Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, not Tuesday Pickleball. 12/28/2011

A beautiful day greeted we UPGers, and lots of others were enjoying Gower park as well. 5o degrees, sunny w/ a light breeze. Present and accounted for: Bob H, Ralph, Joanie and her granddaughters Prema and Sophia (ball shaggers extraordinaire), Mike, Steve, Ron, Sharon, Gary A and Claude. That should tally up to 9.
Stevo made a good call by cancelling our usual Tuesday session (rain in the AM, and big, big wind in the afternoon). Wed was the perfect day - or perfecter than Tue.
We played for 3 hours. Players peeled off as the session progressed, but not before lots of good games were recorded. The group slimmed down to five. Several more matches were conducted and hard fought - highlighted by some exceptional rallies and volleys. Sorry to say that there was an minor injury. But, it doesn't qualify as a 'during play' injury so gets no official ranking on our scale 10. The unlucky soul walked into one of the shin-high, brick pedestals while milling around and watching a match. Name withheld by request.
The photograph above may be copied, reproduced, retouched, sold, rented, given away, enlarged, graphically altered any which way, digitally enhanced or un-enhanced all at no cost and also without written permission. By the way: if this was a match-related injury, it would only rank as a 3.5.

Looks like Friday, December 30th is going to be a fine day for P'ball and our last session of 2011. Hope you all can find your way clear to join the fun. If you do, and even if you don't - hope you have a Happy New Year.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Pickleball - December 23, 2011 Quintet

Five showed for p'ball on this beautiful day. 60 degrees, sunny, slight breeze. Present: Mike, Steve, Anne, Sharon and Ron. We played for two hours, switching players around after each match. Finished the session with a great Canadian Doubles match. Then, battled the traffic on the way home. Photos below were taken by Sharon. Ron and Steve (picture 1), took on Mike picture 2. Loads of fun.

Happy and safe Christmas and Holidays to all UPGers, wannabees and our millions of followers.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Damp Tuesday Pickleball - 12/20/2011

When you leave your comfy home to play Pickleball and you have to immediately turn on your windshield wipers - you rank as one or both of the following: 1) an eternal optimist, 2) not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Your choice. Six arrived at Gower park: Mike, Steve, Claude, Gary A, Sharon and Ron. But, to our credit, even our friend 'Hercules' - the tennis instructor - was teaching one of his students the finer points of the game with somewhat soggy tennis balls. P'balls don't get soggy though, so we carried on. The courts were wet but no puddles formed. Not right away. R and S practiced on one court while Claude, Gary A, Steve and Mike battled on the other. Then, the sprinkles turned into a light rain at which point Sharon had the good sense to retire to the car. We took a few minutes to perform The Passing of the Pickle to Gary A (originally presented to him in absentia during the Christmas Party (See the BLOG entry for December 14, 2011 - now slightly revised)).
The foursome above played more matches ignoring the inclementness (look it up!) after S and R departed.
Above: Sharon (aka Cupcake) in an un-posed action shot.
Here's hoping that we get to play the Friday before Christmas. Spike

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Friday Pickleball, tennis, basketball and a digger. Dec. 16, 2011.

When we arrived at the courts today they were crawling with tennis players (TPs). Three courts were occupied, but lucky for the TPs two courts we not taken so we quickly commandeered them. Ralph showed up after about a 6-week absence due to surgery. Good to see him back and in the game. That's Ralph above. Below: Jan 'leaps' over the net - demonstrating her agility and gazelle-like athleticism.
Present: Sharon, Mike, Johnny, Ron, Ralph, Lynne, Anne and Jan. We played lots of games but some players wandered off early so there was a shortage of players. Mike - who spied a lone basketball player headed that way and shot hoops for a while until there was a space for him in the next match.
Lynne, while lunging for a sideline shot took a digger and did a masterful job at it. Scuffed up her knee a bit. But, she brushed herself off and got right back in the game. All in all we had a nice day with temperature near 70 degrees, overcast and a little wind.

Happy shopping.

3rd Annual Christmas bash - December 14, 2011 & Passing of the Pickle history.

