Tourists: Nick & Vicki Brown, Paul & Lucy Lubbock, Peter and Jill Lynch, Eamonn Price, Owen Riddall, Ahmed El-Refee
This tour was some time coming having been postponed from 2020 due to Covid-19 interruptions. In the meantime, the location moved from the East Coast to the West Coast & Mid-West of the USA. I am sorry to those who had hoped to be in the touring party but had to drop out during this time for various reasons. Needless to say, we are most grateful to everyone in the US who looked after us and helped this magnificent tour – some, not all, will be mentioned in dispatches during this report but a special and huge thanks goes to Bill Ullman as the incoming tour captain. Bill, you did an amazing job!
9th – 11th September DENVER
The touring party arrived in Denver to very patient hosts as the global shortage of baggage handlers made everyone wait for their first refreshment at the Cherry Cricket. Games of squash and doubles at the Denver Athletic Club, including lunch in the Hashim Khan Room, followed the next day before a brief but colourful tour of Denver from Rob Hill. Rob & Julie kindly entertained us all that evening at their house, Rob still as colourful as ever.
11th -12th September WINTER PARK
Our first drive took us through the mountains, via Red Rock, to Idaho Springs for pizza at Beau Jo’s (with Preston Quick) and across the continental divide at Berthoud Pass for a night of fun and games at The Quick’s wonderful residence in Winter Park. The first taste of elk meat for most of the tourists I expect – this was hunted and prepared beautifully by John & Annie Lesko who also hosted and entertained us that evening.
12th – 13th September COLORADO SPRINGS
An early start to commence the drive to Colorado Springs where, despite the unfortunate absence of Bill Palmer (due to Covid), we were royally entertained at the Guillermo Squash Club and enjoyed the spectacular scenery of the mountains. The following day, on the way to Santa Fe, Bill and Jane (who had stepped in for Bill Palmer) kindly hosted us at the Broadmoor for a lunch which gave us sustenance for the road trip that followed.
13th – 16th September SANTA FE
Santa Fe – what a place! From our evening greeting at Stuart and Fiddle Kirk’s house by a court Jester, to the final farewell breakfast, we were spoilt by all that Santa Fe offers. Squash at the Kiva Club kept us panting for air (altitude still being a challenge for us all) and the art and history left us wanting more. The trip to Tsankawi (guided by Bruce and Woody), followed by the immediate contrast of Los Alamos is a day that is a highlight for many of us.
16th – 19th September SAN FRANCISCO
A short flight from Albuquerque took us back to sea level and got the whole tour party together, Jill joining us for the first time. Fresh legs met us for another few days of squash, parties and adventures. We practiced at the University Club when we first arrived but were humbled at the Olympic Club the following day on the squash courts. Missy Smit hosted us all for drinks and dinner (and some impromptu entertainment from ‘Stewball’) and Simon & Kimberley Blattner treated us to a private wine tasing at Muscardini Cellars, Sonoma. Needless to say, we took full advantage of the San Francisco party atmosphere (maybe some more than others) before Alex Dean took us to Stamford to meet the squash legend, and well known story teller, Mark Talbott before the drive to Santa Barbara.
19th – 20th September SANTA BARBARA
A fleeting visit to Santa Barbara was full with action organised by Terry & Sally Eagle. Dinner at the world famous La Super Rica Restaurant, visit to The Cate School and a brilliant whale watching trip (guided by Sally) was all packed into around 18hrs before we were back on the road, this time to Los Angeles.
20th – 22nd September LOS ANGELES
We checked into the Jonathan Club and were in the Dodgers Stadium within the hour. Hot dogs, beer and Mexican Bloody Mary’s to keep us going plus a special mention for the Jesters on the big screen (a nice touch by Bill!). Back to downtown LA with enough time for Ahmed to find an underground downtown ‘speak easy’ bar (the Queensbury) to complete the whirlwind day before an early start to get to the Universal Studios for a private guide. The Jesters tour was really in overdrive by this time. Bob Mosier treated the team to dinner at the California Club, and for lunch and some Paddle tennis (not to be confused with Padel tennis) at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica before the final road trip to San Diego. Sadly, we had to say good bye to Peter and Jill at this time as they needed to return to the UK for another social occasion!
22nd – 24th September SAN DIEGO
Between Blair and Georgia Sadler, Renato Pavia and Jim Zug the UK team (now joined by the President Robert & Lesley Dolman) and other US Jesters enjoyed a combination of games (golf, padel, squash, doubles, backgammon & table tennis) and entertainment at various locations. Highlights including a cocktail party on the beach at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, games at the new Access Youth Academy venue and the ‘coup de grace’ dinner at the spectacular Hotel Del Coronado. A fitting end to an incredible couple of weeks – thank you to all the US Jesters and friends.
Nick Brown – UK Team Captain 2022
An Ode to the Tour by Jill Barrow (24th Sept 2022)
Here we are at the end of the UK Jesters 2022 West Coast tour,
It has been everything we could have imagined & so much more,
So as we draw things to a close,
I thought we could sum it all up with a little prose,
Firstly, we are grateful for all the hard work that brought this together,
And we apologise profusely for bringing the rainy weather,
Rain didn’t dampen our spirits and it really has been a trip we won’t forget,
Incredible locations and warm hospitality from everyone we’ve met,
With friendly faces & welcomes at each and every place,
And an amazing jam-packed itinerary that ran at pace,
We managed to make it on time to at least one event,
And it goes without saying, our time here really has been very well spent,
With a healthy dose of competition on the court,
And sharing with old & new friends that love the sport,
We’ll take our experience of hardball doubles back home,
Although for some chasing that ball is a difficult skill to hone,
Off the courts there have been a few tales to tell,
From vineyards, and baseball, to whale watching as well,
Some of our driving could be called into question,
And we’ve eaten more tacos than we care to mention,
Owen has claimed the title of easiest Billet ever,
After all his San Francisco dating endeavours,
Ahmed has managed to stay awake most of the time,
And Paul’s managed to just about keep all his belongings with him just fine,
We really do have a lot to thank Jock Burnett for,
I wonder if he ever envisaged these spectacular tours,
So thank you again to all involved, there really are too many to name,
And I’ll end with the words of a true Jester, ‘Play up, play up, play the game’