To be back in the Caymans, those lost islands tucked below Cuba, where the beaches are named by the miles they stretch, where the cruise ships anchor only on some days of the week, where the sting rays usually don’t sting and where the sun is warm all day long. I went down for the first Cayman Open a couple of years ago. Was there exactly a year ago today.
Now the upset-laden women’s World Open has just finished there, Nicol David grabbing her seventh title, and it pains me not to have made it back there.
Steve Cubbins is blogging, with his usual verve and comprehensiveness, about the Cayman World Open:
Barclay White, one of the quietest revolutionaries in the history of U.S. squash, died in October just a couple of weeks after turning ninety.
A Quaker, White founded the South Penn Wood Squash Racquets Association, which consisted of a doubles court he erected in a barn on his farm near Westtown School. For many years South Penn Wood was a beloved, quirky part of the Philadelphia squash doubles scene.
White teamed up with local architect Paul Monaghan to design their famous folding court, a $8,500 plywood court that two people could erect or put away easily. They also founded Squashcon, the country’s first commercial squash club chain, starting with Berwyn Squash Racquets Club. Next year Berwyn celebrates its fortieth anniversary.
It has been a record year for the Friends of Dartmouth Squash. After a long hiatus, the Friends has been revived in 2012. We had a fabulously fun afternoon in New York in January: playing squash, cocktailing and then three dozen of us going into the Tournament of Champions.
Then in September we had a gala weekend in Hanover. It was great to be back on the campus, with school in session and unforgettable, soft September sunsets. Players from seven decades returned, as did almost all the former living coaches, including Aggie Kurtz, Kirk Randall, Chuck Kinyon, Jim McCracken and Chris Brownell. We had some hilarious moments on the golf course, gladitorial moments on the squash courts (which is worse, losing to a former teammate who was lower on the ladder or your former coach?) and raucous moments on the late-night pong tables of various fraternities.
Stephanie Banbury took some great photos, so here is the link to the pile if you want to browse: