mornings with Ronald Reagan

5 May

I was hungover a few week ago and spent a lazy morning on the beach. I was feeling espeically frugal so instead of renting a beach chair, I sat back against a palm tree by the shade.  I attempted to read some, but the words weren’t staying still and instead the sight of an old man, meticiolously sweeping a beach volleyball court caught my attention.  He was sort of a human zambogee, taking great paints to even out the wavy ridges of sand on his court.  I watched as a few small kids ran across his newly prepared courts and left a trail of footprints behind them.  He seemed annoyed, but not angry, and instead of chasing the children away he threw them a volleyball and encouraged that they give the sport a try.

He saw me looking and told me his friends would be coming soon, and that I should stick around to play a game.  He introduced himself as Ronald, like Ronald Reagan he joked.

Why not I thought. I’ve always wanted to play, and somewhere in the blackout days of Stuy lies a memory of even trying out for the high school volleyball team.

So I went on napping in the shade and when the volleyball court seemed to fill up with people, I came over and introduced myself to the guys.  There was an American who was an investment banker.  He lives in Miami but spend his time travelling across Latin America in search of good investments.  Not too shabby.

I tossed the ball around with him a bit and I was doing well.  I thought I was ready to play.  But he told me I only knew the basics and there was still a lot to learn.  I would have to wait on the sidelines until some more beginners arrived.  The game that was about to start was for advanced guys only.

Hey, at least they gave it to me straight.  But it was typical how I thought I was ready to play with the big-wigs after just a few minutes of practice.  I sat around for a while, listening to music, snapping in and out of my hang over, and reading a few pages from my book.

I finally got the chance to play a few hours later and I realized quickly just how much more there was to learn.  I asked Ronal if he gave lessons. He did.  It would cost 30 dollars for 20 lessons.

I signed up on the spot.


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