The 50 year reunion (Class of 1968) is coming up for my two high schools, Malcolm Price Laboratory School in Cedar Falls (I was there K-10) and Lincoln HS in Des Moines (11th and 12th grade). I’ll be attending both reunions, the CF one in June, and the DM one in September. The latter group asked for story submissions from back in the day, so I wrote this up as the first of several stories I hope to send.
The ’68 tennis team was a subculture of it’s own
Chris Johnson was the golden boy, not just because of his sweeping wave of hair, but also due to his stellar tennis game. But in some ways the real leaders of the group were the Andersons, David and as I recall Frank (not sure). One unique thing about the group was their tendency to talk like John Wayne in any situation possible.
For example, hitting a great putaway volley could elicit a “nice shot, Pilgrim” with a distinct John Wayne accent from anyone you were playing with.
One of my best tennis moments ever was during a trip to Council Bluffs, which was a really long way away, where the match was held on a court surrounded by some bushes that had fragrant spring blooms of some kind on them.
For some reason the scent of those beautiful flowers reminded me of my senior crush on Diann Bradley, and I thought it was really hilarious to be playing a serious tennis match and to be secretly enjoying the flowers and the lovely thought of Diann.
Due to that I played some of my most free and dominant tennis ever, and I certainly got a “nice shot, pilgrim” or two as we delivered a beat down on a Council Bluffs doubles team
In some ways I was the straight arrow on that team, since I was probably one of the only virgin non-drinker church-going kids in the bunch, and so I don’t know that I was much fun to be around.
And little things like the tendency of the guys to throw tennis balls at pedestrians as we drove back from DM area matches were way out of my comfort zone.
Even so, I think that I was tolerated, more or less, despite my blissful innocence.