Rita's Page

Articles and photos from LTA's chief traveler and super senior champion, Rita Price  

August 2015

July 18th was a memorable day for Wash Park's 50th Anniversary celebration which took place from noon to 6PM. Following this wonderful event was the Lakewood Social. At Wash Park Mother Nature set out with a vengeance blasting the luncheon crowd with a downpour, but the spirits were alive and well while we dined on catered BBQ and two huge cakes with the emblem of the 50th Anniversary resting on top. All the players were given lovely gifts and the playing started up after the sun shone and the skies were blue once again! Gordon Rulon thanked the players and remembered those who were former members, as well. Here are some photos of both events to which I attended with glee!

The USTA National Women's 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, and 85 Grass Court Championship was held at the Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia July 19-26th. The rich tradition of grass court tennis at this club dates back to late 1800s. Mother Nature was kind to my octogenarian group of 5 single's players and 3 double's teams with cool than usual weather without a drop of rain. We had 24 grass courts to romp about savoring every true and not so true bounces which favored "schlock" players like me. First round in singles placed me into the semis because I was seeded number 2. I had a good match first round, so ended up once again in the finals against my double's partner, Jane Lutz who is number one in singles nationally and internationally. To my surprise I managed to take her to a third set tie breaker which she won, 8-6. The final double's match was a bit more interesting because I broke a string mid second set and had to borrow Jane's racquet. She couldn't believe that I could play well with her racquet which was smaller and strung differently from my racquet, but we managed to win in 2 sets and capture our third gold with one more to go for a slam. The tournament was well run by Chris Sanni who supplied us spectators with ice cold beer while we watched the finals of the youngsters (35 &45s) whose level of play was close to the top professionals. The banquet was almost as exciting with a culinary staff that "dazzled our senses" with world class foods. Hors D'oeuvres-Watermelon and Feta on Miso, Tuna Sashimi on Pickled Cucumber, Maryland style Crab Balls. Salad-Baby Arugula and Asian Pear Salad. Entrée - Ginger Seared Sea Bass with Lemongrass and Baby Heirloom Tomato Confit Or Cilantro Peso Grilled Chicken with Jersey Peach Melba. Dessert-Bourbon Maple Philadelphia Cheeecake with Chocolate Dipped Bacon and Espresso Sea Salt. Our hosts wined and dined Jane and me with breakfasts and a homemade dinner and took us out one evening to a wonderful restaurant with a menu as varied and delicious as our banquet at the club. So, on to the final National in Salinas, Ca. this October to complete another encore gold slam in doubles. Note photos at the banquet with our hosts and Jane and me with our gold balls for doubles, one of my opponents and me with the club in the background. Ciao Rita

July 2015

The 35th Indoor National Tennis Tournament took place in Overland Park, Kansas June 22-28 with ages 65, 75, and 85 entries. Seven single's players and six double's teams were in my age bracket My partner, . Jane Lutz and I won gold balls ousting two teams, and this reporter won two rounds of singles,(dropping only three games) but had to withdraw in the finals due to a chronic injury in the buttocks! Happy to have managed to play only two rounds of doubles with the help of icing and ibuprofen to get through the double's half way through another gold slam once again in doubles. My dear friend, Betty Hill invited her partner, Bonnie Champion and my partner, Jane Lutz and me to the Cheesecake Factory for my 89th birthday party. We dined in style with wine, luscious appetizers (edemame, avocado egg rolls) with an entre of shrimp with asparagus atop a bed of angel hair pasta with a pesto sauce. The dessert shared by all was a lemon meringue cheese cake with whipped cream on the side! The ladies rolled out the red carpet for special home made lunches and Bundt Birthday cake for me and Brenda Carter who was 69 on June 3rd! So, we are both "moving on up" to another age bracket to be the "new Kids" next year. We dined at Jack's BBQ for famous ribs, and dined Italian at Spin Pizza and polished it off with pistachio gelato, rivaled only by the gelato I had with Anne and Harry Owens on the Italian Riviera in 1998! Wish us luck in humid, hot, Germantown for the 3rd National on my favorite surface, GRASS. Ciao     Photo

March 2015

February 4-8th this reporter played a tournament in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and won posies, some small change and a second place finish in singles after a two set defeat at my double's partner's, Jane Lutz's feet. It was a small victory losing 6-4, 6-4 which the audience told us was an entertaining match to watch. This tournament included ages 35-85, so the youngsters gave us inspirational matches too. In doubles, Jane and I had to default due to many rain delays, but it was not a National, so we have a chance to defend our title of number one in doubles this year. We then had some practice on clay to get ready for the first Clay Court National in Houston, Texas March 2-8 with 35-85 year old brackets again, but many more players to beat in our age bracket. Houston weather reminded me of our Denver temperatures with cold (38 degrees in the mornings) and wind in the first few days, but we bundled up in layers with down parkas, as well. Jane and I beat all four double's teams in a round robin event. I got to the finals and faced my partner who once again claimed another gold ball. I was content to take another silver ball. The Texans rolled out the red carpet and wined and dined us with breakfast and luncheon buffets and a huge banquet with music, dancing, and a silent auction to raise money for our organization, the National Senior Women's Tennis Organization! Hope you enjoy the photos! On to the next National in June! Ciao
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January 2015

The 15th Hall Of Fame Gala on January 23rd was a huge success for the Lakewood Association, whose member Marty Lopez received the Volunteer Award. On hand to cheer for "our boy" was Carol Carpenter, Linda Wenz, Anthony Boone, Chuck & Karla Henkart, Mirela Bacria, Brian & Laura Macke, Linda Lister, Rita Price, & Marty's Sue! The evening's Hall Of Famers spoke well, but the Standing Ovation was given to Art Thomson.    Photo 1    Photo 2   Photo 3
December 2014
Click HERE to view Holiday Letter.

September 2014

The last National of this year took place September 15-21st in Salinas, California on Hard Courts! It includes ages 35-85's. My partner, Jane Lutz and I, completed a "Gold Slam" winning all four Nationals, (Clay, Indoor Hard Court, Grass, and Outdoor Hard Court.) Jane was the gold ball winner, with this reporter earning silver in singles The Chamisal Tennis & Fitness Club is situated in a huge valley surrounded by evergreen trees, & due East is a unique sandstone outcropping in the Sierra de Salinas hills which has been eroded by water & weather to take on a castle-like appearance known today as Castle Rock. This is where John Steibeck and his sister Mary played as youngsters. This year, prior to the start of the tournament, Jane & I, Bonnie (Betty's partner) & Marvin Champion, were invited to dine with Betty and Gene Hill at the famous Bernardus Lodge nestled in the Carmel Valley. This is a culinary utopia where executive chef Cal Stamenov, a James Beard House nominee for Best Chef in the West, oversees the intimate dining room. I told our waitress that his salmon dish was "orgasmic" to which she replied, the chef was delighted. After our matches were completed, we were invited by our tennis friend's hostess, to take a tour around Monterrey County, passing the famous Aquarium, Cannery Row, Fisherman's wharf, ending at Clint Eastwood's home. We didn't see Clint, but our luncheon at Carmel's Patisserie Boissiere, made our day with mouthwatering pastries completing our dining pleasure. Next month our USA Cup Teams will represent our country in Turkey. To learn about tennis tournaments for men and woman, nationally and internationally, go to carolynnichols.com. Ciao rita

August 2014

The Company Wish of a Lifetime honored me with my "Wish" to see Tony Bennett (perhaps meet and greet?) I was able to invite a friend (Betty Hill) to see the show at the Grand Sierra Resort featuring my idol, Tony Bennett. August 9th, 2014. Betty and I arrived on the 8th of August, dined at the Charlie Palmer, one of many restaurants at the Resort, and took in a Magic Show our first evening. Breakfast was a culinary treat with a decor mimicking Any Warhol's work of Pop Art! "The Biggest Little City In The World" took us to a stroll along the River Walk, but we saved our touring for Harrah's Antique Car Museum which blew my mind, a place that Jay Leno would find endearingly fantastic! Our tennis friend, Doris De Vreis, a resident of Reno, joined us for drinks and dinner at the Rapscallion Restaurant where the atmosphere, food, and company were delightful, but I was thinking about the evening and "Show Time" with Tony! His daughter, Antonette opened the show with several songs, then from the wings came the taped voice of Frank Sinatra introducing the greatest singer, Tony Bennett! He lived up to the intro and did a nonstop number of songs, featured the members of his band, did a jig and duet with his daughter and sang all of the famous songs the audience expected, and more from a guy of 88 years young with no prompter for an hour and a half and stopped the show cold! It was a grand event for this hacker/dancer/singer in spite of the fact that the only photo shoot for me was with the picture of Tony Bennett outside the 1800 seated theater at the Casino Resort. I had hoped to speak with Tony about our similar beginnings, born in Astoria, Long Island, 1926, was in show business in the 40's and part of the 50's, having met the greatest Jazz saxophonist, Charlie Parker and was on the bill in night clubs with many of the famous stars of song and in film stars he knew, as well. My love of the game of tennis might have prompted a set of his favorite game, too. In closing, my thanks go out to Brittany Polson, my contact, who is with Jeremy Bloom's "Wish of a Lifetime" company for making my wish come true. Thanks to Jeremy's grandmother, Donna Wheeler for being Jeremy's inspiration for founding his company.   Photo 1

July 2014

Had a blast at the Indoor National Tournament in Overland Park, Kansas which was held June 23-29th. Captured gold in doubles with my partner, Jane Lutz who beat me in singles, in the finals, so got silver. Hope this article and TV spot can be sent to the website. After the tournament, our hosts took us to the fair at Union Station which featured antique cars, Leno would have loved plus lots of Robotics and arts and crafts galore. Great lunches dished out by club players who enjoyed our visit and the banquet dinner was a chance to thank the Director, Dave Gary who always accommodates the players in grand style. At the Denver City Open some Lakewood members: Anthony Boone, Marv Setzke, Steve Behm, where on hand playing some great tennis. This reporter played down in the 80 singles and took home a glass trophy, but watching friends and some young top players was the best, as Marty Lopez probably can attest to, as well. My tennis buddies presented me with another grand party after a couple of hours of tennis this Saturday, the first day of summer and a day before my actual birthday. CTA's Lisa S. nominated this old hacker for the Wish Of A Lifetime, and just received notice that my wish has been granted (to see Tony Bennett and hope to meet him in Reno, Nevada on August 9th). Will send my report in August. Ciao.

April 2014

At Houston's 44th Clay Court Nationals, March 31st-April 6th cloudy skies threatened rain, but the ten 85's singles, and six double's teams completed their matches "spit spot!" We all reveled as Houston's gracious talented Committee members rolled out the "red carpet" and showered us with colorful costumes and decorations about their "Club Tropicana" theme at the poolside banquet. At the banquet, centerpieces of live goldfish swimming in large bowls were surrounded by candles to illuminate the colorful tables upon which sea shells and starfish carried out the theme beautifully! Entertainment by Jazz singers prompted Colorado's Bonnie Champion to take Center Stage with some "Hip Hop" moves while Jazz singer, Steve Hobbs accompanied her with song and moves of his own. Thanks to the Committee's efforts, every meal from breakfast to lunch was savored by the players delighted with the delicious buffets! A large wired sculpture of a Pink Flamingo, which carried on the theme, was on hand for photo shoots. I eyed the table of prizes which included a beautiful large pewter fish, nautical themed bowls, and my favorite, (for single's fifth place finish) my zodiac sign, the crab! This was in addition for first, second, and third place gold, silver, and bronze balls. Tennis results: This reporter just squeaked by my first opponent in three sets, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 followed by a second singles an easy match: 6-0, 6-0. I then managed to beat the second seeded gal with another squeaker: 7-6(5), 7-5! Whew! I then faced a gal to whom I had lost last year, but in the finals, as a bridesmaid for three years, (a finalist) it was my time to become a BRIDE- with my very first single's win of a gold ball! My hero, and partner, Jane Lutz, World Champion in 85 singles and doubles (with me) had to withdraw after her first single's match, but like a real trouper managed to play in the double's finals with an injured knee to "just do it" and came through with the winning shot down the line to take us to gold this year! (Last year I fell in the final's, with Jane Lutz, so we had to default.) She won in singles and as a special treat, all single's players have their names engraved on the huge silver cup that stays in Houston! Hope you all join the circuit that promises great tennis, great friends, and lots of fun, fun, times on and off the courts! Aloha and do enjoy the photos! Rita     Photo 1    Photo 2    Photo 3

March 2014

4th International Senior Tennis Cup was held at the University of Kohn Kaen's courts February 15-17th, a city in the middle of the northeastern part of Thailand. A total of 218 men and women from 11 countries ranging in ages 40-88 came to participate in this extraordinary event to bring people from around the world together spreading friendship through tennis. It is captained by a dynamic champion tennis player and Tournament Director, Mrs. Chalathip Dunn. To complete the tournament in 3 days the format was a round robin of doubles only with 4 or more groups of similar levels of play. After the formal introductions by our Director and Governor of Kohn Kaen Province, the entertainment began on court one where many Thai dancers, drummers, and singers in ethnic costumes performed to start the games which filled my heart with joy! My Japanese partner, Hisae Amamoto age 70, spoke no English, but we managed to communicate on court amidst laughter, high fives, and pretty good tennis netting us second place finish in our age group. The tennis players were housed in the beautiful Centara Hotel and Convention Center which boasts numerous restaurants for breakfast buffets, ballrooms for sit down dinners and stage for entertainment plus all other accoutrements we had little time to utilize. My Malaysian roommate, Kimmy shared a love of tennis, dance and song with me and her partner, Helen and husband Danial became fast friends dining and singing at the outdoor patio and bar after a day on the courts. The buffet dinner at the Ballroom was a feast of numerous delicious treats to our appetites from appetizers, entrees, and desserts. In fact, every meal in Thailand was all of the same kinds of dishes which I just eyed with amazement, and settled for cereal, yogurt, fruit and coffee for breakfast, although lunch on the courts after tennis was another delightful surprise with a favorite drink, an entire coconut cut to order to sip with friends while watching some great tennis to boot! At a night market with my roommate and friends I found a dessert called "sticky rice" a sweetened mixture of rice with mangoes blew my taste buds to ecstasy! Another surprise treat was the ride from the market to the hotel in a tuk tuk, "a name suggestive of the sound these three-wheeled taxis make as they buzz through traffic"! The prize presentation in the hotel Ballroom was an evening to remember! Sit down dinner, entertainment with men and women dancing and singing, ending with an audience participation of Thai dancing. Prizes and trophies were presented and to me, another award for being the "Ultra Senior Female Player" so presumably there is an advantage to aging? Helen choreographed an ad lib performance featuring Elvis Presley singing on tape, "Blue Suede Shoes" with tennis players dancing holding racquets as guitars, red bows bouncing on heads, and an aging, gyrating, lip sinking Elvis impersonator (Me) with a mop in hand as a mike. Next day, early rising for a full day of touring, presented by our Tournament Director, Mrs. Dunn. We rode in a large, colorful air conditioned bus to our first destination, the Thai nine step temple which presumably takes one to heaven. From there we were entertained at the King Cobra show; several men fought cobras much to the audiences screams and gasps. As a finale, men gave anyone not afraid, huge pythons to wear. Sida, Mrs. Dunn's partner, was a willing participant and I managed to catch her on camera. Lunch at the Ubolratana Dam with karaoke as entertainment drew several cowboy songs from the men. A Chinese style dinner ended this wonderful time for everyone, friends who exchanged e-mail addresses to keep in touch. Next year Mrs. Dunn will take the tournament to Chiang Mai, in the northwestern part of Thailand with new places to tour and a different culture and environment, as well. I trust this very brief review will entice all you tennis lovers to join a group of like minded men and women uniting in world wide friendship through tennis. I spent five more magical days in Bangkok which is another story of learning about this marvelous colorful, smiling place on our planet with friendly people who draw you back for many more visits. Thank you Chalathip for a memorable adventure of a lifetime!     Photo 1    Photo 2    Photo 3    Photo 4

February 2014

Eight members, Greg Aigner, Chuck and Karla Henkart, Josh Neugebauer, Harold Bassett, Carol Carpenter, Anthony Boone, and Linda Wenz who with the Board's  table with Linda Lister, Darlene Tennant, and Mary Lopez. Many family and friends were at two other tables nearby. There was a champagne reception in a hospitality suite hosted by this reporter and my daughters, Val, and Nancy, and grand daughter, Sophia. Price's introduction video was  delivered by Joyce Smink, Anne Owens. and Josh Neugebauer. The MC, Andy Zodin introduced the very last Inductee, Price. who closed the show with a 6 minute speech, with some song and dance and talk, talk, talk! This reporter will be leaving for Thailand to play a Friendship Cup to spread joy and friendship to  folks around the world February 12-24th. Next report in March with news from Bangkok??!! Ciao rita 
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November 2013

The last National Hardcourt Tournament for ages 35-85 was held in Salinas, Ca. at the Chamisal Tennis and Fitness Club October 14-20th. There were 9 singles players and 5 doubles teams, in the 85 age group. This reporter won the doubles with Jane Lutz, her partner with whom she won the World Championships in Austria, and took a fourth place in singles. The members fed the players a Gourmet Omelet Breakfast before our first match. Second evening we dined on Gourmet Pizza while an Art Contest was presented by Jim Sarno a famous Imagineer for Disney and designing costumes for the "Sesame Street Live" stage show among many other jobs. Wine and Cheese Party with a great Jazz singer and band completed the entertainment at this place where Steinbeck grew up and was influenced by the beauty of this place. Jane and I took the time to visit the famous Monterey Aquarium where the newest exhibit was the wonderful psychedelic "Jellies" who danced, glowed, bloom, and no doubt sting! We watched the feeding of the huge tuna in the Open Sea exhibit where many other denizens of the deep sea swam before our eyes. See you on the courts. Ciao rita    Photo 1    Photo 2

October 2013

On September 2nd this hacker was given an Award at the Grand Hyatt, for winning a Gold Slam last year. This included an all expense trip to N.Y. two nights at the Grand Hyatt, and with my guest, Betty Hill, an evening at the US Open where we were wined and dined at suite 103 which opened out to our front seats a few levels from the news photographers and about the same level as the commentators who called the single's game round 4 with Rafa vs. Phillipp Kohlschrelber a lively match, followed by a double's match with Bob and Mike Bryan vs. Colin Fleming and Jonathan Marray, with the former players serving up good tennis and good results although only Rafa advanced. Brad Gilbert interviewed the players. Highlight of the Breakfast Award Ceremony was the President's Award recipient, Stan Smith, remarking "Rita Price is my hero!" Of course he saw me do a bit of hip hop to the music played during my entrance on stage. Even Mr. Haggard, new Pres. of USTA said "rita price has moves!" Highlight of the evening at the Open, was a banquet at suite 103: Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella with virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper with aged balsamic seasoning, Asian Potstickers, chicken and vegies steamed and seared dumplings with sweet chili dipping sauce, Turkey and beef sliders with gravy and rolls, Grilled Asparagus, Cavatappi Pasta and Summer vegies "Aglo Et Olio, Caesar Salad with Chicken, Charred Salmon, Chicken Piccata, and Indiviual Molten Lava Cakes, Summer Berry fruit Tarts, and Tennis Ball Butter Cookies! Are you all salivating?? Toured N.Y. on an on and off again bus with stops in China Town for a traditional Chinese luncheon. We followed New Yorkers who knew the ropes for the best places to dine. Evening at "Kinky Boots" courtesy of my guest, Betty Hill was the Best Show on Broadway! Home to Colorado and next stop: Villach, Austria where the Cup Team Playoffs were being played September 9-14 followed by the Individual World Championships in which many of the top Cup Team players also play for prize money and rankings. The World Individual Championships were played from Sept. 15-22nd. There were 645 players ages 60 to 85 from 37 Nations. This was the first 85 women's bracket held in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. There were 9 singles players, 4 doubles teams, and 5 mixed double's teams. I played mixed with a pick up partner, Darius Panah-Izodi from Great Britain. He told me he never hits a back hand, but roams along the baseline while I was advised to stay at the net for the short balls. We were unseeded, but for openers we trounced our first team easily. The lady was Helene Salvatore who just turned 92 and was followed by a French TV crew, and probably is just like our own Dodo Cheney who is also a legend in the US. The next round was against my partner, Jane Lutz and her "ringer" partner from Australia seeded 2nd, and was surprised when we won!? We advanced to play the number 1 seeds, a Russian, Mike Novac, who was not the best sport berating his unfortunate partner, Elizabeth, from Hungary. It was sheer delight to win in 2 sets taking the World Title for 85 mixed doubles. Jane Lutz and I were seeded number 1 and succeeded in defending our position with the World Title in doubles. I won the first singles match against a lady who was 88 and couldn't run very well. Then I hit the number 1 seed, Elizabeth, from Hungary in the semis, and held in two sets. Meanwhile, my partner, Jane Lutz, seeded number 2, was in the other semis against a member of the Australian Cup Team, Elsie Crowe and won to face me in the single's finals. She wiped me off the courts, so I came in second in the World in 85 singles. Highlights of the events was making new friends and meeting old friends and a visit from my former friend and tennis player, Liz Gartner, and her husband, Tibor who now live in St. Veit, Austria, a stone's throw from Villach. They supplied me with fresh fruit from their garden and trees; nectarines, plums, grapes, bananas and lots of chocolate in which my friends also took pleasure. Both Dinner Banquets were deliciously divine and was shared with all my old friends from all around the world and new friends, as well. I retained a hacking cough during my matches, but left with wonderful memories of Villach which should be on everyone's bucket list. Rita 
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September 2013

The Indoor National was held August 12-18th at the Midtown Tennis Club in Overland, Kansas. The 85 age group had 5 singles entered and 3 doubles teams. I played 4 opponents and won a silver ball, having lost once again to my partner, Jane Lutz with whom I won another gold ball ousting two teams. I was hosted in a beautiful home with my friends, Beverly and Wayne Little. The club members brought lunches that were as delicious as the church lady's luncheons with wonderful homemade salads and a variety of meats and veggies with desserts "to die for." My room mate, and tennis opponent, Janet Hubbard, and I visited the Negro Baseball Museum and Jazz Museum next door in Kansas City's famous 18th and Vine streets. After savoring the songs of the greatest singers and musicians, Sachmo, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Gene Krupa, Charlie Parker, King Cole, Billy Eckstine, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and on and on. I could have lingered for hours, but left to see the Baseball Greats, and have lunch listening to live music at a nearby Restaurant. Next report from the US Open Award ceremony, and the evening matches on Sept. 2nd with excitement and joy. Just learned I'll be inducted in the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame next January 24th. Off to the World Championships after I return from N.Y. I will play September 15-21st in Tillach, Austria. Ciao rita     Photo 1    Photo 2    Photo 3    Photo 4

