Friday, December 21, 2012


     A couple of weeks ago I posted a video with Dan and Phil Ponce, a couple of Chicago news casters who are also extraordinarily talented musicians and singers.  Dan was one of the founders of Straight No Chaser an a Capella group formed at Indiana University that is now a hot ticket.
       As fate would have it, several of you have sent me videos of the group, so I am "re gifting."  Most of you are no doubt aware of them, but for those of you who are not-
Enjoy.  Here's an early gift.


     An era came to a sad but noble end today. I think of it as a ghost of Christmas future.  
     A tennis partner quietly announced at the net as we were shaking hands at the conclusion of a match, that he would no longer be playing. David said he could not trust his balance anymore and he didn't want to take another fall, as he has twice this year.  David is an octogenarian.
     I didn't play tennis until we moved to Cambria.  My court sport in Indiana was basketball, but wanting to stay in shape I began as a late aged neophyte on the tennis court. It took months of some awful play before I was worthy of joining into a foursome.  David, Phil and Janos were the first group to ask me to sub from time to time.  They were also the first group to ask me to join as a permanent player.
     I play three days a week in three different foursomes now, but the Friday morning 9AM foursome on Court 1 was the "mother's milk" of my tennis play.  David, Phil and Janos allowed me to learn and grow and they are a delightful group of guys. After our play, we always end up at Lilly's coffee deck for wide ranging conversations and a good dose of friendship.
      David and I were often partners and there would be times he wore a frustration at what had departed his game. But there were also those times when his wicked cross court shot, or a hard hit liner would do the job and was evidence of a man who had great game.  He particularly enjoyed, as I did as well, when we would rally back from being down and win the match. We both would leave the court with more spring in our step.  He remained a competitor though he knew his days of being an excellent player were history. He loved the game and he continued to play.  
     David was also the picture of a gentlemen competitor at all times.  He evinced a great sportsmanship and integrity.  He is also a true gentlemen in every other regard.  A class act if ever there was one.  As well traveled as anyone I've met, even among other globe trotting journalists, David is a great joy in social settings.  We hope he will continue to join us for our post match coffee.
      Our buddy Phil has been on medical leave of recent, though his love for the game is pushing him to get back on the court as well.  In my few years of play I have come to know that love of the game and can understand how tough it must be to hang it up.  David will now take up lawn bowling, of which there is a tough league in Cambria.  And he may join the ping pong matches.
      I am indebted to Janos, Phil and David.  I will miss David's enthusiastic narratives and droll humor as we play. And I hope at some distant match, holiday season or other wise, I can leave the game with the same class and gentlemanly style as David.
      And for the record David's quick returns and well aimed shots earned us several points today.
      See you down the trail.


  1. It is sad when one recognizes his game has declined. But kudos to David to know when the time came and how to bow out gracefully.

  2. David has a lot of grace and style. We don't have enough gentlemen like him anymore.


  3. The great thing is.... he can take up lawn bowling!!! I'm sure your group will miss him.

  4. May you be blessed with partners and opponents similarly inclined

  5. David is a great guy and a joy to play tennis with. (I'm in a Wednesday group with him.) Of course, for many of us the following coffee at Lily's is the main event, and I look forward to continuing that.