FROM THE EDITOR: Racquetball Values
by Linda Mojer
Normally I would use this space in our annual holiday edition to
offer some warm and fuzzy, sentimental,
in-keeping-with-the-season-type of editorial. But Im just back
from National Doubles and I have some other issues.
First, seeing Johnny Hennen in the house at Baltimore
was such a pleasant surprise, it gave me goosebumps. The last time I
saw him I had the same reaction, but for a different reason. Looking
like his old self again after a really nasty near-death experience, hes
lively, down-home and as funny as he ever was while he was busy
collecting doubles titles with long-time partner Ed Remen. His Hall of
Fame induction ceremony in 1996 for that doubles prowess
could well have been his last personal appearance, anywhere. That he
played, and won, the Mens 50+ division this year was as
inspirational to me as anything Ive seen lately.
Did he complain that his opponents had enjoyed the advantage of
better health during his absence from competition? Did he resent the
hours they had been able to practice while he was forced to first
regain and then strengthen his basic motor functions? Did he suggest
that someone with better conditioning, or more free time, be ejected
from his division? Not that I heard. What I heard was that he, and all
of his friends, were just tickled through and through
that he was able to be there. So ... value your good health.
Second, I had to have the discussion again. It made me
want to leave the building. One of my opponents was improperly
outfitted in the eyeguard department. I admit that she was gracious (thank
you), and didnt appear to hold a grudge, when I asked her to
obtain a model that had been ASTM tested to the standard set for
racquetball before the four of us began flailing away.
I certainly felt safer and I hope she did too. Imagine my surprise
when I overheard suggestions that the only reason for the rule is to
generate revenue for the USRA. Gee, we never thought of that!
There is no cost to manufacturers who wish to have their
eyeguards listed they simply have to certify that their
products meet the independent safety standard. Frankly, I appreciate
that type of assurance from someone who intends to protect me from
blindness. So ... value your eyesight.
The gist? Okay, its your basic warm and fuzzy, sentimental,
in-keeping-with-the-season-type of editorial (gotcha!) Take
care of yourselves. Take care of your friends and family. Enjoy your
racquetball in the new year and well all get along just fine as
we count down to the new millenium! Happy Holidays ...