August 2013

Video of Grass Court Nationals

The Grass Court Nationals were held at Germantown, Pa. featuring ages from 35 to 85 on July 22-28th. The weather this time was wonderful with cool sometimes cloudy days and low humidity, so it was indeed ideal. The week prior to the tournament, the weather was very hot creating a fungus on the grass, so there were a few dry, dirt spots among the 24 grass courts at this facility steeped in history of tennis and cricket since the 1800's. I was amazed to note that we played with "virgin balls" all white just like the clothing worn by the players. My partner, quipped: "the balls may be virgin, but there's no virgins on the courts!" My first opponent was my partner, Jane Lutz, and I tried to hit the dirt spots to throw her off balance, to no avail, and I lost at 0 and 2. I managed to win the second round (only 3 single's players) and took a silver ball in singles. My partner is on the Doris Hart Cup Team which is the 80 age bracket. There is no 85 Cup Team YET, but one can dream? I will join Jane in Austria in September to play in the World Championships in our age bracket, 85. Jane and I beat Beverly Little and Janet Hubbard and received our first gold ball in doubles. They took silver in doubles, and Janet Hubbard took the bronze in singles, so everybody received a prize! The western players usually don't come to this tournament avoiding the high cost of travel and the heat and humidity. After our matches, I enjoyed watching the youngsters who played superb tennis. Every player gets a chair, a table with green colored cloth, upon which is placed a rolled towel with a plastic cup, and a water cooler. Judges roam the many tiers and courts calling "time!" It is run smoothly and efficiently with no time lost between matches. The club players love to watch and will sometimes ask if we would play with them, as well. Spectators can sit on white rocking chairs and observe under an old sycamore tree. I stayed at my hosts of a few years and enjoyed lovely evenings on their back porch patio having appetizers and drinks followed by delicious meals, as well. I enjoyed a bit of chatter with a group of youngsters at their outing called Katie at the Bat," an organization dedicated to empowering inner-city girls to achieve their full potential through participation in athletics." I left the "City of Brotherly Love" feeling the spirit of it all. Ciao rita    Photo 1    Photo 2

July 2013

Dates been changed for the TV segment, to tomorrow night, July 21st at 9PM channel 5 or 20 and then at 10PM on channel 9. Hope you enjoy the show. rita
The Channel 9TV segment of Price on the tennis courts at the Denver Open in June, and my "Sunshine Serenaders" at rehearsal at the Westminster Elks hall will air twice! Both times I'll be on a plane returning from a Grass Court National, but everyone else can view the segment on Sunday evening July 28th at 9PM on channel 20 (if you don't have cable) or channel 5, if you have cable. Nelson Garcia will be the commentator doing "Story Time." It will be repeated on Channel 9 at 10PM same evening, July 28th, in the segment called "Story Time." Hope some of my tennis buddies will see it and some hopefully tape it since as I said, I will not be watching TV in the air over Denver returning from the Grass Court Nationals held July 21-28th in Germantown, Pa.

June 2013

At the Denver Open, June 16-23, Lakewood members, won top homers. Dianne Bolenchuk won 4.0 singles, Dave Harguth. 70 doubles champion with partner James Zurcher, & Price & partner, Enver Mehmedbasich won 80 mixed doubles. Price will be on Channel 9TV this week or next week, video taped at The Open & with her singing chorus, "The Sunshine Serenaders" Stay tuned?! Ciao

May 2013

At the Glen Hines Tournament May 6-12th at Arvada Miller Courts several Lakewood members were winners! Anthony Boone and Marvin Setzke won the men's 65 doubles and were finalists in the 60 men's doubles. Dave Harguth and James Zurcher were finalists in the 70 men's doubles. Linda Lister and Larry Pedde won the 65 mixed doubles, and Larry was a finalist (having taken out the top seed) in the men's 65 singles. Rain was a factor during the week, but Michelle Krouse ran a fine tournament. Unfortunately, this reporter wasn't able to compete due to the absence of an opponent close to my age bracket. Hopefully, next year there will be more Lakewood members participating in this age bracket tounament. Ciao rita

March 2013

The 43rd National Senior Women's Clay Court National took place February 25 - March 3 with 210 players hailing from the US, Canada, Brazil, Norway, and Argentina ages 35-85. It was breezy most days and those nation's flags blew above the court's entrances as well as between courts. The weather was quite cold most days but the tennis was hot, hot, particularly the youngsters whose matches rivaled those on the pro circuit. Several players were once on the pro circuit too. The club supplied gourmet breakfasts, lunches, and two banquets throughout the week. I ended up with two silver balls having had to default first doubles, and then single's finals due to a bit of a trip going back for an overhead facing the net. TURN SIDEWAYS to stay balanced is my lesson to everyone. My partner said I might need to wear a helmet if I keep facing the net going backwards for an overhead. Looking forward to the next tournament on grass in Mission Hills end of May to prepare for the National Grass Court Tournament in July. Meadow Creek will host the 40 and 50 Indoor Nationals in June, so do keep that in mind if you want to see some great tennis. Hope you enjoy the photos. Ciao rita     Photo 1

February 2013

"The Crawford Cup" Senior Women's Classic took place February 6th-10th in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida which is a Category II tournament. This means instead of a thousand points for rankings, the winner receives five hundred points. This reporter won second place in singles being ousted easily, by my new double's partner, Jane Lutz. Jane and I won the bronze medal in Croatia last year and she is one of the new 85 year old in tennis this year. Jane and I won top honors in doubles, at this tournament we have hopes for a good year ahead. The Ft. Lauderdale Tennis Club is ALL TENNIS with no other sport in sight, and the apartment buildings enclosing the courts are named after famous tennis players. Soloman Academy, just east of our practice courts, trains youngsters for the professional circuit. To get to my house, I would walk on paths which were flanked with tropical plants while tiny lizards dashed by my feet. I missed the only iguana to escape the deep freeze a few years ago. His name was "Izzy" and he was a docile reptile who could be found basking in the sun on the wall beside the inland waterway, which I viewed from my fourth floor room. Geese and ducks and other assorted birds shared this peaceful paradise. I could fall asleep to the sounds of tennis balls being stuck by the members who played well into the nights under lights. The dancing at the player's dinner was a highlight, only to be upstaged by the dinner at "Old Florida Seafood House" where I dined on the most mouthwatering bass I've ever tasted, running close to the fresh lobster I ate on a sailboat in Belize years ago. That's another story, so I leave you with another plea to join me on the circuit for the best times on this planet. Ciao rita       Photo 1

January 2013

At the 13th Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame Gala, this reporter sat at a table with Judy Savage, a contributing sponsor, Becky Varnum, a Hall of Fame Inductee from 2009, a young boy (10 years old?) Kacey Walisundara who was a recipient of the Charlie & Ira Brown Award for sportsmanship. Kacey volunteers his time to help teach younger kids. Lori Tavarez received the Jody Riser Knudsen Award as a top volunteer for USTA Colorado and the CYTF for many years. I was delighted to see my coach from many years of tennis at Mt. Vernon Country Club, Joe Edles who spoke on film extolling the virtues of Warrick Jones, one of the Hall of Fame Inductees for 2012. Joe is now teaching at the Greenwood Athletic Club. Josepha Cotty received the award for top senior player of the year and I visited with her and her family during the cocktail hour. A former Lakewood member, Dori Steinhelber and husband, Tim talked at length about their friendship with Lakewood's Chuck Henkart. I donated three racquets and won a case of Wilson tennis balls in the drawing, so the evening was sheer deeelight and wished some Lakewood members could have joined me. Attached are photos of my racquet contribution, Joe Edles and me, and young Kacey Walisundara. I'm off to Ft. Lauderdale Tuesday, February 5-10th for a category II tournament, the Cathy Crawford Tournament and will be playing with a new partner, Jane Lutz. Wish us luck as we try for a Grand Slam. Tennis Tournament at BallenIsles was wonderful to watch the youngsters hit the ball. Rosie Asch asked if I would be her partner when her friend, Eva Barbierbo was injured. Hope you get a "KICK" out of this old clown who had more fun on the dance floor than on the courts. Rosie won singles and she and I came in second in the 80 doubles! So, on to the next tournament and hope there's dancing?? Ciao rita      Photo 1

December 2012

The Fiesta Bowl Tournament was held on October 6-9th this year in Scottsdale, AZ. It's a category II tournament which means ranking points are half for a first place win: (500 instead of 1000) toward a ranking. I played down in the 80 singles and 75 doubles winning the singles and was a finalist in 75 doubles with a partner unknown to me until we met on court. The tournament director is Alice Hing who is a top player in her own right, but takes time off to run a fine tournament for men and women ages 35 to 80 in five year increments. Lakewood's member, Pat McCausland came by to watch my matches and volunteered to get me to the airport after my double's match in time to catch a flight. We had a beer and posed aside the juke box at the club's restaurant and she posed with a former tennis player, Cecily Grange who is a still spry 93 year old although has stopped playing tennis for physical reasons, but came to watch the great tennis. The best part was visiting with so many friends I haven't seen in many years and making a few new friends, too. I stayed at Pat Jackson's guest house. Pat was my partner with whom I won the Grand Slam. We spent a few evenings drinking good wine, eating good cheese with another guest, Sue Rogers, who came to play in the tournament, too. Bob Hing, owner of the Scottsdale Tennis Club was asked to tell about his plans after retiring as a lawyer. He replied with part of a poem by Robert Frost which struck a chord with this old hacker, so I quote: "The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep”. Ciao until next time, Rita      Photo 1    Photo 2

November 2012

The final National Tournament for this old hacker with partner, Pat Jackson took place October 15th-21st at the Chamisal Tennis Club in Salinas, Ca. This club is unique placed in a valley surrounded on all side by numerous Oak trees, and evergreen trees with olive trees and persimmon trees on the premises, as well. The 85 draw was quite small in singles (six) and doubles (three teams) since one team withdrew, so every double's team won with top honors going to Pat Jackson and Rita Price who won the Grand Slam. This means the USTA sponsors Grand Slam winners with a trip to the US Open next year all expenses paid and the lucky winners are seated  at the USTA box.   Joyce Vanderpol and Cathy Hall took Silver and Marion Tyrell and sister, Barbara Ward won bronze. In singles,  Price won the double gold, Cathy Hall silver, Joyce Vanderpol bronze, Marion Tyrell 4th place with sister, Barbara Ward 5th place over Betty Yaden in the consolation round. A special surprise was an art contest with a famous painter, Ernest Baber judging the many entries, but everyone who painted were considered winners, all! Bruce Pintenger rocked the players at the Gourmet Pizza Dinner with rock and blues alike and there was wine as well as song to make for a festive evening.  Pat, Carol Branson, and this reporter had time off the courts to take the 17-Mile Drive, "one of the best-known scenic drives in the world, with dream homes, great gold courses, and as well as miles of scenic coastline and the serene majesty of Del Monte Forest. A most enduring landmark is the Lone Cypress which has prevailed for more than 250 years.     Photo 1    Photo 2

October 2012

Hi All! My friend from Canada, Brenda Faus, captured the double winners in the 80 age catagory at the Individual World Championships. From right to lftt in white Cup Team Uniforms are the gold medal winners, Canadians; followed by the New Zealand Cup Team players; finalists, and then the bronze winners from USA along with my partner, Jane Lutz captain of the Doris Hart Cup team, and Margaret Canby also a member of the USA Cup Team. Missing is her partner, Joyce Jones who was still on court competing in the 80 age Mixed doubles Championships which she won with her partner Sol Snyder winner of the Men's 80 Cup Team. What can I say, I wasn't on a Cup Team, so devoid of uniform, I came as myself: an 86 year old ex hoofer! Hope you liked the photo. Maybe next year?? Ciao rita   Photo 1