Thanks to Gary and Muriel we UPGers and friends had a very nice gathering at their lovely home in Simpsonville. Fifteen folks attended - all shown above minus Jan's friend George who took the photo. Pictured above more or less from left to right: Ann, Sharon, Ron, Muriel, Jan, Lynne, Josee, Claude, Mike, Hugh, Anne, Steve, Nicky and Gary. Yummies galore, spirits and Holiday Spirit prevailed. A good time was had by all. The highlight of the evening was the Passing of the Pickle - a tradition started in December 2009.

The tradition started when Mike and Ann acquired the pickle ornament shown above. During our 1st Christmas Party (December 15, 2009) at Corona's Mike awarded the Pickle to Lynn and Ken in recognition of their introduction of Pickleball to The Upstate (imported, by them from Florida). Below is an actual unretouched of Ken's hand holding the Pickle taken during the party on .
Soon after, Lynn and Ken left for a 3 month stint in Florida in preparation for their eventual relocation to the Sunshine State. They returned to Greenville for a few days in March 2010 and participated in a Pickleball session on March 16 at Timmons Park. On that occasion they presented the Pickle to Ron and Sharon for taking on the responsibilities of tending to the equipment, scheduling sessions and caring for the BLOG. Ron accepts the award below.
During our 2nd Annual Christmas/Holiday gathering at Jan's home on December 3, 2010 the award was presented to Steve (3rd recipient) for taking over the scheduling and equipment transportation duties while Ron and Sharon were traveling. Official, uncut photo below shows Steve graciously accepting the award while friends look on.
The 4th Passing of the Pickle (During the 3rd Annual Christmas Party) was somewhat unique in that the recipient was not present because he was out of state tending to his father. In true UPG form - the show must go on and all that - the presentation was made by Steve to Gary H who kindly received the Pickle on behalf of Gary A. Gary A received the award for the work he did organizing the UPGs participation in the Lake Lure Games this year, for volunteering for the 'Orderer of the Balls' position and for taking on other UPG missions.

But, that's not the end of the story.

Finally, on 12/20/2011 - a rainy day at Gower, with six UPGers present (others having to good sense to stay home) the Pickle was formally presented to Gary A by Steve (presentation pictured below). Sharon was also on hand for the playing session but had adjourned to the car when the rain picked up, just before this photo was snapped.
That's it folks.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday Pickleball - December 13, 2011

A sparkling day at Gower Park. Disc golfers were as busy as ever and two courts were occupied by tennis players. We UPGers - 10 strong - occupied Courts 2 & 3. Players: Josee, Claude, Anne, Sharon, Steve, Mike, Ron, Johnny, Carol and Joanie. Josee hasn't been around for a while. It took her a few matches to warm up, but when she did she dropped many a dink shot just over the net to the consternation of her unsuspecting opponents. Otherwise, we played for about 2-1/2 hours and had barrels of fun. The group eventually dwindled to 4 where Ron and Mike played Steve and Claude. Each team won one match - both hard fought 'guts' matches. A rubber game will be arranged. Best out of 5?; out of 7?
Above - clockwise starting at top L: Joanie and Johnny, Josee and Claude, Steve and Sharon, Claude.

There will be a Christmas party tonight (Wed. Dec 14th). Check your email. There will be a BLOG post about the much Heralded event. Stay tuned.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pickleball Report - Friday December 09/2011

That's Peter above. This is a return not a serve, so it's OK to be toeing the line. Si?

We had 11 players and none of the men noticed the eye candy on Court 1. The same ladies were playing tennis on Court 1 during our 12/02 outing but were not included in the list of  distractions in the BLOG for that date entitled Distractions Included. This omission was kindly and correctly pointed out by our very own Spidy-the-Lengthy. So, since the occurrence repeated itself - the reference is included here for your reading pleasure.

Players: Steve, Gary A, Peter, Ray, Jan, Johnny, Carol, Ron, Sharon, Claude and Lynne.

We occupied Courts 3 and 4 and kept them busy. Several matches were played on Court 4, before Stevo realized that the net had not been lowered. There was some good natured grumbling but the games went on with only one formal protest submitted.

