It's odd how a single post about Wimbledon has got me onto a Memoir track that I hadn't intended to travel. I like to do that sometimes though — write about my past. It was Ginnie at Goldendaze-ginnie who first put me onto this possible use of blog space. That was her primary purpose in starting her blog — to record moments of her life and times for the benefit of her family ... and others. Although Ginnie has had a much more varied and interesting life than I, I do like the idea of recording my past, some of the time anyway, for posterity.
That's my way of telling Dear Reader that I am not quite done with recollections of my brief sorties into the world of competition. I do understand that eyes will glaze over at this point and that most will click onto the next blog. Just as long as y'all come back, eh?
In my last post, I mentioned that I would win a trophy ... sort of ... or of sorts ... or however exactly I phrased it then. It was to come from a very unexpected win at chess of all things. Now, I am required to back up and set the stage, but I'll try to give you the quick version.
For many years, I had mentored the school chess club and team. The club would meet in my room in almost every lunch hour. Some years, despite the silly notion of chess players being uncool, nerdish wimps, we had quite a full house with an assortment of students. Over the years, I've had tough guys, football players, hockey players, and track champions in the club and on the team, so the nerd image doesn't necessarily hold up, or didn't in my club.
I would often play against the kids at noon and frequently was quite successful. I'd play the best players and usually give a good account of myself, winning more than losing. There came a point when I wondered how I would fare against good, adult competition, so on one cold, winter evening, I showed up at the city chess club. Just in time for a round robin tournament. Yikes!
After a shaky start which involved getting used to the deeper level of play, I eventually managed to tie for first place after about two months of round robin play (one match per evening one night a week). The achievement was not as glorious as it sounds, for they referred to this tournament as their amateur tournament which the two best players sat out in order to give the rest of us a fighting chance. Nevertheless, the competition was still good: for the most part better than what I had been used to in the quicker lunch hour matches with the kids.
Then came the sort of trophy. The club presented me with a huge trophy that just about required a truck to transport to my house. I was to have it for a time and then pass it onto the co-winner. Since I hadn't won a trophy up to that point in my life, Cuppa had the trophy shop make me a small, permanent reminder of this slight achievement. And that's the sort of part because I really had to make my own. Sheesh!