Tuesday, March 8, 2011


This year’s Toledo Squash Open will leave me with some strong images. Some of them terrific, some of them a little dubious and a couple of them that I want to grab a rusty spoon and with it gouge out my short term memory.

We’ll start out with the memories I will want to savor and have no issues reminiscing with you. The squash is always a safe place to start. Keep in mind that these courts are the skinny version and are slightly larger than a box of matches. Three DAC members made the trip. Robert Welch had such a good time last year, he made the effort again. Considering he is still recovering from major shoulder surgery back in October, it was an admirable effort. He entered the D draw where he drew a local fellow who had mastered the art of dropping the ball in the back corner with barely a whisper of a bounce. Robert struggled and was frustrated to lose 3-0. Inadvertently, he also entered the 50+ category. Unaware that some of the players in this draw are actually A standard players, Robert hopped on court with ex-pro Gul Khan, one of the Khans from the famous Pakistan Squash Khan (Jahangir) family. Gul was very friendly with Robert, and Robert stepped up his game considerably in return. He earned many points, played very well, and although the 3-0 loss was inevitable, at was an invaluable learning experience.

Without have a clue how, Peter Logan ended up in 3 categories. He played the A draw, where he lost first round to one of the thirty-seven Effler brothers in 5 games, he played the Hardball Singles A/B draw where he lost first round to Brad Hanebury of London, and he played the 50+ draw where he had a lot more success. After beating Gul Khan, he played the final against one of his good buddies but squash nemeses Rob Graves from Franklin. These two go back and forth constantly and as luck would have it, it was Peter’s turn this time around. He took the match 3-1. [Picture: Rob Graves and Peter Logan]

James Van Dyke also entered 3 categories. Two were squash, and one was drinking. The squash wasn’t quite as successful as his third division where he divided and conquered his opposition with charm and wit, but nonetheless he did have a few nice tough matches. He lost first round of the B division (where he was stepping up) and in the C bracket he won his first before losing his second. I will give a special mention to non-member – but a definite prospect – Brian Ellison. Brian also played the DAC Classic, and accompanied James this weekend for the Toledo adventure. A fine gentleman, we worked hard on him to join the club and may find that he soon will be part of our squash family.

I also played the tournament in the invite pro event. For the third year running I reached the final against Cleveland Tavern Club pro/manager Ian Sly. And for the third year running I was fortunate enough to be the first player to win 3 games. Ian won the first game after a long hard-hitting battle 12-10, and then I decided to change tactics and use the front of the court a lot more for the next three games. Ian had trouble coping when stretched short and I took those 3 games relatively comfortably. [Pictured - Me and Ian after the final... guess who won!]

Everyone is fully aware that the Toledo tournament hires models to serve the Friday night beer. Without appearing to drool over my keyboard too much, it was obvious by the attached photo that the serving talent was once again spot on. Robert Welch (somebody had to do it!) was kind enough to pose with them.

I am sure you are wondering just what type of impression etched on my brain would encourage me to reach for a corroded kitchen utensil. Leaving out names to protect the innocent… The pros overnight in one of five hotel rooms at the Toledo Club. The lack of space forces many of us to share a room. While this accommodation isn’t inconvenient to any of us (on the contrary, we appreciate the red carpet rolled out for us by the tournament organization committee and John Seidel especially), having 5 to room can be, at times, a little… narrow. The human body is a wonderfully complex organism inside and out. Beauty of this organism is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Seeing the human body in all its glory can be fascinating depending on its shape, size, position, and in some instances, it can also be acutely disturbing. One of my roommates this weekend evidently feels very comfortable in his own skin. Especially when that is all he is wearing. Waking up in the middle of the night to answer nature’s call I walked past his cot and could not help but notice him fast asleep, lying on his back, absent of all bed sheets. It was as if he was… posturing. I will say no more than that. It was a little unsettling to say the least and I hope my nervous twitch that suddenly developed will eventually fade away.
Picture: James Van Dyke, Me, Prospective DAC member Brian Ellison and Robert Welch at the "Spring Fling" party at the Toledo Club on the Saturday night of the Tournament.

Like I said last year – mark this one on your calendar for 2012. Guaranteed good time, you will absolutely not regret it.

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