#96 HighlandS Park, Monterey Park

Let’s capitalize the S in HighlandS Park to make sure we are talking about the same two-court gem in Monterey Park, and not make the easy mistake of thinking we were talking about Hermon Park in Highland Park, no capital S, where I had earlier tried to be a good friend.

Meanwhile I have more to report:

Northern Mockingbirds

in the trees



After impromptu bird-listening, made possible by my arriving uncharacteristically early to this residential park, set slightly uphill amongst many a bird-favored cedar, cypress, and palms, I played a rollicking set with a guy who it turns out I used to teach with.

He taught NEXT DOOR to me.

We connected via the Facebook Tennis Players in Los Angeles site, which has been picking up for me in terms of finding folks to play with, after a bit of a lull. In planning our game it came up that we had both taught at the same school, but I didn’t put a face to the name.

So he shows up while I am bird-experiencing and I realize, this stranger was my neighbor. Beautiful baritone voice, carries himself like Fortinbras at the end of Hamlet. It wasn’t for him, our school. He realized this quickly and split to go teach more fulfillingly elsewhere. I’m gonna wait to get clearance before I blurt out more of his personal details, otherwise than to say, he emerged victorious.

Yup. I had him, oh yes, I had him. Up 4-1, then 5-3, then serving up 5-4 only to lose that game without winning a point, eek, all of a sudden I’m down 6-5 and struggling back to force a tie-breaker which I lose, lopsidedly.

And how do I feel about losing? Well, you know, it’s exhilarating to feel so in-the-moment while I’m playing, so you-can-do-this — even when it turns out that I don’t. It’s possible that I could work on aerobic conditioning, so I take getting all sweaty and breathing hard in stride, as opposed to it coming as a surprise. I could also just HIT HARDER, as I often remind myself on the court. I’m getting better at hitting deeper with more topspin, but how about more pace, eh? Maybe I’ll start hitting the Liveball circuit, pick up some pointers. That could be good. Meanwhile — how about a tip of the hat to my former teaching-neighbor for storming all the way back from 1-4?

Sure! What a glorious morning and so excellent to play a well-contested set with my former teacher neighbor, now tennis partner — we are gonna play again soon in Arcadia. That’s breaking new ground!

One comment

  1. The blend of Bird Watching, or listening, paired with Tennis seems, for no good reason, symbiotic.
    I might need a Ven Diagram of you (one circle) and your neighbor/partner (the other circle) to better understanding the depth of such synchronicity.
    Please share a video, at some point, of what topspin looks like in actual time.

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