Thursday, August 23, 2012

Farm Tale/Family Tale

Doris and Vic at their Birch Creek Farm (circa 1985)

Dear George,
Families are mysterious entities.  Except for myself, there’s nobody left from the family into which I was born, but, at the same time, our family has continued, grown, and expanded.  True, many things have changed with the evolving membership, but, on the other hand, some things have remained much the same.  Here’s my picture of how that happened. 

Family portrait at river house (1947): Vic, Peter, Dave, Steve, Doris, Vicki

Growing up and dispersing.   We kids – Steven, Peter, and Vicki, and I -- grew up in the 1940’s and 50’s  on the banks of the Menominee River, and our activities and lives together were inextricably tied to our rural forest/water location.  Then, between 1955 and 1965, we took turns departing for college, and soon we were married and dispersed between one coast and the other.  Though we all came back to Menominee to visit our parents each year, we were almost never there as a whole group, and, busy shaping our own independent lives, we grew out of touch.  

Vic at the Farm’s log cabin (1962)

Farm: A new home base.  Around 1961 Vic and Doris bought 240 acres of farm and forest land near Birch Creek, about five miles north of the city.  The property contained an old log cabin farmouse, dating back to 1886, a barn, and several smaller farm-related buildings.  No one had lived there for years, and the buildings were in a state of deterioration.  Though they hadn’t originally planned to do so, Vic and Doris soon began renovating the farmhouse and its associated buildings, first with the help of construction expert Jim Dama, later with George Jansen Jr.  By the 1970’s “Farm” had become cozy and habitable, and our parents were splitting their time between there and their riverbank home. That became a strain, and they decided to move full-time to Birch Creek.  They offered the river house to any of their children who might choose to live there, but there were no takers.  By that time I was teaching in Cincinnati, Steve was in a large law firm in Seattle, Peter was working for the Dean Witter firm at various locations in the U.S. and Canada, and Vicki had settled in Santa Cruz, pursuing a career as a marriage/family therapist.  

Margie with J and Jennifer at river house (circa 1972)

A new generation discovers Farm.  In 1967 Steve and Margie’s daughter Jennifer, the first grandchild in the family, was born, and our son J was soon followed in 1969.   In the next decade or so, there was a flood of newborns entering the family: Greg, Jacob, Jason, Rhys, Chris, Jessica, and Abra. The presence of this sizeable group seemed to spark my dad’s grandfatherly instincts, and he began organizing annual reunions at Farm in the mid-70’s, insisting that everybody come (and making it feasible by helping to subsidize the travel costs).  The upshot was that our children, from a very young age, grew up getting together with their cousins each summer at Farm, and these joyous, sometimes inebriated occasions strengthened our sense of our family. The grandchildren picked up on our camaraderie and formed close bonds with one another.  As he got older, my dad increasingly envisioned Farm as the homestead for our family for many generations to come.    

Vic and his granddaughter Abra at a reunion at Farm (circa 1991)

Catastrophe.  Our family was to come upon more painful times.  Our mom, Doris, died in 1986, and five years later Vic left Farm to move to a residential care facility in Cincinnati where he passed away in 1993.  The grandchildren by that time were mostly in their teens or older.  For a while we continued the tradition of annual reunions at Farm, but, in the absence of our parents, our get-togethers became less frequent.  My niece, Jennifer, and her fiancĂ©, Wynn, decided to marry at Farm (rather than in Seattle), and we had a splendid reunion for the occasion in 2002.    However, full-scale tragedy for our family hit in the next few years with the deaths of my brothers Steven and Peter in 2005 and 2006, followed by my brother-in-law George in 2007.  All three were in their early 60’s, and this was devastating to our entire family, especially for the younger generations who lost their fathers and grandfathers.  For the most part, Farm went by the wayside.  I proposed to Vicki that we sell the property.  However, she argued adamantly for keeping it as our family connecting point.

