Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tuesday P'ball - December 18, 2012


Thanks to Gary H for sending along this new Pickleball logo.

We had another beautiful day for pickleball with 9 players in action: Mike, Gary A, Gary H, Steve, Bob D, Julia, Karen, Kim and your honor. Also on site were wind-at-your-back and sun-in-your eyes. Not present, but accounted for: Self-proclaimed newbie Rob R. His darling wife Kim reported that Rob could not attend this session - now get this - "because he had to get a haircut ." At first we thought Kim was toying with us, some sort of a cruel joke, perhaps. Never, ever, under any circumstances make any appointments that interfere with scheduled Pickleball sessions. That is the lamest excuse ever used for missing a p'ball session as determined by a careful search of the UPG EXCUSES ARCHIVES. The UPG Rules Committee has already met in an emergency session and by a 1 - 0 vote decided to cut Rob some slack for his indiscretion - citing his newness to our organization. Lucky for Rob - he will play again.

Approved excuses for missing scheduled UPG pickleball sessions.
If you are:

___hospitalized at the time of the session and under anesthesia (but, not self administered).
___out of the country (excluding Southern California), but not if you are within two hours flying time unless you are flying United.
___unable to move the majority of your limbs, not counting your ears.

or, during theses weather events:

___hurricanes (Category 3 or above).
___earthquakes ( above 7.0 on the Richter Scale).

Unacceptable excuses, so don't even try: I'm tired; it's cold or hot; I want to stay home to spend more time with my mother-in-law; it looks like it may rain, snow or hail; My bunion is acting up; had a rough night last night....

The list above should be printed and stored in a secure location. Refer to it often so you won't follow in Rob's footsteps.

When I get another camera, you won't have to put up with this foolishness. By the way - we had a great day of pickleball once the shock of Rob's excuse finally wore off.



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 14, 2012 - P'ball Session

There are no photographs for this day's events, because the UPG OFFICIAL CAMERA suffered a malfunction. It (the camera) is out of sorts and so is the camera person.

But, UPGers carried on. Twelve players were in action: Mike, Steve, Gary A, Gary H, Rob, Kim, Bob D, Lynne, Julia, Claude, Walt and yon Editor.

There was some confusion at first because Claude and Josee showed up and immediately took over a designated Pickleball court. No problem there, except they were armed with tennis racquets and fuzzy yellow balls. They had at it for a while, then Josee went for a walk in the park and Claude changed equipment and began playing p'ball. Whew. Thought we were going to have a real problem with the infliction dubbed Pickleball Court Intrusion (PCI). But, it wasn't to be.

Sun-in-your-face was present. That situation caused some missed high lobs, but it was a beautiful winter day with just a puff of a breeze with the temperature hovering right around 60 degrees. No complaints there.

We kept 3 courts busy with lots of grueling matches and a few that weren't. Loads of fun, with pals on a nice day.

Rob (a relative newbie, he asserts) rustled up Gary A as a partner and issued a challenge to Kim (Rob's loving wife) and Lynne. Kim acknowledged that Rob had thrown down the gauntlet. Kim, a polished player and Lynne (nicknamed Ace for good reason) accepted the challenge and the match commenced. OK. So K and L won the match and that should have been the end of it. But, no. Gary, but most probably Rob, issued another challenge - a grudge match. Big mistake. 0 and 2.

Fun in the sun.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Almost 121212 - Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012

We had eleven players today: Chris, Mike, Gary A, Julia, Bob D, Johnny, Carol, Gary H, Steve, Peter and Ron. The hard-paced matches took a heavy toll. Carol took a ball to the nose and Gary A acquired a wrist abrasion which required minor medical care. These events did not stop the p'ball action. All players carried on.
Below: Bob D showing his style.
We had a new player who happen by and watched from the parking lot for about an hour. He finally milled near enough to the courts where Spidy invited him to join us. His name is Keith. We handed him a paddle and gave him a little one-on-one court time. He easily returned every ball sent his way. So, nice folks that we are, he was put into a match. Unfortunately, after about 20 minutes he pulled a calf muscle and had to retire from the match. Then he headed home. He wasn't around for our Membership/Communications Division to secure his email address, but, here's hoping the injury is minor and that he comes back for another session.
Below. Top L: Chris/Steve; Top R: Spidy and partner vs Chris/Steve; Bott L: Chris's Kokopelli paddle (not the brand, the image). Check out Kokopelli's claim to fame. Bott R: Damaged equipment.
Below. L: Duplicate collage image. Ignore it, if you can. Top: Johnny/Peter; Bott: Gary A.
Chris will be leaving this neck of the woods in the very near future. The move is job related - otherwise, who would move to Toledo just when the long winter is just setting in? Hope Chris makes it back this way every once in a while. Best regards.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pearl Harbor Day P'ball - 12/07/2012

