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History of U.S.

Table Tennis
Vol. VII: 1973-1975

Here [at the U.S. Open] the audience participation is genuinely


enthusiastic, unmotivated by anything else but the Sport itself.
Here people breathe with the ball.

BY TIM BOGGAN
USATT HISTORIAN

TIM BOGGAN
Tim Boggan is a former
International Table Tennis
Federation Vice-President, and a
former three-term President of the
United States Table Tennis
Association (now USA Table
Tennis).
For 14 years he served as
Editor of the National Publication,
and is the author of Winning Table
Tennis (1976) and Volumes I
(2000) through VII (2007) of his
multi-volume History of U.S.
Table Tennis. For over 30 years he taught English at Long Island University
in Brooklyn, and since 1965 has been a prodigious writer for the Sport.
Having retired from teaching, he is currently the USA Table Tennis Historian,
as well as the Associations Secretary.
He has received the ITTF Order of Merit Award, and the USTTA
Barna Award. In 1985 he was inducted into the USTTA Hall of Fame, and
for more than a quarter of a century has been on that Halls Board of
Directors. In 2006 he received the Associations Mark Matthews Lifetime
Achievement Award.
He was a member of the 1971 U.S. Ping-Pong Diplomacy Team to
China, and since then has attended, as an official and/or journalist some 20
World Championships. In 1975 he Captained the U.S. Team to the Calcutta
Worlds.
As a player through five decades, he has on occasion, in addition to
some modest early tournament success, and, later, some success in World
Veterans Championships, been the U.S. Over 40, 50, 60, and 70 Singles and
Doubles Champion.
Both of his sons, Scott and Eric, were U.S. Junior and then U.S.
Mens Singles Champions. Both are in the USTTA Hall of Fame.
Price: $35.00

J. Clady [modified] cover shows 1974 U.S. Open Tournament Chair Ron Shirley.

History of U.S. Table Tennis


VOL. VII: 19731975:

Here [at the U.S. Open] the audience participation is genuinely


enthusiastic, unmotivated by anything else but the Sport itself.
Here people breathe with the ball.

by Tim Boggan, USATT Historian

Copyright 2007

This book is for Adham Sharara.

I want to acknowledge again how much I appreciate Larry Hodgess indispensible contribution
toward the making of my books (scanning photos, help in laying out pages in volume after
volume). Without his experience and efficiency, its possible I would not have completed these
volumes, or at least not have completed them as quickly as I have.

Mal Anderson, too, gets more than a special nod for sharing with me his enormous collection of
photos of players and officials.

Id also like to give special thanks again to Dave Sakai for his continual effort and encouragement.

I take this opportunity, too, to applaud Professor Scott Gordon, the USATT Film Archivist,
for his determined efforts to locate and preserve the all too few films from our historic past.

PRINTED BY: The Outer Office, Lime Kiln Road, Fulton, MD

ISBN NUMBER: 0-9707657-6-2

COPYRIGHT 2007
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a
retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