Oh. Normally we don't include match scores - but, these two are worth mentioning: Yon editor made the foolish mistake of playing Claude in a singles match. Claude squeezed out a win 11-0. Then, yon editor and Stevie Wonder (Team Green) challenged Claude and Gary A (Team Blue) to a doubles match. It went well for Green eventually garnering an impressive lead of 10 - 3 and a sure win. The stands emptied at that point. But (please don't read any more if you are feint of heart) the Blues took the next 9 points for the win - even though Green-with-envy got the serve back 3 or 4 times. Yikes.
Above: Steve and Ray

See you on the courts ASAP.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Three came through - Tuesday, December 6, 2011.

Above: Group photo. From bottom, then clockwise: Spike, Stevie Wonder and Rambo.

Ok, granted the weather looked to be somewhat marginal in the Greenville area with a 70% chance of showers - but, it was supposed to start later in the day. Yon Editor and Steve showed up and didn' t even have to use our windshield wipers en route. We started brooming off one court; then Gary A arrived and we began playing Canadian Doubles. And, it started to drizzle. We carried on. The drizzle turned into a light rain. But, at least it was warm. Four matches later, with no injuries to report we called it quits.  The nice thing about playing in the rain is - that we had the courts to ourselves, there were no disc golf players about and there was almost almost no air traffic.
Friday looks to be more promising for p'ball. See you then.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Friday P'ball - 12/02/2011 - Distractions included.

Ok. Here's the scoop. We had a beautiful, bright, no-wind, long-shadow day, only a few distractions and 9 players: Mike, Steve, Gary A, Ron, Johnny, Joanie, Anne, Jan and Ray. We occupied 2 of the 3 center courts while the two end courts were busied with tennis players. And, we got along famously. We played for about 2-1/2 hours, shifted players around at will and enjoyed a sparkling day of p'ball and camaraderie. The thing about Gower Park is that you can always count on some distractions.
We have the final approach to Runway 1 of the Downtown Airport which is 3/4s of a mile away - (as the crow flies) and is directly over the courts. So, there's plenty of action overhead with planes coming and going - especially on Friday afternoons. Then, in the basketball courts adjacent to the p'ball courts - there was a lone basketball player practicing hoops - except he was playing with a football (or, a badly misshapen basketball). A disc golf players had one of his Frisbees land in the p'ball courts. This happens on occasion and one of our players usually retrieves the disc and after two or more tries flings it over the court fence. On this day, a disc golfer - whose disc landed un-noticed in the courts - deftly climbed over the 12 ft chain link fence, retrieved his projectile, then climbed back over the fence to meet up with his companions, apparently without injury. There is never a dull moment at Gower, but the courts are great, they dry quickly after a rain and the lines are easy to see. So, who's complaining?
 We had a good day with lots of action. Looking forward to the next session.
See you then.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

FriBall PickleDay - November 20, 2011

Bright sun and a breeze welcomed 9 players at Gower Park. Players: Johnny, Carol, Mike, Gary A (featured above), Ray, Jan, Lynne, Sharon and Ron. We played for about 2-1/2 hours and enjoyed the coolish day and competitive play. Below: Lynne and Carol in action.

Below: Jan and Mike

Hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Spike and Cupcake

Thursday, November 17, 2011

'Level Play' - P'ball - Tuesday, 11/15/2011 -

An overcast and warmish day brought 11 players to the courts at Gower Park. Bob H even showed up, proof positive that he did not meet his maker contrary to oft-repeated rumors. Joanie was there too - after a short hiatus. In all: Johnny, Carol, Peter, Joanie, Bob H, Bob T, Mike, Steve, Gary, Ray and Ron.

Today was the first day of trying to maintain (on a trial basis) court play at two skill levels (Advance and Intermediate). It did or didn't work very well - depending on your point of view. For some, the process of assigning players to the Advanced court was a little awkward.

Nevertheless, there were many exciting matches on both courts and everyone got to play as many matches as they were up for.

