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bo notes - from the road

"I will be sending stories from the road as they happen, and include some interesting stories from the past."


Sat, 13 Mar 2004

Met a fascinating character this weekend. I had caught a ride with a racquetball buddy to a tournament

at the Flex Fit Club in Long Beach (Mississippi Gulf Coast). After watching matches all night Friday and most of the day Saturday I was picked up by another racquetball buddy Saturday afternoon, who was headed from Pensacola to New Orleans to catch the first Mardi Gras parade of the 2004 season. It wasn't exactly what I'd planned at the beginning of the weekend, but hey - one of my mottoes is "Always leave room for spontaneity!"

My New Orleans-bound friend introduced me to his passenger, whose name was Roberto. He seemed a bit older than I(53), though I never really ask or care about ages. Very fit-looking, shoulder-length pony-tailed hair, and alert, active, piercing eyes...we were soon engaged in conversations that seemed to cover ten subjects at once. Roberto teaches at a yoga studio he owns in Pensacola, Florida. Turns out he is also a painter. Turns out he's also a music lover, as am I. Turns out he's also a poet. During the rare quiet moments of our drive to New Orleans I leafed through a book of poems Roberto had written based upon the time he had spent living in India, which had been quite a change of inner and outer scenery from his native New York City. Fascinating, entertaining, and educational stuff.

Well, we made it to New Orleans in time to wander the crowded French Quarter for a while. What a human zoo! It was a chilly, windy night, so I steered our group towards Cafe Du Monde to partake of some cafe au lait and beignets. (For those of you who are ignorant of some of the unique aspects of New Orleans - this included Roberto at the time - cafe au lait [pronounced "ka-fay' oh-lay'"] is chicory coffee mixed with hot milk, and beignets [pronounced "ben-yays'"] are square donuts-without-holes topped with powdered sugar. Don't knock it 'til you try it! Cafe Du Monde has been perched between the mighty Mississippi River and the French Quarter since 1860, and in all that time the only additions that have been made to its original menu of cafe au lait, beignets, and cold milk have been black coffee and chocolate milk.) Roberto was a little reluctant to engage in the Cafe Dumonde experience, but was soon loving it. He also enjoyed hearing stories of Morning Call, the coffee house built in 1850 that Cafe Du Monde was modeled after. Southern writers John Steinbeck and William Faulkner would meet at Morning Call most days to enjoy each other's company and trade ideas before invading the French Quarter (where each had an apartment) to cause a bit of mischief. Morning Call has since moved from its initial location on Decatur Street in the Quarter to the "Fat City" area of the suburb city of Metarie, original interior and all. There the line often stretches out the front entrance, and the people inside sit at the same center marble island counter that was available to Steinbeck and Faulkner, above which stands a gold-inscribed arch outlined in light bulbs.) Back out into the crowded crazy narrow streets of the French Quarter (where every building is probably older than any building in your town), we established viewing spots and took in the parade of the "Krewe de Vieux" - the first of dozens of parades held throughout the Mardi Gras season. It's supposed to be the raunchiest, funniest, most politically-incorrect parade of all, but I would encourage parade aficionados to take in Baton Rouge's Spanish Town Parade before coming to such a conclusion! After the parade we roamed the Quarter a bit more, observing some of the street performers and doing a little street performing of our own. I won't describe that - you had to be there!

Back in the car, we cruised the length of St. Charles Street a couple of times - highly recommended to first-time visitors to New Orleans (a group Roberto is no longer a member of). St. Charles runs through the "Garden District," and parallels the winding Mississippi, which causes it to head in just about every direction at some point. St. Charles includes a huge wide median where the trolleys still run, bordered by live oak trees - making it the shadiest of streets even at noon on a hot summer day - lined with huge houses well over a hundred years old, Tulane and Loyola Universities standing side-by-side, stately early twentieth century churches, vast tree-filled, pond-filled, people-filled Audubon Park - home of the Audubon Zoo, where they have on display real animals (a few of which are even stranger-looking than those inhabiting the "human zoo" of the Quarter!) takes many trips up and down St. Charles to even begin to take it all in. Present, past and future all swirl together here. Before we bedded down for the night, Roberto autographed and gifted me with a copy of his book, UNDER THE PRECIOUS UMBRELLA, poems by Roberto Valenza (nine muses books).

