Tuesday, November 06, 2007
First of all racquets or rackets? Who knows. As I'm typing they both look wrong, so I might just have to go with 'bats'.
LK collects them, has done for years and at last count we had over 200 of the things in our attic and storage cupboards. They're not small and in a town where land is roughly $1 million an acre, it's not exactly a practical hobby either. They are surprisingly beautiful though, and after years of bundling them all in bin-liners and hiding them away we've finally put some up on display:
I know - just looking at that magnolia wall makes me itch to paint it 'capuccino' or 'ochre' or some other trendy Restoration Hardware colour. On a side note, I did notice Pottery Barn have a shade of green called 'dill weed' which I would love to use just so when Lance asked about it I could say "it's green. Dill weed".
Aren't they gorgeous? For about $3 each you can find one of these at any thrift store or antique shop and they are works of art. Some of LK's rackets are clearly almost a hundred years old, predating leather grips even. They all have different woods inlaid, and time-worn inscriptions like this one that says "Wright & Ditson, Boston Mass".
Obviously a collection like this makes more sense in our wonderful arid climate. As anyone who's looked for that old racket in the back of the wardrobe in England knows, damp and wooden rackets don't mix, and even those brilliant old racket-presses are no guarantee you won't end up with equipment the shape of Charlie Chaplin's legs.
Second only to this hobby, is LK's passion for taking one of these 50-yr old rackets to the local tennis courts for a pick up a game with some random stranger. Someone no doubt strutting around with his latest computer-enhanced GPS enabled titanium weapon. LK watches them sneer as he produces his antiquated racket, politely turns down their proffered spare racket, and then he tears them a new one.