited. We’re running a few different divisions so the little kids don’t have to play the big ones, so everyone is happy.

At four o’clock there wasn’t an empty, all the kids were practicing and almost all the counselors were still on the courts helping the kids. Mr. B drove by in the Z and was amazed, I think he’s just as excited. Just before dinner he called me into his apartment, Riley was sitting there having a beer with the boss. Mr. B asked me if I wanted a beer, I hardly drink but I said sure afterall the drinking age in Idaho is 19! We talked for an hour, Mr. B wanted to hear the camp gossip, which kids were players, who to watch. I felt as though I been invited to Buckingham palace, it was so much fun. Then Mr. B talked at length about Wimbledon and McEnroe beating Mayer again, next up Connors, Mr. B says Connors should beat him. I guess he knows Sandy Mayer’s dad, he’s a teaching pro too. Mr. B didn’t have to many kind words for him, but said that Sandy and Gene are swell kids.

I had dorm duty and spent the night writing all my old friends. I wrote my Mom, my Dad, Pam Davies, Jim Hall, Mike Zaladonis. Im hoping that if I write a lot, I will get a lot of mail, Im not a dummy.
After we got the kids in bed we all went to Tibbits Hall and gathered in the Lobby. Roger briefed us on the draw and we were able to get the girls draw done too. Tom had a little meeting and it was fun and exciting. Afterwards I stuck around and talked to Bevin. She's such a sweet girl with the bluest eyes.


Wednesday, June 29th, 1977

After all the rain, the clouds broke and it was a sunny, beautiful morning, but humid. Mr. B had a few of us come down early to help the grounds crew brush the courts and get them ready, there wasn’t much for us to do. The guy with the roller rolled the top courts and they looked good, but the bottom courts were too soft. Mr. B came down and said we may have to double up on the top courts and double up on the hard courts. So he sent a few of us up there to sweep and dry them. There were puddles everywhere but we got it done. X, John Day, Roger D. and I spent a half hour up there. Roger was telling us that he and Bobby were campers here for a few years before he was a counselor.

He told me that he knew Charlie Fenske quite well and said he had boundless energy. As a tennis coach, that was true as well. He ran Bobby and I into the ground last season. He had us work out with the basketball team, we did ladders, the leaper, weight room work outs and the dreaded jump rope…plus the mile and a half run around Bartz Field every night. We were not the best team in the Big Sky, but we were in the best shape. I first met Charlie at the tennis courts last summer. He had just found out that the AD had made him the tennis coach and he was looking for players. I had just finished my High School season and was playing tournaments and we chatted for a while at Reed Gym courts and Charlie asked if I wanted to try out for the team. He said that he would help me with financial aid and get me set up with the ACT and SAT. I was just excited to have a shot. Charlie and I walked to the financial aid office and he was a pro at the paperwork. He said that someday, that he expected me to help someone get into college as payment. I never forgot that (and I did). The athletic department gave Charlie two scholarships and he wanted me to play his recruit later that week.

The guy was from Northern New Jersey, he had long hair and amazing ground strokes, that guy was Bobby Dickinson and he wiped me off the courts 2 and 2 and he was very generous. He played with a lot of anger so we were never were close friends. We took the SAT together and I figured I would blow this guy away but we were both respectable in 1200’s. Bobby told me that his dad was a college professor, that should have automatically put him in the 1300 range, mine was a pipe fitter. Charlie basically told me that I would have to play to play and I had to challenge up to get on the team. I made the fall squad and won all of my matches, I was off to a good start in the spring but we had some tough road trips and we got discouraged and only won 4 or 5 matches. At the same time our spring season was going on, Charlie was on the road coaching the ISU Bengals, he had a grad assistant take over. The Bengals dominated, they were a well coached team and won the conference, then made an amazing run in the NCAA’s. The Bengals upset UCLA in the sweet 16 but lost to UNLV in the elite 8! Charlie and Head Coach Killingsworth were headed to the bigtime, they accepted jobs at Oklahoma State. I helped Charlie pack up and move, as we were packing his car he asked what I was going to do over the summer, I told him that my Dad wanted me to work construction with him, he asked me if I would like to go back east and work at a tennis camp. He lined me up with Mr. B and that’s the last I time I saw him, although he’s called Mr. B a few times to check up on me.

We got the kids going on the top courts with instruction and round the world, we had a bunch up at the hard courts as well by 11:00 Tom Sheridan moved the rest of the kids back to the bottom clay courts.
Mr. B has the campers all excited about the big tournament on Friday. He talked today about winning, how you have to be hungry to win and winners don’t make excuses. He told a great story about how BJK was automatic at 4-4. He said she knew she would prevail, it was like blood in the water. She went for the kill and because she was busy attacking and hitting her shots she didn’t have time to think about chocking. I’m sure Mr. B embellishes a bit, but this guy is a master story teller. The kids were dead silent, counselors too, I could see the wheels turning in the little heads. They were with BJK at Wimbledon as she closed in for the kill, it was one of those moments, inspiring moments that the kids and counselors will remember forever.

After that talk the day went fast, I stayed after 4 and hit with Xavier. I kept him deep in the court and then hit short angles, everything was working. I beat him 6-3, then we stayed a while and played Roger and Feinberg. They beat us 7-5 6-3, but we were in every point.
At Wimbledon this guy John McEnroe from Long Island is making a run through the tournament, hes playing Sandy Mayer from New Jersey who lives near Mr. B. Hopefully we can find a TV set and watch it. Its on HBO and on Friday the matches will be on NBC.

We were hungry at dinner and all ate like horses, they had the best dinner, Pizza, garlic bread and pasta! I am a happy guy, I just got in from field duty, we played Soccer, Riley and Hamilton were there, those guys can play.


Tuesday, June 28th, 1977

It was a bad night, Mark was snoring and woke me up, he’s as loud as those diesel trains on Fredregill Street in Pocatello. The trains roar through there six times a day, Jerry and Mom can tell the time by the train. Anyway, I couldn’t fall back asleep so I stared at the ceiling for a long time and listened to the crickets and watched a thunderstorm blow in from the east. It always rains hard in the summer and it smelled great.

When I went to breakfast I knew the clay courts would be iffy with all the rain. The clouds and the rain led to a feeling of gloom with all the counselors, we all had clouds over our heads because if the courts are not playable its in the gym. With just 6 courts and more than a hundred kids, that means around the world.

When we got to the courts it wasn’t too bad, the maintance guys were rolling the courts and adding hardtru to the puddles and things looked okay. Mr. B gave a speech on the volley and overhead, we had some demos and soon we were teaching. It was going slow because courts 12 and 13 were too wet to play. So that meant that we had a dozen kids per court and every counselor was doubled up. Tom S. walked around and tried to keep the peace. He would step in and give each counselor a break for water, we appreciated that more than he will ever know, it was the chance to regroup and recharge.

We finally made lunch…the balls were trashed from all the moisture…and around 12:30 it started raining again. When we got back down there at 1:00…we herded the kids into the gym and made the best of the situation with around the world. At one point I volley for more than two hours straight. I have the best volley from all the practice. Thank god the afternoon finally ended. Tom S. asked me to be on swim duty and I took the suit and swam with the kids it was refreshing.

The day is over, Im going to bed early. Mark is heading over to the girls dorm with Lenny and they are going to sing. The two make me sick because Mark has a voice and Lenny can play…I cant do either!

Monday, June 27th, 1977

Mondays are always a tough time for tired campers and counselors. Mr. B wants everyone at the courts and ready to go by 8:25. He gets very testy if campers show up late, and indignant if counselors show up late. On this day I think he sensed the fatigue and the long weekend. He had us all run a sidestep lap around the 8 top clay courts. Then all the campers were seated on the courts, many sitting on their racquet covers or racquets, counselors against the fence. We never know what to expect. Mr. B started out on a discourse of the game in general. He says the days of nice country club tennis are over, he says the playground players have high jacked the game back to where it belongs, the public courts. He says gritty players like Connors appeal to the average Joe and people are watching tennis on TV who have never watched before. From there Mr. B gave a fascinating behind the scenes look at Pro tennis. He told us stories from the West Side Tennis club locker room, he evaluated the Pros their strengths and weaknesses. He thinks Connors will stay number one, but that Borg has his number on grass. He says Borg has big problems on hard courts. Mr. B also told us about champions of the past, he saw Tilden play and described his game, he says Tilden could hit hard, but his mastery of the spin and change of pace is what made him a champion. He says he was the first true student of the game….and said that Tilden would fit in the modern game. He says he and Billie worked on changing pace and spin in her game. It was fascinating inside look and the kids hung on every word, when it came to play the kids were brimming with energy.

Tom Vrana and were on the same court. I have hardly talked to the guy this past week, but I have to say that he is pleasant and nice and a great hitter. The kids seem to like him and our morning went very fast.

We worked on the kids forehands and backhands. Mr. B trained us to look at the back swing first, feet second, eyes third…those three things are vital in stroke production. With Brennan’s method we can spot and correct common errors in no time, if we don’t catch it, a wondering Mr. B catches it, so the kids get a very well rounded tennis education…and its more than just hitting, its history and love of the game as well. Brennan has a way of tapping into player passion; he makes the game addictive because he can make a player believe that anything is possible.

I took a nap at noon; I needed it because I was so tired. When I got down to the courts I was very refreshed and ready to go. Sandy and I went a bit early so we could hit. We were the only ones there. I was at the net hitting volleys and Mr. B showed up. I have always had a problem on the backhand side and Mr. B took one look and said you need to turn your shoulder and lean into the ball at contact. He told me to ditch the swing and punch the ball with a bit of under spin, with the weight behind the ball, I was hitting it perfectly. I now have a killer backhand volley.

I went to the Academy Bank and deposited a check from my Mom. I was flat broke and she sent me 25.00. That should last me a long time. I spend the most on pop and ice cream. At some point I’m expecting to break a string, and that should run me about $7.00 dollars. I need a haircut but I have talked Pat into cutting my hair on my day off.

I played Tom Sheridan after work again. This guy has a fantastic forehand and a hard serve. I brought him into the net and tried to pass him, it should have worked but I couldn’t pass him on the forehand side. He put a lot of balls away and his serve was working. He’s a bit unorthodox, but when its working it’s trouble. He beat me 6-4.

I had court duty tonight with Sandy. Pat came down and helped and it was fun just sitting and talking to her as darkness fell. With all the old buildings it looked like a night out of a Shelly book. It was so hot that getting wet felt good. I made it back to the dorm and the kids were watching TV. I saw Tom and thank god he wasn’t gloating over his victory, he never does, in fact he praised my game and said that I need to cut down on a few errors and that I would be okay.

Sanderson and I read for a while and then fell asleep.

Sunday, June 26th, 1977

It was a wonderful, lazy Sunday morning at the Academy. It was clear and grass was wet with dew, I love the smell of wet grass. This is the first day of the counselor tournament and I drew the number one seed, Eric Riley. Riley has the game and the sound, By that it means that when he strikes the ball its dead center of his Dunlop Maxply. It is a pleasing sound rivaled only by how picture perfect his strokes are. I ran and tried to run him; I was in the match, in the set, in the game, in the point, but Riley had an answer for every ball I hit. I had some luck with my drop shot because he doesn’t cover the short ball well, but he handled everything and beat me 8-0. Did I feel embarrassed? No. I gave it everything I had and I showed up. Sandy watched and thought it was a close match.