September 2012

On September 10-15th World Cup Team Championships were played in Umag & Novigrad, Croatia. Ten Teams were sent from USA, (60-80 men and women) Seven came home with Cups, Two Silver and One placed fifth. Thirty seven Nations competed with over 700 players. Week two in Croatia the World Individual Championships took place from the 16th -23rd. My partner, Jane Lutz, captain of the 80's Cup Team and I took out an Aussie Cup Team on the stadium court with a judge in the chair and our name in lights, then ousted the Great Britain Cup Team in the semis, but fell in the semis to a spry New Zealand Cup Team who lost to Canadian Cup Team in the finals. The weeks flew by too quickly, but I met old friends from Germany, Japan, and Australia and made a few new freinds, as well. The place where I was housed: The Sol Stella Classic Apartments caters to players and mostly familys with small children and a few fine fellow canines. Highlights of my adventure were a trip on a ferry for a two and a half hour voyage where upon the return trip I managed to sing with our tour director while the ship tossed and turned in a huge rain & lightening storm. Some passengers used the white bags supplied for heavy seas. Venice was sheer delight with lunch, visit to the Mirano Glass factory and a display by the artist, a gondola ride through the grand canal, and a water taxi back to our boat. I hoped to do more touring in Croatia, but stayed to watch fellow team members. One of the players told me about a trip in land to see the small dogs who sniff out truffles at night when their sense of smell is best. I took a couple of trips to the city of Umag on a choo choo train for 20 kunas which is about $3.50 a trip. The kuna is the name of a small mammal larger than our squirrel. Beautiful girls dressed in jackets and skirts of coral wearing black six inch heels are ushers for the players as they march into the stadium in alphabetical order with their country's signs in hand and pose for photos from the fans. There is an opening ceremony for the 37 Cup Teams as well as the Individual World Championship Tournament that follows the Cup Team playoffs. Following the opening ceremonies is a champagne and bon bon reception where the players gather to exchange messages of good luck and renew friendships. A banquet is held midweek in a four star hotel. A van picks up the players and friends. Again, more champagne appears followed by a buffet with every kind of food imaginable. Of course, this old hoofer managed to snag a guy to start the dancing and filling the dance floor in a N.Y. minute. The best part of being in Croatia is listening to the announcements of directors and the many languages spoken in passing and to see old friends and make many new friends every time I go to another country. I loved sitting in an olive grove watching the matches of the youngsters on the red clay. That I played my very first match on stadium court where Inanisovich and Moyer have played on the ATP tour, above and beyond expectations. That I made the audience laugh and applaud my dancing after receiving my bronze medal was a pleasure, as well. I hope my photos will take you there. Until my next trip. Ciao Rita
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August 2012

Lakewood Was Victorious at the Wash Park Challenge. Our hosts provided breakfast with everything from freshly made pancakes on the grill by Dwanye Lopez. The tables were laden with bowls of miniature wrapped candies, a bowl of nuts,  cinnamon buns, raspberry breads, wrapped apple slices, bananas, yogurts, granola,  and orange juice. Gordon Rullon was the volunteer grill master cooking burgers, brauts, and chicken.  Rolls for the meats, potato salad, chips and dips, veggie tray, sangria, and white wine for drinking with desserts of cookies, and cones which were topped with creamy vanilla ice cream.  On the grass next to the tables was a huge tub filled with ice upon which floated water bottles, beers, gatorade, lemonade, and soft drinks. It was a day visiting with friends, fun tennis, and a final victory which was a  close all the way. Next year it's Lakewood's turn, so Anthony suggested starting with quiche, but we would need to go a long way to top our hosts in the food department. Hope the photos will show the "way it was!"  Ciao rita
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June 2012
At the Indoor National Tournament in Overland Park, Kansas May 29-June 3rd, Price won double gold balls in the 85 age division. This was a tournament featuring ages 65, 75, and 85 players. The tennis players from the area fed us delicious lunches during the week with a wine and cheese party sponsored by the USTA and a banquet from the Midtown Tennis Club. There was a clinic for 10 and under youngsters with some of the players feeding them balls and we were entertained one evening by some professional teams playing a form called 10 Cup which is like an interclub format with 5.0 professional men inspiring us "hackers" to play harder and faster. To view three videos of the clinic, TV coverage from two channels go to the club's website: In the address put carolynnichols.com and look for the Overland Park , Kansas Indoor National Tournament and find the notes about the clinic and TV interviews to download. My partner, Pat Jackson and I were housed in a beautiful home in Loch Lyod, a gated facility in Belton, Mo. We dined at their country club surrounded by a beautiful golf course and meals like a four star restaurant. Hope you like the photos enclosed. On to the Denver Open in mixed doubles and Grass Court National in late July in Germantown, Pa. Ciao rita    Photo 1

I thought you'd like this:

Seniors Tennis Competition Held in Overland Park
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The best senior lady tennis players in the nation have been competing this week at Overland...
April 2012
The 42nd Annual USTA National Senior Women's Clay Court Championships took place March 26-April 1st 2012 with competitors ages 35-85. There were 207 entries with 11 single players 85 and over and 6 double's teams in the round robin for 85 hackers. This hacker was seeded #1 but failed to germinate losing to a champion, Elaine Mason, in the finals, but managed a gold ball win in doubles with a great partner from Phoenix, Pat Jackson ousting Elaine and her partner, Cathy Hall in 2 sets. I left Denver early to play with Pat in Scottsdale, where Saguaro cacti dominated the desert flora and spectacular desert sunsets ran a close second to the beauty of blooming cacti at my hostess's home. Houston's tournament is always well run and boasts exceptionally delicious breakfasts, lunches, and the entertainment by Jazz singer Steve Hobbs. This was Steve Hobbs a return engagement for Steve who was belting out songs roaming the tables and of course, dragging this almost recalcitrant hoofer to join him on to the dance floor. I later heard some players remarking they were going to tweet the directors of "Dancing With the Stars" to sign up a real tennis player that would last longer than the former tennis champions, Monica Seles and Martina who were ousted after only one week. So, as I was saying, "It was a great tournament" and hope to return for another great time on and off the courts where competition promises to be tough!   Ciao rita
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February 2012
Les Grande Dames 2012, known as the Crawford Cup held on clay in Ft. Lauderdale Feb.1-5 with ages 35-85 singles and doubles was a rehearsal for this reporter to play on clay in preparation for the first National in Houston in late March. It is a category II tournament which means if you win you make 500 points toward your ranking. At a National you earn 1000 points toward your 2012 ranking and it offers a top seed spot in the draw. Four 85 year olds entered with two withdrawing due to physical problems, but I finally played one match against a newcomer in the age group, Irene Shepard who has beaten me in the past. This time around I managed a 6-2, 6-0 win. She promised me a better match in Houston, so we shall see? The club is all tennis and the surrounding buildings where the avid tennis players live are named after famous tennis players and is the home of the Harold Soloman Tennis Camp where clinics and lessons are given. Complimentary Continental Breakfast are offered every day and a wonderful dinner for players, hosts, and hostesses, compliments of "Lamitta", a friend of tennis with music by "Jake" and entertainment by a Tango ballroom couple. Tennis players joined in the fun with moves of their own to which I added a few gyrations, thank you very much! Gala dinner at The Club with a delicious menu of salad, tilapia, marsala chicken, veggies and a high calorie dessert, of course. Door prizes always accompany the dinner, too. I met a pro, Shane Sabel, who was watching his protégé (35 year old) who hit the ball really hard and ran down shots like a gazelle. He gave me a few pointers about my serve and turned out to know a former partner of mine, Louise Owens and we both agreed that it is indeed a small world. Until next time, Ciao rita     Photo 1    Photo 2
January 2012
July 27th Linda Lister, Gorfon Rulon, and this reporter were seated at table 31 with whom we shared with Marcos and Melissa Martinez, Shelby Flores, and Kenneth Velez. Shelby and Kenneth were students in the Ricardo Flores Magon Acadamy whose Head master is Marcos. Marcos is a Lakewood member who plays on Anthony Boone's team. Marcos opened the program and was on stage flanked by Kenneth (10 and under champion) and Shelby (top student and tennis player) and spoke about what the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation means to his students. This is a quote from the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame Gala brochure "Imagine... if only promoting and developing the growth of tennis, we also devoted ourselves to promoting and developing the growth of people through tennis... if we created pathways for youngsters from diverse backgrounds to easily pursue our sport in their communities, at their levels, on an affordable basis that would not require them to sacrifice educationally but would strengthen and amplify their personal growth... if we put in place a player development system that aims to create the conditions for developing not only champions on the court, but also champions in life." Another great evening celebrating 50 years helping youngsters benefit from our sport. Thank you Lakewood Tennis Association for allowing us to spend the evening with many past and new champions and friends of tennis.
December 2011
November 2011
The Barbara Cooper Cup presented by Les Grandes Dames November 3-6 at the Winter Park Tennis Center, was in honor of Barbara Cooper who "became a tennis icon in Central FL where she officiated and ran junior tournaments and the State Husband/Wife Championships for many years." I was indebted to Marilyn Skiffington for playing singles, my one match of the tournament. We enjoyed a romp around the court trying to drop shot at advantageous times to see who could get there first with this old hacker managing to "get there first" the most times. Marilyn surprized me by relating that she learned to fly a plane and did before she got behind the wheel of a car! I had a plethora of time to schmooze, take some photos and enjoy the great tennis played by the "young ones" on the courts. Winds came up in afternoon, but the tennis was still spectacular! Mr. Lay was on hand to support his wife who, with partner, Boots Von Nostrand managed to top the other two 75 double's teams. Belmar chose the correct partner to "cover" for her when the ball was out of her immediate "zone." I asked a young lady, Anita Page, to take a picture of me and my friend, Betty Hill and she told me she only played singles because she had to work. I asked her what she did and she told me she moves sail boats and even sailed solo across the Atlantic. She said her dad had a shrimp boat business, so she grew up at sea. I found a fellow nicknamed gal, "Bunny" which was my nickname when I was a babe, who showed me her new Ipod 2 that did everything except talk back. I cannot end without giving praise to Mary Ann Plante and Ellen Goodman for running a fine tournament adding special accolades to many: Dr. Dennis Ward for a delicious luncheon with local hostesses, and Nancy and Jack Miles for a wonderful dinner with plank salmon, ham, mushroom lasagne, sweet potatos, asparagus, a lovely green salad, and desserts to die for, my favorite being lemon bars. Rosie Livings, Betty Hill and I were housed with a charming family: Nita Klingenberg and Brian, her husband. We spent the time in their guest houses, with complete breakfast provided in a private kitchen, had access to their private clay court for warming up, and were entertained by four playful dogs. Thanks for my first tournament in Winter Park!     Photo 1    Photo 2    Photo 3
August 2011
At the Colorado State Open July 9-18 Lakewood's Ann Stafford won the doubles with partner Janice Aoki in the 65 age bracket and was a finalist with Lucy Bennett in the 60 doubles bracket. This reporter won the 75 mixed doubles with partner, Enver Mehmedbasich. The most astounding match to watch was Brian Battistone who took out #1 seed, Taylor Dent in the semis with a most unusual two-handled racquet designed by Lionel Burt. Brian holds the left hand side, tosses the ball with his right hand, switches to the right hand side, jumps into the air like a server in a volley ball serve, and smashes the ball in air jumping into the court for the winning volley. Amazing! He won the finals beating #2 seed Jan-Michael Gambill.
At the last Hard Court National September 19-25 in Salinas's Chamisal Tennis & Fitness Club, this reporter won the gold ball in singles, and a second gold ball in doubles against the grand slam 2010 champions who were going for a repeat performance having won 3 double's matches. Price picked up a fun lady who she met at Sr. Olympics and with no experience with her partner, Joyce Vanderpol, ousted the #1 seeds, Cathy Hall and Elaine Mason who were as surprised as we were with the win. Lost the first set 6-1, switched sides and won a tie breaker in set two with an underhanded sliced serve that the receiver hit into the net. Presumably, the team was so anxious to win the grand slam, that they made errors and we won set three 6-4.
Gourmet Pizza night a friend and I sang to the accompianment of a guitarist playing songs of the 50's, but the best night was dancing with the Money Band and taking home a prize to give to my hosts. My host's home looked down upon the tennis facility and a family of deers greeted me every morning on my way down the hilly terrain. Due East from the Chamisal Tennis Club is a unique sandstone outcropping in the Sierra de Salinas hills which has been eroded by water and weather to take on a castle-like appearance and is a known today as Castle Rock. In their youth, John Steinbeck and his sister, Mary, played at the base of Castle Rock. I toured the Steinbeck Museum and was surprised to note so many novels and short stories Steinbeck penned about the human condition were made into good films. Cannery Row in Monterey was another of Steinbeck's novel, but the Monterey Aquarium is one of the best in the nation. My favorite viewing was the Secret Lives of Sea Horses, Sea Otters, and the touching pools.
Hope some of you might join the circuit for some traveling, tennis, and fun! rita
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July 2011