Acknowledgements
From Oct., 1933 through Nov.-Dec., 1993, the name United States Table Tennis
Association (USTTA) prevailed; thereafter the Association is referred to as USA Table Tennis
(USATT). During these years this Volume deals with, 1973-75, Im of course greatly indebted
to the official publication of the USTTA, Table Tennis Topics.
Those to whom I particularly want to show my gratitude: Mal Anderson, Ray
Arditi, Mike Baber, Mike Babuin, Tom Baudry, Peter Becker, Laszlo Laci Bellak,
Houshang Bozorgzadeh, Bard Brenner, Ross Brown, Bob Burke, Chuck Burns, Jack
Carr, Enid Chase, Ray Chen, Lim Ming Chui, Robert Compton, Dave Cox, Fred
Danner, Charlie Disney, Dick Evans, Shazzi Felstein, Ray Fields, Sam Fletcher, Neal
Fox, Yoshio Fushimi, Danny Ganz, Sandor Glancz, Cosmo Graham, Bob Green, Mike
and Norma Greene, Fred Grobee, Howie Grossman, Don Gunn, Bobby Gusikoff,
Harvey Gutman, John Hanna, Rufford Harrison, Tibor and Magda Hazi, Fred Herbst,
Allan Herscovich, Dr. Bob Ho, Larry Hodges, Mike Hoffland, Jack Howard, Azmy
Ibrahim, Steve Isaacson, Dean Johnson, Bob and Barbara Kaminsky, Lem Kuusk, Vic
Landau, D-J Lee, Joseph C. H. Lee, Marv and Caron Leff, Paul Lewis, Ray Mack,
Barry Margolius, Patty Martinez, Janet Martorano, Subash Mashruwala, John Masters,
Mary McIlwain, Jack Buddy Melamed, Dick Miles, Parviz Mojaverian, Marcy
Monasterial, Leah Thall Neuberger, Joe Newgarden, Dean Norman, Denis OConnell,
Tyra Parkins, Dr. Amrut Patwardhan, Bruce Peeso, Marv Plevinsky, Peter Pradit,
Marty Prager, Scott Preiss, Pam Ramsey, Paul Raphel, John Read, Philip Reid, Marty
Reisman, Errol and Jairie Resek, Danny Robbins, Stan Robens, Fuarnado Roberts,
Raul Rodriguez, Eric Rosenthal, Dave and Donna Sakai, Greg Sawin, William
Scheltema, Sol Schiff, Chris and Lois Schlotterhausen, Dr. Michael Scott II, Dan
Seemiller, Adham Sharara, Tom Slater, Thelma Tybie Thall Sommer, Graham
Steenhoven, Doug Stewart, Rudi Stipkovic, Dell and Connie Sweeris, Russ Thompson,
Jose Tomkins, Zdenko Uzorinac, Jim Verta, Herb Vichnin, Bill Walk, Derek Wall, Si
Wasserman, Helen Weiner, Jack Wiener, and Mort, Evelyn, Jeff and Chuck Zakarin.
Since Ive acquired former USTTA Historian Leah Neubergers records, Im able to
show, from their beginnings into the beginning 1990s, the results of World Championships;
annual Canadian National Exhibition Championships; U.S. Closed Championships; U.S. Open
Team Championships; Eastern Open Team Championships; and numerous City and State
tournaments around the country.
I again want to thank Leah Neubergers sister, Thelma Tybie Thall Sommer, for
agreeing, after Leahs death, that I might, in my Historians role, have access to these unique
labor-of love Binders. I also want to thank again Leah and Tybies late, longtime friend Bob
Green for taking the considerable time and trouble of boxing up all these Binders (as well as
the many miscellaneous Folders Leah had acquired) and sending them to me.
References where possible, including photo acknowledgements, will appear in the text.

Introduction
Beginning in 1970 as Editor of the USTTA magazine,
and then in 1972 as President of the Association, I, Tim,
encouraged both our players and our Topics readership to
reach out to the real world of overseas table tennis. Its fair
to say I worked hard at it. Here, lauding my efforts, is former
USTTA Vice-President Fred Herbst, whom I wouldnt always
see eye to eye with (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 13):
Letter to the Editor:
Seems you just cant
believe your eyes anymore.
Im sitting here looking at the
latest issue of Topics jampacked with 60 pages of
fascinating print and pictures.
But its obviously a mirage! Its patently impossible to
gather, write-edit, collate, type, linotype, print, and mail that [tabloid] size of a
publication in the few weeks since Yugoslavia.
Having labored four years as a working newspaperman during my checkered
career, I can testify to the impossibility of one man doing this job, much less doing it as
a part-time effort.
Then again, it might be conceivable if the text was random, dull, tract-like stuff.
But the completeness of results; news from all corners of the country; fascinating
descriptions, stories, and sidelights of the Worlds; interesting columnists with humor
and originality; plans, programs, and suggestions; feature articles, etc. make the
accomplishment all the more incredible. The photos, too, excellently enhanced the
stories.
Maybe youd better print Topics in Braille, Tim, my eyes are playing tricks on
me.
Ah, very nice, very encouraging. But Im quite mortal. Beside that Letter was
anothercomplaining that there wasnt any write-up of the 1973 U.S. Open. Although I gave
very detailed results of every event and had quite a few supporting photos, I just didnt have
time or energy to do a storyshould have had someone else do it.
Now, so many years later, as Historian I again in this
Volume, as in the last, want to emphasize that significant
outward movement of the USTTA toward International
Table Tennis. We get off to a good start with a 1973 U.S.
Team at the First World University Championships in Hannover,
Germany. Follow in the spring of 74 with our U.S. players winning a
Junior Team tournament in Flensburg, Germany. Then add another
success when in the fall our U.S. Team takes the Kingston, Jamaica
International tournament over Caribbean, Canadian and English
players.
Hannover
4