Mr. B also showed up to watch and when I came off the court he had nice words for me. He said that I out-worked him but I needed a plan. He said any plan is better than none. That I need to make a list of weaknesses and play to them, its not enough getting to every ball, he said I was playing defense, he thinks I need to grab the match, dictate points and play offense. He said while I’m out there on the court I need to constantly think of ways to win. Very wise words from Mr. B; I can work with that.

In the afternoon it was counselor doubles, John Day and I played Doug Hamilton and Andy Greenspan. John Day is a very good doubles player and we were able to win our serves and lucky enough to break Andy. We won 6-2. Andy is a great guy who just came into camp a few days ago from Scarsdale, New York.

Sandy beat X in the first round, Pat lost to Chris, Becky beat Jude. Bobby D. beat Tom V in a three setter. There were some great matches. Mr. B says hes putting up 25.00 bucks to winner of singles, that’s peaked interest in the tournament.

They had video tape replays from Wimbledon all afternoon, they had the Borg match and Bobby D. and the legion of pro Borg campers were cheering him on. I think he’s okay. I think the heavy topspin is more of a liability than an asset, but he should win the tournament.

After the matches and dinner Mike and I walked down to Wises for mint-chocolate chip ice cream. We talked about little league baseball, He's an athlete and was an all star. I bet he can hit the ball a mile. Hopefully when the sports camp gets going we can play them.

It’s a perfect night, I can hear the crickets and see the fireflies. I walked over to the girls dorm and hung out in the TV lounge and talked to Chris, Becky, Bevin and Pat. The poor girls have it much tougher than us, there are more girl campers! I adore them all.

Saturday June 25th, 1977

I slept wonderfully and when I awoke my first thought was…no teaching today! Sandy I and walked down to the courts after breakfast and and played tennis. For the first time against him I took a set. His first serve was off a bit, that was just enough to let me in the door. On clay I can attack the second serve and make people run with a short angle and thats what I did, I hit the ball back to the corners and hit to the open court. I got him running but he should have took the match at 5-4, but I hit this really weak return and he came in and I landed a lob over his head to tie the match at 5-5. I won my serve and he struggled with 5 duce points, I finally hit a ball deep to his forehand corner, he tried to pass me and I volleyed into the open court. This was a huge set because Sandy has been beating everyone but Riley and Eric L.

We went back to the dorms and got ready for Saunderosa Park. Mr. B rented two buses and we drove to the park. Mr. B. talked to Peggy in the Dining hall and she made 129 lunches. It was a huge operation, Roger is our number guy and he does roll call when the kids get on the bus; and then again at lunch and then again when we board to go home. Its a lot of paperwork but Roger doesnt mind, hes good at it.

The Park has a large natural lake and a nice clubhouse with pin ball machines, juke box and snacks, the kids loved being away from the courts for a day. Bobby and Vrana, X and Lenny enjoy teasing and playing with the kids. The rest of the counselors just kept an eye on everything while at the same time getting a tan. I got scorched….I even went for a swim in that pond water. I think its safe. One kid caught a frog and he asked if he could bring him back, I ordered the frog released.

Saunderosa is in the mountains (hills) outside of Mercersburg and its very beautiful. The woods are very thick with ferns and all of the are thick and leafy. The skies clearrd and it got hot fast. I brought a blanket and set it down near Roger, he brought his radio and I was able to listen to the Philly game.

