Of Surviving Summer Sports



Photograph: Bob Capazzo

It’s summer—and time for fun in the sun. Fun? Most of the time, I guess, having never won any gold medals in the athletic arena. I did pretty well swimming, though. Diving, too, as long as it was backwards so I couldn’t see the water. At Camp Wabasso-with-its-verdant-hillsides, I did a whole lot better hitting a bull’s eye with a bow and arrow than I would do later hitting a clay pigeon with a shotgun. And I could always paddle my own canoe. Literally. But I have gotten a lot of encouragement from my husband. In fact, in his honor, I plan to write a book someday entitled I Married A Jock.

Sailing: On our honeymoon fifty-three years ago in the British Virgins, Jack chartered a sailboat and timed me as I ran laps around the deck (my bare feet nimbly avoiding the cleats) so I would get my sea legs. Later in Bermuda, he put me at the helm of a Sunfish in Great Sound and (pre-arranged with Mary Stuart and Bill Crane) proceeded to somehow slide off my boat onto theirs—leaving me to master the art of the solo sail. Except that a large ferryboat loaded with sightseers was bearing down on me, so I headed for shore. I remembered to pull up the centerboard but forgot to release the sheet to let the sail go forward, so we (the boat and I) plowed up full tilt onto the sand at Cambridge Beaches, scattering a surprised horde of middle-aged ladies taking in the sun.

Waterskiing: My one and only attempt was on vacation with Mary Alice and Peter Roome in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Holding the towrope, I sat on the edge of the dock and slid into the waist deep water, but the back of my bathing suit got hooked on a nail and there I hung laughing hysterically—my skis up under the dock in back and me face down, paddling frantically with my hands in front to keep from drowning in Lake Winnipesaukee. I did finally get up on those skis, but in a rare flash of confidence, tried to crisscross the wake, wiped out and never got up again.

Golf: I like golf. I play it exactly once a year for exactly one week (I married a sailor, don’t forget)—eighteen holes every morning on our family vacation at the Basin Harbor Club in Vermont. Once my daughter-in-love Elena Moffly and I were playing as a twosome just ahead of our husbands. It was such a hot sticky day that when I bent over to get my ball out of the cup on the seventh green, my slacks split right up the back. Fortunately, in my bag I had a windbreaker that I could tie around my waist. Observing from afar, Jack turned to Jonathan and said: “Well, there goes your mother—overdressed again!” There ain’t no justice.

Hiking: We took the kids out West when they were teenagers, and I had bought a pair of expensive hiking boots that Jack said I could also use for riding. (Horses, incidentally, I much prefer on a racetrack rather than under me, ever since Smokey bit me in my ten-year-old butt on my first day at camp.) I thought I’d break them in wearing them around the house, but it turned out they broke me in. Standing over the ironing board, it felt like my back was being thrown out of line. “Those boots are too good, too stiff,” observed a wise athletic friend. So I went over to Ernie’s in Riverside and bought some for half the price and staggered around the Rockies in relative comfort.

Fly-fishing: A one shot deal. In Scotland with a gillie and, of course, Jack. I wore tall rubber waders this time and we stood at the edge of a private pond well stocked with big fat trout. I couldn’t miss, right? Wrong. Every time I cast, my line would get hooked on the wire fence behind me. Oh, well. Try everything once, my mother always told me. Then you’ll know what you really like. Not fly-fishing.

Biking: During one Block Island Race Week, the ladies rented bikes to explore the island. Pedaling as hard as I could—I’ve never mastered more than three gears—we headed up a long long hill to the beekeeper’s house. I was feeling very smug indeed when I looked behind and noticed my friend Nancy Vaughn really struggling to keep up with us. Nancy, who walked all over Riverside every day for fun. Nancy, who could ski down any mountain. But my smugitude was short lived. I would soon learn that she had a flat tire.

Tennis: I always did like tennis. Was pretty good at it, too, until my knee started acting up. But after once rushing off to a game in Binney Park without proper time to dress on a scorcher of a day, I can offer this bit of advice: Never play tennis in a panty-girdle. It gets too itchy. 

 

Greenwich Agenda

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  • YMCA of Greenwich Harvest Art Week

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     @ YMCA of Greenwich

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  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

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     @ Canfin Gallery

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  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

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    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

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    2014.10.25
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    It will be a Gala worthy of a doge when retiring Greenwich Hospital president and CEO, Frank A. Corvino, will be presented with the...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

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  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

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     @ Imagine Candy

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  • The Wilton Fall Antiques Market

    2014.10.26
     @ Wilton High School Field House

    Barnstar Productions and the Wilton Historical Society will present the Wilton Antiques Market. More than 80 exhibitors are expected to...

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    2014.10.26
     @ Island Beach Parking Lot

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  • La Soirée d’ Automne at Bistro Versailles

    2014.10.27
     @ Bistro Versailles and Patisserie

    Wine dinners at Bistro Versailles are entertaining social events held on a regular basis. Socialize with friends and mingle with other attendees...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • Explore the Bruce Museum

    2014.10.28
     @ Stamford JCC

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  • Educational Seminar - Effective Resume Writing & Interviewing Skills

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     @ Greenwich Library

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  • Meet Bestselling Author Ayelet Waldman

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  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

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  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

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  • Harvest Fair and Gift Show

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