Sunday's plans revolved around a trip to the Maple Leaf bar in the Uptown area, where Roberto was to do a poetry reading. For quite some time people have been gathering at the Maple Leaf on Sunday afternoons to share poetry. This was to be my first time attending a poetry reading; as much as I like poetry, I found myself wondering why I'd never before checked out any poetry readings, or "slams" as they are often called.

We actually got our own private reading of sorts while sitting in a coffee shop on Magazine Street (famous for its antique shops). We were relaxing and reading prior to heading for the Maple Leaf. When I mentioned to Roberto that I could to relate to his poem about a walking stick (being a cane-carrier myself), he asked for the book and began reading in a clear, expressive voice:


Sir, I would like to buy a pilgrim's stick,
and being that I am not a tourist, I
cannot pay a tourist's price.
   So, sir, this is the truth of my situation:
   If you can lower your price to a pilgrim's
   price, I may buy a stick that I will keep
   unto death or until the parting of the stick
   and my life.
I must also tell you that I would like the stick
to be one of my choice. Not one a tourist would place
above the fireplace or with the umbrella.
   I need a sturdy stick, one that will help me
   pull myself up a hill and through a creek.
   One that will that will help me up on the top
   or on the other side.
So sir, you see my position, and the position required.
With perhaps a little give and take,
we can make a trade?

Some stick grown, picked and made.
Some money made and paid.
And in some far off time a tale to tell
as the stick is passed down.


By the time Roberto had finished reading, occupants of nearby tables were listening attentively, and I was eagerly looking forward to hearing more at the afternoon's reading.

Inside the chilly courtyard at the Maple Leaf, Roberto captivated the audience with a series of poems about various street people he had encountered in San Fransisco. Through his poems these people came alive. I was most touched by his poem about a young girl who had a sharp mind, lived on the streets, and was an amazing violin player. She would stand on the street corner "Green hair and face full of metal..." and play and people would be impressed and entertained and put money in her hat. As she left her corner one day to engage in an unhealthy activity, she hollered back at Roberto, "Pray for me." Last line of the poem: "I really did!"

After the poetry reading and a meal at the largest health food market in New Orleans, we parted ways at the coffee shop on campus at Tulane University (seems we had a coffee shop theme going on that weekend - I think we visited five altogether). Sometimes I feel a little like a track relay-baton. Before heading off to Pensacola, Roberto and friend Kevin handed me off to friend Jesse who, after a couple of games of chess, transported me and handed me off to friend Steve who, after putting me up for the night, handed me off to friend Al who took me back to my original starting point in Baton Rouge...another interesting weekend planted in memory.

I've noticed that the last three entries in this blog have been titled with people's names. This isn't by design, and I may not always do it, but something Roberto said really rang clear to me. As we were wandering about the crowded French Quarter Saturday night, Roberto exclaimed, "It's all about people, man! Life's about meeting and sharing with people..." It hit me that that's certainly played a major role in my life.

Think I'll close this entry with a poem from Roberto's book. This was the first poem I read from it after opening the book to a random page. Being somewhat of a teacher myself, it grabbed my attention right off:


Being in the light of a nice,
    enlightened man,
    and him a teacher,
    what a blessing.
A helping hand the biggest helping hand
     a person can give.
A hand that pulls you out of suffering
by showing you a way you can perform
And telling you to keep Working, keep working.
And don't forget to say, "May all Beings
    Be Happy."

P.S. write me a letter
and tell me how
you are doing.

Posted at 21:36

Sun, 15 Feb 2004

RAGAN(including LANCE, part I) Alexandria, Louisiana
I'm here at the Courtyard in Alexandria where I'll be teaching for a week or two. The Courtyard has been through a succession of owners, but has always retained its original name, and everyone in Alex knows what it is and where it is. It used to be the site of some happening tournaments before one of the owners changed it from a four-court to a two-court facility. A lot of great players used to come to Alexandria to play, and some great players came out of Alexandria. Not much happens here these days, racquetball-wise. The spirit of racquetball doesn't blaze here as it once did, yet it remains as a stubbornly-burning candle that refuses to go out. Every Monday through Thursday the good players in town show up in the evening to test their skills against each other and talk a little good-natured trash. At least one of them has an archive at home that includes a lot of the original racquets, magazines, and Louisiana racquetball newsletters (which were extremely well-done and entertaining in their day).

I've been here since noon today, and my students so far have been two 16 year-olds - one who's pretty advanced and another who has been on the court before but is really learning the game for the first time. The newcomer is a good athlete though (plays on his school's basketball team), and picks things up very quickly. We've been at it for about five hours now; the kids are still going strong, and in walks Ragan.