On July 25th-31st the Grass Court National Championships were held in Germantown, PA at the Germantown Tennis and Cricket Club, whose existence started in 1800. It boasts 24 grass courts, 12 red clay courts, 3 har-tru courts, 2 hard courts, and 4 indoor courts. Ages 35-85 bared the heat into the high 90's with humidity almost as high to try for the gold! This hacker managed to be a bridesmaid once again falling to a top champion I had beaten in Houston and Kansas, only to fall a bit short with a three set loss. My 77 year old pick-up partner and I also took a silver in a two set loss, but it was great to finish without a hitch! The most interesting story of courage and guts was played out in the 75 year old double's team of Peggy Francis and Joan Kingsly who played 4 matches taking the bronze winners to 3 sets and coming out in 4th place on the grass. Peggy Frances was a 12 year old jr. player in Philadelphia, while this old hacker was an 18 year old tap dancing at the Troc burlesque theater at the same year and time: April, 1945. Peggy and I often recall those days with a twinkle in our eyes. Peggy lost her forearm to cancer last year. This extraordinary lady was back on the courts playing with one arm and having a blast and beating two able bodied opponents. I left Philadelphia after the tournament to visit my family in N.J. My grand nephew did a story about me when his teacher asked students (10 yr. olds) to write about a person who was in the news. I've enclosed a photo of Alex who received an A for his story about his aunt, Rita. I walked into the New Yorker hotel in hopes of finding a ticket to the smash hit: "Book of Mormon" and the concierge said of course: Price tag$500. Needles to say, I didn't catch a show this time around and will await it's appearance in Denver when the road show comes to town! Next trip and last of the four Nationals is in Salinas in September, so will be on hand at the Colorado State Open playing down and see you on the courts when Lakewood once again slams Wash Park, right? Ciao rita        Photo 1     Photo 2

June 2011

At the Indoor National in Overland Kansas, May 31st-June 5th, Rita Price won her 8th gold ball in singles. Her partner, Mary Hallowell fell 1st round in singles and couldn't play doubles. Price picked up a partner, Lovie Beard who didn't have a partner and won the bronze ball. The greatest joy during my time in Kansas was visiting the Negro Baseball Hall of Fame museum in Kansas City and also the Jazz Hall of Fame museum next door. Hope you enjoy the sculptor outside the Jazz museum: It says "Bird Lives" - Charlie Parker the greatest sax player. Was home a day after the Indoor National in Overland, Kansas and flew to Boston at the invitation of my former partner, Diane Hoffman (with whom I won my 1st gold ball on grass in Germantown) to watch her be inducted to the New England Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. Had a few days to play on the most "orgasmic" green, soft, velvety grass in the world BAREFOOT! (beats Wimbledon and Forest Hills too). Although mother nature brought cold weather and rain the night of the banquet; June 11th, it was a grand event and most exciting was the fact that my friend, Chris Gartner, captain of the largest sailing vessel in the world was also at the Newport ship yards same time: Is that something like synchronicity, people? Chris gave my tennis buddies and I a tour of the Maltese Falcon prior to the banquet and next day my Boston hostess and I were driven around the mansion road and toured the Vanderbilt Marble mansion and a yachting museum, as well with Chris as our tour guide. He also reserved a room for me and my hostess Saturday and Sunday. If you want to see all about the ship Google - Maltese Falcon, just like the name of the movie with Bogie, Sydney Greenstreet, and Mary Astor! Am I dating myself! love rita     Photo 1    Photo 2    Photo 3

May 2011

Lakewood members played at Arvada's Glen Hines Tournament held May 2-8th: Warren Foltz and Jan Ford won the 75 mixed doubles, Tom Clark and Phyllis Larson were finalists against Bonnie and Marvin Champion, Anne Owens and Ann Stafford won the 65 ladies doubles against Martha Gulbenkian and partner Ruth Bleuse, Joyce Smink and Rosalie Dinenberg were finalists against Bonnie Champion and Jean Darst, Anne Stafford and Lucy Bennett won the ladies 60 doubles, Dave Harguth and Jim Zurcher won the men's 70 doubles, and Steve Behm and Lucy Bennett won the 60 mixed doubles. This reporter played down and won the 80 singles. See some photos of winners and finalists. The wind was a factor, but players managed to overcome and come out smiling. The tournament was well directed by Michelle Krause and goodie bags were presented to all players and Friday was the BBQ enjoyed by all. Hope to see some members play the Denver Open in June. ciao
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April 2011

The Houston Clay Court Nationals March 21-27th was the 41st annual tournament and my first tournament in the new age bracket: 85. It's player's age's ranged from 35 to 85 in increments of five. Eight singles players and four doubles teams competed in ideal conditions with temperatures in the 70's to 80's afternoons with no rain delays or strong winds. The Texas flags placed above the courts showed players how to play the wind. Complimentary breakfasts and lunches were gourmet as was the food served at the Celebration Banquet wednesday with a silent auction to benefit the NSWTA and featuring the Mickey Hobbs Trio. Mickey "worked the tables and dance floor" with jazzy songs. This old "ham" danced up a storm while Mickey serenaded me and the best compliment of the evening came from a gray haired waiter who said, "Congratulations" which I thought was for my tennis play on the courts, until he added, "You are the best dancer!" Mickey sang his rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" and after a silent interlude the line dancing commenced led by one of Mickey's musicians. Most tennis players love to dance and the rest of them love to applaud some "great moves." The second hospitality party on thursday (a night prior to my final singles for the gold ball) evening featured the Zydeco Dots, a group of Cajun musicians and singers which prompted us dancers to stomp up a storm while dining on a buffet of: "Are you ready for this?" muffaletetas, oysters on half shell, alligator fritters with key lime sauce, jambalaya crawfish, shrimp bengiets, and pralenes. Beer, soft drinks, and sponsors of SKYY vodka with raspberry, cherry, passion fruit, and citrus flavors filled the fine bill of fare leaving the imbibors with lots of smiles on their faces. I should have stopped dancing that night because I ran out of steam next day in the finals and lost 6-4, 7-5 to a fresh fast worthy opponent, my friend and former partner, Cathy Hall who was a grand slam champion in doubles, last year and won the singles last year too. She and her partner, Elaine Mason are well on their way to another grand slam in doubles this year, as well ( if they stay healthy). So, my partner, Mary Hallowell, a retired pediatrician from Vancouver, Canada and I took the silver ball in doubles defeating two teams in the round robin. Truth be told, Cathy had no competion in both singles matches leading up to the finals and got a default in doubles. I played one singles match followed by two double's matches and a 3 hour three setter in singles against a grand slam winner, Elaine Mason before I faced Cathy Hall in the finals. So, my friends, it's important to "condition, condition, condition" one's self like the old adage in real estate jargon for winning results: "location, location, location.! I left Houston with a dear friend in a private jet flying to Vail where her husband was skiing the powder. We played some indoor tennis and took a chair lift up to the top of the mountain for lunch at the Bistro sharing a hamburger and ending with a dessert "to die for." My final surprise was a treat at the Cascade Club Spa having a facial, pedicure, and massage and having lunch at the Spa wrapped in a plush robe and soaking in the warmth of the day. Life is indeed GOOD! Hope some of you will join the National Senior Circuit which includes men and women and share with me. Ciao        Photo 1    Photo 2    Photo 3

February 2011
The Checket Cup Tournament was held February 2-6 and this hacker had one opponent in the 85 age bracket. The flavor of the place might be seen in the photos I've captured of "Iggie" the one iguana survivor from the cold temperatures last year that killed many iguanas. Tossed upon the shore of the Atlantic of Key Biscayne were a large numbers of Portuguese-Man-Of-War animals which I gingerly held for viewing when I visited a friend in Key Biscayne, Janet Sachs with whom I toured Africa last year. My luck: my one opponent defaulted, so I managed to hit with a couple of friends, but no match practice, so I'm off the Tampa March 1-5 and vow to play down to the 80 or 70 age bracket if no opponent is on board. Ciao rita
January 2011
To all you tennis, tap, dancing fans: Here's RITA from birth to old age in one fell swoop almost like my obituary. Seems the article Irv Moss wrote about me in the Denver Post May 11th 2010 captured the eye of Sofia Moyn at the Eloise May Aurora Library and prompted her to ask me to gather up my trophies and life photos and do a sort of story for the month of January. So, if you have time, mozy on down to the library on the southeast corner of Parker and Florida. If you are on Leetsdale and pass Mississippi heading south, Leetsdale turns into Parker and Florida is the next light and the library is on the left. Some of you are in it too, as is Lakewood tennis Ass. love rita   Photo 1    Photo 2    Photo 3    
October 2010

