June 18, 2003


Dear Members:

Billy Crusco is not Noah. He does not aspire to be Noah. The hammering you have heard is not the construction of an ark, to carry us safely through this wet Cambridge spring, but the construction of a safer entrance from Willard Street. Thanks, Billy!

As many of you know, both the Cambridge Skating Club (the owner of the land and building where our Club is located) and we have been concerned about the safety of the entrance. The Skating Club had hoped to make substantial changes to the deck and entrance, but these plans have been delayed, largely due to cost considerations. The broader steps and railing, just completed by Billy, will serve us well this season and perhaps beyond.

Although the number of tennis days has been limited, Rick Rose has been busy with lessons. In order to serve the Club’s full needs, Rick has, with the enthusiastic approval of the Officers and Governors, appointed Keith Warner as the assistant professional. Many of you have already met Keith, who is running this summer’s round robins. Keith is the head tennis coach at Emerson College and has extensive experience as a tennis professional, teaching both adults and children. I have taken a first lesson from Keith, and I am impressed by both his knowledge and his style. Whether I can unlearn old tennis habits, time will tell. Lessons can be arranged through either Rick at 617-492-6289 or Keith at 617-285-7136.

We have an able and congenial staff, experienced in running this Club with its many idiosyncrasies. Let me ask you to respect a few basic ground rules. The staff person on duty has many Club responsibilities and is not available to join us in play on the courts. A staff person not on duty may play. In the past we have authorized staff players to charge a fee for serving as a hitting partner. The Governors have now withdrawn that authorization, which is not common in other tennis clubs, in support of our teaching professionals.

Our Membership Committee has determined that 12 or 13 places remain for summer members. They will consider, on a first come first served basis, applications from Cambridge residents who have not previously completed application to join the Club. Membership so extended this summer does not guarantee membership in succeeding summers. If you wish to propose someone, please contact Maureen Ahern mahern@hammondre.com.

The Tennis Committee, under the energetic leadership of Judy Cranna and Maeve Ercolani, will try to conduct a full range of tournaments. Only a few days remain before the tournaments are closed. Please check the bulletin board and join in.

The Outreach Committee, under the dedicated leadership of Bruce Posner and Murray Wheeler, has again made arrangements with the City of Cambridge for a summer tennis program for city youth to be run early on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Many of us had hoped the Club could open earlier than it did. Both Ann Wyman, your treasurer and a neighbor of the Club, and I visited the courts nearly every day during the process of preparing to open. We commend the staff for their hard work, and we are persuaded that the courts opened as soon as weather permitted. And still the strange weather continues. James Russell Lowell lived in Cambridge when he wrote: "What is so rare as a day in June! Then, if ever, come perfect days." What was he thinking?

Dick Harter


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