UPDATE: AAPI tennis celebration at George Elder Park, Monterey Park

Wow that was a great outing — there must have been 200 people.

Let’s count!

Yeah I get 201, not counting the trees.

Counting the trees, 209.

That’s me way over on the left, not the furthest, but three from the furthest in my purple-lettered SFSU hoodie and purple tye-dye warm-ups from my first official sponsor, Slumdog Trillionaire.

More about $T en un momento. First, let’s get back to the blast that was this AAPI tennis celebration, organized by my pal Phillip Kim, who did beyond a bang-up job. You could not miss the upsurge of love and support for Monterey Park tennis, as expressed by the giant crowd — at least 50 people per court


and everybody rockin’ their best having-fun, participating-and-cooperating, sweaty-athletic vibe.

The celebration transcended tennis — and that’s what made this such a blockbuster event —

t r a n s c e n d e n c e

From: I am just here to play tennis, make good shots, get my cardio, be sociable

To: Suddenly I am part of something beyond my personal experience,

something bigger combining play and community

with LOTS of other people,

and it is joyous.

But, you may be thinking — what about the tennis? Well, 50 people on a court makes it hard to really grind out a set, but I did have a good time swatting away in jovially merciless Liveball.

I also got to demo a gleaming new Wilson Pro Staff 97 v 14 in gold and orange, which — it coulda just been the exhilaration of the event — but it felt like a magic wand, the first racquet I have played with in a long time that made me think it could make me a better player.

I am not completely sold on this idea — I have always liked playing with random used racquets from Cliff at Rancho — Cliff once called me up years ago to say one of the most honest things you can say to a person — “I found your wallet.”

Still, it might be zesty to have a snazzy new racquet as a souvenir of this inspirational-in-a-fun-way day. The only thing is whoa, though — pricey! Gonna have to think on that until at least Father’s Day 😉

Dollar cost averaging, though, if you add in the free Bánh mì.

I told my friend J all about it. J and I were on the same USTA league team last year, went to Sectionals together, that’s right, me and J, having ourselves a spontaneous Court Justice reunion. He was sitting by himself on a folding chair, eating pizza and lasagna. I said, “Hey man, free Bánh mì, can life get better or should we settle for this?”

J said, “What? Free free Bánh mì? Can I get some?”

I said, “Yup.”

“Are you sure it’s Bánh mì?” he said, skeptical for some reason of my credentials for identifying a delicious cold-cut sandwich on a soft french roll topped with water chestnut.

“Are you sure it’s water chestnut?” inquired J.

“I mean cilantro,” I quickly amended my report.

“That sounds more like Bánh mì,” J said, and he was so appreciative of the tip that he gave me a ride home, all the way from Monterey Park, for which I was grateful, even more because George Elder Park is a hike from the nearest bus stop. Me and J had a great convo all the way home, the perfect blend of catching up and enjoying the pleasure of automotive transport.

The awesomeness of carpooling is severely under-reported, but that’s another story for another time. We are talking here about transcendence, and it is not just the free Bánh mì that took this celebration higher.

It was also the Somoan dancin’

I really wish you coulda been there to witness the gusto of this performance.

Earlier during Liveball I had seen all of these youngsters hustling free-spiritedly on the tennis court; now, they were combining fierce cries with bird coo’ing and what really put the whole thing over the top for me, martial arts as dance.

Splendor is what that whole performance was.

A conjuring of vivacity.

For sure! Well I was gonna tell you about Slumdog Trillionaire. Yes. And the awesomeness of carpooling, too. Those are both beautiful stories and I am looking forward with free-spirited vivacity to telling you about them next time.

One comment

Leave a Reply