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

March 2009

March 8th, the 35th Annual Awards Celebration by the Sportswomen of Colorado, announced the 50 winners chosen from a variety of sports. Four on them were inducted into the Colorado Hall of Fame. Presenters (announcing names and "bios") were Marcia Neville of Fox31, and John Conrad. Guest speaker and Olympic Marathon Winner, Constantina Dita was on stage handing out the gold medals and plaques signed by Governor Ritter. At the Reception, Marcia Neville interviewed each winner and presumably she will choose to share the interviews at a later date? It was a festive evening with displays of former Hall of Famers from 1981 to 2007 and photos and bios of Sportswomen of the Year, from 1974 to 2007. The youngest award recipient was 13 and guess who took the prize for longevity and PERSEVERANCE? This old hacker followed two teenagers in gymnastics, so resorted to dancing up the aisle to the podium to attempt to "upstage" the youngsters?? At my table, my two daughters, Valeria Price, and Nancy Shelden with grand daughter, Sophia Shelden (who shared the stage with grandmama) and friends, Kitty Gwathmey, and Linda Lister, both great tennis players, dear friends. Susan Wright, a member of the National Senior Women's Tennis Association was a double winner at the Tennis Hall of Fame and again at this event, as was this reporter. Susan is number one in the world in the 50 age bracket and once again will represent the USTA Team in Majorca in April
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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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October 2008

At the Colorado State Open Jan Ford and Warren Foltz just won the 65 mixed against Phyllis Larson and Len Hierath in a close two setter: 7-5, 7-5. It was one of the most entertaining matchs this reporter witnessed! Dave Harguth and partner Zucker won the men's 60's and this reporter was a finalist in the 70 singles against Carol Branson.

The last National Tournament I played was held at Portland's Indoor facility, August 21-26. Portland is nicknamed "The City of Roses." The International Rose Test Garden opened in 1917 as a safe haven for European hybrid roses in danger of bombing in WWI and features 6,800 rose bushes representing some 550 varieties that can only be seen there. Eighteen single entrants in the 80 age division was a tough field to conquer. Ball girls were in attendance for the 80 and 90 age divisions. I lost in the finals to a better player in 3 sets. My partner, Marion Tyrell and I won the bronze (photo: Director Anderson, Marion Tyrell, Rita Price, Joan Brisbin, and Nancy Hambleton). Dodo Cheney (90 year old champion) beat Pat Yeomans capturing her 350+ gold ball and had two girls, Natalia and Elizabeth, plus Elizabeth's brother, Nick to shag balls for her match. Next year on the National scene, will be another huge challenge with several top players being the "new kids on the block" and this hacker will take a few steps back in rankings, but will continue to play all four Nationals and one Category II tournament, plus a trip to Perth, Australia to compete in another International World Championship in 2009. Stay healthy and play lots of tennis, folks! Many thanks to Ben Cudd for his fantastic job as newsletter and webmaster. Ciao rita
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September 2008

Lakewood members who "shined" (winning huge wall clocks) at the Swenson Tournament are: Barbara Tobey and Jan Ford in 75 doubles, Price (with Herb Delaney) in 160 mixed, Warren Foltz and Jan Ford in the 150 mixed, Ann Stafford and Linda Lister in 60 doubles, David Harguth (with partner Jim Zurcher) in men's 65 doubles, Gerry Russel (with partner Marv Setzke) in men's 60 doubles. Price and her partner  (Enver Mehemedbasich) took second place (taking home a smaller clock) in the 150's mixed and Price also won second place in ladie's singles. "Anyone need to know what time it is?" Consolation winners: Tom Clark (with partner Keith Swanson) in men's 65 doubles,  and Mike Chewning (with partner George Bickley) in men's 80 doubles. Congratulations Lakewood for being winners!