If you want to find Ragan Nelson all you have to do is visit the Courtyard any Monday or Wednesday between 5 and 6:30 pm. He's always there. He probably doesn't even call in his court reservation any more; I imagine the desk workers just mark it in months ahead. Ragan's usual partner Ted is with him today. Ted has silver-white hair ringing his bald top, is a bit overweight, and does not cut a fearsome racquetball figure. But he's almost as friendly and outgoing as Ragan. As for Ragan - think of a VERY HEALTHY-looking Ted Turner, and you've got a pretty good picture. They come in ready to play each other, but as always are ready and willing to share their court. The good locals are just in the process of laying claim to the other of the two glass courts as Ragan walks in. Sizing up the situation he winks at me and says, "Hey Bo, you know any youngsters who might want to play some doubles?" Well of course my guys are all over that!

The kids are cocky and sure they're gonna win, but the first game turns into a battle. I can see a little toying going on, but hold my tongue in check. After being almost certain they're gonna win, somehow the kids drop the first game 15-14 on a reverse-pinch rollout by Ragan. They go back in for the second game even more determined, but come up way short - something like 15-5. Now I get the chance (that I knew was coming) to tease the kids by asking if either of them knew why Ragan's picture was in the newspaper the previous day (it really was). Well, they're in high school, so of course they don't read the paper, and neither one knew. So now I poured salt in the wound: "Ragan's picture was in the paper for celebrating his 80th birthday. You just got beat by an 80-YEAR OLD!"

Ragan Nelson is one of the healthiest people you'll ever meet of any age, and racquetball has been a part of his weekly regimen for a long, long time. In addition to his standing 5pm racquetball games on Monday and Wednesday, he visits the club at 5am every Tuesday and Thursday to lift and do a cardio workout. Although way past retirement age, he attacks his work week with a vigor that those half his age would do well to copy. He's a real estate developer who's just finished developing a large subdivision on the edge of town, and is excited because they are finally able start building the upscale dwellings he had envisioned years ago.

Now when I say Ragan is healthy, I don't mean he hasn't had his health problems. I'm referring rather to his healthy lifestyle and attitude that have allowed him to forge ahead through all the obstacles that have tried to block his path, which includes a successful battle with cancer. Sitting there in the Courtyard watching him play the kids, I couldn't help but flash back to the first time I met Ragan and his wonderful wife Janelle. It was a meeting that would kindle long friendships and lead years later to me being there as Ragan faced one of the toughest obstacles a man can face - burying his only son.

LANCE (part I)

Years ago (back when I still had cartilage in my hips) I was drilling by myself on a court in a Baton Rouge club one Sunday afternoon when the manager interrupted to tell me that there were some people who wanted to talk to me. It was Ragan and Janelle. They were in town from Alexandria for the afternoon, and had a 12 year-old son who liked racquetball and wanted to become a tournament player. They had heard about me being a teacher and were wondering if I'd spend some time with him. So for the next few hours we played and practiced, and Lance ate it up and was nowhere near ready to go when his parents needed to leave town. He picked things up quickly and had a true passion for the game. It was a plus that we enjoyed each other's company from the first meeting on.

In the following years Lance made many trips to wherever I was - sometimes for a day, a weekend, a week - seeming to learn at a faster rate each time out. I went to Alexandria more often as well, and the poolside cabana at the Nelson's became my home base whenever I got to Alexandria - still is to this day. Through my friendship with the Nelsons I made contact with many other fine people that became lifelong friends. Lance became a great player and his enthusiasm made him a wonderful ambassador for the sport. He quickly climbed the ranks from D through A, and won his first Open tournament at age 15, I believe.

He was state Open champ before he got out of high school, and went on to play for the dominant Memphis State (now U of Memphis) racquetball team under coach Larry Liles. I don't know off the top of my head what intercollegiate titles he won, but I'm sure that's archived somewhere. I don't think he and doubles partner David Simonette ever lost a game. Then, two months before Lance was due to graduate, his dad Ragan got the call no parent ever wants to receive.

Lance had died in a wreck. It was horrible - more horrible than that. Lance and a friend had left his apartment to grab a late-night bite to eat. Lance was driving. He ran into three boys on bicycles. All three were killed. One of the bikes came through the windshield, breaking Lance's neck. The scene was more gruesome than I've described here, but enough's enough.

