Saturday, September 4, 2021 (No Play)

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. God knows why, but me on the other hand, I have no idea! But what do you do when you wake up in the middle of the night? Check email! There was an email from Robin Haney, West Assistant Director of Ambassadors for the USA Pickleball Association. The subject line announced, “Welcome, new USA Pickleball Ambassador!” Well, that’s exciting. I didn’t read the email in the wee hours of the morning though, that had to wait until later!

“We are pleased to announce that you have been officially approved as a USA Pickleball Ambassador serving Santa Cruz, CA, in the Bay Area district of our West region.”

I received congratulation emails from Karen Long, the existing local ambassador, and also Steve Sutton, the West Region Director, California & Hawaii.

The welcome email included a bunch of links and attachments. I have a lot of reading to do!

There’s a private Ambassadors Facebook group that was suggested that I join, so I did that. (My membership is manually approved after they review my answers to their screening questions.)


Monday, September 6, 2021 (Court Day #408) Labor Day

Yesterday, I got up at 6 a.m. and carpooled with one my staff and my bagpiping instructor/mentor to the annual Scottish Highland games held in Pleasanton. It was canceled last year with the pandemic and all. This year, attendance was capped at about 25% of normal. I didn’t know that when I tried to get tickets the afternoon before and found it sold out. But—as they say—”it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. The chairman in charge of piping and drumming at this games was the president of WUSPBA (The Western United States Pipe Band Association) when I was the Executive Secretary with only the VP between us in the administration hierarchy. I was able to get a couple of tickets from their reserve stash. It was great to spend the day catching up with old friends and enjoying music. I got home from the event after 6 p.m. so I missed my typical Sunday morning pickleball.

Brommer

Today, Monday, I arrived at Brommer Park at 9:10. (Based on my car clock—I didn’t realize until hours later that I’d left my phone at home! Duh.) The lot was more full than I’d typically find it and—based on experience—I was expecting a big crowd. And, yes, we had about 50 people turn up. One of those 50 was Charles—a regular at Derby two years ago—whom I hadn’t seen in at least a year and maybe two years.

Joe from the Bay Area

I wasn’t expecting to be able to meet Joe Macdonald—who reached out to me for a place to play in Santa Cruz—but he stayed in town an extra day and came to Brommer. We played a game together and I think our auras canceled out or something. I’m joking, but neither of us played well in that game. Pleasant guy, Joe. I was hoping for us to redeem ourselves as a team, but that’ll have to be some other time!

Paul

A man named Paul played with me against Chris and Jason. I’d seen Paul before, but he doesn’t play on Sundays, so I almost never see him. Jason had already signed up in red (advanced) and I’m easily on par with Jason’s play plus I was ready for a stronger game after a few games of weaker players. That’s not to say that I was playing great, I wasn’t. As I told Paul, “We’ll see if you get the ‘3.0 Andrew’ or the ‘4.0 Andrew’ for this game!” Paul is a good player, I’d say a 4.0. I made a few errors, but played ok. Paul was the strongest, Chris played very well, me, followed by Jason who didn’t play his best game. Paul and I won. It was fairly close . . . 11-8 or something about that.

Visitor Mike

A nice guy named Mike was visiting from Morro Bay. It’s nearly a three hour drive. Mike was an amazing player. It was hard to tell just how good since he was taking it easy on Dewey in the game where he was partnered with Patty and me with Dewey. It was very obvious to me that Mike was not ending points on attackable shots. Mike is easily a 4.0 and likely better. Dewey and I lost the first game 2-11. We did better in the second game, but we still got slaughtered—maybe 4 points for us. Dewey kept apologizing. I kept telling him not to worry about it. Even if he was stronger than a “2.5 player” as he said, Mike would still have been able to take us apart. After the game, Mike did say I played well, and I think I played my average, but I was outclassed. Mike is really, really good.

The Blacks

Last game, Dave Black and me against his wife Beth and Rob A. Dave and I won 11-8. That was a great game . . . even if Rob did slam an overhead into my paddle finger! He apologized, but it wasn’t his fault! I would have made the same shot had I been in his shoes!

I asked Beth the time. 1:53 p.m. I told my wife I’d be home between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., so I was pretty much on schedule. Home, then lunch and icing!

Insoles

Today, I noticed that the right foot of my two AirFeet brand (“waterbed”-ish) insoles was no longer squishy. It must have popped. Time to revert back to the older traditional foam insoles!


Number of days on a court: 408
Number of total hours: 2,061.5

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