Saturday

Friday August 13th, 1977


Dawn broke just before 6-am and we were up and at 'em. I showered, shaved and got the last of my belongins packed. FXB was at the door at 6:30 and we were off to Haggerstown. I rode up front of FXB's station wagon, while Mark rode in the back.
FXB was in an excellent mood and we talked all the way about his family and how with BJK in 59 and 60 made it an even 10. He said Mrs. B. looked after her but never treated her and differently than her own. He said Billie loved that. He said that when she first showed up she had racquets off the rack and nylon strings. FXB, being a master stringer got her fixed up with VS gut and a Wilson sponsorship. He said that really made a difference because it got her believing that she was something special, and FXB said she was. There was no out there like her.
He said she was a sponge at the dinner table, soaking up all the strategy talk, all the player talk and she loved it. She called home and talked to her worried, homesick parents once a week...FXB said she was never homesick.
We got to the airport with just minutes to spare, we all walked out to the Tarmac and I said goodbye to a great roomate. Mark is such a good hitter and doubles partner with a great temperment and atitude. Next year I promised that I would visit New Hampshire before camp.
FXB was all worried that I wouldnt have anything to eat in Chicago and forced a five dollar bill into my hand but said he's putting the cash on my tab for next year. He told me to meet with the new tennis coach as soon as posible and get all that squared away.
I waved goodbye to my new bestfriends and boared the Alleghany flight to DC. When I came here back in June I didnt know a soul, now I have hundreds. It doesnt get any better than this.
It was a long day but finally I landed at the Pocatello airport. Mom and Jerry were waiting at the Airport and we took the crowded Subaru home. They were very glad to see me. Pocatello looked brown from the heat, but looked great. It was a beautiful summer night and the air was clean but cool. We got home to the small house on Fredregill. When we unloaded the car my sister Brenda was there and said hi, she told me all about her summer and had grown a foot.
The trains in the freight yards squealed slowly past, there was the familiar sound of steel on steel and then the big booms as the cars coupled in the yard. I stayed outside a second under the big trees and looked up at the stars they were bright and clear. This has been the greatest summer of my life, better than a book, too unlikely for a movie and no one will believe it.
I got to get some sleep because tomorrow ,Im kicking ass on the Reed Gym Courts and I have Frank Brennan in my corner.

2 comments:

skip schwarzman said...

Jake,

Assuming this is the last entry for '77, you nailed it shut with your best line of them all.

Game, set, match, Putnam.

skip

Jake said...

Skip;
I have lived this blog everyday and its amazing how the dairies have a life of their own. Through them I can smell the old Tannery at the back of the har-tru courts and hear the mourning doves coo.
Its always summer in the diaries and the corn is forever 'eye-high' to an elephant.
There's always college to get back to in the fall...and Mr. B is always going to chew someone out for partying.
The diaries have a timeless quality about them...and for every story here, someone else has a story or memory of those days that have passed.

Jake