Cousins V and Ingrid on the road at Farm (August, 2012)

Replenishment: The birth of a new generation.  In the meantime our family’s thirtysomething generation and their spouses – Jennifer and Wynn, J and K, Rhys and Tim, Jacob and Kazandra, Jason and Hilary -- began having kids of their own.  Jennifer and Wynn’s son Vincent was born in 2003, followed by Oscar, August, Ingrid, V, L, Anja, Gillian, Elle, Delphine, and Farrah over the next eight years.  Vicki and I talked about gifting the Farm property to our adult children, and, with our sisters-in-laws Margie and Gayle’s agreement, we proceeded to do that.  The new family owners responded with enthusiasm, several making trips to Menominee to work on the property’s upkeep and renovation.  Earlier this month a new grand reunion occurred.  Parents from our Seattle, California, and New Orleans branches with their six young children came, as did my sister Vicki, Katja, and myself.  To me, it symbolized a changing of the guard.  Vicki, Katja, and I were kind of like revered elders (well, maybe not that revered), but the farm itself and the family core now belonged to the younger generation.  The most thrilling aspect was the presence and interaction of the young cousins, ages three to nine, many of whom had never been to Farm and had never met one another before.  The Farm property provided a perfect setting for outdoor adventures and getting to know one another, and the cousins seemed to be bonding just as their parents had some 35 or 40 years before.  A new generation had come into being, and Vic and Doris’ vision of Farm and family suddenly seemed resurrected and likely to have a healthy future.

G-mail Comments
Vicki L (8-26):  Hi David,  Currently having a little mini reunion with my 4 grandchildren (Rhys and Jacob's families). Just read your narrative of the evolving connections /history between generations.. I feel teary for some reason, sad about the geographical distance...the complexity of 'modern' touched to have them aware of the commitment it takes to help glue these relationships (can I muster it?) loving the potential beauty of a family that stays connected over time. Changing times. My tears somehow shifted from sadness to gratitude as I read your story of our family.  Thanks,David, for your important efforts to help us understand our wonderful thread. Love, Vicki

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Return of Grey Wolves to Menominee County

Wolf spotted on a forest road in nearby Oconto County (May 17, 2012)

Dear George,
At our recent family reunion in Birch Creek I mentioned to my sister Vicki that I’d run across a news item about grey wolves being sighted in Menominee County.  My four-year-old granddaughter V was listening, and her eyes opened as wide as can be.  She’d already heard somebody mention that a family of black bears lived on our property (which is true), and the possibility of wolves in the back yard was too much to contemplate.

A few decades ago grey wolves had nearly vanished from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Only six animals were located in a census conducted in 1973.  However, experts estimate that there are more than 600 living in the U.P. today.  Half a dozen wolves equipped with radio collars were shot and killed in the U.P. in 2010, including one in Menominee County.  Last January a resident named Jennifer K. reported sighting a wolf outside her home in Wallace, just a few miles north of our family property in Birch Creek (see pic below).  Dan K., a Menominee County hunting guide, said that he’d used to see a couple of wolves per year, but now he sees about three per month.  He watched a wolf run down and kill a fawn on a Menominee County road last year. In nearby Marinette County a local bearhunter lost track of Dixie, one of his bluetick hunting hounds, then minutes later found her skeletal remains totally stripped and devoured by wolves.  Two dairy farmers in eastern Menominee County had 17 of their cattle killed by wolf packs in a recent year, and they suspect that the disappearance of multiple pets is also attributable to wolves.  One of the farmers bought a donkey to help protect his herd since donkeys have a keen sense of hearing and go after predators.  So far the donkey just brays all day and night.  Wildlife biologists state that wolves don’t pose a threat because they’re afraid of humans, though a Menominee County logger reports having been surrounded by a pack of eight wolves.  He now carries a weapon when he works in the forest.     

Grey wolf, caught by a trail camera at Wallace in Menominee County (Jan. 20, 2012)

Grey wolves range between 80 and 100 pounds, about the size of Old English Sheepdogs, and look like shaggy German Shepherds.  They hunt alone or in packs of 4 to 7, preying on deer, beaver, rabbits, rodents, and other small animals, as well as livestock, carrion, and garbage.  Wolves develop strong social bonds and may even sacrifice themselves to protect their family group.  A pack of wolves has a territory of about 100 square miles, and they can trot nonstop for up to 20 straight hours, allowing them to cover large distances in search of prey.  A grey wolf eats up to 20 pounds of meat at a time and can go for up to a week without eating again.  When they can’t find animal prey, they eat berries, bugs, and grasses.     