Thanks then to more and more U.S. play abroad, particularly to Danny Seemillers
play, and to extensive coverage in Topics of tournaments all over the world, U.S. players and
interested readers were becoming increasingly aware of how we compared competitively with
country after country. This will be the more apparent as we follow the progress of play
through the 1970s, for suddenly many world-class competitors will be coming to our once
rather isolated shores, will join with us to engageso that everyone will now have to agree:
we belong.
With Rufford Harrison as head of the ITTF Equipment Committee, John Read as a
member of the ITTF Classification Committee, Tim Boggan as a member of the ITTF Junior
Commission and USTTA Delegate to the Nagoya and Sarajevo Worlds (assisted by George
Buben and Mort Zakarin), the U.S. is being kept aware of ever-changing Federation rules that
affect world-wide play. For
instance at Sarajevo, we learn
(TTT, May-June, 1973, 60):
An emergency
suspension may not be
granted for the breaking
of a racket, as a player is
required to have a spare
available at the playing area.
In addition to the five-minute rest
period, any player or pair may request a
one-minute interval after each game.
A player may receive advice from
anyone during any authorized interval or
ITTF Equipment Chair Rufford Harrison
Photo by Mal Anderson
suspension of play.A player may not
receive advice from anyone during a
game, such as during a pause for toweling, or at the change of ends in the last possible
game of a match.
A blue card may be used by the umpire to give formal notification to a player of
questionable service.A yellow card[for] unsportsmanlike or offensive behavior,
and a red card to give formal notification that he is to be disqualified for persistent
behavior of this type.
Harrison (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 10) is always at the forefront of up-to-date
controversial discussions about equipment. With regard to the rubber on ones racket, he raises
the two-color question long before the ITTF will make the red/black colors, one on one side,
one on the other, mandatory:
Some players use antispin on one side and a more conventional rubber on
the other. On some rackets the colors of these two are identical. A player with such a
racket can use the indistinguishability of the two sides to advantage, and, looked at one
way, of course he should. However, if the two sides are truly indistinguishable, then the
player has an advantage to which the opponent has no answer and this is hardly what
we want. It would shorten the rallies, which is probably undesirable. And it would be
5

unintelligible to the spectators, who could well think the unwitting receiver a poor
playeragain, an undesirable situation.
On the other hand, if the spectators can tell from the color of the racket which
side is being used, they will be particularly interested in knowing how the other player
handles each type of rubber. I think it ought to add to the interest.
Players in general want to become more aware of the technological developments going on
in the Gameand their interest will certainly please Equipment Chair Rufford and the
manufacturers. Heres a fellowDave Nicolette from Tallahassee, FLwriting in to Topics
wanting someone to explain to him the characteristics of various types of commercially available
table tennis rubber. He wants specifications for the brands listed below:
height of pips (tall-medium-short, density of distribution of pips (densemedium-sparse), coefficient of friction of the playing surface, hardness of sponge
(hard-medium-soft), thicknesses available (in millimeters)for Butterfly Super-Sriver,
Sriver-L, Sriver, Tempest D-13, Plous, Allround D-13, Allround C4 (pips out), Yasaka
Mark V Soft, Mark V Backside, Hi Original, Cobra***, Cobra*** (pips out),
Hock (all types), YSP (all types), TSP (all types), and anti-topspin.
Topics gives him an answering article.
Another player writes in wanting to know more about what kind of rackets the top
players in the world use. Information on the type of wood, wood ply, wood thickness, brand
of blade, brand of rubber, type of rubber, and any modifications made would be very helpful
and interesting. Topics starts him on his studious way by providing a half-page chart on 30
top players, both shakehands and penholders, and the kind of racket each used for their
particular style of play at the Sarajevo Worlds.
However, one enthusiastMarty Grogan from Cedar Rapids who teaches t.t. at
Kirkwood Collegehasnt as
yet gotten an answer to his
question posed in a Mar.-Apr.,
1974 Topics letter (36). As an
engineer whos had
considerable experience with
kinematic analysisi.e., force
dynamics, ballistics,
aerodynamics, etc.,hes
aware that the analytical
aspects of table tennis have not
been discussed in Topics.
Therefore he asks, Is there any
interest in a description of the
Optimum Racket Trajectory
and Deflection to Minimize the
Effect of Unknown Spins?
New technical development with ITTF approved racket
As the decade unfolds,
Cartoon by Bruce Peeso
Topics will mirror what our
6