At the funeral, as Ragan hugged me and sobbed uncontrollably, I've never felt so helpless in my life. Here was this physically, mentally, and morally strong man whom I loved so dearly; he was hurting so badly, and there was nothing I could do. I don't imagine a week - perhaps not even a day - has passed since that Janelle and Ragan haven't cried. Lance's memory and spirit is so alive and strong in those who knew him that grief can spring up at any moment.

There's a memorial plaque outside the courts at the Courtyard, and to date there have been nine Lance Nelson Memorial racquetball tournaments. People have come from around the country to play in these and keep Lance's spirit alive. A date and venue hasn't been set yet, but this year would be the tenth, and if it's held, I'll announce it in this section of this site. Although the tournament can be an emotional roller coaster for those who knew Lance, overall the previous ones have been great, fun tournaments. And the tournament has provided a good opportunity for people to learn of Lance's story......and learn from it.......

I wasn't there when Lance wrecked, but I know in my heart what happened. You see, Lance was one of the quickest people I've ever met. This is an impressive statement for those who know me and know how many great athletes I've taught and been around in my time. Lance had world-class quickness - both mental quickness and amazing, sheer physical quickness. And he was even quicker under pressure. For him to be driving and run into three kids on bikes, and then with his life on the line as one of those bikes came through the windshield, for Lance not to duck in time -well the only way I can see any of that happening is if Lance hadn't been looking where he was driving. It sounds insane when you think about what a powerful weapon a car can turn into when misused, but it's something so many of us have done before: Look away to make eye contact with a passenger (which is probably what Lance was doing), or to change stations or music on the stereo, or to find something in the front seat or glove box. People drive forward and look elsewhere and get away with it all too often, and get in the habit of taking chances and taking it for granted that their carelessness usually has no major consequences. But there are no guarantees in life, and potential tragedies can lurk around any corner, so we must never let our awareness lag.

There are two lessons I hope people take to heart from Lance's story. The first is that life is a precious, special, incredible gift that we must cherish and make the most of every day. Lance did this, and crammed as much living into each day as any man can. Those who knew him knew this, and loved him for it.

The second lesson is that life is special and amazing, and we should never let our guard down and treat it carelessly. Lance did this, and as a result four wonderful young lives were cut way short and there are those that will grieve for a long time to come because of it.
Posted at 18:52

Thu, 22 Jan 2004

This gorgeous Sunday afternoon finds me in Lafayette, Louisiana, about to play a game of racquetball doubles with three very good friends. More specifically, I'm on a court at Red Lerille's Athletic Club, one of the finest and most successful athletic clubs you'll find anywhere. Although the place looks new and modern, it predates racquetball. Red's (as the locals call it) was founded and continues to operate on one overriding principle: TAKE CARE OF THE MEMBERS! Owner/manager Red Lerille started with a small, simple club, made servicing the members his top priority, and has kept his finger on the pulse of the athletic club industry -allowing the club to morph through the decades into the fantastic place it is today. You'd have a hard time finding a member who doesn't know who Red is. It seems as though he's always behind the front desk, in the locker or weight rooms, or checking out the myriad other athletic facilities, snack bar, real bar, or huge parking lot to make sure everything is as it should be. Son Mark has been there almost as long as Red.

So we're stepping onto the court at Red's to get in one last game of doubles. We've been there for several hours already, which is a bit longer than any of us had planned, but everyone's been having so much fun we decide to get in one last game. My partner is long-time Louisiana friend Steve Rogers, who was my regular doubles partner when I competed in Louisiana. His silver-gray hair cause some people to overestimate his age (45), but no one in the know underestimates him on the racquetball court, despite the fact that he plays with a permanent grin on his face. On any given day he is one of the top four open players in Louisiana. Our opponents are Kevin and Jared, and that's who I'd really like to tell you a bit about.

Jared and Kevin have been very special friends to me for about twenty years now. For years I taught, trained, and coached them in racquetball and basketball, and they have become like sons, little brothers, and best friends of mine all at the same time. Jared lives in Lafayette with his wife Susie (also a good friend); Kevin is en route to Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) from Austin and stopped here yesterday to stay the night with Jared and Susie; and I am en route to Baton Rouge from Owasso (Ok.) and Dallas, and had my ride drop me off on the side of I-10, where Jared picked me up. (Need I add that we stayed up way too late and had way too much fun last night?)

