We have a pair of tennis courts in Cave Junction that are made of asphalt with grass growing out of all the cracks. I used to go down there when I first came out this way to see if anybody ever played.
I never saw anybody.
And as there was no practice wall there I sighed and put my tennis racket away thinking the nearest courts were in Grants Pass which was 45 minutes away.
I've taken up frisbee golf instead, and while out on our two-plus-mile rather hilly course I came upon a very old couple sitting on a bench on hole seventeen "resting". They had a couple of brand new frisbees you could tell they just bought and were looking at them and talking about them as if they were both new and mysterious at the same time.
"Old newbies!" I thought. "Maybe they need some of my sage learnin'?"
I stopped and chatted with them for a bit. Turns out his name was George, and he's 82years old. His girlfriend's name was Evelyn, and she's "in her seventies" and had double mastectomies with some removal of her pectoral muscles.
And they were out learning a new sport and getting some exercise. I thought "COOL BEANS!"
"We usually play tennis," George explained.
I thought "DOUBLE-DUTY COOL BEANS!" and left them there as a couple of groups of frisbee tossers were backing up behind us.
A few nights later, I met a woman named Sandy while having a stout down at my favorite brew pub-pizza place. She looked a few years older than I but sun-beaten pretty good.
"I'm from San Diego. I play a lot of tennis."
Ahhh... that explains it.
"TENNIS? TENNIS? Did you say tennis?!"
"Yeah, we play at Jubillee Park. The courts are really bad but at least they're courts. You get some interesting bounces sometimes. Adds flavor to the game..."
It turns out there is a motley crew of die-hard tennis players who meet in the mornings about four days a week to play doubles, so I am finally getting out and playing tennis again! Yeah for tennis! The strings on my racket broke on the first day as they had rotted- it had been that long.
The point of the story of course, is George and his girlfriend. The first day I went out to play, George and Evelyn were in the next court, hitting long rallies back and forth.
"Hey I know you!" we both said, and I thought "Cool beans! What an inspiration at 82."
Every time I've gone out, George and Evelyne have been there. George first goes out into the baseball field and practices throwing frisbees- his new sport. Then Evelyn shows up and they hit tennis balls. Yesterday, George showed me a few things he got at a garage sale and then he told me about a guitar amp he scored for free because it "Lit up but didn't work". He took it apart and fixed it... "So I had to go out and buy me an electric guitar."
"Do you play?"
"I'm learning. I got me a book that says it can teach anyone six or older how to play. I reckon I qualify."
"Over-qualified," Evelyn piped in.
Way to go George at 82...