Map of the Grey Wolf Range: North Central States

Up till January of this year wolves were protected by the Endangered Species Act, but farmers and cattle growers in the U.P. have been angered because of wolves eating their livestock and reducing the deer population.  Despite a $25,000 fine, there’s been a rash of grey wolf killings in the U.P. in recent years.  Environmentalists disagree that wolves constitute a significant threat to the deer herd.  There are about 300,000 deer in the U.P., but only 600 wolves.  It’s estimated that each wolf will consume about 15-18 deer per year.  That amounts to only about 4% of the U.P.’s deer herd, and many of the deer consumed by wolves are already dying from starvation, weakened by old age, or have been killed by automobiles.

Wolf pack, Isle Royale, Upper Peninsula

I personally think the idea that our family property might occasionally be visited by a wolf pack is exciting.  It’s scary, to be true, but that helps lend a little emotional edge to family visits.

“Grey Wolf,”
“Hunting: Wolf threat hits home in Marinette County.”
“Michigan Grey Wolf,”
“No Doubt: Deer Patterns Change in Wolf Country,”
“Rash of wolf kills in Upper Peninsula worry federal wildlife officials,”
“Upper Peninsula Wolves Killed Despite Being Endangered,”
“Wolf Sighting in Menominee County,”
“Wolves versus farmers,” 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

No Wonder They Call It Eden

Sunday Afternoon in Eden Park, Cincinnati (circa 1910)

Dear George,
Cincinnati has many enjoyable features, but each year I get more impressed by and attached to the park system.  There are over 100 parks in the city, and they make up 10% of the urban land area.  Eden Park, along the river and next to the trendy Mt. Adams neighborhood, is the fourth largest and one of our favorites.  We take all our out-of-town visitors there to enjoy the Ohio River view.  When our son J was a kid, Eden Park was a frequent destination for family expeditions, and now it’s a regular outing for our grandkids on visits here.  It’s also a favorite location for weekly hikes with sheepdogs Mike, Duffy, and Sophie.  Here are some vintage postcards, most of them a hundred years old, which give a picture of the park’s history and many of its prominent features today. 

The Gardens of Nicholas Longworth (ca. 1910)

In the mid-1800's the land which was later  to become Eden Park was owned by Nicholas Longworth, Cincinnati lawyer, banker, real estate speculator, winemaker, and one of the wealthiest individuals in America.  Called the "father of American grape culture," Longworth maintained a huge vineyard of Catawba grapes on the hillsides along the Ohio River east of downtown and made sparkling wines which were distributed throughout the U.S. and Europe.  The vineyard was particularly famous for its Golden Wedding Champagne.  Longworth, his wife Susanna, and their children lived in the Greek Revival mansion in downtown Cincinnati which is now the Taft Museum of Art.  Eden Park’s name derives from Longworth who called his land the Garden of Eden.  Years later a group of Protestant and Catholic clergy created a list of ten places around the world where the Garden of Eden might have been located.  Clermont County, adjoining Cincinnati, was the sole North American site in the list because of its many fruiting trees and the influence of Native Americans who built serpentine mounds in the area.  Because Eden Park faces Clermont County to the east, city leaders dedicated Eden Park’s name in honor of the biblical association.  

Scene in Eden Park (ca. 1910)

The city began acquiring land for Eden Park in 1859.  The original purpose was to construct a new reservoir to hold the city’s water supply, but officials soon recognized that the land could simultaneously serve as a municipal park. Longworth’s vineyard had been tragically destroyed by disease in the late 1850’s, and his son negotiated with the city to allow portions of the land to be used to create Eden Park.  Famed landscape architect Adolph Strauch, who also designed Spring Grove Cemetery, was hired to do the initial landscaping plan.   Because of the park’s centrality to the Ohio River valley, two artillery emplacements were built there to defend the city against invasion by the Confederate Army.  The guns were ever fired.  

