In those myths of the world long sought, stuff of poems, of the path, a man at a door outlined from light within, sometimes by the lantern at his side, waves a gold lantern high, signpost of those travelers passing in and out of life alone. You never see groups on these trails. It is not an entrance to another world. As though one were not enough. The voyagers, the walkers, the seekers are all dolls! It is a doll world! That's why the big sign is lit over the door. NEVER GIVE UP ON A DOLL!
USTA National Open. Waco. February 16-20. 2-2
Price's Sun City Junior Open. El Paso. March 1-3. First Place
Jason Morton Tennis Classic. Sun Lakes. March 5-9. Singles and Doubles Open Champion
Arizona Junior Open. Tucson. March 21-23. First Place
USTA Interscholastic Championships West. Fresno. April 19-22. 2-2
Muterspaw Championships. Las Vegas. April 26-29. 4-1. Third Place
2A/3A Arizona State Singles Championships. May 2-3. First Place
USTA National Open. El Paso. May 17-21. 5-2. Consolation Semi-finalist
Tanoan Sweet 16. Albuquerque. May 30-June 1. First Place
SW Junior Closed. Tucson. June 14-17. 3-2. Fourth Place
USTA National Open. Denver. June 28-Jul 2. 7-2. Consolation Finalist
July 13-20 USTA Boys 18s National Team Championship. Urbana. July 26-29
Now it is over, the last tournament: 58 in the nation, RPI 35, head to head 62, and on to play the international competition of DI. You put your head down and go forward. On court the pressures were enormous for his team and after for him from the feedback. We finish with what we started, he can beat anybody in the country when he has a mind to it. The early maturity of youth sports was not his luxury. He still thinks it a fantasy he is 6' 3". His new coaches were told he is two years from realizing his strengths. It will be enjoyable to see the results.
DI College Tennis
DI, even DII tennis is very different from what USTA players knew, both because players are more mature and because a majority are internationals here on scholarship. Four and a half scholarships per team are mandated, with eight members of a team, apportioned percentage wise. The best most Americans can expect is 50% just because South Africa, Australia, Japan, England, New Zealand, Germany, Columbia, Sweden, Russia, etc. export their talent because no college scholarship is available. Americans want a winning record. Notre Dame was reputedly all American and Illinois one year. Examine the standings and see for yourself here. This occurs even at competitive junior colleges.
Recruiting begins in the summer events the prior year before graduation. Signings occur in October and April. Coaches stalk the Opens, clay and hard courts with clipboards. We overheard them for years. In DC in 2005 a coach said he didn't care so much about the boy's talent as the father's wallet. They don't know what to do beyond their eyes and stats and Stats don't lie, but they don't tell the truth. The cut comes from about 1-30 and 30-120 for American rankings, numbers, quantities, not qualities. Most players entertain in the choice of a college team that they may go pro after, but most are business majors that before the crash would have become mortgage brokers. The investment of time for a player affects studies, attitudes and values. "Forcing the call" is an investment tool, but not useful in science, literature or art. A player who doesn't go for either October or April signing sees hustling. One can always play Futures events, but at the end of the year coaches go nuts trying to be champs.
European and South American tennis feds, etc., endow their players in big camps by the dozen and half dozen, say 50K plus each! These play the international junior circuit ITF tournaments where one loss eliminates, but most Americans were eliminated long before by the cost. The cost for national summer events alone for people who live outside the area where they are played, that is most, was at least 10K under the old conditions of the price of gas. There are various subsidies to a few. When most American players arrive at the DI roost they do not play 1, 2 or 3. At 4,5 and 6 the best see some success. They are not NCAA individually ranked.
They tell you as a Junior that you are going to get "a full ride" because your clinic and coach made you great. The hype is great. Parents, who are never to coach, please no, are to believe in the system and pay, that way when their player gets a "ride" to an out of state institution, they will only be on the hook say for maybe 15K a year, when their child could have gone in state for 10 with no ride. Pay to play was the mission all along. This monetization of economically aspiring and upwardly mobile junior athletes for top USTA tennis does help them gain entrance to Ivy League colleges or the private prestigious universities at D III. Tennis can really grease the skids for admission, grades warranting, but of course the tab is larger. There are not going to be any figures about debt forthcoming with the news of full "academic ride." You can go to Harvard. Character, imagination, learning, love of nature, art can come later, if there's time. Read Anna Karenina (because it was the longest book you can find) on your first Open, The Fixer, Kafka and Borges on your last.