August 2008

July 6th-13th this reporter played on the grass, at the former U.S. Open site: Forest Hills, N.Y. From a field of nine single's players 80 and over, I managed to roust the number 2 seed and reach the finals, only to lose to my former partner from last year in two sets on center court. This feat earned me another silver ball and a few dollars to buy a ticket to a Broadway show. In doubles my partner and I  played a round robin and  became bridesmaids, capturing silver once again. In one, of two photos  we are 5th and 6th from the left with the lovely background of the old building in the background. After the tournament I spent time with my family in N.J. My sister-in-law and I saw a "Magical roof-raising, toe-tapping, high-flying extravaganza: Mary Poppins" and took a tour  bus around downtown N.Y. before the evening's performance. One of the highlights of my last day in N.Y. after leaving N.J. was standing on 42nd street watching the crowds go by and then sauntering into the famous Madame Tussaud's museum for a photo shoot with two of my favorite guys. Hope to report news of Swenson's Super Senior tournament and the final National from Portland, Oregon in mid August. Until then, thanks for reading.  Ciao rita

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July 2008

On this day, my 82nd day on the planet, I'm reporting that my USTA League Team gave me a surprise party. Yesterday my partner, Enver Mehemedbasich, and I won the 75 mixed doubles at the Denver Open which is still in progress as I write. Lakewood members, Jan Ford and Warren Foltz, took second in the 75 mixed, round robin at the Denver Open. Dave Harguth and partner James Zucher won the 65 men's doubles at the Open. With only one opponent Price won the 75 singles. Looking forward to the Swenson Tournament in August in hopes of playing in my age division. Off to the Grass Court Nationals which runs July 6-12. Will send results when I return to the on the 17th of July after I visit with relatives in N.J.  Now to watch Wimbledon to get my Grass Court "fix" and get ready for  the tough competition on the National Circuit.  Thanks, Rita     Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3

June 2008

The 50, 60, and 70 year old's matches were almost as "hot" as the temperatures that rose higher and higher each day at La Jolla this year. In the 80 year division this reporter was so delighted to see veteran, Elaine Mason "Back Baby" (ala George Castanza of Seinfield Fame's expression). Indeed she was, with Nancy Stout, ousting Margaret Anderson and Pat Jackson, and "having their way" with Price and Tyrell #2 seeds; then furthering their victory  with a win over #1 seeds, Marilyn Skiffington and Jane Lutz. Nancy Stout came off the court winning her very first gold ball! They were awesome! Kudos to Fran Wakefield and Phillys Adler, who fought off two local gals, then romped through #3 seeds in a three set tie breaker! The playoff for 3rd place against Price and Tyrell was disappointing for the two veterans because they had to retire due to injury. However, they should  be commended for a gallant run, indeed!  In singles, classy Jane Lutz seeded 4th, took out Price, #2 seed, but was haulted by  #1 seed Irene Shepard who played with her usual flair while hubby, Al Shepard watched her and the adjacent court where Nancy Stout was attacking Price for a bronze. Guess, the dancing "legs" couldn't quite get the job done. At the conclusion of the match, Al Shepard whispered to a defeated Price: "looked like your _ _ _ was dragging!" Right on the money, Al!  In the back draw, Joan Brisbron scored for 5th place. In doubles she did it again with Janet French defeating Janet Hubbard and Beverley Little.  California is resplendent presenting colorful flowers that can be seen along it's highways. In particular, are the purple jacaranda, and red oleanders. The tennis club variety of flowers include begonias, orchids, bird of paradise, a proliferation of petunias, and a jasmine bush that sends out a fragrance that's wonderful if you don't get too close to it. Upstaging the floral display is the ocean, where surf is tackled by numerous cayakers in bright red boats. The BBQ on the beach was a wonderful special event in spite of the sea gulls seeking bites of the burgers and hot dogs. The air is filled with good conversation about the day's matches, as one winds down with a glass of wine or a nice cold beer.  Happy hours between special events fill in the week nicely, but the best of all events is the Cocktail Reception with both Bills, McGraph, and Kellogg on hand to greet all the "dressed to the nines" folks.  Pierette Featherby, is both secretary and photographer who was on hand capturing the players and guests in all their finery! Her website will send photos to all desiring a snapshot. I cannot close this report without a gracious "nod" to the swans, ducks, and green grass one encounters on entrance and exit at the club.  Looking forward to the next National on the Grass in N.Y. in July where the temperatures and humidity will challenge all?      Photo 1Photo 2