Twin Lakes overlooking the Ohio River and Northern Kentucky (ca. 1910)

The most popular spot in Eden Park is the Ohio River Overlook with its twin lakes, footbridge, walking paths, sculptures, and a playground that our grandkids recently enjoyed.  Twin Lakes was originally an old quarry, but it was soon reconstructed to host an overlook with a striking views in both directions of the Ohio River.  It's the most popular gathering place in Eden Park for picnicking or simply relaxing and enjoying the view, and it's almost always the starting point for forays with the sheepdogs.

The Ohio River Monument (ca. 1940)

In 1929 President Herbert Hoover dedicated this 30-foot granite shaft  at the Overlook on Cliff Drive to commemorate the completion of a system of 49 locks and dams that made river traffic possible along the entire length of the Ohio River.   The dedication coincided with a flotilla of boats that stretched along the entire 908 miles between Pittsburgh and Cairo, Illinois. 

Reservoir (ca. 1910)

The city’s new reservoir was constructed near the center of Eden Park, and, though it’s now long gone, giant remnants of its stone walls remain today.  The reservoir was covered over by the present-day Mirror Lake which attracts walkers who circle its perimeter and which features a fountain that shoots a geyser of water sixty feet into the air.  

Water Tower (ca. 1910)

The Water Tower, at 172 feet, is the tallest structure in Eden Park, and it’s visible from many different vantage points.  It was built in 1894 to hold water, but now it’s used by the city as a communications facility.  

Archway, Eden Park (ca, 1910)

The Archway is at the main entrance to Eden Park, located across Gilbert Avenue from the Baldwin Piano Factory.  It was constructed in 1874.  Termed a double-decked viaduct, the top half was first used by horse cars, later by street cars; and the lower deck was used by pedestrians and carriage riders.  The viaduct was in use until 1949 when the Mount Adams Incline was closed and needed bridge repairs proved too costly.

Spring House (ca. 1910)

The Spring House Gazebo, recently renovated by the city, is the oldest structure in Cincinnati’s parks and often used as the symbol of the whole system.  We recently went to an art exhibit about the city where the gazebo was the subject of one of the oil paintings.  It was designed by Cornelius M. Foster and built in 1904, replacing the Longworth’s spring house.  

Krohn Conservatory (ca. 1950)

The Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park has been one of our favorite excursions for many years.  Eden Park was the site of greenhouses since the 1880s.  The park board decided to build a modern greenhouse conservatory in 1930, and the new building was created in Art Deco style, built of aluminum and glass.  It opened in 1933 in the midst of the depression and was named for Park Commissioner Irwin Krohn.  The conservatory features over 3,500 plant species; a rainforest waterfall; an Orchid house; palm, tropical, and desert houses; and an annual Butterfly show.  It’s also a super place for taking photos.   

Art School and Art Museum (ca. 1910)

We love the Cincinnati Art Museum.  It’s probably the most important place that keeps us being semi-cultivated persons.  It was built in Eden Park in 1886, designed by architect James W. McLaughlin who also designed the art academy building next door.  This is one of the oldest art museums in the U.S. and the first art museum west of the Alleghenies.  Its 60,000 works constitute one of the largest collections in the Midwest.  Founders debated whether to locate the museum in Eden Park, Burnet Woods, or downtown, and major donor Charles West picked Eden Park.  That was a sound choice (though Burnet Woods would have been practically next door to us).  

Elsinore Arch (ca. 1910)

The Elsinore Arch is located on Gilbert Avenue, a couple of blocks down the street from Katja’s former workplace.  Elsinore, of course, was the fictional Danish Royal Castle in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  The Eden Park structure, formerly a valve house for the Water Works, was inspired by a local production of the play.  It may be the most esoteric water works building in the world.  It was placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1980.  

Capitoline Wolf (ca. 2010)

The statue of the Capitoline Wolf portrays Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, suckling milk from a mother wolf.  The statue was a favorite of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, and he sent it to Cincinnati in 1931 in recognition of the city being named for the Roman hero, Cincinnatus Lucius Quinctius.  The original ancient Etruscan statue is in Rome, and Mussolini also sent replicas of the wolf statue to Rome, Georgia, and Rome, New York.    