Assume you locate doll by sound, not clothes mess or books, TV screaming, pillow fall. Find vicinity by cries of play, like fire engines chug or mooch, "I think I can," a thousand times, but please remain calm. Do not grab. There is trouble in that place.
When doll sheds shoes, which is not too hard, put on back. Hands, feet will move. Eye contact doll, they love to taunt that way. Smile but do not coo, that will set doll off.
Locate shoe, socks under mess. Voice doll's name: "Doll Dolly Doll!" Tell not to count to twenty. Do not expect much by ten. Doll will squirm. Do not count fast. By ten, one sock appears on foot 'mid squawks of wrong. Thrown by the count tell doll repeat, but sneak other as doll boasts.
At thirteen doll is winding down, put one shoe on so doll can run, even talk, the other may come late. Ready doll transport. Dolls get tired, fall asleep. If more than one you have to carry (which we hope you have maybe three). Unconscious, dolls will rest. Give nice hug and tell them bye. That is what dolls love.
Just when we thought the greensward full Lasty was called downsea to ships, to train green Dolphy for the coming dives. That fellow had need of a man to hone the bill, bounce the dolphin ball, whistle and tweet. Back and forth he goes, a beauty to behold.
Lasty last conversed the dolls, who said mama, mama end to end, when boy doll Nick, who also said drink, in the midst of three grown athletes jumped sofa to table to chair, lept floors then hid in momma's arms.
He cried "mama, mama" when it came for shots or when zookeepers put back on his clothes like chicken feathers on a cow. Lasty's dolphins were black and blue
they worked so hard to get a point. Would the marine layer clear?
In the pattern of the dust when lion and dolphin lay to rest before they leapt, and tucked fins in at sea, the further out they crept, a string wound tight, walls and floors inset with jewels, available for a song when you lie down.
After absence from sea and land Lasty got a blue eyed dolphin and a black horse with flaring nostrils. The horse was stomping mad about the fate of the pit pony they used to capture from Iceland to work in British coal mines to pull carts all their lives in the dark, as if if they could get away with it they would make such a habitation for dolls.
Lasty has to have a place for dolls to live when he is done washing, feeding and training. No doll wants to live in a steam engine world after already have been dumped in the canal and getting dragged through the mud with oil poured all over. Oil is a problem like coal. Lasty is taking the oilessness out of air which has powered the earth in its axis these years. The axis must spread, which is what the horses are for. Harness the horses in air and pull the atmosphere. Help send this Earth into space. There are two universes the Brits want to scape the dirt into, but there are more than two. We say two so you won't think there is one. In this effort Lasty has the red king and the blue. He hopes that seeing them will be enough. If it isn't then Lasty will have to try Eco-Doll Kabuki.
This doll out ended with 7 wins and 2 losses in an appearance in the consolation final. Denver is 918 miles each way in this eight day affair. Not just in the Denver Open, last tournament of a long career, but the number 59 doll signed to pursue a degree in forest dollogy.