I'm now at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club where there is a mist in the air, and weather prediction is for 80 degrees today and warmer this evening.  However, the ocean breezes makes for ideal tennis.  I'm in the semis in singles and doubles which is almost on in about a half hour for singles and then again at 12:30PM for doubles.  I will send results when I'm done and can use the computer in the lounge area.  The pool is just outside and the bar and restaurant is nearby with a breezeway leading to the ocean where kayakers in red boats are braving the waves.  The BBQ on the beach with wine and beer flowing and a marveous array of salads, burgers, hotdogs with all the trimmings and several tiered tabled desserts of all kinds tempted the palate.  We shooed away the gulls who soar by hoping to snare some food not watched.  I'll e-mail photos when I get back on Monday along with results and photos of the finals tomorrow.  Dodo Cheney is being photographed and placed on a court where all can see her in her dynamic tennis outfit and fancy drop shots and sliced serves.  The flowers are exquisite: orchards galore and every walkway is brimmed by petunias and other blooms.  We are running late, so I'm off to check in for my semifinal match.  Hope everyone is playing well in the leagues. Ciao. rita                    Photo 1

May 2008

This reproter won a silver ball in singles (80 age group) at the first National Clay Court Tournament in Huntsville, Alabama.  The tournament included 60, 70, and 80 tennis players.  My partner, Marion Tyrelll and I took the bronze in doubles in the 80's age group.  The tennis committee here in Huntsville, Alabama have pampered the players with delicious lunches daily, entertainment by professional young high school students singing music from Broadway shows at our first night BBQ.  The rolling green hills with white and pink dogwood trees are astounding on my partner and my drive to the courts. We had a Saturday evening Casino night at the club with prizes for high scorers, a sing-along next evening with karaoke and dinner served at the indoor facility near the Huntsville Tennis Center where the tournament is played.  Ice cream and cookies served by young tennis players was on tap while a trio of gospel singers held sway!  This evening we were taken on a trolley ride tour of the Historical district of pre-Civil War homes.  Appetizers and drinks followed our ride at a night club owned by one of the tennis committee volunteers. The mayor funished the trolley ride and a former history teacher regaled us with stories about Huntsville's history.  Ciao rita

April 2008

Jan Ford's 3.5 team defeated Utah in the first round with five eager tennis teams: Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Colorado.  Above is the team photo with my 'thumbs up' sign, after the win!  The 3.5 team headed by Jan Ford, members are: Joyce Smink, Rosalie Dinenberg, Marilyn Maegley, Diane Whitehall, Jimmie Crabb, Margaret Anderson, Myrna Meyer, Barbara Tobey, and Nova Smith not in attendance.  Although Lakewood didn't win top honors it wasn't due to lack of enthusiasm!  Montana with players from Wyoming won top honors.  Colorado won fourth place.  The 4.0 Team from Colorado couldn't get the job done, although Lakewood's Ann Stafford won matches for the team.  Of particular interest to this reviewer was the First National Wheel Chair Tournament with 37 players from California, New Mexico, and Idaho.  California with the #1 player on hand, Steve Welch, who wowed his opponent with strong serves and fast action shots. Vegas was as colorful as it's reputation and many of our group walked through the Casinos dropping a dollar or two on the slot machines.  Most amusing was the water display at Bellagio's fountains with Broadway tunes belted out, but the floral display took top honors to me. I managed to get to the new Desert Preserve out of town with it's wonderful cacti in bloom. All in all it was a delightful trip and a blast to be with fun loving tennis buddies.  Off to Alabama Clay Court Nationals. Ciao rita

