A Spring Like No Other.
The members of Yonkers’ venerable Racquet Club on Park Hill will not soon forget the spring of 2020, when the club, New York, America and indeed the world nearly shut down, to try to defeat a nasty little bug called the novel coronavirus. As of the first week end of June, already 112,000 Americans (more than a fourth of the world’s total) had succumbed to what science calls Covid-19 -- the world’s worst pandemic in a century. And nowhere, in America or elsewhere, has been hit harder by “the first wave” of the virus than the greater New York City metropolitan area, including Westchester County, as the global research-based pharmaceutical industry races to develop a safe and effective vaccine.
Now, the club, along with the rest of American society, is gradually reopening, while taking the precautions that political and medical leaders nationwide urge its citizens to observe, to avoid the outbreak of “a second wave” of the virus, especially in the fall, with the onset the annual flu season. The world made incredible progress in medical science during the Twentieth Century. But nature is very capable of throwing unpleasant surprises at society, when contagions can spread so quickly around the world, thanks to the marvels of modern transportation.
This is a good place to express appreciation to the many first responders who are members of the Racquet Club -- doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, physician’s assistants, public health officials, firemen, and so on – all of whom have fortunately come through the pandemic safely. The newsletter editorial team is confident the entire club membership joins in expressing the same gratitude for their efforts in working to keep us all safe during these unprecedented, harrowing recent months. Everyone likewise thanks all those other essential workers who have helped keep the rest of us fed, healthy and otherwise safe during the lockdown.
Members of the Board of Governors
Members of the Board of Governors are periodically asked the names of the full current Board and of the Directors. The three Directors are Justine Henry, Patty Gamba and Kirsten Barbera. The other ten Governors are Treasurer Matt Krawiec, Claire Miko, Chrissy Gervais, George Tucker, Mollie McNealy, Todd Geremia, Tom Westmoreland, Steve Ross, Gabriella Cinquemani and Vic Mason. Thanks to the Directors, the Treasurer and the other members of the Board for their service to the club.
The Club’s Tennis Courts
Fortunately, by late May, the governments of New York State and Westchester County began allowing tennis courts to reopen, but only with the observation of careful distancing and hygienic rules and regulations by tennis clubs. And now Park Hill and other clubs are again permitting tennis doubles among players of different households.
The club house has not yet been opened to members, although the Board of Governors is discussing when, and under what conditions of distancing, the restrooms may again be opened to tennis players. Players must bring their own drinking water to the courts. Roger, the club’s Super, has been regularly disinfecting the gate at the entrance of the club and the gates to the courts with Lysol. He has also been disinfecting door handles, the bathrooms, and other places and surfaces likely to be touched frequently, in anticipation of the clubhouse’s limited reopening.
The Board is, for example, buying new lids for all the toilets of the bathrooms, upstairs and downstairs, and in an upcoming memorandum will remind members to put the toilet lids down before flushing. It has been brought to the attention of the Board that the act of flushing a toilet produces a fine mist that reportedly can itself spread the virus.
The Club’s Swimming Pool
The county has announced dates for the reopening of some of the county’s best-known public swimming pools in late June and early July. The PHRC Board of Governors does not yet know when the club pool can reopen, but it is hoped that the remainder of the county’s public and private pools can reopen by the Fourth of July.
The Board is now fully engaged in refurbishing the pool this month and expects that work to be completed well before the end of June. Rules for distancing in and around the pool and for sanitizing surfaces – chairs, stands, tables and so on – will also be announced when more information about reopening county pools becomes available.
Team Standings. The club’s winter bowling league was interrupted in mid-March with just five weeks remaining in the schedule. The standings as of the last night of bowling, March 10th, were as follow: Jose Alvarado’s Hurricanes, 65 points; Bill Dennison’s Commodores, 64 points; Paul Meissner’s SPDs, 50 points; league president Jon Wallen’s Brownies, 47 points; and Robert Klein’s Mason Jars, 40 points.