USTTAs organizational strengths and


shortcomings are. As youll ingloriously see, the
1973 Long Island U.S. Open Team Championships
quickly tailspinned into disaster; but the 1974
Oklahoma City U.S. Open at the new Myriad
Arena heralded a U.S. table-tennis-is-lookin-up,
much admired, if not perfect success. Here, in the
Presidential Greeting that appeared in that 1974
Okie U.S. Open Program, is the upbeat point of
view I wanted to project, believe in, had to project,
believe in:
Sometimes, as in a dream, History
comes to you all in a rushlike with those 1889
Sooners who first raced their wagons into the
Territory.
Now, 85 years later, another kind of wideOpen is happening for the first time in Oklahoma.
With its record-breaking 850 or so all-eager-at-theUSTTA President Tim Boggan
start entries, this U.S. Nationals too becomes a
From Springfield, ILs Feb. 15, 1972 Spectrum
landmarkone of those recognizable times where,
in the very special sphere of our fast-moving, fastgrowing sport, History is in the making.
Four hundred years ago, the Spanish explorer Coronado looked up at his
never-before-seen Oklahoma night, at the myriad lights around him, and dreamed of
golden stars.
Now, sharing this same spirit of Imagination and Hope, you players and
spectatorsyou player-spectators, at whatever level, of a Game played by over
30,000,000 people in this countryhave come to Oklahoma, many of you, to look at a
strange sky.
Out there amid those Myriad lights, there will be a galaxy of international stars.
And as you watch and wonder, it may be that you, too, will very privately dreamof
spinning a serve return like World Champion Bengtsson, or, like his equally worldfamous counterpart Hasegawa, lobbing a ball to the heavens.
No more than Coronado of course will you likely ever be able to realize in this
arena of a world your golden dream. And yet, as History is sure to tell us, because of
you, you player-spectators, your indefatigable interest, table tennis in this country will
one day soon perhaps finally be staked out, a claim made for it as a major sport.
On behalf of the United States Table Tennis Association, I want both to thank
Ron Shirley and the other promoters of this tournament, those men and women with
vision who have helped to make the Oklahoma of today, and to welcome you and
yours to this once-only-dreamed-of Open, to matches I am sure will be replayed again
and again in your imagination long after they are heard no more.
Tim Boggan
President
U.S. Table Tennis Association
7