Johnny showed the troops one of his many model planes that he has made over the years - a beauty made of balsa wood. I wish I tore myself away from the 'A' game court to take a look! (A pointed Editorial comment).

Above: The good old days.

See you on the courts.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

11/11/11 - Veteran's Day - Pickleball

Eleven, eleven, eleven. And, Veteran's Day.

Nine players were on hand and we had a beautiful day to boot. Players: Steve, Lynne, Carol, Johnny, Mike, Peter, Gary A, Gary and yours truly - but, not all of the time. We played long and hard and, as always had many good matches and at least a few that went into 'overtime'.

Note: If you haven't chipped into the Pickleball Fund - please see Gary A. the cost per person is $10. That whopping amount will most likely keep us supplied with Pickleballs for a year. This amounts to the paultry sum of 20 cents a week.

And: We are looking to recruit more players to help fill up our 5 courts, to bring some new blood into our group and perhaps to allow for different levels of play. If you know anyone who might be interested in taking up Pickleball - have them contact someone in the group, or bring them along to a session and some of our players will work with them on a separate court. You will be hearing more about UPG's growing pains in the near future. If you have any suggestions about recruitment, please contact Gary A.


Pickleball - Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yon Editor and former complaint processor was on the road - so, match scheduler/ball handler Steve-E-Wonder passed this sketchy info along to the UPG publishers for your reading pleasure (or, displeasure). Either way there is no charge for this information, and IT IS NOT COPYWRITE PROTECTED.

Players: Gary A, Gary, Anne, Mike, Bob T, Peter, Ray, Jan and Steve.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Coming out of the woodwork - Tue, 11/1/11

We had a sparkling day and it brought out a good crowd who promptly occupied 3 courts. Here goes: Joanie after a 2 week absence, Johnny and Carol (out of commission for about two weeks but on the way toward a full recovery from colds), Ron and Sharon (travels, a little surgery (Ron), cold symptoms) both at about 75% after a 5 week hiatus, Jan, Steve, Anne, Peter, Mike, Gary and Bob T. That would amount to about 12 players - give or take a few. Ralph (recovering from surgery) came by to say hello. He'll be out of action for about another month.

It was good to have so many players on hand. As a result there was a lot of good action and many fine games. Some of the recovering players shortened their session but stayed on to gab and watch the final matches.                               

See you on the courts.
Sterling Stainless Masonry III

Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Forlorner - Friday Pickleball - 10/28/2011

OK. Three showed up for p'ball on this Friday: Steve, Gary A and Jan. They, played 'Canadian Doubles' until they wore themselves out, then departed. There are good reasons why some people haven't been showing up, but we won't list them here. Too boring for this very exciting missive. But, fear not - our numbers will start increase soon as our members recover from surgery, the flu, beriberi, other ailments and when folks return from their travels.

Gary A has taken over the responsibility of buying more pickleballs as our supply is almost depleted. Each players will be assessed $10 and should pay up pronto because Gary A has ordered and paid for the balls. (The $10 fee is not a donation and the amount is not optional). The balls we are using now, in various stages of wear, and the new batch, will last us about one year. Cheap enough, don't you think? No response is necessary, because we all know the answer.

We are in the FALLBALL SEASON, so the sessions now start at 1:00PM. Even late sleepers should be able to get their carcases to the courts. Yes!

See you on Tuesday, 11/1/11/@ 1


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tuesday Pickleball - October 25, 2011 - Where...?


Present and accounted for: Steve, Mike, Ray, Gary and Anne. Averages 1 player/court!

85% - Spike

Friday P'ball - October 21, 2011

A day - long on beauty - short on players. In action: Steve, Gary, Anne and Mike.