We got back at 4 just in time for Wimbledon on television. 40 campers gathered in the Fowle Lobby on the first floor. It was a great match and I was pulling for Connors, he fought like a mad man and pulled out the match 6-3 in the fifth over Stan Smith. The kids were disappointed because they wanted the mild mannered underdog to win.
We had at least 5 campers with sunburns, Tom S. and I took them to the Infirmary. After that I helped Mike Kunz set up the dance. He has tapes all recorded and ready to go. It took us about an hour to run the speaker wire and get the two decks hooked up.
Mr. B dropped by with two big containers of punch from the dining hall. He was in great spirits, was glad the day went so smooth. He is still upset that we are losing so many balls, he asked why wasn’t I on ball duty. I didn’t have an answer for him, he said he was going to talk to Sheridan about that. When I had balls we only lost three. He says we are down half a gross.
The kids started showing up. They were all dressed up in their sperrys and LaCoste shirts, it was the classic case of boys on one side and girls on the other. A few danced but they all enjoyed the music. I was asked to dance by Judy the camper, and then I asked Bevin to dance. All the women counselors looked lovely.
The dances are held behind the gym in the drying shed. The drying shed is where they dry out the football uniforms. It’s a big room just perfect for a dance. Some counselors patrol around the gym, others dance, others are on dorm duty for kids that want to stay there.

The dance ended at 11:00, I helped Mike break down and hit the sack by midnight. Boy am I sunburned and tired, we get to sleep in tomorrow!


Friday, June 24th, 1977

I can’t believe its Friday all ready, this week is really flying by. We worked on volleys and overheads and when you have to hit several hundred balls before noon the day drags on and on. Xavier was on the court next to me and I could tell that he was just as exhausted.

I did have some triumphs; Mr Brennan’s method for the overhead is flawless. He tells the kids to raise both hands up immediately, track the ball with the left hand and replace the left hand with the right. The kids were timing the ball perfectly. In the demo Mr. B nailed it, both hands up, weight on the balls of the feet, sideways; replace one hand with the other. I had 7 little girls on my court and all nailed the overhead. They had a bit more trouble with the volley.

We broke for lunch, it was getting hot fast and I got to Forde Hall for lunch. I sat with X and we talked about France. He is a University Student, he’s been playing for years and one day wants to be a musician or an interpreter. We talked about French rock music and who he likes and dislikes. X is a very interesting guy and I like him a lot. He is very good on clay; he gets a lot of balls back.

I took a nap at lunch; I needed it because I was so tired. I had a much better afternoon. I stood next to Bevin’s court and we were able to talk the afternoon away. She told me that she is from Haverford outside of P.A. that her Dad is a famous artist with work in New York's Met. Her parents are divorced and we were able to compare notes on that. Mr. B came by and talked to her for a half hour, then came to my court and talked to me.

We talked about BJK and that first Wimbledon singles title she won. He told me that the previous summers she stayed at the house. He told me that with so many kids he hardly noticed he had another kid there. He said she was just another member of the family and he told me how fond Mrs. B is of her. Mr. B says BJK is successful because she attacks, attacks, attacks.

Sheridan came over and asked what Mr. B and I were chatting about; he says Mr. B must like me because he says he doesn’t chat much with counselors. I’m just a good listener and Mr. B is the consummate story teller.

At 4pm I hit with the camper Billy Sigmon. He is 12 and is a remarkable player. He hits hard and deep and easily beats the 15 year old guys. He has a funny personality, very loud and happy. Mr. B is fond of him. I like him as well. Roger loves to play him for cokes and I think he owes Roger at least a 6-pack, but Billy is so cheap he keeps doubling his bet. Roger is ruthless when cokes are on the line.

The kids are all going to the Mercersburg Theatre downtown tonight. They’re playing Jaws and it should be fun. A few of the counselors are going along to keep an eye on them all. I volunteered, the cute girls from Ohio invited Mark and I to sit with them it was such a cute gesture. The Theatre is at least a hundred years old with movies over the weekend. Bevin ended up sitting with us and she looked smashing and wore a long dress. Wow. After the movie we walked all the kids home. After we got the kids in bed the counselors all went to McKinstry’s Pub for beers, I was too tired and just went back to the room and read. I should have asked Bevin if she was up for a walk, but Im too shy. What if she said no?

