Thursday August 12th, 1977, Mercersburg

Stayed up last night and chatted with the guys in the second floor Lounge. Roger was there listening to his radio with his liter of Coke, X showed as did Lenny, Mike, Kenny, Marc, Vrana and Fanning. Fanning has been with us all summer as a camper but we accept him as a counselor. He won all the camper tournaments against tough competition especially in the third session where he beat the Sommerville kid from Hawaii.

We got in an argument over whos better the east coast or west players. I argued that we arnt going to be as good on clay but kick ass on hard courts. Bobby and I pointed to Stanford, USC and UCLA no one beats them east of the Mississippi. Of course they argued that those teams are made up of east coast players...some but not all. Bobby Dickinson and I saw Stanford first hand on our Spring road trip, they're very good.

The teaching went well, this is the last teaching day and Mr. B. went over match play, thinking of ways to win instead of ways to lose. He said its always easy to give up when it gets rough but talked about weathering the storm and playing points until theres a break. He says the breaks go the person thats out there trying their hardest. If defeat comes accepts the loss and give credit where its due, dont overly dwell but fix what went wrong, make note of things you can do next time.

I went up to the infirmary and said goodbye to Dr. Prevost, he's a different guy kind of gruff at first then a softie. He took my BP as he has done all summer and noted that it was high and that when I get home to see my family Dr. It was 146/95 and he wrote it down along with a note to my family Doctor. I told him that he did great work on sprained ankle and that I would miss someone inflicting severe pain on anterior ligiment. He said if I turn my ankle one more time he would wring my neck. It was an ugly thing and I though for sure I broke my ankle but Prevost fixed me up with ice and I was back after a day.

It was strange teaching, a huge relief in a way and it went fast. We walked up to that lovely and elegant Ford Hall and I sighed a bit inside. I will miss this place, its smells, the lunch guys especially the guy that looks like Richie Havens. Roger Dickinson was already seated when I walked by he had 3 cokes in front of him symbolizing bets won from campers and a row of milk glasses...I have no idea where he packs it all away.

On this last day Mark S. and Bevin sat with me at the table. Mark asked Mr. B if he could go to the airport and Mr. B. said 'why not.' Mark told Bevin and I about Plymouth St. in New Hampshire, it sounds like a great place to go to college. He is studying to be a teacher and I think he will do well in the profession.

In the afternoon it was all about the campers and their prepairation for the big tournament. Jon Mudd played very well today and lost to Fanning 8-4 which is quite an accomplishment because I dont think I can get that many games. It was a slow, hot afternoon but finally when Roger called balls in I knew my first season at FXB was in the books and I somehow I didnt screw up.

I played Tom Sheridan and played well enough to force a tiebreaker. I lost 9-7. I had him but forgot all about his backhand...I played the whole tiebreaker to his forehand and he cleaned me out.

I showered and got ready for dinner. Mr. B. came by the room and off we went. He had a bottle of de Rothshield's Mouton Cadet...1973. The last bottle in the case and when we got to the resturant I had glass, it was great. Mr. B had my pay check and handed it to me. It was for $700.00...thats two hundred more than we agreed on. FXB said that I saved him a fortune and that's my bonus. I am rich! This check will pay for two semesters of tuition at ISU, plus half of my sisters and will also pay for my room. I am set and I wont have any worries. I can study in peace. FXB also said he wants me to come back next year posibly as an assistant head counselor with Riley. I thought I was going to faint, what an offer! So I said I would be back and FXB promised me $800.00 for next year.

FXB talked about his family and the Jersey shore and the vacation plans ahead. He talked a lot about his teaching assistant back in Jersey, Marv. Marv came to camp as a counselor years ago with Charlie Fenske and FXB got him on at the club, hes been there ever since. FXB says Marv has every cent he ever made and is a hard conscientious worker. He says that one day he could get me on the club.

We got back at 9:30 and FXB and I walked the halls and chatted with the campers. The counselors were just getting all the kids to bed. Its so funny two weeks ago they had trembling lips and tears in their eyes after leaving the parents, now they're nervous over the tournament and thinking of ways to win, they're not thinking or missing the parents right now.

I went over to the girls dorms and said goodbye to all the girl counselors. Pat have me a big hug and kiss and told me that Vrana is giving her a ride to JFK where she will fly home to Toronto. Lenny came by to say goodbye and was playing up a storm on the piano. I said good bye to the lovely Chris Russell-Vick and threated to visit her in Kent as well as Becky Craft and Cathy Davidson. A bunch of the girl campers came to the Lounge and snapped photos of me saying good bye. Bevin was sitting on the piano bench and silent when it was her time for the goodbye hug she had a tear in her eye. She said goodbye and gave me a big was touching.

I made it back to the room at 11:00, I packed everything up with lights out at midnight. Mr. B is coming by at 6:30 in the morning....I have layovers in DC, Chicago, Salt Lake and Boise...before landing in Pocatello at 10:30...what a long day Friday will be!


rogerd said...


I kept meaning to ask but keep forgetting to see if u ever checked up on Marv Benzing

Jake said...

I did a search and found FXB's old club and Marv was still there teaching. In my 5 years with FXB I only saw him once for about 15 seconds. He drove FXB's car to camp one weekend, the Z I think, and then drove the station wagen back. FXB liked him and praised his work ethic, just as he did Charlie.