The last national event of the year for this old hacker took place in Vancouver, WA. September 28- October 2nd which included only three age groups: 70, 80, and 90 year olds. I developed a bad case of plantar faschiitis and had to have my right heel taped and the doctor gave me medicine to alleviate the heel pain. I managed to win one round of singles and decided to retire in the quarter finals giving my opponent a "shoe in" to the finals in singles and a silver ball. My partner, Beverly Little and I were able to get to the final consolation round and win a 5th place in doubles. I'm enclosing a photo of the finals with Rita, Beverly and our worthy opponents, Joyce Vanderpol and Nancy Stout. It took us three sets, but we got the job done! The most amazing matches were those ladies in the 90 age group and I'm enclosing a photo of "The Golden Girls" taken at the delightful banquet. Dodo Cheney and daughter, Christie are in the back row on either side of the tournament director, Nancy Ansboury, Pat Yeoman and Judy Stark, (Pat's partner) lost to Dodo and Lucy Dettmer seated with daughter, Peggy. Lucy was the grand slam winner in doubles and singles winning on indoor hard courts, outdoor hard courts in La Jolla, then clay and grass, in California. So, do stay healthy and you too can be a '"Golden Girl" when you turn 90! Next year this old hacker will be the "new kid on the block" in the 85 age group and headed for a grand slam????? Hope so.
Cial  rita       Photo 1     Photo 2 
September 2010
Hope you enjoy Anne Guerrant's letter to our National Magazine the National Senior Women's Tennis Association. I totally had a blast teaching the Mambo to all those enthusiastic young players along with our leader on the" Dream Of A Lifetime" adventure meeting the ladies who benefitted by our donations to Anne Guerrant's Foundation helping the poorest of the poor women and some men, as well to lift themselves out of poverty with small business loans by Anne's Foundation. Thanks for helping this cause. "Asante sana" (Swahili for thank you very much)  from the bottom of my heart!  Ciao      Click on this link for Africa tennis article.
Saturday the 14th of August Lakewood faced our worthy opponents and JUST DID IT!  We won it again. The food for breakfast was delicious, the pizza, veggies, chips, desserts, and drinks flowed with fun and lots of interesting tennis matchups and much camaraderie among the players. Areesha ran the tourmanent and managed the food and drinks with professionalism and this hacker appreciated her efforts, on this hot sunny day at Wash Park. I also enjoyed the many bikers with colorful carriages built for families traversing the road around the lake. Here's some fun photos of some of the players with Gordan and Bruce raising the traveling trophy! This old hacker is recovering from 22 days in Africa with some stories to come later. It was an inspiring, magical experience of a lifetime! Ciao rita   Photo 1   Photo 2   Photo 3   Photo 4   Photo 5   Photo 6
August 2010
Hi All! My friend, Janet has written this story about our gorilla trek, so I am plagerising ?sp. from her because she is an english teacher and writes beautifully. On the other hand, I will be happy to speak to you if I see you in person to relate my experiences on the trek. There were all youngsters on the trek and I was told by one of the guides, that some people quit en route and have to be carried down, so there you go! Thank you Anne for that great vest, thank you for the camera, Mike, and haven't used the binoculars yet, Chris, but hope to use them on safari in Tanzania, next week before I head for home on August 9th. My gratitude knows no end to all who were so very generous to this old hacker! I love you all. rita P.S. I will attempt to take more notes, but I'm having so much fun observing and trying to assimilate a "snap shot" impression of it all.
Hi Everybody, Right now I'm in Zanzibar, the absolute 1st internet cafe I've seen since in Africa. We were told the night before the trek that we were leaving at 6:30 a.m. So, no problem. I was up at 5 tro make sure I'd be well prepared: cargo pants; hiking boots with wool socks and cotton socks; gaiters; a long-sleeved cotton knit shirt; a wool crew-neck sweater; a Gore-Tex jacket; a safari hat; and lots of insect repellent. I packed my small backpack to hold snacks, 2 bottles of water, a camera, a phone, and space to hold clothes which might have to be shed. I learned later that I was smart to have done that! > > Our private driver, Robert, picked us up promptly to meet the other 6 in our party, and we were off. One of the guides briefed us on proper procedure when we encountered the gorillas, like, don't touch them; no flash bulbs; no loud noises. After having been given walking sticks, we were off. At first the grassy area was simply full of ruts and small hills, but soon we hit the real stuff--a forest absolutely stuffed with trees, many often bamboo; vines reminiscent of Tarzan and Jane; creeks filled with slippery rocks; holes and crags; and all of this padded with a deep carpeting of fallen leaves and twisted, jagged, sharp stumps. It was a forest and a jungle combined. I kept thinking how strange this is to an American, since I had never been in anything like it. The guides accompanied us, the foremost slashing the dense growth with a machete. It was all uphill. Then, as the saying goes, "the .... hit the fan." The heavens opened up, at first a pitter-patter, and then increasingly harder. Out came the plastic capes for everyone else. (I thought how I wished I had kept mine from former football games.) I hurriedly took off my wool sweater and stuffed it into the backpack, swept my hair into a ponytail, and pulled my hat down low. On and on we marched. The guides were in touch by radio with others who knew where the gorilla families were. Word came down that they all were moving around, and we were moving after them. My hiking boots were crusted with wet mud; my gaiters were sopping we. But the worst was to come: RED ANTS! Top this city girl, and ant is an ant. Ouch! Ouch! What's going on? A guide quickly tore apart the velcroed gaiter and rolled up my pants legs. Sure enough: several critters were feasting on my legs. Bad enough, but my friend Rita had several inside her shirt! I should have tucked my pants legs into my socks to begin with, but who knew? On we marched. Up, up, up. On occasion we stopped for water, and one time I broke into a Lara Bar. I needed that protein. Three hours had passed since we started, and no gorillas. The rain was intense and I kept thinking how could this be the dry season? As we ascended, the air became colder. Africa? What's going on? But suddenly we were motioned to stop. The sought-after prizes--GORILLAS! We gathered about 10 feet from where the family was browsing. One female was holding a baby. Several young ones were playing, turning somersaults and grabbing their toes, just like a human toddler. The gorgeous male, a silver-back, lumbered around, unconcerned that we were there. Three other females were there too, along with several young members of the family. Some lie half- hidden in and on top of the dense undergrowth, identifiable only when the brush moves, or one spies a clump of black fur. When they do barrel out of the undergrowth, they entertain us visitors -- the adults simply munch on the abundant greenery, or perhaps a female will breastfeed her infant. It was a photographer's dream. We stayed about an hour, moving to where they moved. One little fella spied my friend's yellow jacket, came over and stretched out his hand. Others tried to entertain us by going through their gymnastics. By this time I was physically exhausted, soaked to the bone and plastered with mud. I could feel every layer of clothing was sopping wet, and I was shivering uncontrollably. One considerate guide retrieved my backpack (we had left the sticks and extraneous things about 20 yards below) and I grabbed the wool sweater. To hell with modesty. I threw off the jacket and the knit shirt and snuggled into a dry wool sweater, topping it with the jacket. Fortunately the rain let up a little by the time we turned to go home. My body was aching. A guide held my hand whenever the going got tough, like slipper downhills or huge mounds. all I could think about was a warm shower and a cup of hot tea. Strangely enough, I thought about summer camp when I was 10, and how the what-seemed-like-miles hike always ended up at a local soda fountain, with everyone thinking she'd accomplished something and had hiked miles. I felt the same way today. Those waiting cars at the finish were like the old soda fountain. But about 8 hours and many hard miles, I was happy the trek was over. Seeing the gorillas in their native environment was an awesome experience. It should be on everyone's "bucket list." What gorgeous creatures! Fortunately they are passionately well protected, as only about 750 still exist. They don't know or respect borders, of course and drift between Rwanda and Uganda. This was an exhilarating experience!
Here's the toddler gorilla who stretched out his/her hand to touch mine, but I couldn't touch him/her since we were told it's not allowed to touch the gorillas although they can touch us. The singer at the Mountain Gorilla Lodge with whom I sang and danced.
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#300 Under the lipstick tree with our guide at a Spice Tour-seeds used by Maasai to dye hair and lipstick, but also for making curries and when mixed with turmeric creates the red colour of curry powder. #279 Mr. Octopussy runs tours and his uncle can give you a good price on a sail to other islands, a Muslum with red pants under his dress. #317 A memorial for the slave trade; our guide one of few Christians and University student volunteer, with Janet Sachs, my friend. #291 One of many Ancient doors whose sharp points used to ward off Elephant charges. Janet loves history and bought a poster of doors. Kwaheri, Karibu tena    Rita "shimooko"   Zanzibar's Stone Town has numerous shops, stalls, and street vendors who say "karibu" come in you are welcome to buy my wares.    Photo 300    Photo 279    Photo 317    Photo 291
#238 some children whose parents sell fruit.  #247 Siaeli Magal dries hibiscus flowers to sell to make tea. She is an elderly lady whose eyes "lit up" and exclaimed to me "shimooko" (a respective greeting to an elderly person.) I of course responded correctly with "maharaba" which is the correct respectful response, if my Swahili is correct?  #230 one of many Maasai ladies who danced for us "mzungus" (whites) and I danced for them en route to their homes.
#253 Asha and entrepaneur who owns a rice field, corn field, hires people to harvest, owns chickens and sells the eggs, also sells second hand clothes. Computer will not download more photos, but will send 4 more if you have time and room on the website.  4 of 386 photos of a "Dream of A Lifetime" and aid to 350 mothers who benefit from Anne Guerrant Foundation for small loans to life themselves out of poverty. Thanks for reading  " Kwaheri and Karibu tena"  Goodbye and Come Again in Swahili
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July 2010
Hooray! Finally a National Event 40 and 50 Indoor Nationals in my hometown!  The Margaritas flowed along with wines and lots of Mexican entres: Rellenos, Changa, Burritos, Tacos and much joyful chatter abounded, but best of all was the fantastic tennis   love rita
Here's some photos of the event:    Photo 1    Photo 2    Photo 3    Photo 4
June 2010
1926 Bath House to Beach and Tennis Club. Before Bill Kellogg's father started this historical tennis club in 1935, it was a bath house and yacht club. Many past tennis players in the 40's to the 70's (Gussie Moran, Bobbie Riggs, Pancho Gonzalas, Arthur Ashe, Jinx Falkenburg, Gardner Mulloy, Jack Kramer, Roy Emerson, Lutz and Smith, Pauline Betz, Peter Fleming, Roscoe Tanner, Maureen Connolly, Denis Ralston, Charles Pasereli, Billie Jean King) came to play and relax in this unique environment. The club held the 2006th Davis Cup and USA beat Romania to tie and win the cup in 2007! This is La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club's 75th Anniversary and all player were recipients of a midnight blue water bottle with the cub's logo: seahorse etched on it's side! Philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps donated money for a museum, newspaper, and the Scripps Oceanographic Laboratory which is a little bit over a stone's throw from the club on the beach. This week one could watch a great tennis match on center court and take a trip down memory lane to view photos of those past tennis stars on the back wall behind the bleaches adjacent to center court! Even Dodo's and Louise Brough's picture was on hand in 1945 when Dodo was Jack Benny's age??? (39) FAMILY AFFAIRS: It was a "family affair for #4th seed Janet Hubbard with partner Rita Price (a fillin for Fran Hunter who withdrew due to illness, (but was neverthless a volunteer offering dessert for the BBQ. Janet's son Paul, and wife Cathy with grand son Jordan came to cheer on "MOM"! Doris Stephen of San Clemente amassed a huge gallery of family as well as did Lucy Dettmer who's family was also in attendence. Lucy won 4 gold balls for Nationals prior to this for Clay and Grass Nationals along with partner, Dodo Cheney.  TENNIS RESULTS: Jane Lutz, (the blonde bombshell) won gold over 1st seeded Louise Russ. Price beat Jan Durrett for the bronze and Joan Brisbin took 5th place over Janet Hubbard.  SEEDS HELD IN DOUBLES: Joyce Jones and Angie Ray took 3 sets to beat Louise Russ and Doris Stephens on center court. Seems the top seeds needed to work out the kinks when they played Price and Hubbard and won handily in the third set. Jane Lutz and Suzanne Ryerson won the bronze over Price and Hubbard. The two Pats, Jackson and Weidenmann won over the two Nancys, Stout and Kibbey in a default due to illness to win 5th place, in the back draw.  KUDOS TO ALL:
Bill Kellog, Pierette Featherby, Conan Lorenzo, Bob Christianson, and a plethora of volunteers welcomed the players in gracious style. They weren't responsible for the glorious colorful floral arrangements directly or for the ducks, swans, and gulls who lightened our times in La Jolla, but the BBQ on the beach with a wonderful ocean and brilliant sun shining on the horizon was an added treat for the players. The volunteers brought desserts galore and I picked the winning raffle ticket for the jacket, (Liz Harper, who had to withdraw from the 80 singles due to illness.) The complimentary cocktail reception is always wonderful as one is greeted with a handshake and smile entering the room filled with delicious food and drinks. This reporter leaves the 80's to move to the 85's next year, so I said Sayonara, but Carolyn Nichols said to say "Hasta La Vista" so "I'll be back" when I'm the new kid in the 90's?! That is if I'm still on this side of the grass. Ciao     Photo 1    Photo 2
May 2010
At the Glen HInes Tournament May3-9th some Lakewood members came home with trophies and played some great tennis at the Miller Courts in Arvada, in spite of wind and rain delays.  In men's 60's Lakewood's Marv Setzke and partner Daniel Gary were finalists; Sheryl Flater and Phyllis Larson won ladies 65's; Tom Clark and Keith Swanson were finalist in men's 70 doubles; Tom Clark and Pyllis Larson were finalists in 70 mixed doubles; Dave Hartguth teamed with Alvie Willis won men's doubles; Harry Owens (I'm just wild about Harry) and Mike Chewning won the men's 85 doubles. Harry's wife Anne Owens watched the match thinking it was like watching grass grow, but wait until you reach 85 folks. It's not easy to run around the court like gazelles! Thanks to Josepha, this old gal played in the 80 singles and Josepha said whether she won or lost she would still be a finalist! Price played down in 75 mixed with partner from Grand Junction, Enver Mehedmisbasich and won in a round robin.
Trophies were medals, hats and visors and the winners and finalists toasted the matches with a sip of wine. Nicely run tournament from the Director Michelle Kraus and Phyllis Hines, Glen's widow, was on hand at both the Friday evening BBQ and Saturday's luncheon of hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, potato salad, with pickles and tomatoes, lettuce, mustard and a great carrot cake for dessert! Thanks to all Lakewood members who entered this senior age tournament. Rita

