Rossmoor Tennis Club

located in Walnut Creek, California

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Fri, Feb 23, 2024

RTC History --- 1996 thru 2000

1996 History

Membership was 350.  When the number of courts for that many was questioned a member of the GRF board had said, "I  suppose it won't be long before some group will want us to build a polo field."

And those members?  Janice Ottey moved in but was thought too young to live here.  Also joining were Lorrie & Richard McCurdy, Jerry McConnell, and Hal Rutledge, Jack & Mary Bell.   At age 84 Les Rodney won the singles championship in his age category at a San Diego tournament of USTA.  Former club president Spiro Farrugio was out for heart by-pass surgery.   Spiro was noted as one of the fastest men on the courts.  He was playing again by November.  The tennis club lost Ane Mote who was one of the original members.  

Events?  The history of the club was restored to the roster which you could get from Ginny Seever.  After 5 years the trophy was reclaimed from Oakmont.   January 9 saw the 3rd annual Married Couples mixed Doubles tournament.  Sixteen teams signed up for a fee of $5 each with dinner to follow the event.  The winners were the Smiths, the Sihs, and the Freemans.  Melba Smith organized the club to see Agassi, Sampras, and Chang in San Jose in what was then the Sybase Pro Tournament.  Only $15 per ticket!  The June Wild Card featured wooden rackets and old-fashioned clothes--no shorts allowed.  Plans were made for a  Carmel Valley getaway in September.

1997 History

The years opened with weather so cold and foggy that games were postponed.  Word was even received of a soft ball that could be blown up to be used on wet courts.  The club was waiting for word from Santa Barbara re: this idea.  Regardless of the weather 20 new members joined. 

As for the courts a new gate was put in at Buckeye on court #1 so one didn't have to go through court #2 to get there.  A pathway meandering through the trees was built so there was no longer a muddy obstacle with which to contend.  A new BBQ was dedicated on July 10.  There was also a meeting planned for September 15 to discuss lights, bathrooms, and other ideas.

In addition to the regular tournaments the first Men's Handicap Tournament was held.  The men kept the same partners throughout and could either give or receive bisques which are free points to be used whenever a team things there is an opportune time.  Jerry McConnell and Jerry Cohen won the first one.  The BALL team hosted Chabot Canyon and won 12-0. The club went to Oakmont by bus for #10 per person however the bus driver was new and needed directions--stopping at a service station to get them.  Open Tennis in April consisted of a BBQ with tennis being played after dinner.  

Always social the members held a St. Patrick's Day Party.   A Reno trip was planned involving a train trip over the Sierras with a stay at a hotel with tennis courts from April 28-May 1.  It was a big success and it was said there were more quarters in Rossmoor after that.  The September patio party had a Mad Hatter theme and was a total hit.

1998 History

Marie Lowell wrote and produced a musical called The Net Chords starring Fran Berry, Marie, Claire Markman, Ada Lou Peterson, Peter Sih, and Ralph Walters.    It is the story of Ross & Moira who meet at the tennis courts and become a doubles team in life and in tennis and go on to become a famous doubles team.

1999 History

Membership was 239.  There were 3 players with 265 years of playing tennis--Shirley Douglass, Les Rodney, and Mr. Edleson.  None of them had slowed down.  In February Gianco Delfanti collapsed while playing tennis but was saved by Dr. Cliff Staehley and due to the efficiency of someone calling 911 he was rushed to Kaiser then on to San Francisco for 3-way by-pass surgery.  A memorial bench was installed for Bud Dyniewicz at the courts on September 25 at the Mixed Doubles Tournament which was sponsored by Securities America.

The GRF board started discussing plans with the Acalanes Union High School District to use the lower level of the library building on the Del Valle campus as a fitness center.  There was also a discussion of a covered pool at Del Valle Clubhouse.  This appealed to all the fitness folks of the tennis club.  Art Frueh announced an anonymous gift to be used to improve the area between what were courts 2 and 3.  The discussion entailed who would do the work.  Would it be GRF or Art and some helpers?  

Rankings tournaments were held with several flights!  Marcia Perry invited members to a "coffee break" at the Creekside Clubhouse.  That would have been the building by the old golf pro shop that was razed to build the new Creekside complex that includes the restaurant and new pro shop.  Marcia also scheduled a team tennis tourney with 40 members needed. Many matches were cancelled due to rain but on May 21 from 5-7 Securities America entertained members with wine and cheese and then sponsored  the tournament held  the next 2 days.   Marie Lowell and Barbara May were winners at a women's doubles tournament and the BALL team was declared nearly unbeatable due to the coaching of Jerry McConnell.  The Villages team came to town in October to be entertained at a lunch planned by Janice Ottey and Joanne Anderson.  

A Reno getaway was planned with bus transportation,  all meals and 4 tennis clinics being held at the Hilton but alas, this was cancelled due to lack of interest.  March saw the Spring Fling St. Patrick's Day party with Gail Strack and Spiro Farrugio dancing Irish jigs and singing songs about the Old Sod.  Woe is me!  The club went to the Sybase Tournament but Andre Agassi defaulted for using foul language so the attendees were quite disappointed.  Socially the club celebrated the end of the century with a dinner dance catered by Sunrise Bistro and  featuring live music on December 8.  Honored with the service awards were Art Frueh and Marcia Perry.

2000 History

Most of the sports news in The Rossmoor News during these years was about lawn bowling and golf. 

At the February 21 meeting the news was that courts 3 and 4 were scheduled to be repaired and repaved in May.

Jack Bell was working to form a men's super senior USTA team.  

Jerry McConnell was the RTC top men's player based on the December 28 ranking tournament at the end of last year.  He also won the Men's Trophy Tournament in July that had 30 men competing.  

The BALL team sizzled against the Sassy Servers from Hayward on February 28 with a team composed of  Tomoki Lesowitz, Carol Smith, Ana Jardine, Pat Hyde,  Betty Cook, Mary Bell, Joanne Anderson, and Jean Zissler.  In March they beat Alameda with Gail Strack and Karen Parrish playing as well.  In the April Wild Card Tomoki broke a  record by losing only one game all day.  Joe Starr and Helene Chojnacka led the club to a victory over The Villages in May!  Busy times!  The men played in Lagunitas Tennis Club of Ross and won. The BALL team of Marcia Perry, Maria Morgan, Mary Bell, Marie Lowell, and Ruth Eastman were ready to play from September to May.  On September 23 Sun America sponsored a mixed doubles tournament with trophies and favors.  The Men's Social on October 7 was a huge success thanks to Winnie Welton and Hal Rutledge and their crews.  

RTC played Brentwood on Novermber 18 winning 9-3 and later on beat Claremont.  

Regarding social matters the April dinner dance was a potluck.  In June Nan and Jerry McConnell hosted a great western BBQ with dancing!  Weekly invitations to the Saturday evening BBQs at 4:00 by the courts appeared each week in The Rossmoor News.  At the year end holiday party Nan and Jerry were presented with the Service Awards and the board for the next year was introduced:  Jack Bell, Joanne Anderson, Janice Ottey, Hal Rutledge, Harry Van Ardenne plus new board members Fran Berry, Elsie Hermanson, Sue Loeb, and Eric Ancshutz.  

In the September 27 issue of The Rossmoor News the columnist Bruce Reynolds said there was no truth to the rumor that hard hats had to be worn as protection from golf balls.  There had been a spate of attacks it seems.  The members also thanked the golf club for permission to use the water closet at the Tee House but GRF was unable to supply a shuttle for older tennis players.