 We had 10 players today even though the weather seemed like it could turn on us any second. But, thanks to the UPG Weather Arranger, the sky brightened and we enjoyed a sparkling day. Players: Gary A, his daughter-in-law Jena, Steve, Walt, David, Julia, Jim, Karen, Mike and Ron. Thanks to Gary A for taking some of the following photos. Dave - a Saturday player - joined our weekly session for the first time. Added another dimension to our session with his youthful speed and intensity. Jena, never played pickleball before, but she showed considerable talent as soon as she set foot on the court. After a short instruction period with Gary, she started playing matches. Played like a veteran.

Below: Spidy (Mike) and Spike (Ron)

Below. Top: Jena, Walt/Karen; Bottom: Karen, Ron
 Below. Top: Gary A, Steve/David; Bottom: Steve (Stevie Wonder), Julia/Jim
As always, there were many matches played and plenty of exciting battles. It's always a pleasure to have new players on the courts and to see the notable improvements made each session by our newer players. If you haven't been around for a while, it's time to get off your duff and come on down to Gower and get back into the playing groove. There is plenty of action to be had in any skill level.

If you haven't seen the two previous Blog Posts, scroll down to the next entries - entitled: UPG HOLIDAY PARTY and PASSING THE PICKLE - A HISTORY

It's good to be back in full-time action.

Friday, December 7, 2012


UPG's 4th Annual Holiday Bash, held at the very nice Riverwalk Clubhouse, was a raging success. At last count there were 26 partiers. Everyone brought plenty of food so there was a nice selection of main course dishes, snacks and desserts thanks to Sharon's masterful coordination prowess. Gary A and Kaye worked very hard setting up the tables and chairs and decorating for the event and even had soft background music playing. We had a good mix of UPG 'old-timers' and several newer players as well.

The second most exciting event of the evening took place first. Before the event even started! Gary A or Kaye (but, most likely Gary - because he's a man) misplaced the key to the Clubhouse. Kaye went to their home and searched where Gary suggested and came back empty handed. Then, Gary went to look. In the mean time party-goers started to accumulate on the front porch of the still darkened clubhouse. UPGer Bob D and wife Bonnie walked up from the parking lot and Bob noticed something on the sidewalk. "What's this", Bob said and held up the key which was dangling from a long lanyard. We were saved from having the party on the porch!
The first most exciting event took place a while later after folks had finished the yummies and were in the midst of socializing and imbibing. The Passing Of The Pickle took place for the 5th time. The much-sought after and much hailed award was presented to Johnny and Carol during a solemn ceremony that reflected the significance of the event. The Kosher Pickle is awarded to UPGers whose contribution to our group and the promotion of Pickleball in general goes well above and beyond the call of Pickleball duty. The The Passing Of The Pickle is akin a collegiate football player being awarded the Heisman trophy. Johnny and Carol initiated a Pickleball course for beginners under the OLLIE program at Furman University. They rustled up paddles and balls, conducted several classes and trained about a dozen players over a period of several weeks. Some of the newbies continued on and came to Gower where they received more instructions from J and C and other UPGers. Some of those new players are - or, soon will be hard core UPG players. Good show Johnny and Carol and congratulations. PS: The Pickle survives best if it spends at least part of the year on a Christmas Tree.

Below: Carol and Johnny displaying the Pickle w/ Jan looking on.

 End of story. Until next year, that is. For a complete history of THE  PASSING OF THE PICKLE scroll down to the next posting.
See you on the courts.



