Karen’s first racket was a Wilson wooden one. Her mother saved green stamps and Karen bought it at the Green Stamp Redemption store in Hampton, Virginia. Her elementary school had tennis courts. She would go up and hit with friends, mostly chasing the balls. After college, Karen moved to Maryland and met Dave and they became friends. Dave introduced Karen to the game of tennis by teaching her how to play on the courts in Greenbelt. They got married, had a son Matt and Karen didn’t get serious about tennis until she was in her late forties. She took lessons and joined a team.
In 1983, Karen played on a Senior USTA team. They won their county championship, then state and then regionals. The ‘Regionals’ were in Virginia and her brother, sister and some cousins came to see her play. The team won the ‘Regionals’ and thus qualified them to play in the ‘Nationals’ in Arizona. They finished in 3rd place in their division! It was a wonderful experience for Karen and the team and she will always cherish the friendships she made.
Karen enjoyed watching Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova who had so many great battles on the courts. It was a little tense and no one knew who would win any match between them. Watching them grow and mature and find ways to improve their games was fascinating. Karen has been to the US Open 3 times, where she watched and was amazed at the athletes - their physical shape, speed, footwork and the power they possess.
Karen and Dave came to visit her cousin Barbara who was living in Timber Pines. After lunch at the CC, her cousin took them to the Har-Tru tennis courts. They were surprised how beautiful the courts were. They had played on the some clay courts in Maryland but knew the hard courts were not for them anymore. The Har-Tru courts kept bringing them back to TP. They rented for a season and then finally bought a home in 2013. Karen coordinates two groups and plays in two more.
Living in TP has allowed them to enjoy different things. Karen tried pottery for a year, learned how to play billiards, takes water aerobics classes and plays pickleball. She also plays Mah Jongg, Hand and Foot and Mexican Train on a regular basis. Karen enjoys biking and Bible Studies. She surely has made a lot of wonderful friends in TP!
Josephine’s observation: The first time I saw Karen (from a distance) playing tennis in TP, I wondered ‘Whose granddaughter is that playing with the seniors’? Now I know that she is one of us enjoying tennis and playing with her new friends.
Ace Reporter Josephine