I first met Kevin in Houston, where his parents asked me to begin teaching racquetball to him and older brother Sean when Kevin was about 8. They both fell in love with the game and became very good. Sean went on to become a good open player; before shifting his focus to basketball Kevin was the Texas state and regional champ each year in his age group. Both were ranked nationally in juniors. When I asked Kevin if he'd like to play on a youth basketball team I'd been asked to coach, he replied "No, I hate basketball!" Turns out the only time he'd played was at one of his soccer parties, where the other kids had made fun of him because he didn't know any of the rules. After I showed him a few things he picked up the game very fast and very well, and was eventually playing year-round, trading weekend racquetball tournaments for basketball tournaments. (In one game he hit seven straight three pointers - four with his left hand and three with his right!) He went on to play high school, college, and pro ball in Europe, and spent last year teaching yoga with girlfriend Fiona in North Carolina, Texas, Oregon, Washington, California, Florida, and maybe some states I left out. He's accomplished all this in spite of being shot six times in a random drive-by shooting the summer before his high school senior year.

I was sitting in his hospital room with him a couple of weeks after the shooting. He was plugged into a machine to help him breathe while the bullet holes in his lungs healed; he still had a bullet lodged in the middle of his throat which would have to stay there quite a while because the operation to remove it was so dangerous; his right ring finger was shattered to splinters; and the doctor had just told his mom that his athletic career was pretty much over. Kevin smiled at me and said, "You know, all that training really helped me in racquetball and basketball, but it's REALLY helping me now, because I don't know if I could get through this if I hadn't done that. That doctor is good and means well, but he doesn't really know me and what I can do, so I'm not worrying about what he says. I'll be ready for basketball in the fall (and he was). At that moment, instead of feeling sorry for all the hardships he was going through, I felt extremely happy for Kevin, because I knew he was going to be a success at whatever he did. So far he has.

Jared was hit twice in the same shooting, both bullets doing minor damage to his hand, but costing him a trip to North Carolina to play in the 17-under AAU national basketball championships. (But that's another story.) Jared and I first met when his mother came to me and told me her son wanted to play on any basketball team I was coaching. He had played against our team in Kevin's first league. So I showed him some things, and when he came to his first practice a few days later it was obvious that he had put in a lot of hours learning what I'd shown him. So I showed him some more, he learned some more, and in time became an excellent player. He also became a pretty decent racquetball player. (I introduce most of my basketball students to racquetball, because learning racquetball develops some skills that directly relate to basketball. But that's another story, too - maybe for the coaching section of this site.) When Jared was in the eighth grade he began dating Susie. Before they could drive, I would from time to time drive them to the movies, mall or wherever. In late high school and all through college, I would occasionally tease Jared with phrases like, "When you and Susie are married..." He would always come back with, "I'll never marry Susie! We're breaking up soon." Well, their breakups were short, and they never dated anyone else during the breakups, and their marriage took place shortly after they graduated from college. Jared was plenty good enough to play basketball in college, but chose to focus on the classroom, where he had to work harder than many to do well. Now he works in the oil industry, has a GREAT wife, big house, 2.3 pets, and maybe kids in the future. One day I got an email from him saying, "I think, well I know, that now my job is my profession just like basketball would have been had I pursued it. I am not the type that dreads going to work every day. My job is a real challenge to me so I approach it these days as if I were preparing for a b-ball game. It takes a lot of my time but I am really into it." As I read that I was extremely happy for Jared because I knew that he was going to be a success at anything he did. So far he has.

Well, we were about to start a game of doubles before I digressed down memory lane! 0-0. Steve and I start out playfully, but the kids bear down from the start and jump out to a huge lead. (Although they're about 28 years old, I can call them kids because Steve's 45 and I'm 52 and walk with a cane.) Time to get serious - especially Steve. I could carry Steve sometimes when I had cartilage in my hips, but today he's carrying me big time. We want the kids to have fun, but we can't let these guys win. They've NEVER beaten us! Steve catches fire, we slow them down and close the gap, finally catching them at 14. Another typical comeback for us. We've still got that magic. Then....bam bam bam - they knock us out of the box and get the last point. [object of racquetball: GET THE LAST POINT!]

