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Ping Pong




Torm Feste

On Saturday, September 7, 2019 Debbie Fazio had the opportunity to play table tennis at Woodbridge High School in the New Jersey Senior Olympic games, women’s singles category, ages 60 to 64. 
Also, included were players in the 55 to 59 age categories as well. Deb competed in a Round Robin series playing each of the other four competitors (one being Nancy Lu last year ‘s gold medal winner) in best 2 out of 3 matches, losing only one of the nine games she played! 
Debbie went for the gold and won! She is now officially the 2019 New Jersey Woman’s Table Tennis Champion in the 60 to 64 age group! It’s an experience she will never forget! 
Debbie contributes her success to the Holiday City South Ping- Pong Club members, who have challenged her week after week for over four years and helped make her a better player. Kudos to all! 


And congratulations to Debbie!



JULY UPDATE          

Torm Feste


Sorry about no report for the month of June. I spent the third week of May in Norway to celebrate 17th May, which is Norway’s Constitution Day. By the time I returned and recovered it was too late to file anything. But nothing important reportedly occurred in Room 1 in May, except a really nice birthday party for several players. Their names? EMELENE – where are you???


By the way, while in the “old country”, I was invited to a local table tennis club where players of all ages worked out. And don’t call it ping pong over there! Sacre Bleu!! That is cause to be kicked out of the club, or at least, scorned for the rest of the day. I watched some of the more age-advanced seniors play and finally accepted their invitation to join in. Holy ship! Their slams felt like golf balls when they hit me. These mother –s could have killed me had I not been smart enough to duck under the table.

And they weren’t even mothers, I bet. Grandmothers and great-grandmothers most of them looked like. Needless to say, I never felt like joining the old MEN except for a beer after the “practice.”


And here, back home, my suggestion to look outward for some pleasant new ping pong competition didn’t excite too many, it seems. Not even after the Board gave their blessing to allow members from other communities to visit us and play here. Well, the pool is open so that is probably sufficient excitement for us. Have a marvellous summer, everybody.




MAY UPDATE          

Torm Feste


Somewhat amazed, I realize that this group of friends and competitors have hung together and enjoyed each other’s company and competition for close to ten years now. We have still a substantial number of original members in the gang. Imagine that! And we were already seniors when we, somewhat hesitantly, put up our first table and, expertly, viewed and selected white balls which seemed way too small and too light, paddles which, surprisingly, were colored red on one side and green or blue on the other side. Aha – men hit with the red side because they believed they hit harder and thus were more dangerous while women, who always prefer multiple choices, would use the softer colors. That made sense. Richie, who had grown up with two shuffleboard lanes his father had planted in his yard and therefore knew how to play ping pong, our very verbal initial instructor and he, in turn, took instruction (orders) from Toots.


And look at us now. Are we better than when we started out? Absolutely! Are we actually good now? That is a matter of debate. After having played for so many years we certainly shouldn’t be any worse than we are. But good?


Eh-, we have one very good player, the rest of us, perhaps fairly good or decent. It could be fun to really determine exactly how we stack up against some of our neighboring senior communities. Something for our fearless leaders, George and Richie, to look into, perhaps? Why not contact some of them and find out if they have any interest in some friendly competition? Or, oh oh, here is another brilliant idea; (yumping Yimminy, they yust squirt out of my brain like poop out of a bambino), an in-house competition where we all participate. Each person who wishes to play writes his/her name of a piece of paper, puts them all in a hat and then picks the partner. Single knock-out games and the entire tournament completed in two hours. Cm’on, gang, let’s try something new and different for a change!!


And now, how about some exciting news from Room 1? WHAT, nothing?? Well, here is a sad news item – my “sports editor” and proof-reader and assignment advisor, Emelene Lovallo, is retiring as our reporter. BAD NEWS! But she has been doing the write-ups for us ping pongers for a long time now, and we are all grateful for her faithful service to our beloved activity, without any help and little encouragement from the rest of us. Thank you very much, Emelene, for a service well done; and don’t disappear. You are one of our “originals” , and we want you to keep playing with us for years to come.



APRIL UPDATE          

Emelene Lovallo

Heavy Hitters of Holiday City South Ping Pong Players What is, and who are, the Heavy Hitters of HCS ping pong players? Heavy Hitters, under the leadership of Chief Richie Benner, are for the most part a group of male players. These men hit the ball so hard it is almost impossible for their opponents to make a return play. The heavy hitters usually play at the table at the far side of the room.


Most of the time the men, Richie B, Torm F, Bob M, Tony P and Peter S, would never leave their place at the table and would play the total of two hours without stopping to take a breath of air. However good sportsmanship and fair play come into play and the men will give up their place, no matter how reluctantly, to other players waiting patiently for their chance to play.


The women who qualify as heavy hitters and play just as well as a man are Marion J and Debbie Fazio. Sometimes the less spectacular but daring women players will challenge the heavy hitter men to a game. At times these women play very well and give the heavy hitter men a run for their money.


