So this one time I took tennis lessons, because it seemed like a good idea.
I am always down to try something I haven’t before.
(keep your remarks to yourself peanut gallery)
It was, by the way! I enjoyed it.
According to my tennis instructor, I had a wicked backhand.
..I’m just gonna let that sit there while y’all think about how wonderfully behaved my children are…

ANYWAYS, I ended up stopping because they postponed classes to re-finish the tennis courts
And something something…they never resumed classes for the rest of the summer.
Which kinda sucked. Because I was having the best time.
I may start it again. Because not raising kids anymore means I have free time.
But having kids in college means I never have any money…
So signing up at my local park is right in my price range.
(Support your local parks!)

Which of course leads me to my BHFOTD:

Today in 1993, Arthur Ashe dies.

*ahem*
Ashe and his brother were raised by their father who worked as a handyman and was also a special policeman for Richmond’s recreation department. Ashe’s father was a strict disciplinarian who forbade him to play football, which was a popular choice for many black children, due to Ashe’s slight build. The Ashes’ house was located on the grounds of Brookfield Playground, Richmond’s largest blacks-only playground, which had a tennis court. Ashe began practicing on the court and learned a few basic strokes from another young player. Tired of having to travel great distances to play Caucasian youths in segregated Richmond, Ashe accepted an offer from a St. Louis tennis official to move there and attend Sumner High School. Ashe was recognized by Sports Illustrated for his playing, and awarded a tennis scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles ((f)UCLA) in 1963.

In 1963 Ashe became the first black player ever selected for the United States Davis Cup team. In 1965, Ashe won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) singles title and contributed to UCLA’s winning the team NCAA tennis championship.
In 1968, Ashe won the United States Amateur Championships, and the first US Open of the open era, becoming the first black male to capture the title. He is the only player to have won both of these amateur and open national championships in the same year.

In January 1970, Ashe won his second Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open. Concerned that tennis professionals were not receiving winnings commensurate with the sport’s growing popularity, Ashe supported the formation of the Association of Tennis Professionals in 1972. That year proved momentous for Ashe when he was denied a visa by the South African government, and was thus kept out of the South African Open. Ashe used this to publicize South Africa’s apartheid policies: in the media, Ashe called for South Africa to be expelled from the professional tennis circuit.
In 1975, Ashe won Wimbledon, defeating Jimmy Connors in the final. He also won the season ending championship WCT Finals. He played for a few more years, but after being slowed by heart surgery in 1979, he retired in 1980.

Ashe remains the only black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, or Australian Open. He is one of only two men of black African ancestry to win any Grand Slam singles title, the other being France’s Yannick Noah, who won the French Open in 1983.

In the early 1980s, Ashe contracted HIV from a blood transfusion he received during heart bypass surgery. Ashe publicly announced his illness in April 1992 and began working to educate others about HIV and AIDS. He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health before his death from AIDS-related pneumonia on February 6, 1993.

On June 20, 1993, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

LEST YOU THINK I’M ALL DOOM AND GLOOM…I have a thing where I’m always wishing people belated birthdays!
It’s not on purpose, really. I just get distracted by life. So even though you are on my mind, I may not get a chance to wish you the happiest of birthdays
Complete with blessings and love and hopes of this birthday be the happiest birthday you’ve ever had until your NEXT birthday.
Because I can be over the top when it comes to wishing people happy birthday. *cough*

Moving along…Did you know that yesterday was the birthday of Trayvon Martin?
He woulda been 19! Tangentially related, my daughter turns 19 this year.

She’ll be just returning to college as a sophmore on her birthday.
She’ll be just returning from studying abroad.
She’ll be excited about seeing her friends at school after not seeing them for the summer.
She’ll be happy she’s not at home with her parents worrying the shit outta her asking her a bunch of questions.

And me? I’ll celebrate her birthday and that I don’t have to celebrate her memory while other people celebrate the reason she is no longer with us by making him a celebrity by calling her at an insanely early hour to sing her happy birthday*.

*Yeah. Death. It’s what’s for the BHFOTD.

 

 

 

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