Sunday, April 24, 2022 (Court Day #487)

This week, Leslie, the Santa Cruz pickleball club venue coordinator, texted Rick A. and myself, the two Derby Park site coordinators, and told us that the grouchy neighbor with the questionable driveway had contacted the City of Santa Cruz—and maybe the police—again about someone parking in front of his driveway. He came over to the courts a few months ago and yelled a lot until a woman moved her car. The problem is that his driveway is very much overgrown, is not fully paved, and is partially blocked by a couch as well as piles of leaves and other obstructions. It makes it difficult to tell it’s a real driveway. Given the sidewalk cut out for the driveway, I would never personally park there, but I can also see where someone who is desperate for a parking spot might consider it fair game. The signs that I had made and now regularly hang up next to the court reservation board warning people to not to park in front of his house seem to not be having as much positive affect as I had hoped. The funny thing is, this neighbor often illegally parks his truck perpendicularly to the sidewalk instead of parallel. A little of calling the kettle black, as they say.

Beautiful Day

I’ve never been a morning person, and that manifested itself today as I was at Derby Park only five minutes before opening time of 9 a.m. (I try to get there at least 10-15 minutes early.) Two people were already there—long-time player Maria and another person whom I can’t remember. I got about to blowing off the courts and all the other opening duties, but fortunately I had other people helping set up all the nets and I didn’t even have to set up even one, which was fantastic. I think that’s a first!

Today turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day. The temperature was wonderful and it was sunny and not breezy which it sometimes gets to be by early afternoon.

I was in a number of fairly uneventful games of mixed skill level where I was obviously the strongest player of each game.

There was a player there who is visiting, I can’t remember his name, but we played in a game or two together. Shortly thereafter he wisely asked me what skill level he should sign up in and I told him “intermediate”. Surprisingly, and unfortunately, players rarely ask me for my opinion as to where they should sign up.

When 10 o’clock rolled around, and it was time for skilled play, I ended up in a game of myself and Ted B. against Ms. J (she requested a while back to not be specifically named) and Sandra. I played very well in that game, and we won 11-2 or maybe was 11-4, but regardless it was a pretty lopsided game.

New Players Again

We had a number brand-new players today and Eric S. was kind enough to take on a group of four himself and let me play some stronger games.

Midmorning, Ray stopped me and said, “You are an ambassador…” (meaning my role for USA Pickleball) “…how long have you been one?” I told him a few months. “You are perfect for that.” A nice compliment! Ray told me he’s on the grant committee for USA Pickleball and once he’d taken on more duties like that, he couldn’t be ambassador too so he’d stepped down as the local one, leaving only Karen Long at the time.

Rick, Rick, René

There are three games where Rick A. and I played against Rick and his girlfriend René. They were fairly close and fun games. I noticed in one game that very few balls are getting hit to me. It was shot to Rick A. Shot to Rick A. Shot to Rick A. Shot to Rick A. Though I did get some balls hit me now and then but it was obvious that they felt Rick was the weaker of the two of us and they wanted to win.

The last game of the day was Eric S. and me playing against Rick and his girlfriend René. That was a fun game. Eric and I went up something like 8-2, but then Rick and René started to come back. I know that Renee and I were both dead on our feet by that point—it had been four hours of playing time!

It was 1:15 when play was done and it was time to go home. Charles kindly helped take down nets so that when I was done a bit later, there was less to do.

Tennis Elbow

My tennis elbow is flaring up a little bit, with the outside of my elbow as well as my inside, and also a little bit of my forearm bothering me in a slightly noticeable fashion. However, it’s far from significant. I hope it stays that way.

Paddle Woes

My Players Rogue 2 paddle has its edging getting loose. A bit of it broke off along one side fairly recently. I really need to send it in and take them up on their offer to have it re-done then sent back to me for free. The paddle has occasionally been making some strange sounds on certain hits. With the edge loose it can create a little bit of an abnormal dampening effect. My hesitation is that I simply do not want to be without my paddle! Maybe I should buy a second one, my understanding is Players came out with a newer model of the paddle.

Number of days on a court: 487
Number of total hours: 2,293.5

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