Playhouse in the Park (ca. 2010)

Eden Park today has many other noteworthy features.  The Playhouse in the Park is the city’s most important theatrical venue, and the Seasongood Pavilion is the outdoor site for summer concerts.  We enjoy walking in the Presidential Grove (where elegant hardwood trees are dedicated to the various presidents), the Magnolia grove, and the Hinkle Floral Trail.  The hillside next to the Playhouse offers a wonderful view of downtown and the city, as well as access to Mt. Adams with all its restaurants and bars.  Maybe it isn’t that far-fetched to think of Eden Park as a latter-day Paradise.

"A Walk in the Park: Paradise Found,"
“Capitoline Wolf,”
"Eden Park: A jewel in the crown of the Cincy parks system,"
"Nicholas Longworth (winemaker),"
“Ohio River Overlook and Monument,”

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back to the Land of Milk and Honey (and Whitefish and Fudge)

Katja and Vicki, happy to be together in Birch Creek

Dear George,
We are just back from our family reunion trip to Menominee.  It was a great success.  Here are some photos that tell the story.

Zimmerman's Deli, Ann Arbor

We left Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 31, and drove to the U.P. by way of the Mackinac Bridge.  We stopped in our old home town of Ann Arbor on the way, picking up a takeout lunch at Zimmerman's Deli (which a Vogue food editor has recently called the best food store in the U.S.).  Ann Arbor was bustling, though most of our favorite places from the 1960's were long gone, e.g., the Pretzel Bell, Artisans, John Leidy's, Follette’s Bookstore, Faber's Fabrics.  

Katja at Sea Shell City

We are impressively slow travelers because we like to stop everywhere along the way.  My favorite destination this time was Sea Shell City which has to be the kitschiest tourist destination in the Midwest, if not the world.  

Crossing the Mackinac Bridge

It's exciting to cross the Mackinac Bridge.  It didn't even exist when I was a kid, but now offers a physical connection between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas (though they remain separate worlds).  

Murdick's Fudge, St. Ignace

Katja wanted to travel via the bridge so she could get some fudge, and she did so at Murdick's.  Then we enjoyed a whitefish lunch at St. Ignace’s Gallery Restaurant, a virtually perfect welcome to the U.P.

Lake Michigan along US 2, west of St. Ignace

Menominee is at the southern tip of the U.P,, about 200 miles southwest of St. Ignace.  The trip along the Lake Michigan coastline, with sandy beaches on one side and evergreen forests on the other, is gorgeous.  

Delta Ave., downtown Gladstone, Mich.

The U.P. is mostly rural.  There are no cities with a population as large as 20,000, and only 38% of the people live in towns of 2,000 or more.   We stopped in Manistique, Gladstone, Escanaba, and Cedar River on our trip.  This is downtown Gladstone where we patronized the Dairy-Flo.  

Our  very excellent motel

When we arrived in Menominee on Wednesday evening we checked into a motel on the shore of Green Bay where we were to spend the week.  We were as excited as little children, probably because we’ve spent an entire week in a motel only once or twice in our lives. 

Family photo at our Farm in Birch Creek

This was our first family gathering in Menominee in four years.  My sister Vicki, Katja, and I were the grandparents in the group.  Vicki’s, Steve’s, and our adult kids were there, as were their children.  The back row from the left includes: Rhys, Greg, Valerie, Vicki, Katja, Dave, our daughter-in-law K, Jennifer, Wynn, Michael, Abra, and (in the back) my cousin Annie.  The front row: our granddaughter V, Tim, Gillian, J, Vincent, Bridget, Oscar, and our grandson L.  My cousin John B. took the picture.  It was a congenial and fun group.  

Menominee River dam and paper mill

I’d get up early each morning and go out and take photos of Menominee and Marinette before breakfast.  Having spent my first eighteen years there, it was an exercise filled with nostalgia.  The Menominee River and Green Bay offered the most photogenic opportunities.   

Lions at the De Young Family Zoo, Wallace, Mich.

