Tuesday, September 14, 2010


September 9-12, 2010

The next time I am in the fetal position, sucking my thumb and thinking of a ‘happy place’, that ‘happy place’ will be Sherwood Forest. Since the day we returned from the 2009 adventure, I have been looking forward to the 2010 one with dreamy eyes and now once again am forced to crave next year’s voyage.

A green house on ‘Robin Hood’ street in Sherwood Forest was where we laid our abused and battered bodies for the three nights we spent in Annapolis. BAC member Jon Uffelman and his adorable mother were once again kind enough (or crazy!) to let half the “Great Lakes Squash Team” stay in their home. True to form, we did not break anything, but there is an image in my mind of a pretzel nugget that I wish I could gouge out from my memory… I will not go into detail. The Sherwood Forest community is about a 20 minute boat ride to downtown Annapolis. Once the boat was moored at the dock you are literally in the middle of the action. Full of restaurants and bars, and a five minute walk to the Academy, the town was at our mercy… or vice versa.
[Just part of the amazing scenery from the boat-trip between Jon's house and Annapolis]

The purpose behind this escapade is to challenge the Naval Academy Squash Team. A group of America’s finest young men, all strong, fit, more than capable of breaking us in two, and incredibly polite and friendly. The official matches were scheduled for Friday. Nine-man teams, plus 2 ‘friendlies’. Although our team was filled with some of Michigan’s best players, it always seems we pull up just a fraction short. Even with the obvious advantage of experience, when matches come down to the wire and fitness becomes an issue, the benefit of youth was rather evident. We won 3 of the 9 matches, and just like last year, were on the wrong side of a couple of very close results. When the unofficial Saturday ‘mix ‘n’ match’ scrimmage took place, we kicked the starched white iron-creased pants off them.

The rest of our time was spent eating, drinking, attempting to grab a nap whenever possible (which was most of the time impossible) laughing, horsing around, and just enjoying life. Jon Uffelman was in fine form as usual, he’s truly a one-man entertainment bonanza. Special mention has to go to new DAC member Eric Green. Eric, the nicest guy you will ever meet, is a Naval Academy graduate and has close personal ties to the area. He has taught us all how to travel light, how a shoe box is just as good as a squash bag, there is nothing wrong with catching some zzzzz’s in a deli, and heat-stroke is a state of mind after spending the entire Saturday afternoon in a long sleeved sweater and jeans under the pounding sun in the car park for the Navy football game tail-gate. He is a real trooper.

The legend status of this trip is growing. I am fortunate to be involved. A huge thank you to Jon Uffelman for his incredible generosity of sharing this piece of utopia with us. And another huge thank you to the rest of team for making the trip worth every single penny. Even though I think I have seen it all, I can’t wait for what surprises 2011 will bring.
[The "2010 Great Lakes Squash Team". Top row, left to right: Doug Bauer (ex-Toledo member, now residing in Tampa, FL); Casey Garwood (ex-DAC member and Club Champion now residing in Seattle); John Seidel (Toledo Squash Pro); Me!; Peter Logan (DAC member and mutiple club champion titles); Rob Graves (Franklin Racquet Club and doubles Nationals title winner); Bottom row left to right: Mark Eugeni (Windsor and ex-pro doubles player); Eric Green (DAC member); Kurt Streng (BAC and excellent tennis player!); Jon Uffelman (BAC and multiple club champion titles); Mark Porter (Windsor squash pro).

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