Double Fault

Once you reach a certain age, you begin to wonder how you’ll be looked back upon.  If I haven’t reached that age, I’m certainly getting closer.  So whenever there’s a funeral, memorial service or other recognition of a life passed, I pay attention.

I came across the sign shown above this past weekend in Gardiner, the small town where my house upstate is located.  It was posted outside a building that houses the town’s volunteer fire department. My son, Essej, and my daughter-in-law, Fets who were staying with me had also noticed the sign. They both thought that it may have simply been an acknowledgment of Mr. Becker’s retirement. While I may not be wiser than they are, I’m older and more experienced. To me, it seemed pretty obvious that the notice was a public obituary. For Al and his family’s sake, I hope I’m wrong. .. but I don’t think so.

Unlike Mr. Becker, I don’t belong to any volunteer service organizations. In fact, the only organization I do belong to is my tennis club—The Knickerbocker Field Club.  Apart from a great place to play tennis, I see the club as playing a very important part in any public recognition of my having existed. (This is euphemistic to a fault; and for good reason–my kids read this and I don’t want them to be alarmed. Or to prematurely start the fight over the estate, for that matter.)

At the “Knick”, I have some very good friends, some almost-very good friends, some just friends and a host of acquaintances. And hardly any enemies. So I think I can count on a reasonable representation from the club at a way-in-the-future appropriate time.

But what’s missing  at the “Knick” is a way to make public, important events and happenings. True, we have an e-newsletter.  But it’s only published weekly and often goes into spam folders. What’s needed, I think, is a large sign board a la the Gardiner volunteer fire department which would alert members of significant announcements.

I know that one way or another, at some point I will no longer be playing at the club. When that happens, I’d like some recognition of my connection and time there. I think a large sign announcing my departure would be the perfect way to highlight that event. And, I have a few suggestions of how I’d like the display to read.

“Long time member, Neil Stein, has hit his final winner at the “Knick”.

“……….  has served his final ace…..”

“……..  has given his final bad call….”

or

“Long time member, Neil Stein, has double faulted for the final time.”

I really, really like that last one a lot.  And as long as I’m fantasizing, why not see if there’s someone who wants to do a documentary about my time at the club. Maybe Martin Scorsese, for example.  Call it, The Last Faults. Or even more poetically, The Last Faltz.

 

 

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