Five weeks of play remain. In the week that play was interrupted, the week of March 17th, the top two teams, the Hurricanes and the Commodores, separated by a single point, were scheduled to face off. That means, with only five weeks left, the top two teams meet twice, including the last week of the season, whenever the county government gives the go-ahead for bowling alleys to reopen.
Individual Averages. The top ten averages in the league, as of mid-March, belong to: Bill Dennison, 166; Paul Meissner, 161; Jon Wallen, 159; Jose Alvarado, 156; Ed Schmid, 154; Bill Coffey, 147; Robert Klein, 146; Deane Prouty, 144; Pat O’Hanlon, 142; and Jennifer Ringstad, 141. The next ten averagesare: Vic Mason, 140; John Maggiotto and Paul Cecere, 138; Steve Savard, 136; Patty Gamba, 135; Karen Lorence and Annmarie Ennis, 134; John Twomey, 129; Cathy Mulhern, 127; and Susie Moscou, 113.
Individual High Games. Personal high games thus far have been bowled by: Paul Meissner and Bill Dennison, 221; Jon Wallen, 217; Jose Alvarado, 212; Ed Schmid, 207; John Twomey and Vic Mason, 205; Bill Coffey and Steve Savard, 202; Paul Cecere, 200; Cathy Mulhern, 196; Deane Prouty, 188; Patty Gamba, 186; Pat O’Hanlon and Karen Lorence, 184; John Maggiotto, 182; Jennifer Ringstad, 180; Robert Klein, 178; Annmarie Ennis, 176; and Susie Moscou, 162.
Individual High Series. Bowlers’ personal high series thus far are as follow: Bill Dennison, 576; Paul Meissner, 554; Jon Wallen, 541; Ed Schmid, 540; Jose Alvarado, 532; Vic Mason, 522; Paul Cecere, 515; Pat O’Hanlon, 513; Cathy Mulhern, 512; Deane Prouty, 510; Bill Coffey, 494; Robert Klein, 491; Patty Gamba, 488; Jennifer Ringstad, 484; Karen Lorence, 477; Steve Savard, 467; Annmarie Ennis, 465; John Twomey, 464; John Maggiotto, 454; and Susie Moscou, 393.
A Shortened Social Season
Until mid-March, the club’s winter social season was going full blast, as usual, when everything had to shut down. Throughout the winter, Justine Henry organized weekly yoga nights for club members and other residents of the Park Hill area. Every week end, members enjoyed vigorous games of pickleball in the big hall, organized by Lyrica Leon and Jim Beirne.
In late January and early March, Patty Gamba organized pizza-and-bowling Fridays that were a lot of fun. On Saturday, February 8th, Tom Westmoreland pulled off another well-attended and festive “Karaoke Night” in the lounge. Sadly, the much anticipated showing of the movie “Leprechaun”, hosted by Matt and Chrissy Gervais, was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.
Condolences to Club Members over the Passing of Loved Ones
The club sadly announces the passing this year of relatives of several long-time members.
First, in late January, came the passing of Francisca Negron, beloved mother of Siso Negron. The club expresses its heartfelt condolences to Siso, Liz Malave and Raquel Negron on their loss.
On March 21st, the Liberatore and Olin families announced that Mary Liberatore’s beloved sister, Julia Trotta Zottoli, had died peacefully at home at the age of 97. A former member of the Park Hill Racquet Club, Julia also leaves behind two sons, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Next the club expressed its sympathy to the Klein family -- Robert, Jackie, Robert Junior, and Kevin – over the death early last month of Jackie’s beloved brother, Edison Mejia, at the age of 53 from Covid-19. Edison is survived by his wife and four children: three daughters and a son.
Then, in mid-May, the family of Patty Schumann and Dave Steck announced that Patty’s beloved father, George Schumann, had passed away at home due to natural causes. The club expressed its sincere condolences to Patty, husband Dave Steck, and their twin children, Owen and Matilde Steck on their loss.