Men, being men, do not like to lose, especially to a woman, will up their game and all hell will break loose in the room. Nothing is as stimulating as a good challenge. The men and women really enjoy these challenges that bring so much fun and interest to the games, and at the end of the day everyone remains friends. Everyone is here to have fun, and fun we have. There is no room for any mean spiritness.

Quote of the month: Lets Have Fun and be Carefree Anon.


MARCH UPDATE          

Meet and say hello to Barbara VanBuskirk. She is the uncrowned queen of T.B.B.T.T.S., when she, statuesquely, glides into room one (1) on ping pong days; appropriately on hour after her subjects have warmed up the tables, the paddles, the balls (ping pong), and the chairs, and thus, sweating bullets, here arrives Her Majesty, fresh as an opened package of boxer shorts. Critiquely reviewing her panting and dripping wet “warmer uppers,” she airily selects a suitable partner and opponents for the table of her choice. This would be the appropriate time for the rest of us to chime in with “God Save the Queen,” but we don’t know the lyrics so we just bow our heads submissively.

Barbara is originally from Union, NJ and moved to Toms River some 60 years ago, and then to HCS about 12 years later, according to police reports. This unfocused and somewhat unorthodox sports reporter was still living in God’s Country (Brooklyn, NY) at that time and, unfortunately, missed the parade celebrating her arrival here.

She is one of the originals (in the ping pong room) and one of the few normal ones still here, perhaps the only one. And believe me, we are happy to have her in our T.B.B.T.T.S. Keep banging those balls, “your majesty,” and we’ll keep bowing our heads.

And things are, as usual, very lively and loud when the group gets together. Guys arrive with spring in their steps and fire in their eyes, kicking empty boxes and buckets in their path, then oohing and aaahing and jumping on one leg when they accidently hit what they weren’t aiming at, with toes now hurting like hell. And the ladies showing up in their tight fitting bodysuits, fabulous make-up on their pretty faces, tiptoeing in colorful sneakers across the room like angels. Hey, I can dream, can’t I? Let me tell you, life is sweet if you don’t weaken, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Nobody takes me very seriously, that’s for sure.


To be continued…



What can be better than to spend St. Valentine’s Day in the ping pong room. February, a cold and dark month, freezing cold winds, biting chills, and snow and in the middle of winter, is 100 times more tolerable when celebrating Valentine’s Day. All is not gloom and doom. February, the month of lovers, brings much to satisfy the heart and soul.

St. Valentine was a Christian priest in Italy during the Roman era. He married young lovers in secret because the Romans forbade young men from marrying with the thought that marriage would weaken young men for the army. Also St. Valentine was known to sign all of his letters, Your Valentine. And so the legend began. It is significant that the words romantic and romance have the word Roman in them .

Love is rampant in the ping pong room, epitomized by George McGowan and Marion Niecsiecki: their love of the game, the love the friendships generated by the players and just plain love of the fun. These benefits have lasted these past nine years and do not have any signs of diminishing.


JANUARY UPDATE            

Meet Marion Jessiman


Female table tennis player supreme in HCS!

Every ready Bunny Rabbit; perpetual motion, this bundle of energy is beyond comparison in T.B.B.T.T.S. (Did you forget already? The Bleached Bones Table Tennis Society).

Did you ever see her sitting still , doing nothing? I still, vaguely, remember when she showed up initially, to check out the ping pong group, some 7 years ago. We have watched her develop herself into one of the "heavy hitters", as Richie says. From a very average player in our fraternity, Marion has, obviously, concentrated on learning various aspects of the game, rather than, like most of the rest of us, just settling for hitting the ball in the generally north or south directions, and hope it hits the right end of the table. She'll slap or spin with the best, and even the " heavy hitters" are clamoring to have her on their side of the table in a game.

Marion has also conducted, and still does, beginner-instructions on Saturday mornings for interested newcomers. She is also one of the two who tried to get the "couch-potatoes" out to ride their bicycles this past summer and autumn while giving their autos a rest. That project was a complete failure, but, heck, not for lack of efforts by Marion. My understanding is that she is responsible for the bus trip tour program for the Social Club. Talk about a full plate!

Meanwhile, back in the ping pong room things are heating up. No, nobody touched the thermostat, Richie. That darned thing never works right, anyway. The general posse is getting rest less and are beg inning to horn in on the "hitters" and the older and, by far, the best table in the room. They want to show the old-timers that they are catching up. And many really are. Shemales like Barbara, Marion Notwithhickie (something like that), Froxy, Gailiant, and others, can, on their good days, sweep most of the guys off the tables like breadcrumbs. Sorry, fellows, but I think our glory days are coming to an inglorious end very soon.

Well, it was fun while it lasted; no? And on that happy footnote - I wish all our players and  readers HAPPY NEW YEAR!