But then - reprieve! They're having so much fun that they want to continue and stretch it into a whole match. Not only are they having fun, but they seriously think they can take a match from us. Fools! In all our years together Steve and I have lost less than five matches (practice or tournaments), and one of those losses was to Mike Guidry and Drew Katchtik. No way were these punks gonna take us. Game two was a route for us, and we kept our game face on for the tiebreaker - no shenanigans here as we jumped out to an 8-2 lead. And then...Jared and Kevin shifted into THE ZONE, individually and as a team, and started playing amazing racquetball. Steve and I dug deep and started playing even better. We eked out a couple more points to beat them to ten, but they were on a serious roll and caught us at 10-10. Handout, sideout, handout, sideout, handout, sideout, handout, sideout...each of us ripping with bad intentions and everyone diving and sliding but the crippled guy. Finally, Jared up to serve, Steve and I poised to roll anything he dishes up, and....... CRACK ACE!! The kids win, and all of us laughing so hard...
I was extremely happy for them.

What a great afternoon!

Later that evening I jumped in Kevin's car and we drove on to Baton Rouge, where we watched Lord of the Rings: Return of the King on the big screen. We'd both read the books and seen the first two movies in the trilogy, and were watching this one for the first time. The show was so incredible that we were speechless for quite a while afterward. The next morning we parted ways, each to spend Christmas with family. This leg of my road trip was over, but....

The road goes ever on.....

Posted at 23:38

Sat, 20 Dec 2003

Owasso, Oklahoma
From as far back as I can remember I've loved to travel, adventure, and explore. That intense curiosity that drives every baby to reach for, touch, taste, and experience everything - well I never lost that. Almost as soon as I could read I was fascinated by Richard Hallibuton's BOOK OF MARVELS, which still resides on a bookshelf in my parents' home in Baton Rouge. I thought how wonderful it must be to travel the world and write about it; to get paid for it would be icing on the cake! In high school I was influenced by John Steinbeck's TRAVELS WITH CHARLIE, and spent many a boring class period daydreaming about sitting with John and his dog Charlie in the cab of his camper-shelled pickup truck - travelling the country, staying off the main highways, and meeting interesting, every-day people.

And now a large portion of my day today was spent reading GHOST RIDER by Neil Peart, who lost his wife (brain cancer) and 18-year old daughter (car accident) in a nine-month span, and to heal himself went for a motorcycle ride - the way Forest Gump went for a run. His ride ended up being 55,000 miles, though I've only been through the first 10,000 with him so far.....

Sometime in 1973, I think it was, I left my hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a road trip. It's not over yet. During the time between then and now I've "lived" in a number of cities and states - some for a few years, some for periods of time ranging from a few days to a few months. All of them are home to me. I've put down many roots in many places, all the while becoming less rooted to any one place. Now I've progressed (or regressed) to the point where I'm technically homeless - my only address is my email address. At the same time i've somehow accumulate many homes - places where I'm welcomed, told to "make yourself at home," and feel very much at home. I have rooms and homes awaiting me that I haven't even visited yet, with friends questioning, "When are you gonna come stay here for a while?"

Racquetball has played a big part in allowing me to develop this lifestyle. Through racquetball, I've made friends all over this and other countries: Friends who by the end of our first game together knew me better than many of my lifelong relationships, and who knew I knew them better than those who've known them for years; friends that I would bend over backward to help, and who would do the same for me; friends who will happily give me rides to far-off places that I'd like to go, or who will beg me to accompany them to somewhere they're headed; friends who's friendship, though kindled by a mutual interest in racquetball, no longer depends upon either of us ever picking up a racquet again; friends who I may not see for decades, but when we cross paths the bond is as strong as if we'd just hung out yesterday; friends who on the spur of the moment will dump a website in my lap!

Once you start playing in racquetball tournaments, especially if you travel a bit to do so, it's as if you've joined a fraternity, sorority, and secret club all rolled into one. Only another tournament racquetball player fully knows what it's like to be on the court, playing the quickest sport on the planet, with nothing to depend on but the physical and mental skills you can muster up during the time it takes to play that match. This knowledge creates a bond that can network itself farther than you might imagine.

So here I am in Owasso (a suburb of Tulsa), on a non-racquetball related leg of my road trip, yet feeling very plugged in to the racquetball community as I finally have a forum to share my travels with others. And this forum was stimulated and created by members of the community of racquetball lovers. Noon today will find me on a road to Dallas, and I guess these roadnotes will move forward from here as adventures and insights come up, and will move backwards from here as well - whenever past experiences come to mind so strongly that they won't let me not write about them.

Hope you enjoy the ride!!
Posted at 03:34

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