Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Bob and I both grew up playing tennis, so we were really glad that our boys made it their sport, too. The life skills from this game are invaluable, eclipsed only by the friendships we have made along the way.
That's my husband, Bob, and our son Joey, circa 1998. All three of our boys shared the love of the game, playing tournaments and making their mark on the high school scene. Joey went on to play college tennis at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA and has made a career of coaching.
Bob coaches the Loveland High School boys' team, gives private lessons in town, and strings racquets. He has a real heart for junior players who are just happy to be on the court. As a kid, he learned by doing: he and his brother Ricky were simply told to "go play outside," so they taught themselves the game of tennis.
I grew up with a racquet in my hand as well: hitting against the grade-school wall, going to camps, and playing on my high school team. Here's a picture of my mom, who taught me to love the game (this is in Hilton Head, circa 1980).
TENNISALLEY IS BORN
One morning in late 2020 while scrolling through my Instagram feed, a photo of a jewelry artists' modern/rustic studio hideaway with an optic yellow door stopped me in my tracks. "TennisAlley," I said and showed Bob. "TennisAlley," he nodded.
We live on an alley—across from the tennis courts where our family has spent countless hours—in an artists' haven called Loveland. And we have just enough space for a narrow studio. But what would be behind our yellow door?
TennisAlley would celebrate the social and competitive sides of the game. It would merge pro shop and gallery: players could drop off a racket for stringing and be surrounded by the art of the game. After all, tennis is an art form.
Serving others is also in our blood. TennisAlley would need to be mission-driven. In the midst of a global pandemic, we have been reminded that sport is both a necessity and a luxury.
The idea for a cookbook called Now Serving had been mulling in our brains. Having recently been heavily involved in creating a coffee-table cookbook to raise funds for veterans (ALAServeCookbook.com), we have some experience to build upon. We also know that tennis players tend to be a generous bunch who enthusiastically serve their communities. More about Now Serving in our next post.
Until then, be thinking about these two things: your favorite recipes and ways that you and your fellow players serve others.
See you on the court!
Ann & Bob Diaz