There is a little thing like high school and ordinary life for doll seen here with h. s. coach Michael Hjort
for three weekends of 2A/3A high school tennis championships, AP exams, term assignments, honor society requirements, last band concerts performed, prom, cutting CD's, parties, final exams next Friday before leaving for the El Paso Open the same day, just back in time for graduation before leaving for the Quiksilver [now canceled]. That is the schedule in which some change might have to occur. Sandwiched between everything else are the 2A/3A AZ State High School Championships, three weekends in a row, barely sandwiched. First Regionals, 4/24-25, just after return from the Muterspaw and turn in the hundred page Lit paper defining 100 terms. Second, Individual championships, 5/2-3, this past weekend, two matches each day, Friday, Saturday. Sat began at 7 AM, then 9:30, then off to two last minute four hour qualifying public service requirements for Honor Society, heavy lifting moving jobs, that is after a muscle strain and he has got a cold, but none of it prevents performing a dozen tunes with the next day's, Sunday, last City Jazz Concert at Symphony Hall, till 3, then reunion with old classmates, home to translate the Spanish assignment because the next day, Monday, is the AP government exam and there turn in 300 defined terms with at least ten essays (he has 16 because he worked in Vegas off court) before leaving by bus to the third state, qualifying team event near Yuma (Antelope), except hewakes Monday with a 103 degree fever, proving bronchitis, which a doll maker knows before x-rays. He takes the AP exam anyway, as a concession resolves to take a jug of cold water and a blanket even if he is unconsciousness on the drive to Yuma for the state team event where he will play twice in the 100 degree sun. As the reporter of the 2A/3A finals said,
him "playing on the 2A/3A level is like taking a howitzer to a pistol shoot."
"It is not something to be taken lightly, going pro," he said,"it's really more work than I can imagine. I've been 10 years in this game and maybe I'm getting close now." But as the trainer of Eight Belles must have thought, who broke her ankles finishing second in the 2008 Derby this weekend, thoroughbreds are fragile and need all the care anybody can invent and even then Big Brown didn't finish the race, but that's why they have doll makers, to advertise the meaning.
College coaches, pastors and parties unite in one thing: do not not go to college. Do not try to go pro. With this kind of scheduling a pro would get some rest. The recruiter was 0-0 in a futures event. Will he survive Yuma? Will doctor and coach let him go? Yes. He promises not to go to school the next day! would anyway still be in hospital. Will he go? Lasty brings up the question completely understood in its day, "did you ever look into an 0?"
Team Doll has an ongoing philosophy. In the midst we don't argue only about tennis. As here, Andrew's coach, a new grad himself of May 2, it's hard to know what to call him, whether guitar soloist, film maker, one who brings together opposites, so busy at the graduation he organized you'd think he was a whole committee, its stage hand, and entertainer, who gave a brief statement tongue in cheek. Maybe he will be a politician, but it is hard to find time off from schedules as tennis practitioner, computer repairman and builder, manipulator of sound and video, bending the light recovered from 12 hour shifts he works which have not yet entered into the designs of which he has so many clips to edit.Now he is an RN he would be happy to drive places he hasn't seen, a still camera in a rappin' truck. They used to say to Lasty, when they left their little blocks of incense, "keep on truckin." There are no pictures of the truck. You cannot see from the picture either the Team colors, the unshaven or the very best companionable traveller.
To play Sat 8 AM we left at 1 AM, drove all night, crossed the space city of Hoover Dam before light, cooked at a park, warmed up at Darling and so it went. Everything about the patterns of learning that occured is written in code at the best, not even hinted at the least. We saw the best and worst, Charley's Decatur amid the smoke and digital handle pullers 7 AM Sunday, Mt. Charleston Monday, snow on the ground and the high sun. In between in the matches everything best left unsaid is unsaid. Tennis is a simple game that leaves little to say except,
You're not allowed to do it.
Why do you have to control it?
The faint hearted cry, that's an ultimatum!
But the sun doesn't mind.
No screeches from the light. The sun shines for the bold.
This whole tournament coaches and parents raved, dolls taunted
with insults. Some used four syllable words to denigrate. How will they fit with "international studs," those thinking beings?
After you pay in advance for the clinics, they tell you all your doll life that 1) if you're good you get a full ride, which means half or none. 6 or 7 out of 10 rides go international. You want to play 4, 5 or 6 on a half ride they will let you hit with bigs.
That evasion is followed with the further counterfeit that if you play in doll college you can go pro. And we will help you go pro. We will prepare you. So of the 1000s of dolls how many go pro? 100? Not even, since it takes years to doll up, very hard work, expenses not included, and there's such a desperate need for mortgage brokers and lawyers. Doll recruiters enlist players much as the army does, with the promise of a signing bonus, something you think for nothing, but then you find they own you for four years and you owe them 20 plus hours a week, plus every weekend, travel time in season, it keeps your expenses to a minimun.