On Thursday morning we went to the De Young Family Zoo, about five miles north of Birch Creek in Wallace.  It’s an astonishing place.  Hidden away in Menominee County and established by a zoologist who left a major zoo in Chicago to build his own haven for wild animals, it has a larger collection of big cats than most world-class zoos.  We watched the owner feed slabs of raw beef to the tigers and lions and wound up inspired by the possibilities of human determination. 

Culver’s frozen custard world

We scrapped our diets for the week and enjoyed the fattiest and most caloric cuisine that we could find.  Our best new discovery was Culver’s, a Wisconsin chain that specializes in butterburgers and frozen custard.  The butterburgers were excellent, but the frozen custard was other-worldly – soft, rich, creamy, and delectable.  Some days Katja  only had a frozen custard sundae for lunch, while I combined them with a butterburger.  

Henes Park Beach

Our family property is just a few miles from Henes Park which offers the best swimming beach in the twin cities.  You can walk out in the warm Green Bay water for a couple hundred yards before getting up to your waist, and it was a daily hit for the kiddies (and the oldies too).    

Vicki with the cousins

This was the first time for the cousins to visit Farm.  Here’s Vicki with most of the bunch (from the left: Bridget, V, Gillian, Oscar, and L).  Our own  kids had all grown up visiting Farm together from since infancy in the 60’s and 70’s.  Oscar asked his mom, ‘When I grow up, will I bring my children here, and you’ll be the grandparent?”  Rhys nodded yes, and it brought a tear to the eye. 

The Spies Public Library

We did all the spots in town – the marina, downtown shops in Menominee and Marinette, restaurants, the thrift shops, Pine Tree Mall, and the multiplex cinema.  One of my favorites was the Spies Public Library where we took a look at my dad’s oil painting of downtown Menominee which was a memorial to his work on the library board.    

Horse Team in the Waterfront Festival parade on Highway 41

Menominee’s Waterfront Festival was going on during our stay, and Katja and I watched the parade from the curb outside our motel. Along with fire trucks and police cars, there were five Shriner groups zipping about on motorcycles, miniature cars, or pedaling a twenty-person bicycle; students from the local dance academies; budding gymnasts; local politicians; high school cheerleaders; six marching bands; beauty queens in convertibles; Masons and Moose; and vehicles or floats representing just about every local commercial or service enterprise. 

Katja at Bob and Lois A’s new house on Green Bay

Our friends Bob and Lois A., who own and operate a manufacturing firm in Menominee,  have been building their dream house by hand on the Green Bay shore for over a decade, and they moved in last year.  It’s a truly remarkable structure, and we were thrilled for them.  We all enjoyed going out to dinner at Berg’s Landing on Sunday night. 

Doris and Vic at River House (circa 1960)

Here are our parents, Doris and Vic, at their home on the Menominee River.  They made our strong family tradition possible, and we owe them a great debt.  Now Katja and I are back home again, and we miss our chums.  It seems sort of boring around here so far.  I guess that’s the inevitable consequence of a rewarding vacation.

G-mail Comments
-Vicki L (8-18): Hi David,  Thank you many times over for recording highlights of our family reunion - it's a treasure. It was our first Farm Reunion run by the grandkids - bittersweet, of course - but so welcome to enjoy the clan without having to be part of the engine. …. it was great to see you both. Love, Vicki
-Kiera O (8-14):  Dear Vicki and David,  So enjoyed the photos on David's blog! Vicki the next time we're together you have to identify everyone in the group shot at Farm. You all look WONDERFUL!!  love, Kiera

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Well Do You Know Your Tennis Super-Stars?