Thursday June 23rd, 1977

We had a lot of fun last night, Feinberg and Solomon were a riot, the girls were cute and we drank a lot of beer. Kenny teased me today saying that 'you had as much fun as one can have on a date with 6 other people in the car.' I was tipsy, so I guess I had a good time. I made eye contact with Sheridan a few times today and he just flashed that smile and shook his head.

The morning went fast today, I worked with Judy Tarbert and her cousin Debbie Hook from Bay Villiage Ohio. They are two of the cutest girls you will ever meet and also the most charming. I had them hitting so well and was very proud of myself.

In the afternoon Tom sent Lenny, Pat and I up to the hard courts. Bobby got in trouble a couple of nights ago so Tom put he and Vrana on the teaching court. When its hot like this its the same as being sent to Devil's Island.

I played Feinberg at 4:00 and he really kicked my ass, he ran out to a 4-0 lead but I figured him out and started hitting the short angles on him, I ran him pretty good but he didnt miss a shot and beat me 7-5. He goes to John Hopkins and plays on the team there and is a very solid player. If you make a mistake against him you lose because he doesnt make many mistakes. I was playing with a bum ankle and was afraid to slide on it...but its fine. Its all purple around the joint area.

Bobby and I were on Downtown duty at Wise's. This is Bobby's favorite duty and I see why, he is a bigger flirt than me! This is a different side to the guy I know from ISU. He was shy there and Craig Thompson, one of our mutual friends told me that Bobby spent a lot of time in the dorm and didnt socialize much. He was so funny tonight. We told a bunch of the girls that we were twin brothers and they still think that we are twins and Roger is our little brother.

At school Bobby and I were rivals on the team and we never just hung out and talked. I can see that I missed out because he has a great sense of humor, he is one of those guys that's just too smart for his own good.

Theres a big orange moon tonight, I can see the constellations I see at home, the north star, Orion's belt...kind of makes me wonder whats going on at home. I wonder if Zaladonis is playing the tournaments we played last year. I wanted to get another win before I left but he was hiding from me. Ive been here almost two weeks and am still loving it.

Sanderson is laying on his bed reading Tennis magazine. He's having a good summer, having only lost the doubles sets in which he partnered with me! I have to start playing well soon!


Wednesday, June 22nd, 1977

This is what we do every afternoon at camp, stand at the net posts and supervise the afternoon matches. Its long and sometimes tedious. Bevin looks fantastic as always and is up for the task!

I limped to breakfast, I tried to put my tennis shoe on but it was too swollen. I got some more ice and had a good breakfast. I went back to the room and elevated the ankle and iced it for a few hours and it did a world of good. The swelling went down and I was able to lace up my tennis shoe.

I didn’t leave the room all morning, just read a book and listened to the radio. There’s a couple of great Fleetwood Mac songs just out that are amazing one is the song Rayana, I can’t get it out of my head. The other is the song ‘Year of the Cat’ by Al Stewart. “He goes strolling through the bar like Peter Lorrie contemplating a crime,” that’s a great line. I hear the album is very good, I wish I had a stereo here. Mike Kunz has his stereo in his room and I stopped by yesterday and listened to that new Earth Wind and Fire album. It has that song Shining star…it sounds so sharp in those speakers…and he has these cool headphones and the music seems to move from the back to the front of the room. I love music, but all I have is WRCV!

Sweet Pat Rountree showed up with tea and sympathy. It’s her day off as well. We went downtown for lunch. This little break from the teaching world and the kids is a needed change of pace. I swear, you never seem to have a moment’s privacy. We stopped at the laundry mat and put some clothes in, Pat pointed out that the colors don’t go in with the whites. I couldn’t believe how good the whites came out. She also showed me how to fold all of my T-shirts. I’m learning a lot from this cute Canadian girl!

I was in the room in the late afternoon and Mr. B. dropped by. We talked about everything. He was telling me about all the people around town, there is this woman named Jean that was at our adult camp, she lives down the road and she takes lessons from Riley. Mr. B says she is a very sweet and wealthy lady. I think she’s 38 or 39. She looks 10 years younger, she’s tanned smells good has a beautiful smile. Every time she drives by in the big Lincoln Town car she honks and waves. Mr. B thinks she likes me, But she’s just friendly. The boss says she’s worth millions.