After the
success of this 1974
Houston
U.S. Open, many
players and officials
urged that we return to
Oklahoma City for the
1975 U.S. Open. But I
urged, rightly or
wrongly, we give the
Houston Astrodome/Astrohall Stadium group a try because they were interested in holding the
1979 World Championships thereand this I thought we had to go for. Meanwhile, the Trials
to determine the 1975 U.S. Team to the Calcutta Worlds produced prolonged chaos, and yet
that Mens Team came within one match of advancing to the World Championship Division. In
such an action era as this, some things are gonna work, some arentbut theres always
controversy, vitality, always movement.
U.S. players were becoming far more critical and demanding of those running
tournaments, and in some ways were hurting their own cause, for such volunteer workers
wanted to be praised for their selfless work, not chastised. The Minneapolis player/promoter
Charlie Disney, for one, felt tensions rising between those who put on tournaments and those
who played in them.
Our popular circuit-goer, the New York-based Jamaican Fuarnado Roberts, began
(prophetically, as it would turn out) talking about (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 12) a U.S. Closed.
With the USTTAs blessing, he said, he would run it; otherwise, if the E.C. isnt receptive, the
players would simply have to form a Players Associationfor we need not only a U.S. Open
Champion but a bona fide U.S. Closed Champion. Robbie takes liberties, is not always careful
and accurate in what he says, and his actions dont always match his dreams, but hes certainly
right-minded in asking the Association to put more effort into running events with proper
facilities and good conditions. Case in point: the near-disastrous Trials for the 1975 U.S.
World Team. I must say, though, that usually tournament workers accepting responsibility are
committed, come what may, to some personal vision, large or small, and their helpers to a
place with them, that gives them all a confirmed table tennis identity.
In addition to our new International Chair, Bob Kaminsky, whose dedication we saw in
Sarajevo, others taking on Chair jobs were proving equally determined to make a difference.
Junior Development Chair Fred Danner, for example, had set up a non-profit National Junior
Table Tennis Foundation (compare the Little League Baseball one), and began figuring out
how to raise money for it (for example, by diverting 10% of all U.S. World Team Fighting
Fund fees from Junior events into this Foundation). Since boys and girls needed decent places
to play, Freds #1 objective was to get Table Tennis into the Public School System. If
knowledgeable people could take responsible leadership and convince the schools to start
buying tablesthen after-school leagues, evening programs for adults, and weekend
tournaments could gradually follow.
As youll see, players in various parts of the country are interested in following Freds
USTTA Visionhis repeated Guidelines for organized High School play. Five of these (TTT,
Mar.-Apr., 1974, 14; 20) might be summarized as follows: (1) Its absolutely essential to find
two or three teachers, physical education people, and/or students who are willing to provide
leadership. (2) Form 8-10 teams, and play during the winter (have to compete with basketball,
8

wrestling, but avoids conflicts with outdoor soccer, football,


marching band activities, baseball and both boys and girls
tennis). (3) A recommended group for a school match would
be 6 boys and 3 girls competing, with 2 boys and 2 girls
selected as alternates. Boys and girls should be coached and
drilled together. Team members should try to help each other.
Also, (4) every school should have a minimum of 4
tables (preferably 6) available [at least one afternoon in the
school gym] for practices and home matches. A coach or,
since qualified coaches are hard to come by, a Moderator is
indispensable. Fred lists his/her 13 dutieskeeps roster and
complete match-result sheets; monitors equipment; arranges transportation to away matches;
etc. (5) Tie sheets similar to those used at the USOTCs, with the playing format clearly
explained, would be helpful.
As Fred well knows, success in the schools doesnt come without a struggle. After 3 years
of effort promoting junior table tennis on Long Island, Fred and friends were invited by the
Huntington High athletic director to teach 3 consecutive Phys. Ed. classes. The periods were 30
minutes, and Fred had prepared 5-minute segments: intro, including sketching the world t.t. scene;
explaining misconceptions about the Games rules; demonstrating (with class volunteers) spin
serves; stressing physical conditioning (class participates in warm-up exercises); playing very brief
challenge matches; and ending with two good players engaging in an exhibition.
However, on the January, 1974 day in question, Freds plans quickly went awry.
Everyone was late for first period.The roads were full of snow and ice. The tables were not
set up. The gym wall divider was stuck so that the class location was moved across the gym.
The regular instructor didnt come, and class actually started at 8:45 a.m. instead of
8:20.[We eliminated] the spin serves and physical conditioning, and played the exhibition
just as the sun came out, reflecting off the table and blinding one of the players. [Further,] a lot
of continuity was lost when there was no one to comment on what the players were doing
during the match [Fred was where, doing what?]. Fortunately, however, the next two periods
went pretty much as scripted.
Meanwhile, USTTA National Coaching Chair Jeff Smart
and his Regional Chairs continue to do everything they can to try
to get Clubs and Coaches to work together. If a club guarantees an
interest (provides 25 participants), the USTTA, with $5,000 at its
disposal for this purpose, will send a coach to conduct a club clinic
at no cost to the club. Jeffs close friend, Bill Lesner (TTT, Mar.Apr., 1974, 9), adds that at the 1974 U.S. Open, where 10
seminars will be held, the Clubs and Coaches will be expected to
work together in the following manner:
Each club will be asked to pay the way of its local coach [to Oklahoma
City].In return, each coach will be requested to watch the major seminars [held
during the junior and womens matches] and write a report on the new concepts
which he learned, which will be submitted to both the sponsoring club and the regional
coach. Also, each coach upon his return will be expected to give a minimum of a oneday coaching clinic to his respective club.
9