We play for its own sake, none other and enjoy catching the sun in its transit between our fingers in the mountains.It looks like the Doll Shop nobody knows. So putting aside what things are supposed to be. Down on the desert floor the action is hot, up in the mountains, Mt. Charleston, it is not. Snow was on the ground. The dolls played, filmed, cooked and cooled out.
When we drove the ten hours up
the Formic Freeways of Bakersfield
to the Fresno Draw,
tall doll argued the whole way out
that plunk and runs
while learning were hard.
Mountain Doll,mind enshrouded in mist said, "maybe there's another reason."
" why do I have turn left."
"it's the way to Fresno. "
This is high allegory stuff,
it deals with what distal slope
doll should do to Shape Game.
Big Game is not easy, lurches to the side of the road in trucks. To get to that side is hard. Doll circled left, snarled, growled, made truck noises in his nose, disconcerted rabbits and doves. Squirrels on top the bar of court twelve hid faces in their paws. Do not disturb the doll verse.
All these things have meaning. That was the trip way up. Once there, doll faced other dolls. It was not pretty. Why can't dolls get along? We videoed doll snorts. You can see where the eyes come out the forehead and down the nose. "Dig doll, " Mountain said, "roast undone." (If you want to talk to dolls use food.) When the oven dinged Mountain took out the roast. Tall doll got it. In case he didn't he videotaped it. Hit it off, hit off front, hit off front foot toute suite. Lasty and the dolls got home late from that trip.
This was dingy. Then they left again in the morning. Doll "hurt" its pinky turth be told, or not, which caused disappointment in a fan from internet. Sorry Illinois fan. One down, ten to go. We can't go slow. We can't go fast. What should we do. Stop rocking the boat. There is more to follow. This is a picture of doll in his pope outfit with the nimbus skewed. We hope to get that straight. Some call it the Gloria. It is Introit. Doll Destiny! Yes, there were girl dolls too.
What is in doll's hands?
Used quarts of tea!
You should not frisk your dolls.
Especially when they just arrive.
But later go through their bags and pull out, here's where it gets tough, item: three long sleeve shirts. Why doesn't doll wear one? Item: 15 very smelly tenny balls. Item: 20 bars. Of what? You'd have to be a doughnut maker to know.
Once the dolls would leave their poems on the floor, leaves fallen in a wind. Later they would leave their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to rot in plastic bags. Those days are gone. Dolls used to hang their heads after close matches and lose by wild scores, now they smile and hug and win. It is not all pain. After every storm there is a calm. Dolls just need someone to lean on. This PM doll makers will be on court as usual with the doll associate driver and friend, seen here with bags and grin, he is safe to play with. No he will not admit it. He will argue about the moon. Oh no we are not done, never done with the life of dolls.
Senior doll demonstrates acute crosscourt, saves day.Tall doll is growing again. Precautions to take while doll is growing: put to bed without cell phones. A Stanley's Polish Sausage sandwich will also help. You may send your questions. Question:
Dear Lasty, I notice that when my doll is growing it gets disoriented. What should I do?
Do you mean they go out to places and call home to find out where they are? Usually they are right around the corner. This also happens in the yard. Maps, directions don't help because dolls won't follow directions. It is best to let dolls talk to other dolls. That way they get to where they are going. When doll is in field you can be in contact. Keep doll phones on. Dolls will text when they around to it.
They are always able to find other dolls and dollmakers too are always able to find dolls.
We can never be too careful with our dolls. We have a new doll out who rubs her stomach and says “I like pomes, I like pomes.” She rubs her stomach to remind us to watch out for many little poems that can be under eaten and undigested.
Little dolls can be dangerous too. We play a recording in our studio all the time. Podcasts of it are coming out by ear. Have you heard? It says, “THE BABY. THE BABY.”
This is not just a doll question. In Doll Nature, where saurian limos eat the cricket tunes, you can just imagine that mess! "THE BABY!" "THE BABY!”