April 2010
The Huntsville Clay Court National was held April 11-17th with the theme: "Rockin Robin" featured music of the 50's while the volunteers supplied hungry players with luscious lunches. Some volunteers wore those wonderful "poodle skirts" and jitterbugging was a must! Other amenities included buses made to appear like trolley cars to transport us to view the wonderful old homes in the city followed by a stop at a local bar: "Humphries" who served appetizers and took orders for drinks with music in the background. This was my last year with my hosts: Margaret and Nick Leone and playing as the senior member in the 80's category along with 60 and 70 year old youngsters. I was able to place 4th in singles and doubles with my partner, Louise Owen and took a set from one of the newcomers of my age group. Next year when I'm 85, I'll be the youngest hacker and hope to gather a few more gold balls??? Anyway, I was interviewed on 48 Waff News, an NBC affiliate by Blake Mann and hope to have a DVD for viewing in a few weeks to post on my website. I managed to do a little dance and sang "I Can't Give You Anything But Love Baby" to the amusement of Blake who planted a kiss on my cheek and offered his to my surprise, so the interview ended with a "Dina Shore" MMMMMWAH from yours truly! Anything for a laugh from this old "clown"! Next National is the Hard Courts in La Jolla in May 9-15th so it will be fun to be with my friends and join some 50 year olds, too! Til then, see you on the court?? Ciao! Rita    Photo 1    Photo 2    Photo 3

January 2010

Just back from the William's sister's club: BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. This was a category II tournament held January 19-25tth. Seeded 2nd and won 4th in singles and 2nd in doubles in spite of a "brody" taken on the scratchy clay in the first round of doubles. Elbow scraped, "bum" bounced, and thumb jammed. Couldn't quite take a good hold to the racquet with a jammed swollen thumb joint, but in spite of the fall, I danced up a storm at the Wild West Themed banquet and won first prize in the dance contest where I competed with 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 year olds. Donated the bottle of champagne prize to my hosts who couldn't attend the banquet and went home "spent" but delighted to kick, shimmy, and do some great high jinks with my bright yellow boots, great skirt loaned by Myrna Meyers. Thanks to Rosalie Dinenberg for the suede cowboy hat too! Ciao rita
Photos: with Disc Jocky, Dr. Jerry at Wild West banquet Dance, with centerpiece at banquet Wild West, with Dodo Cheney's photo, finals with partner Diane Hoffman and opponents Louise Russ and Jane Lutz.
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November 2009

Greetings from "down under!" November 8-14th the Individual World Championships were played in Perth, Australia with competitors from 26 different countries ages 60-85 males and 60-80 females. A total of 338 vied for medals. The Ausies numbered almost 100 and two players from Zimbabwe entered the fray. This old hacker won the World Championship in 80 singles and took away the silver medal in doubles opposite my old friend and former gold medalist, Jutta Apel and her partner from Australia, Elsie Crowe. My "pickup" partner, Joan Bak from the Canadian Cup Team and I had never met before, so it was a fun match. I took out the number one seed, Elsie Crowe (who beat me in 2007 finals) with drop shots and lobs. Won in two sets against a British lady who was on the Cup Team and was supposed to win according to a number of people. Huge upset, from this old ham! I made friends with some folks from Japan, South Africa, Australia, and met old friends from Germany and an 80 year old South African man with whom I sang some songs in Turkey, Christ Church, and an encore of "It Had To Be You" duet which drew some applause from the players, in Perth. I managed to sing a solo of "I Can't Give You Anything But Love Baby" and a nice French Lady shook my hand and had her husband take our picture, much to the amusement of the audience at the tennis facility dining room. The weather was perfect for playing, but the flies which flew into all facial orifices forcing me to don a wide brimmed hat which had strings weighted with corks all around the brim. This allowed some relief, but one couldn't wear the hat while on the courts and a few flew up my nose, but I was lucky because my first opponent remided me of Burl Ive's song: "I Swallowed a Fly".  Aside from the whining sounds of crows that sounded like cranky babies, the Mountain Bay Fig trees that housed a few "kookaburras" I heard and captured on film were another unexpected treat. The highlight of my visit was a trip on a ferry to Rottnest Island in the Indian Ocean with it's white sandy beaches and iridescent blue waters, where I sought out the Island's prized attraction, the Quokka, a small marsupial resembling a very large rat. "Dutch explorer Wm. de Vlamingh disvcovered the island in 1696 and thought it was a large rat, hence giving the Island's name "Rottnest" meaning "rat's nest". Hope you enjoy the photos. Ciao rita 
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October 2009

October 7-13th the 70, 80, & 90 year olds played at Vancouver, WA in the Indoor National Championship. Seeded 3rd in singles this reporter won another bronze ball. Seeded 4th with Joan Brisbin (with whom I never played) won over the number 3rd seed. Hope you enjoy the fun photos. The hotel suite in which I stayed was great! The players were offered a complete breakfast with fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, eggs, waffles, bacon, sausage, juices, cocoa, coffee. There was free internet, a library and even dinner during the week, so I'm looking forward to a return trip my last time in the "O's. I'll be 85 in 2011! Yeh! There was a Wine and Cheese Party, a full course dinner at the Banquet with prizes and shuttles to and from the club and airport! At the club the 80's and 90 year olds had a score keeper and ball boys and girls to boot! Dodo drew a crowd and once again emerged with two more gold balls for her singles and doubles. Hope you like the picture I'm sending of the 90 year olds! We toured the Columbia River Gorge in a wonderful van and were steeped in the history of this great part of our country. Over 200 years ago President Jefferson gave orders to Meriwether Lewis to scout the most direct route to the Pacific Ocean for the purposes of commerce. He and Clark began their 8,000 mile, 28-month epic journey in St. Louis, Missouri May 14, 1804. It was joyously completed November 7, 1805. Along the way they were aided by Toussant Charboneau, a 44-year-old French-Canadian trapper, and his 16-year-old Shoshone wife, Sacagawea, as interpreters. My friends and I only were able to see the Bridal Veil Falls after a short hike and then Multnomah Falls with an upper 542 drop and lower 69 ft. drop. I've enclosed a photo with my friend, Beverly Little. We drove over the Bonneville Dam and saw the largest sturgeon called Herman at the fish hatchery who appeared to be the size of a small manatee. Hope you enjoyed the trip back through time.  Ciao Rita
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September 2009

At the District Playoffs at Pinehurst last weekend a wildcard Lakewood Team ousted top seeds and are going to Vegas next March to compete with other teams in the 4.0 Super Senior League. Anthony Boone, Gerry Russell, Jay McCausland, Steve Behm and others made the team. At the Colorado State Open Tournament running September 11-20, Lakewood member Chuck Henkart was a finalist in the men's 60's doubles, Gerry Russell was a finalist in the mixed 60's, Warren Foltz was a finalist in the men's 80's doubles. Our own Ann Stafford with partner, Lucy Bennett is the grand winner in the ladies 60 doubles. Seeded number 2, they ousted top seeds, Katie Koontz and Sue Knott in a fabulous three setter. This reporter played down in the 70 singles and was ousted in three sets. All close, but possibly NO CIGARS? A highlight of the week's events was the fund raiser for kids with all former State Open champions invited to meet for cocktails and appetizers with Tony Trabert headlining as speaker, in addition to other notable winners in the Open division. Music filled the air and Tony spoke of his partners, all famous players and Rich Hillway spoke of the history of the tournament. Ciao Rita
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August 2009
The Grass Court Nationals took place July 20-26 in Forest Hills Queens at the West Side Tennis Club former home of the US Open; the last Open was held in 1978. There were two rain delays which made the grass velvety smooth and brilliant green. This reporter won a silver in doubles and a bronze in singles. Because I was seeded 4th, it was a good win against the number 3rd seed, Jane Lutz. After the tournament I headed to my sister-in-law's home in N.J. for some family fun which included a trip to the Big Apple for a show: "Tin Pan Alley" which boasted tunes from Scott Joplin and Irving Berlin, a trip down memory lane for the former dancer and now as the MC of my Sunshine Serenaders here in Denver. While in N.Y. I took a photo of one of New York's finest and a another of 42nd street and Broadway on a rainy afternoon.
Sr. Olympics
The Sr. Olympics took place August 9-15th in Palo Alto, on Stanford University campus. There were 12,000 athletes in 18 sports from Archery to Volley Ball; 1,128 tennis hackers in men and women's singles, doubles, and mixed. Some Lakewood members attended including Jan Ford and Warren Fotz who won silver in 75  mixed, Mike Chewning and Thelma Dawson won gold in 85 mixed. Lucy and Steve Cookson, Dave and Carol Harguth were in attendance, as well. I didn't see them play, but they were in the winning circle, no doubt. This reporter won gold in 80 singles and doubles with my partner, Beverly Little from Kansas. I played the finals on number one court where Venus Williams lost to Bartoli only several weeks prior to my final's match. It was photographed  on closed circuit video, but unfortuneatly not taped for viewing. Enclosed are a few photos taken on campus. My last day in California was spent taking a driving tour through China Town, then down a winding road-(one way only) on Lombard street that featured million dollar homes on both sides which was  an almost vertical drop where tourists down below took photos of us descending the street. We did it twice!  Wayne Little was our fearless driver. Lunch on crab at Fisherman's wharf ended a great week in sunny California. ciao and thanks for reading.
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July 2009
For those friends and family who weren't at the Sportswoman of Colorado Award ceremony earlier this year, I'm hoping you might enjoy downloading a video of a part of the event. I'm on after very beautiful young athletes teams and other sports like gymnastics, golf, etc. My grand daughter, Sophia was invited on stage with me ushered up by the MC  from Fox 31 TV, Marcia Neville. I hope you can download the short video. The presenter was the gold medal  Marathon winner in Bejing Olympics who trains in Erie, Co._Constantina-Tomescue-Dita. You can tell  how honored I was to meet her. The video comes on after the MacDonald commercial for coffee.  Click on this link to view: http://www.kdvr.com/sports/sportswomen/
Mother Nature smiled upon the Lakewood members who graced the courts for the Team Tennis Tournament/social. Josh Neugebaur came with bagels, cream cheese and Einstein's brothers coffee for breakfast, and Ellen Mueller-Head brought lunch with a little help from some wonderful 3.5 ladies: Michelle Stone-Kraus and others assigned to bring desserts. There were 6 teams appointed by our great Social Director, Bruce McKay and everyone played mixed and doubles and some were added during the tournament, so every group were winners in my book. The highlight of the afternoon was the memorials for Glenna Collins (Michelle and this reporter added her story for the group) Anthony Boone and Bruce said some words for Bob Swanson, and Ron Koscis payed homage to Vern Dvorak. There were 28 praticipants whose photo is on view and I think it was a glorious day and thanks to all who came to play. No doubt Harold Bassett will be happy to note we have 3 new members as a result of this fine social: Brandon, Ed Evans, and Thea Wyler. The Denver Open is being played as I write this report. Some early results: Tom Clark and Keith Swanson were finalists in the men's 70 doubles. Warren Foltz (who subbed for Len Hierath) and Carrie were mixed 70 finalists. Dave Harguth and James Zurcher were finalists in the 65 men's doubles. On Sunday Dave Meyers with Peggy Siefert will play against Dave Romberg and Janice Simpson for the mixed 55's. Lucy Bennett and our own Ann Stafford will play in the 60 laidies doubles while on the other semi finals will be Linda Lister and Fran Micka for a place in the finals. This reporter played in the semis 70 singles against friend, Kitty Gwathmey and retired after winning 6-1, and down 1-5. Kitty went on to play in the finals against former Lakewood member, Bonnie Champion and the latter won in two sets  The winners in the 60 women's doubles is Ann Stafford and partner, Lucy Bennett and the finalists are Linda Lister and Jan Micka. . Thanks to all who played in the Open and hope to see many play in July at Lakewood. Ciao rita       Photo 1    Photo 2    Photo 3
June 2009
May 15-21st was the Hard Court Nationals featuring players 30 to 90 year olds. The club has been the home of the Davis Cup several years ago. The management made Grass Courts and stands for viewing, which no doubt cost over a million to do. Now the surroundings of the club features a miniature gold course putting green, a lake with swans, ducks, and gulls who like to sit on cars. The flowers abound in colorful arrays of yellow euonymois bushes around a huge rose garden. There are birds of paradise, purple agapanthus commonly called "Lilies of the Nile" and orchids are also featured on a hallway leading out to the beach and the surf is always up! Rust, orange marigolds, zinnias, and petunias can be seen in lovely patterns around the center with a captain's wheel and the sea horse sculpture above the wheel, which can be found on T-shirts from La Jolla.  The tennis players in the younger groups,  was superb and almost as spectacular  as  the professionals now playing at the French Open. This reporter managed to capture the third place bronze ball beating a lady, Liz Harper, a member of the club who had won over Price 11 years ago. Guess, how to get to Carnegie Hall is correct: "Practice, Practice, Practice".
Just back from La Jolla and it was fun even though I had no partner. Guess I told Nanci about Louise Owen finding a blood clot on her lungs and being hospitalized. Anyway, she will play the Grass Court Nationals with me mid July in the heat of the city, but I love N.Y. and will visit my sister-in-law after I finish the tournament. So, I'm sending your photos to my niece, Jill Kellett who has two boys, Alex and Victor age 8 and 5 I think. I told my sister-in law that I would send your photos to her daughter because she doesn't use her computer since her husband, my brother, Paul, died several years ago. I keep in touch with her and my niece, too. So, did Nancy run the Boulder Boulder?? How did she do? Will give a holler to her and you when I get a moment from other committments. La Jolla was great. Here's a few photos. The judge with the dred lock hairdo was my umpire 11 years ago and I see Willie Daniels everytime I play La Jolla. I beat the lady who beat me 11 years ago and got the bronze. She is a member of the club so they put us on court one with our names on the score bourd like "big time" tennis. The photo on the beach BBQ was a gal I was supposed to play with as a fillin got injured before we could play. Guess I'm pretty hard on partners and hope Louise stays healthy for our Grass Court Nationals. Hope you all don't mind that I included you all in this message. Time's running out so.  Ciao Rita
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Morse Park volunteers did a great job on a cold dreary day with a handfull of females: Anne Stafford who helped picking up garbage, Beth Vermeulen, Melanie Williams and your reporter keeping our guys well fed and satisfied with hot coffee and some mimosas, as well.
Here's a few photos of Morse park efforts and a Lakewood Park photo after lunch.
#1  Guess whose backsides
# 2  Dave Meyers, Marty Lopez, and Anthony Boone taking a champage & food break
# 3  Morse Park Volunteers finishing the job
# 4  Volunteers at Lakewood Park after lunch
Great big thanks to Linda Wenz and all the volunteers at Lakewood as well as Morse Park
Ciao rita price         Photo 1    Photo 2    Photo 3    Photo 4
The Glen Hines Tournament brought out Lakewood's members in full bloom with the following members coming up "roses" May 4-10th. Anne Owens and Ann Stafford went 3 sets with Kristen Padberg and Laura Thompson to capture second place in the 60 doubles. Tom Clark and Keith Swanson won top honors in the 70 doubles, and Tom teamed with Phyllis Larson won second place in a round robin in the 70 mixed. Dave Harguth and James Zurcher won second place in the 65 doubles. Anthony Boone and Marvin Secze took second place in the 60 doubles. Carlos Millan and this reporter won gold against Thelma Dawson and Mike Chrewning in the 80 mixed. Price and Enver Mehemedbasich won gold against Jan Ford and Warren Foltz in the 75 mixed doubles which I'm told was a 3 setter very entertaining with some Lakewood supporters cheering both teams. I told Warren and Jan that we shall meet again at the Denver Open and hopefully they will come out on top!? Michelle ran a great tournament and the BBQ both on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon was delicious and everyone who placed first or second received a great T-shirt with Glen Hines laughing face on the back. The medals were another great surprise to this old hacker. Thanks to all the Lakewood members who showed up and made us all proud with their successes. Photo 1 Mike Chewing, Thelma Dawson, Rita Price, Mrs. Glen Hines, and Carlos Millan 80 mixed. Photo 2 Keith Swanson and Tom Clark .   Photo 1    Photo 2
May 2009
The first Clay Court National held in Huntsville, Alabama 4/18/09 to 4/24/09 was a shaky start to my 11th year on the National Circuit. I missed my first round of singles due to a snow storm in Denver which cancelled my 6 am flight. Lost in the back draw in 3 sets on a windy cloudy day, and took the bronze in doubles with my new partner in the 80's, Louise Owen. The competition this year is fierce with many new better players. Photo #1 with my partner Louise Owen and photo # 2 with Tournament Director Joc Simmons.
In spite of the rain delay and high winds, the tournament was run well and the volunteers made delicious lunches almost every day and a highlight was the Wine Tasting event at a fabulous home whose flowers were almost as varied and colorful as a botanical garden.      Photo 1     Photo 2