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 photo of Ken's hand holding the Pickle (a Kosher pickle by the way).
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 - December 14, at Gary's and Murial's home) 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.
The saga continues:
 The Passing Of The Pickle took place for the 5th time. The ocassion was the 4th Annual UPG Holiday Party, on December 5, 2012 at the Riverwalk Clubhouse. The much-sought after and Nationally hailed award was presented to Johnny and Carol during a solemn ceremony that reflected the significance of the event. The Kosher Pickle is awarded to UPGers whose contribution to our group and the promotion of Pickleball in general goes well above and beyond the call of Pickleball duty. The The Passing Of The Pickle is akin a collegiate football player being awarded the Heisman trophy. Johnny and Carol initiated a Pickleball course for beginners under the OLLIE program at Furman University. They rustled up paddles and balls, conducted several classes and trained about a dozen players over a period of several weeks. Some of the newbies continued on and came to Gower where they received more instructions from J and C and other UPGers. Some of those new players are - or, soon will be hard core UPG players. Good show Johnny and Carol and congratulations. PS: The Pickle survives best if it spends at least part of the year on a Christmas Tree.
Johnny and Carol displaying the Pickle w/ smiling Jan looking on. 

That's it for now folks.
December 7, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tuesday P'ball session - Dec. 4, 2012.

Above. Clockwise from top L: Chris, Kim, Jeff, Steve and Gary A.
 Seventy degrees and breezy. Perfect p'ball weather and players were out in force. Sixteen in all. Walt, Bob D, Peter, Carol, Johnny, Julia, Barbara, Kim, Jeff, Claude, Chris, Gary H, Gary A, Steve, Mike and Ron. So, with that crowd we easily kept 4 courts busy - even though, on some occasions players did plunk down and enjoy the balmy December weather.

Below. Counterclockwise from bottom R: Barbara, Julia/Peter, Gary H, Mike/Claude.

 Below from the northwest, easterly then southerly: Walt/Claude, Kim/Gary A, balls, etc.
Can't say too much about the session, except that there were a lot of games played, we had loads of fun and everyone stayed vertical. Also. We had one spectator - Josee, Claude's 'bride'. She is also a p'baller, but this day she decided to watch a little and walk a little.

Newsy stuff: Don D will be out of commission for a while. He recently had major rotator cuff surgery on his right shoulder. Unfortunately, that's his playing arm side. Hoping for a speedy recovery.

Tonight (depending on when you read this blurb) is the UPG Annual Seasonal Holiday Party. So far about 16 couples will attend the bash. To be held at the River Walk Clubhouse. See you there.


Friday, November 30, 2012

The last day. Friday, Nov. 30, 2012

The last day of November, 2012 that is. There was no shortage of players on this beautiful, if blustery day. There were 11 players in action: Jim, Johnny, Karen, Julia, Bob D, Chris, Peter, Gary A, Steve, Mike and Ron (yon Editor).

The wind was somewhat of an issue because it kept blowing balls from one court to the other active court - occasionally stopping some sensational rallies with cries of "ball on court". The gusty blasts, also had the balls executing unusual aerial movements - in some cases missing players' paddles by as much a 5 or 6 feet.

Julia may as well have been wearing a target on her tunic because she kept getting in the way of kill shots by her opponents, who each swore that they were absolutely not aiming at her.

Below: Johnny letting one fly.
Below L: Chris; Top R: Steve and Gary A; Bott: Mike
Below L: Jim and Julia; Top R: Gary A and Steve; Bott: Karen
 Don't forget: The UPG party is coming up on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. There will be lots of p'ballers and friends in attendance. Yummies of all sorts, too. A swell time is 100% guaranteed or your $5 contribution will be graciously refunded within the next 60 days. The highlight of the evening will be the Passing of the Pickle. You can stay home that night and twiddle your thumbs, or you can come to the party. Your choice. Hope to see you there. Check with Gary A if you need details about the party.

