The Fade, The Ghost, and The Thank You

Ah, the first 50 were a blast.  The folks took us around the country as pop worked in Hollywood, Bayou country, the desert, the land of 10,000 lakes, Manhattan, Graceland, Thunderbird Mountain and returned us for good to Arizona where the most hated football rivalry in America takes place in Tempe and Tucson each year.

Thank you fish, cats, dogs, turtles and hamsters.

Thank you ghosts that haunt me in a good way, with copper miner crusher foremen, and barbers/metal workers and their wives who polka, waltz, and listen to Andy Williams and Lawrence Welk.  They are dancing in and around me.

Thanks to the crazy men and women that we drank and partied with.  We howled and shook the night from dual Indian reservations with roaring fires, to spring cleaning at Corey’s Cabana.  Thank you to tapas sisters, who spoke to me in Spanish and English over tubs of sangria.

Thank you to first wives, that shake your tree and prep you for the second.

And I must say girls, after one of our most beloved trips to our little China Town yesterday, what a great life it has been in our own China Town home where you have loved, used herbs and vegan delights, and cupped and accupunctured your way to my heart and soul.  To be in Shanghai with you and your family was a delight.

Now to do that one great thing, that everlasting thing, that thing that makes us unique as a person in our gathering of cosmic dust and sea salt.  That one great, last thing before we fade away in dignity, and turn into a ghost that can haunt one or two, or one or two million, or maybe even one or two billion.  Who knows?

THANK YOU, Thank You, thank you. . .and fade.

Brain Bath-Splashing in the Tub With. . .

Not Everyone Gets A Trophy-Bruce Tulgan

The Book of Life-Deborah Harkness

The Handmaid’s Tale-Margaret Atwood

Colleges That Change Lives-Loren Pope

The Journal of Asian Studies Vol. 73 #2-Editor Jeffery Wasserstrom

Anne of Green Gables-L.M. Montgomery

On Writing-Stephen King

Oliver Twist-Charles Dickens

To Kill A Mockingbird-Harper Lee

The Shadow out of Time-H.P. Lovecraft

Riders of the Purple Sage-Zane Grey

The Last Bad Job-Colin Dodds

Lean In For Graduates-Sheryl Sandberg

On the Road-Jack Kerouac

Howl-Allen Ginsberg

The Haunting-Shirley Jackson

Naked Lunch-William S. Burroughs

A Celtic Christmas-Mairtin O’Griofa

Dancing Fish and Ammonites-Penelope Lively

Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*CK-Amy Alkon

Stranger in a Strange Land (Uncut Version)-Robert Heinlein

Wise Heart-Jack Kornfield

Die Broke-Pollan & Levine

Good Poems-Garrison Keillor

Clarify-Annapurna Magazine Anthology-Volume I

Lost in Wonder-Esther De Waal

A History of Western Music-Grout & Palisca

Facing Hawaii’s Future-Second Edition

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt-Edmund Morris

Wisdom of Our Fathers-Tim Russert

Religions of the World-Hopfe & Woodward

The Arlington Reader-Bloom & Smith

Holy Bible-King James Version

Native Son-Richard Wright

New Worlds of Literature-Beaty & Hunter

The Book of Mormon

The Orion Material-Elizabeth Fitzhugh

Where the Sidewalk Ends-Shel Silverstein

Walden and Civil Disobedience-Henry David Thoreau

Buddhist Scriptures-Edward Conze

The Teaching of Buddha

Doctor’s Little Book of Answers-Celia Brown, M.D.

What is Buddhism

The Little Prince-Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Teacher Laughs-Allen Klein

Liao-Fan’s Four Lessons

The Tennis Lover’s Book of Wisdom-Criswell Freeman

A World of Ideas-Lee Jacobus

Buddhism:  The Wisdom of Compassion and Awakening-Ven. Master Chin Kung

Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained-Milton

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. . .and it’s all small stuff-Richard Carlson, Ph.D.

The Vajracchedika-Prajna-Paramita Sutra/The Prajna-Paramita-Hrdaya Sutra

Here’s Hope New Testament-NIV

Choosing Happiness-Veronica Ray

The Awakening of Lovingkindness-Master Chin Kung

Fallout-Ellen Hopkins

Heart of a Buddha

New Testament/Psalms Proverbs-Gideons

The All-Side One/The Heart Sutra

The Smaller Sukhavati-Vyuha-F. Max Fuller

Like Mother, Like Daughter-Cathy Guisewite

Little Book of Feng Shui-Lillian Too

Desk Dictionary-Merriam Webster

The Elements of Style-William Strunk

LM 50-What to do With A Cold, Shaky Puppy at School?

What good is my All Army sports jacket?  Well, in working at one of the special education rooms kept at near freezing temperatures (does this help or hinder the child’s brain?), it is good to have that black, white and yellow garment.

A lady teacher that I like, with grand visions for the world, and who had recently brought home a little puppy for her military veteran mother, brought that critter to school.  I began the day on the other side of the room, with only the yaps and quick scurries of the dog to our area in the morning.  In the afternoon, I was to work with a very nice kid, who has both special needs and English Second Language issues going on.  Plus, time to be with that shivering puppy.

After the boy had done his work, I sat there watching a video on an I-Pad about Walter Cronkite reporting on JFK’s demise in 1963.  The puppy was shivering, while I sat comfortable in my jacket.  What to do?  Seventeen years after earning that jacket by playing for a team that both Arthur Ashe and Stan Smith had played for, it was put to best use.  I bundled that little puppy into my jacket.  Between my belly warmth and the coat, he peacefully fell asleep to the strains of the USA’s reporter Cronkite.  Comfortable for all concerned, even in the shakiest of times.

Ed “Tough Gut”Wilson on Progeny/Golden Slam

I’ve done some crazy things over the years on and off the court.  None more than playing with my wife and daughter.  They of menopause & teenage angst age.  But, to get ranked #1 with both of them in the same year?  Yes.  To win events in the same weekend with both?  Yes.  Ranked #1 three years in a row in our USTA section in Open Mixed?  Yes.  Having done this, and narrowly escaped with my sanity and jugular intact, I think it is time to exit stage left.  Thank you girls for giving it a go.  The WBTA can now go back to  hit, giggles and beach time.

On the other hand, I have secretly played with a partner relocated from the D.C. area.  A stealth bomber of a player, a real killer drone if you will.  With a record of 9-0, and 5 championships to include a senior gold medal and a #1 Men’s Doubles Ranking, my man Black.  We are trying to win our sectional version of a golden slam.  Not to be confused with the Denny’s grand slam, which has a little more meat in it + all the coffee refills your nervous system can take.

So “TEAM”, it has been a real pleasure playing with all of you with the ups and downs a season can take.  One thing we know for sure, we have koa bowls to spare.  But, just like where the pineapples have gone, these are not Hawaiian, but made in the Philippines.

This crew in the WBTA has managed to pull off 14 team championships.  4 decades of “TEAM”:  80s, 90s, 2000s, 2010s-USTA, ILH, NJCAA, NCAA, Armed Forces, etc.  We are tired.  Has anyone seen the snorkel masks?