April 2009

Just a note to say that 2 teams from Colorado won at Sectionals in Vegas  March 27-29th, and are off to the Nationals in Arizona in April.  Wanda Warne is a Lakewood member and is on the 3.5 team captained by former member, Phyllis Larson. Kitty Gwathmey, former Lakewood member from Vail, has brought the second team, 4.0 to victory, as well. Good luck to both teams at Nationals. Ciao rita

February 2009

On January 30th the Hall of Fame Gala held at the Marriot Hotel had a table of 12 to toast this reporter's second award as the top senior female player of 2008. Those members present were Art and Michelle Stone-Kraus, Anthony Boone, Bruce McCay, Linda Wenz, Linda Lister, Darlene Tennant, Rita Price, my daughter Valeria Price and hubby, Paul Ammon, and tennis friends, Betty Hill, and Kitty Gwathmey. This is a fund raiser for kids which the Lakewood Tennis Association sponsors every year. At the silent auction, Bruce McCay won the jersey and football (see photo) Anthony Boone won a racquet (see photo) and Betty Hill bid for the theatre tickets for the Caveman show and won, as well. Among the five inducted into the Hall of Fame were Katie Koontz, and Paula Coulter. Paula's speech was great! This reporter has been asked to be interviewed for a story by Susie Wargin Channel 9 News Sportscaster. If mother nature smiles upon this old hacker, Susie will interview me at the Lakewood courts wednesday February 11th. Linda Wenz promises to gather four for the interview, and weekly tennis match. On March 8th, this reporter will be given an award for PERSEVERANCE, possibly for hanging in there for 82 plus years? Anyway, the dinner is $50 and 50 awards will be rendered along with 4 inductees to the Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame. The winner of the prestigious Sportswoman of the year Award, selected from all award winners, will be announced at the banquet. The banquet will be webcast-LIVE-worldwide. Anyone can be part of this celebration at www.Fox31PrepZone.com. This old hacker/hoofer will be among Olympic Champions and other famous sportswoman. The key note speaker is Constantina Tomescu-Dita who won the gold for marathon running at the Beijing Olympics. In all 50 athletes, coaches and contirbutors will be honored in 19 sports, including basketball, lacrosse, wrestling, swimming and softball. Among the contributors in sports are ski sensation Suzy Chaffee, an Aspen resident and former University of Denver star who invented ski ballet, Kroenke sports executive Deb Dowling-Canino; East High School boys soccer coach Beth Hinz, and golf executive Robin Elbardwawil. Hope you enjoy the photos which will be on Rita's page on the website. Tickets are available by calling the SWC office at 303-331-0376 or e-mailing Joan Birkland at jbirkland@usga.org.

Susie Wargin and her camera man, John filmed Linda Wenz, Darlene Tennant, Anne Owens and me at Gates Tennis Center while we played a set. Then I was interviewed for about 5 minutes and it might air tonight at 5PM. If it doesn't air today, Susie will tell me when it will be on TV. It's in connection with the award I will be receiving on March 8th at the Sportswomen of Colorado banqet held at the Marriot Hotel at the DTC. This ceremony will be broadcast on the worldwide website, so hope anyone who wants to see can download the event. The key note speaker will be the 2008 Gold Medal Winner at the Beijing Olympics, Constantina-Tomescu-Dita and will include a host of other athletes of note. Thanks rita

Here's the only photo of this reporter from Palm Beach Gardens at the BallenIsles Country Club Catagory II Tournament on January 22-24th covering ages 30 to 80. This is the club where Venus and Serena live and play. My partner, Diane Hoffman and I took top honors once again as the number one seeds, dropping only one game in the semis and the finals. However, in the quarters, we faced a new octogenarian team: Louise Russ and her partner, Doris Stephens. Louise Russ has been a world champion on every Cup Team for over ten years, so it was with trepidation that we met them in the quarterfinals and managed to win 7-5, 6-2. In singles, I was seeded number four and suceeded in keeping my ranking. I lost to a better clay court player. The food at the player's banquet was delicious, but the dancing found the energetic, fun loving, players out on the dance floor to "get it on" babies! I managed to keep up with the youngsters and I think I worked harder on the dance floor than at any of my matches. Next tournament is the first National Clay Court Tournament which takes place in Huntsville, Alabama April 18-24 and will be another tough competition, but always a blast to this old hacker. Ciao rita

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January 2009

On January 14th the following Board members were in attendance at a banquet at Carino's Restaurant: Michelle and her husband Art Kraus, Ron and Barbara Tobey, Josh and Elise Neugebauer, Ben Cudd and Lynn McCarty, Beth Vermeulen, Harold Bassett, Anthony Boone, Linda Wenz, and this reporter. Harold Bassett gave each a calendar.  Linda Wenz  presented Ron Tobey, a scrumptious box of Godiva chocolates from the board for his work as Vice President, and a get well gift, as well.  We applauded when he announced that he is cancer free and working on getting rid of the feeding tube.  He hasn't resigned, so we hope he will return as Vice President when he feels better.  The dinner was delicious: Merlot and chardonnay wines, beer, and Italian Margaritas were served with Italian quesodias. I had a wonderful house salad with sun dried tomato dressing, but other kinds of salads were offered as well as dressings. We all had different delightful entrees (mine was lasagna) and some even made room for high calorie desserts.  I took a small bite of Beth's cheesecake and it was a delight!  Thanks to Michelle for scoping out the restaurant.  You might see some photos of the event on the website. thanks rita
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2008 Holiday Letter

December 2008

CTA has chosen me once again (I was top Sr. Female of the year in 2003) for the Fay and Dorothy Shwayder Award given to the year's outstanding Colorado senior female player. This will be presented at the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame Gala & Annual Awards Celebration on the evening of January 30, 2009, at the Marriot Denver South at Park Meadows. Five individuals will be inducted into the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame and twenty-four annual awards, including mine, will be presented. This serves as a fundraiser for the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation (CYTF). The money raised is to provide tennis opportunities to kids in need across the state. I'm to send a list of interested parties to this event, a short biography, and a photo. Here's the photo of Dodo Cheney and me at a Tournament a few years ago. Thanks Rita
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 November 2008

The Huntsman World Games drew members of 65 different countries and 25 sporting events from Archery to VolleyBall. The largest group of players were the 368 softball TEAMS (not players). They had to turn some teams away and were forced to build more softball fields. The Huntsman World Games held October 6-11th in St.George, Utah was a huge success once again with several Lakewood members placing tops in gold medals. Warren Foltz and his partner Robert Tengdin won in 75 doubles in the Open catagory. Steve Cookson and Dave Harguth were enroute to a win, but Dave pulled a muscle in the semis 60 doubles, and had to retire. Steve and lovely Lucy Cookson won the challenge division in the 60 mixed doubles. Marvin Champion and Bonnie won the mixed 65 and Marvin won in singles, as well. This reporter won the 80 singles and doubles with partner, Beverly Little from Kansas and are now qualified to go to the Sr. Olympics in Frisco in August 2009. The trip was made more spectacular by a tour through Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon.
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