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February 2008

Hi!  Lakewood members were in attendance at the Fund Raiser for youth and Hall of Fame inductees. Cheryl Flater, Lakewood member's husband was inducted and 8 Lakewood members attended the annual function. Andrea Jaeger talked about her  'Little Star' foundation for at risk children and told how her money from tennis helped sponsor her foundation.  The underlying theme was for the children. 'A child who achieves success here becomes more self-confident in other aspects of life.'  Lakewood members, Marty Lopez, Anthony Boone, Debbie and Ron Capperton, Ron and Barb Tobey, Joyce Smink and this reporter enjoyed the delicious dinner that far exceeded the 'road kill' (Joyce's words) we were served in 1991 at our very first Colorado  Senior National event in Ft.Lauderdale.
Here's some photos of the event. I apologize for the quality of Andrea at the podium. Couldn't get close enough. Also, an apology to Ron who was no doubt gone for a drink when I took the group photo. ciao rita

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January 2008

In December 2007 I won the World Championship in doubles and second in singles. The attached pictures the World Champions in ages 60, 70, 75, and 80's.  January 16-20th BallenIles Country Club (Serena and Venus' club) held a Catagory II tournament for 30-80 year olds. I was  seeded #2 in singles, but lost first round in a 4 hour marathon against my former partner, Eva Barbiero, 6-7, 6-4, 6-7. I took a 'brodie' in the final set which no doubt caused the groin pull that flashed rainbow colors and as I write is a 'deep purple' like Hoagie C.'s  song, eh? Went on to win the final consolation singles and with my partner, Diane Hoffman, won first place in doubles. No gold balls in a Catagory II tournament, but the cash paid for the car rental. The new 'kids on the block' will make for a tough year ahead which will no doubt take my ranking down a peg, but the joy of meeting old friends on the circuit and making new friends will more than make up for the 'step down' in rankings. Besides, I always get to dance at the banquets.   Speaking of banquets, on January 23rd old and new board members enjoyed a delicious dinner with margaritas, wine, and beer at Cafe del Sol thanks to our wonderful treasurer, Linda Wenz, who did a great job making reservations for all. Friday February 1st 8 board members will be at the annual fund raiser for young tennis talent at the Hall of Fame Banquet. Camera in hand, this reporter will be there to report on the new inductees. Ciao rita

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December 2007

Rita's Holiday Letter

Here at the Wilding Tennis facility watching the Cup Team playoffs and hoping to hit on the grass courts after play ends. Weather today is cloudy and cold but the tennis is wonderful. Did some touring of Christ Church
and the Cathedral in the heart of the city. People are friendly and the action is here on the courts is terrific.  USA has 9 teams competing in ages 60 to 75 for the women and up to 80 for the men. USA is winning so far in the Queen's Cup (75 age group) the International Tournament follows next week. I found a German lady with whom to play doubles. She is a world traveler and I met her in Portschach, Austria in 2003 and again in Philadelphia. She won the singles last year in Turkey and took home $600. I hope to at least win second place since I'm footing the bill for the room which is $73 a night, but accommodation is "top draw" so I'm enjoying the ambiance. Hoping to get to Akaroa to see the small dolphins and penguins and the ocean sometime this week. Have hit on the grass with my German partner and hope to get some double's practice this week prior to our tournament. Met my South African man with whom I danced and sang and tripped the light fantastic for a few fun moments. Hope to have another go at it again.  Took the Gondola up to the highest point to view the panoramic view of the Christ Church and it's surrounding cities, lakes, rivers, with colorful flowers. Back to our pad for a two hour break, booked tour to see the kiwis and off to Wilding Park for some grass court tennis with my two German friends and one Canadian team mate for some doubles. USA just beat Canada and are in the finals against the number one seed, Great Britain. Their team name is Queen's Cup and the men's 80 Team Cup name is Gardner Mulloy. Lakewood's
Roal Flater is on that team and they are also in the finals. More to come from this beautiful country with friendly folks. Saw a street performer and listened to some great Jazz on Cathedral Square prior to our departure to the courts. Wonderful day, sunshine galore with little wind! Life is GRRREAT! Ciao. Rita