It's good to be back.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A new day - Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012

Well, it wasn't a new day for everyone - but, it was for me - Yon Editor. Played 5 matches. The first time since July 27th. Didn't do anything reckless and opponents didn't overtly try to kill me. Which was kind of them.
                                                         Below: Steve and Gary H.
Eight players were in action. Just barely enough players to keep 2 courts going. Breezy, but a very nice day for slapping the old p'balls around. Players: Mike, Steve, Gary A, Gary H, Amy, Peter and yon editor of dubious renown. aka: Spike.
                                                          Below: Mike and Gary A.
   That's Amy below. She's a beginner, but is coming along.
Don intensely studying the ball before giving it a ride.
Hope more players will be showing up for the p'ball sessions. We UPGers play all year long regardless of the weather (except during actual rain events (as opposed to predicted rain events)), and usually not during hurricanes. See you soon.


Friday, October 19, 2012

FriBall - October 19, 2012

The UPG was short on players today (compared to 20 on 10/16/12) but long on great matches. Ten players were in action: Mike, Steve, Gary A, Bob T, Rob, Kim, Jacob-the-younger, Peter, Walt and Lynne. Yon Editor was there to observe, take notes and shoot pics.
Below: Bob T (L) and Peter go for a ball down the center. Peter takes the shot.
Below. Clockwise from top L: Kim, Steve, Walt and Rob.
 Below. L: Peter; Top R: Gary A; Bott R: Mike and Gary A.
Below: Jacob was back in town. He has been busy with school, but that hasn't impacted his game much. In this photo Jacob attacks the ball. Not a big deal, except he came from the right side of the court - behind his partner to successfully return this shot. They eventually lost this rally, but it wasn't for the lack of effort.
Looking forward to the next session.
Yon Editor

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall Ball. Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012

A beautiful day at Gower brought out a fine crowd including one new player, several newer players and a bunch of veterans. Sunny, cool at 60 degrees with an occasional moderate breeze. Welcome to newbie Bill M (last photo) who hails from Campobello - a 40-minute haul, and to the newer players - most or all shown in the collage above and included somewhere in the player list below. UPGers occupied four courts that were kept mostly busy with some fine matches and considerable merriment!

Below: That's Carol and her shadow returning a shot with a high backhand.
We had 19 players in action and one spectator. Players: Pat, Kim, Amy, Julia, Bill M, Karen, Sharon, Gary A, Gary H, Mike, Chris, Steve, Lynne, Walt, Johnny and Carol, Bob T, Barbara and Brenda.
Comment from the peanut gallery. All players are all obliged to shag balls especially after a match concludes. Otherwise the ball bags will be depleted before the other matches are finished. That's it folks. Have fun at p'ball, work to improve your game and you'll enjoy the sport even more than you already do.

Note:The photos (including the collage) can be enlarged by right-clicking on the image.

Spike (DL)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

11/12/12 - Friday P'ball

Fourteen players were in action on this breezy day and one spectator/photographer was also on site (and, still on the DL). Players: Sandy and John, Johnny and Carol, Sharon, Steve, Mike, Bob T, Bob D, Gary H, Walt, Karen, Anne and Ray. The wind was playing havoc at first, but the p'ballers soon got used to it and soldiered on with no formal complaints being registered.
Below: Players resting (goofing off) under the Official UPG Tree.
Below: This is the kind of image that you can expect when the photojournalist team-of-one has too much time on his hands.
                                                   Below: Bob T, Walt, Gary H and Ray.
So, the troops were out in force and played scads of matches and some exceptional ones at that. A fun-packed day on the courts.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday P'ball - September 25, 2012

Upstate Pickleball is alive and well. It's just the Blog that has fallen on hard times. But, Mr and Mrs Blogger did show themselves on this beautiful Fall day - Sharon to play a few matches and I (Spike) watched, blabbed and took a few pics. The courts were mobbed and even a few tennis players (instructor and student) daring to mingle with the 18 p'ballers. Steve was kind enough to send along the names of the players: Bob T, Johnny and Carol, Peter, Lynne, Chris, Barb, Walt, Sandy and John, Ray, Ray, Sharon; newbies: Brenda, Pat, Kim and Rob. Welcome. It's always nice to see new blood. Relax: It's only a figure of speech!