Double-headed 14d
On the mend

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back in the groove (almost) - Pickleball session - Tue, 10/18/2011

Yon reporter, reported in today after a 3 week leave of absence. Great to see 9 UPGers hard at it on a beautiful day at Gower: Players: Jan, Steve, Lynne, Carol, Peter, Johnny, Gary, Mike and Bob T (welcome back from your travels). Also on hand was a potential new addition to the UPG - George.
Watching the games was hard work, but fun never-the-less. Plenty of action and even a hint of merriment! George had a chance to practice at singles; looks like a good prospect. We can always use more players. Of note: Ralph has had his back surgery and reports that he's On The Road Again. He's doing fine and thanks all those who wished him well. If you didn't wish him well - then, you are up the creek.
For those of you who like to keep track of the number of your pickleball sessions - you are in luck. Stevo has kept a tally of all of the unreported sessions. The UPG Publications Division has posted the information in the 5 BLOGS preceding this post. Thank Steve next time you get a chance. If he didn't keep track of the sessions your individual playing session records would have been unavoidably lost to history.

Also: We will be collecting money from all active players for our ball fund. Watch your email for the the exciting notification.

Friday, October 14, 2011

There, or thereabouts: Mike, Gary A, Steve, Lynne, Joannie, Bob T and Peter.

Rusted but not busted

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sound off! Mike, Gary A, Steve, Jan, Anne, Johnny and Peter.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

PRESENT: Gary, Peter, Jan, Anne, Ray, Johnny, Carol and Steve.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Participants: Mike, Gary, Jan, Johnny, Carol, Lynne and Steve.

Two Penny

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This, and the next 4 sessions were written and posted after the fact thanks to information supplied by Steve. So, just the player's names will appear and each will get credit for participating in the session. Yon Editor was roving.

Players: Mike, Gary, Jan, Ralph, Peter, Ray and Steve.

RR Spike

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weather or not - P'ball - Friday, 9/23/11

We were drowned out of our scheduled session on Tuesday, Sept. 20th and Old Man Weather tried to foil us again on Fri. the 23rd by dumping tons of rain in the morning causing cancellation of the 9:00AM session. BUT, Gary A's and Steve's persistence and weather manipulation brought the promise of sunny skies for the afternoon - so the session was rescheduled for 1:00PM. Eight players were in action: Steve, Gary A, Gary, Mike, Johnny, Carol, Sharon and Ron. Normally, playing after a rain would entail drying off the courts (at Timmons), but the Gower courts were dry and perfectly playable when we arrived thanks to the well drained playing surface. So, we eight played on two courts for over two hours in beautiful, sunny weather. A little warm, but who's complaining? Notice in the photo above that the court color matches the Carolina Blue sky? Nice touch, yes?

Top photo: Gary A and Carol w/ Steve and Mike gabbing in the background. 2nd from top: Johnny and his knees; above: Gary digging one out of the tarmac.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Friday P'ball - Hardcore - 9/16/2011

It was a mite windy. And, coolish at 60 degrees (especially after a long run of 90 degree days). But, we've played in much worse conditions. However, only five players appeared for the session: Steve, Peter, Mike, Sharon and yon scribe. We played for about two hours and had some fine games considering the wind kept trying (and often succeeding) in redirecting the balls during flight.

We are getting frequent reports from Anne. To date she has hiked 150 miles and did 18 miles a few days ago. She has been hiking the El Camino in Portugal and crossed over into Spain. Has met some old friends from other El Camino treks she has done.

See you on the courts soon.
Yon scribe

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pickleball Chronicle - Tue, 9/13/2011

Above: Ron and Sharon gabbing with Ralph and Peter.
This was one of our nicest days in quite a while. Nine P'ballers came out to swat the ball around and enjoy the day. Players: Lynne, Jan, Sharon, Steve, Mike, Peter, Ralph, Gary and Ron.  We occupied two courts and played mostly doubles plus we played a few partial singles matches. Lately, duos have been practicing 'dinks' and find, once you get a rhythm going, its easy to get a bunch of shots across the net. The unofficial record so far is 40 consecutive dinks by Ron and Peter. This record, like all others we UPGers lay claim to - are made to be broken. Keep that in mind!  The dink practice is good for eye-hand coordination and forces players to keep their eyes on the ball.
                                                     Below: Gary and Mike in action.
Below: Jan and Steve poised for action
Thanks to Lynne for taking the pictures.
See you on the courts. The sooner the better. Spike