Mr. B says one of these first evenings he will take me out to dinner. He asked how the ball situation is going and I told him that they took the duty away from Sanderson and I. He didn’t seem happy with that because yesterday he watched a carload of townies make off with 40 or 50 balls just before dinner. I feel sorry for whoever has ball duty; I guarantee they’re in trouble.
Tonight I sat out on the porch of Fowle, I pulled up a chair and read my book for a while, Liz and Eric stopped by and we talked a long time. I get the biggest kick out of Riley. He is very understated and modest...Liz is very good looking so it was great company.
When Tom got through with his duties a bunch of us went into Haggerstown, In the car it was Kenny, Solomon Tom and me. We called up Brenda and her friends and met them at the Plantation nightclub for a few beers, it was great fun. Its back to the grind tomorrow, ankle is fine.


Tuesday, June 21st, 1977

Morning comes early at the Academy, there’s the alarm clock that goes off at 7:30, then its down the hall for a shower, shave, and the morning routine. Then its to Forde Hall for breakfast. No one talks much in the morning, Roger shows up wearing flip flops, a NY Yankees hat, Tom is fully dressed and ready to go, as are all the women counselors. I’m a flip flop T-shirt guy too but Mark is fully dressed and ready to go. I dont know where he gets all of this energy!

Mr. B is always up early and I hear the whistling in the morning. I can smell his coffee from the foyer apartment. He shows up at the courts about 7:45 and hits on the back wall. He has so much energy in the morning and is always happy as lark. Sometimes he pulls me aside and asks how things are at home. We hit it off and he tells me all kinds of things, one morning he told me stories about his mother and the time she won the New Jersey Lottery, another time he told me about being a kid and seeing Babe Ruth play baseball. He is a master story teller and I hang on every word. This Mr. B. is one in a million.

Mr. B. and Riley did a demo for the forehand. Mr. B told campers the left hand is critical for the forehand, from the ready position you have to push the racquet back and in a looping motion strike the ball going low to high, in a natural topspin motion. The he says its vital to recapture the racquet after the follow through and get back in ready position.

Mr. B also talked about heroes to the kids. He said we are a society of false heroes, that we sometime idolize people that are not worthy, rock stars, baseball players, tennis players, that the real heroes are underneath their noses, our parents who struggle to make a living, living with the pressures, all the crap at work, the long commute and they do it all over again without much attention. It was sobering.

It was hot again, and humid, I guess this is the norm here. We don’t have the humidity in Idaho, I hope I get used to this…also there are the nats, these bugs not only bite you, but they fly straight for the eyes. I dig a few out every day. I have a few mosquito bites too.

Because of the taping and viewing we were not very organized this morning, I got to teach on the hard court with the advanced players and it was fun but tiring. Im hitting very well on the hard courts, so my poor play is probably because I haven’t figured out the clay yet. I was so tired today that I rushed through lunch and took a nap at noon. It made all the difference in the world. I had so much energy the rest of the afternoon. The kids were able to play singles and doubles matches all afternoon. We stand at the net posts and correct mistakes and give encouragement…all afternoon. That’s three hours in the sun….Im so sun burned and my head is fried.

I played Lenny at 4:00 and we split sets. I lost the first 6-4, and won the second 7-5. I think the difference was that I kept the ball in play. I dictated the points…hit the drop shot and lob and made him run. He hits perfectly and wonderfully but on the run he is prone to mistakes. There must have been 8 or 9 counselors playing today after work.

I walked downtown for Ice Cream to a little store off campus called Wise’s. Its run by Mr. Wise and he has the best Hersey’s Ice Cream…You can get burgers and fries there too, It’s a cool place with lots of tables and juke box. The place was packed with campers.

