Saturdays With My Daughter

“Dad, I don’t want you to send me tennis things.  You’re not my coach anymore and it just clogs up my e-mail.”

That hurt.  No more education, college, and generally interesting stuff either.  I am out of her social media loop.  Whew, what a relief.  Some parents would be sad.  I know we built a solid foundation, and her school teachers and coaches, college counselors, and her Chinese “tiger” mom will take care of “it”.

Saturdays are mine, as we prep the kid to play four more years of Women’s Open Singles tennis in this section.  She has already been #1 in the Open mixed, and this same Open singles last year.  She was 7-1 in JTT Open 18s doubles when she was 11.  She won doubles crowns in the Nike Summer Sectional (with 1/2 of the state high school championship team), the Hawaii State Jr. Open, and the Little Mo championship with the #1 ranked 18s player in the state (against the other current state doubles high school champion).

What is left?  Well, with the exception of playing at night under “bat-like” conditions, which is with sonar because of the poor lighting (night is for sleeping, not for tennis championships).  Of course the people eating steaks and drinking beer like it.

Work with you father.  Warm up, stretch, jump rope, hit mini-tennis, warm up all the strokes (forehand, backhand, volley, swinging volley, return, serves and overheads).  Play a no-ad set, or some tie breaks to include super ones.  Do sprints with the ball on the lines, and run the lines for a cool down.  Do it most Saturdays for the next three years.

Gradute with solid grades, good character, a couple of #1 Women’s Open Singles Rankings.  Continue to teach tennis, and sprinkle in a dose of volunteerism (as an apprentice PTR coach).  Dad says, thank you for your time.  See you at college graduation, your wedding, and let me take the grandkids to the movies, tennis courts, and beach.


The Alien Reincarnation of Billy Swan/I Can Help

We intercepted a signal on our planet.  It said, “I got two strong arms, I can help.”  Then it said, “It would sure do me good to do you good, let me help.”

So my production unit packed me away into this ship, and they located two other versions of the song.  There was an Elvis Presley, and this drummer named Ringo Starr from a group of humans called The Beatles.  They played that for me in a continual loop while I grew up in the lifegiving syrup.  I travelled the galaxy to Earth, where the music came from.

I am an alien from another planet, and it sure did me good to help with:

special education, Special Olympics, asthma clinic, deaf and blind school, Headstart, Have a Heart, Toys for Tots, Ronald McDonald House, Palolo Chinese Home, Ala Wai School, Army Adopt-A-School, Job Corps, donations to: University of Arizona, Iolani, Waikiki School, Kawananakoa, Kaimuki Christian School, Friends of Diamond Head Tennis

coaching/teaching at Tucson Racquet and Swim, Oahu Club, Peterson AFB, Mesa Parks and Rec., Colorado Springs Parks and Rec., Jason at Randolph Tennis Center, Variety School, Hawaii Baptist Academy, Stevenson Intermediate, Ilima, Kailua Elementary, USTA, ILH and DOE Honolulu

I took a turn as a soldier, teacher, coach, volunteer, and a writer of strange and wonderful things. Because we intercepted a signal on my desert planet that said, “I can help.”