Dear George,
The Western & Southern Tennis Tournament starts in Cincinnati in a couple of days.  It’s bigger than ever.  All 20 of the top-ranked men will be here, as will 19 of the top-ranked 20 women.  Outside of the four grand slam tournaments, there are only five events in the world that feature both the men’s and women’s tours combined.  We’re rooting for Roger Federer, wonder if Novak Djokovic can regain his top status, are hopeful that Venus Williams can continue to overcome her medical problems, and look forward to seeing Maria Sharapova in person.  It’s amazing the extent to which these world-class sports celebrities become significant people in our lives.  Sometimes, because of all the media coverage, I think I know more about what’s going on with the top tennis pros than I do with many friends and acquaintances.  To check this out, I made up a quiz composed of quotations from prominent tennis stars, past and present, to see whether people could match a given quote with one or another of several players.  Katja tried it and did pretty well (13 of 20 correct – perfect on the men, but only 1 of 8 on the women).  Our friend Paula D., a long-time tennis buff, did still better (18/20, with correct answers for all the women players).  I hope people will try it out.  See how you do (and let me know).

INSTRUCTIONS:  Below are groups of four male or female tennis stars (listed in alphabetical order and numbered 1-4, etc.), followed by four quotations from one or another of these players (randomly ordered and designated [a] to [d]).  For each grouping of four players and four quotes try your best to match each player with one of the quotes.  Write your answers down.  (For example, if you think Player #1 said quote “c”, write down 1-c.)  Don’t skip any items – guess if you need to.  The correct answers will be given at the end of the quiz.   


1.  Arthur Ashe
2.  Bjorn Borg
3.  Jimmy Connors
4.  John McEnroe


(a) My greatest point is my persistence. I never give up in a match. However down I am, I fight until the last ball. My list of matches shows that I have turned a great many so-called irretrievable defeats into victories.

(b) Do you have any problems, other than that you're unemployed, a moron, and a dork?

(c) New Yorkers love it when you spill your guts out there. Spill your guts at Wimbledon and they make you stop and clean it up.

(d) True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.


5. Chris Evert
6. Billie Jean King
7. Martina Navratilova
8. Venus Williams


(a) I've been in the twilight of my career longer than most people have had their career.

(b) It wasn't like I was self-motivated. My dad started me. It was his dream before it was mine.

(c) I was very, very shy as a younger girl, just petrified of people. Tennis helped give me an identity and made me feel like somebody.

(d) Ever since that day when I was 11 years old, and I wasn't allowed in a photo because I wasn't wearing a tennis skirt, I knew that I wanted to change the sport.



9. Andre Agassi
10. Boris Becker
11. Ivan Lendl
12. Pete Sampras


(a) I had moments of my actions and words not reflecting who it is I am - if that defines a punk, then yes, absolutely.

(b) I was between 2 and 3 in the world for two, three years. That's not exactly where I wanted to be.

(c) People know me. I'm not going to produce any cartwheels out there. I'm not going to belong on Comedy Central. I'll always be a tennis player, not a celebrity.

(d) The eyes of some of the fans at Davis Cup matches scare me. There's no light in them. Fixed emotions. Blind worship. Horror. It makes me think of what happened to us long ago.

13. Steffi Graff
14. Anna Kournikova
15. Maria Sharapova
16. Serena Williams


(a) I'm just like every other girl who likes to shop, likes to look good, likes to spend time with friends.

(b) I had a lot of different thoughts and ideas and always to transform, but I'm trying certain things that I feel my heart is really going for and that was one of the things that I initiated a few months ago.

(c) Family's first, and that's what matters most. We realize that our love goes deeper than the tennis game.

(d) At this year's Open, I'll have five boyfriends.



17. Novak Djokovic
18. Roger Federer
19. Rafael Nadal
20. Andy Roddick


(a) I can't stay No. 1 for fifty years, you know. We'll see what happens.

(b) The last two years when I was coming here, I was playing very, very bad ... but the worst moment in the year (was) when I come to the U.S. Open. I think now is a little bit different, no?

(c) I am very skinny.

(d) You know, you can only throw in so many haymakers before one misses and you get knocked out.

ANSWER KEY (give yourself one point for each correct match):
1d, 2a, 3c, 4b
5c, 6d, 7a, 8b
9a, 10d, 11b, 12c
13b, 14d, 15a, 16c
17c 18a 19b 20d 

G-mail Comments
-Phyllis S-S (8-9):  Dave,  Welcome back.  I want to hear all about the trip and visit with your family.  This Tennis information was fascinating - what a lot of work I think you must have done…  Phyllis