After dinner I was on field sport duty and played volleyball. We had enough for two full teams. At one point I had a perfect set and went up for the spike. I came down hard and twisted my ankle on the standard under the net. I saw stars….I had tears in my eyes and ankle swelled up to the point to where you couldn’t see the bump of the ankle bone. Sandy took care of me, getting ice and we wrapped it. He just had a bad sprain a few days before. I had the ankle elevated all night, I hope I can play tomorrow. Tom came in and said we will play it by ear, he said we will trade day-off with someone so I can rest the ankle.

Monday June 20th,1977

Thank god I turned in early, it was scorching hot and humid today and with a hundred campers it was a heavy teaching load. We started video taping the girl campers yesterday and got them going again first thing, we didn’t start on the boys until 11. Mr. B is looking at stroke production, how they pull the racquet back, the swing, how they watch the ball. He is very sharp and doesn't miss a thing.

In the mean time on the clay courts we played a game called around the world and did what we could in terms of teaching. We won’t start on the forehand until tomorrow. We had a counselor on each court plus one in the viewing room behind the gym showing the tape. We also had the better players on the hard courts. Bobby and Tom V and Solomon and Feinberg were up there. Some of the advanced players are very good players.

Mr. B was on the gym balcony, Riley fed balls and Kunz videotaped, like yesterday Mr. B gave analysis on tape so the camper can hear his comments, it’s a very efficient operation….but its very tiring on everybody I was bushed and thought noon time would never come.

We had a fantastic lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and tater tots, I must have drank a whole pitcher of milk. Mark sat at my table along with 12 campers. We chatted them up pretty good and we’re both aware of the fact that we have to be careful what we say at all times, we’re role models, so we just let them do the talking and we listened, the kids are so funny.

We got halfway through the afternoon and dark clouds blew in and it rained, it came down hard. We went inside the gym and it was loud, hot and not much fun. Pat Rowntree got nailed in the eye with a ball and I’m talking hard, real hard. It was so humid indoors that we were all soaked in sweat. The kids were exhausted. When we walked back to the dorms we were soaked again. Mr. B had the pool opened for the kids and they were excited about swimming. Pat, Liz, Chris Me, Riley were on pool duty. I didn’t swim just chatted with the girls.
Heres a list of the counselors:
Mark Sanderson…Massachusetts
Marc Solomon, Long Island, New York
Tom Sheridan, Dearborn Michigan
Eric Riley Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Doug Hamilton, Scotland, UK
Bobby Dickinson, Arlington, TX
Roger Dickinson, Arlington, TX
John Day, Wayne New Jersey
Kenny Feinberg, New York City
Pat Rountree, Toronto, Canada
Tom Vrana, New Jersey
Liz, Miami, Florida
Becky Craft Binghamton, New York
Chris Russell-Vick, London, England
Lenny Saks, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Jude Gatewood, Washington, DC
Mike Kunz-Long Island, New York
Jake Putnam, Pocatello, Idaho
Bevin Engman, Philadelphia
Xavier Combe, Paris, France

I’m still not playing well, I hit with this 12 year old by the name of Gwen and she ran me off the court. She hit deep to the corners and I struggled just to keep the ball back. Mr. B says she is ranked number 1 in NJ! The hit didn’t help my confidence a bit. Sandy tells me I worry too much, that I need to just get out and play and adjust to the clay rather than fight it. I think there is wisdom in his words. I was on dorm duty after dinner and just hung out and watched TV and kept an eye on the kids. The skies have cleared but it’s so humid. I wont be sleeping much tonight.

I found some cool posters upstairs and hung them up in the room, Mark brought a couple from home as well and the room looks good. Thank god I brought the alarm clock that Mom and Jerry gave me, Id be lost without WRCV FM!

I had the chance to chat with Bevin, all I can say is what a pair of blue eyes! She has a lot to say...and I was listening.