Friday, September 14, 2012

P'ball session - Friday, Sept 14, 2012

Pickleball paddle palette. L-R: Sharon, Barbara, Ray and Sandy.

Sharon and I (Spike) came to p'ball after a 6-week hiatus and 3 weeks after I had both knees replaced. Sharon played one match and was admittedly a little rusty. But, it was good to be on the courts again and see some of our p'ball pals. Players: Mike, Steve, Bob T, Gary A, Sandy and John, Johnny, Walt, Don, Ray, Sharon, Barbara and Bob D.

Above: Spike (with trekking poles and new knees) and Johnny with his braces. 
Below: Spidy and Stevie Wonder.
Below: Bob T and Gary A
It was great to see everyone today and thanks for the warm greetings.

Ron and Sharon (Spike and Cupcake)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fly-the-coop Day. July 27, 2012

Today I played my last match for a while. Will be on the DL for some time. I managed to play one sorry match and then packed it in - as the saying goes. But, the day wasn't a total downer for me or the UPGers lucky enough to be present, because they were able to witness another tarp installation by none other than Don D'Tarpman (see first reference to the tarp operation in the 7/24 Blog entry). It was a marvel to watch the operation. Not surprisingly, he received no assistance during the project.
 These folks were present and in full p'ball mode: Anne R, Steve, Mike, Gary A, Bob T, Bob D, Chris-the-new-guy, Johnny, Carol, Ray G, Don, Ron (1 gamer), Walt, Jacob and Peter.

Below: Anne R who has been on few months hiatus from p'ball and who was listed as 'unidentified' in the previous Blog entry (now corrected).
Yon Editor left early so didn't see any action to report and can't come up with any fabrications at this time. If players showed up later and are not listed - or, if some monumental event took place - please let me know. Not that anything will be done about it!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Warmish Tuesday: July 24, 2012

Above: Carol charging the net. Partner Walt looking on.

Another warm day on the courts. But, 15 players were in action. Claude, Don, Jacob, Walt, Anne R, Bob D, Karen, John, Carol, Johnny, Bob T, Steve, Mike, Sharon and Ron.
Below: Karen finishing off a deep backhand.
We, the entire UPG Blog Division, arrived tardily at 9:30, at which time Courts 2, 3 and 4 were fully occupied by p'ballers and Courts 1 and 5 were busy w/ tennis players. Our shade tree was doing a good business as well. Heat and humidity was the enemy and started driving folks off in fairly short order. However, several players bucked the heat and a bunch of matches were completed and duly recorded in the UPG Archives.

See you on Friday.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

P''ball Chronicle - Friday, July 20, 2012

Sixteen players made appearances today and some actually tore themselves from under the UPG Tree long enough to bat the old ball around, sometimes with considerable force or accuracy, but never both.  * Players: Walt, Jacob, Sharon, Peter, Mike, Steve, Gary A, Claude, Ray G, Bob T, Bob D, Sandy, Anne, Johnny, Don and Ron.  * Below: Steve (aka Stevie Wonder) shows off the paddle he has been using for 6 years, which - except for the electrical tape repairs around the edges and on the handle - is almost as good as new. Stevo has been considering buying a new paddle - but, only for the last 3 years.

Below: Claude about to strike the ball. But, what's that? His right foot is in the kitchen. Is it a volley shot? The UPG hidden/secret and clandestine video cameras will be consulted and analyzed. You will be advised accordingly.
Below: Foreground: Don poised for action. Background: Apparently Don rigged up the swayback tarp to provide in-the-court shade for court #5 -  a luxury not shared by the other 4 courts. The tarp, mounted on the outside of the fence lacked structural integrity and had some design issues as well. When the west wind blew, the tarp went horizontal and flapped noisily in the breeze prompting unkind remarks from players on #5. Undaunted, and unmoved by the verbal abuse, Don re-installed the tarp - this time inside the fence but without the ungainly sway. Mike (Spidy) looks askance, bewildered and befuddled as he stands before the structure. But, the effort was worth it - to Don, anyway (bottom right).
Below: All that excitement and we still managed to play many p'ball matches. Bob T, Claude, Spidy/Jacob and Steve.