With the rise of prize money tournaments and


players and coaches being paid, those who take
volunteer USTTA jobs want to be paid too, especially if
those jobs are time-consumingand with the increase
in membership (starting in 73 were up to an uninflated
5,000) theyve become more so. Boggan as Editor of
Topics is paid, Marv Shaffer as Membership Chair is
paid, Danner as Junior Development Chair is paid, Dick
Feuerstein as Affiliates Chair is paid. Jeff Smart quickly
seeks a coaching job for himself, and money for a
meaningful USTTA Coaching Program. No sooner
does Neil Fox take over the Ratings Chair nation-wide
than he realizes the enormity of the job. Clearly the
players themselves need to pay for this servicewhich
means tournament organizers have to charge a bit more
on their entry fees specifically for Ratings.
USTTA Rating Chair Neal Fox
Money, money, money. President Boggans
Photo by Mal Anderson
interests in surrounding himself with people who do
good work, in expanding Topics, and moving the U.S. into International play prove
expensiveand so draw criticism. Heres Corresponding Secretary Fred Danner:
It is time that the members of the E.C. who
want to broaden the base of table tennis in the U.S.,
and get the average player out, start to assert some
leadership. Our money priorities are out of whack
with 2/3 of the USTTA expenses going to foreign
commitments and to the newspaper. This is what kills
most good ideas for US-type activities.[We need to]
favor shifts in the emphasis of our national policies and
start to put the U.S. first.
Good ideas are being killed? Like what? I sure dont
think so. I have my passions, my priorities, but Im
approachable. Advances are made by individuals who know
what they want, and go for it. I think the USTTA has made
plenty of advances in my Presidencyand Danners one of
USTTA Corresponding
Secretary
Fred Danner
those whos helped me the most.
The attempt to earn money through
table tennis is a burgeoning phenomenon in these years. Lou Bochenski will
have his Paddle Palace, Milla Boczar her struggling Hollywood Club, John
Stillions his Cedar Rapids Nissen Club, Charlie Disney his Magoos (with Don
Larson as full-time ManagerDon ever eager, for a fee, to offer his services
as a Professional Club Consultant), Sweeris his Woodland Club (where, for
his numerous Coaching Clinics, Training Camps, Tournaments, and
Equipment Sales, Dells formed Table Tennis Promotions, Inc.), and Fujii his
Newgarden-sponsored Miami Club that will morph, with Fujiis departure, into Newgys.
10

Dell Sweeris

And of course, though Bobby Gusikoff is no longer


running the deteriorating dungeon of the Riverside Plaza
Club (former tennis pro Morris Pollack will manage it for a
while), theres Marty Reismans cramped Broadway pingpong parlor. If he, with his varied clientele and character
hangers-on,* can make a go of it, why cant others,
particularly if they set up leagues and cater to family play?
Enthusiastic promoters either quit their jobs or put them on
holdwith sometimes unexpected results: Stillions suicide a
tragic example.
Even a Club member can get in on the action. The
headline of an article in Topics (May-June, 1973, 7; 20)
reads, U.S.T.T.A. Membership Drive (Earn A % Fee For
YourselfPrizes Too!). Another boldly announces a 20%
Finders Fee to anyone bringing in a new Topics ad. Ah,
what promises money makes. Heres Sweeris, a former
Barna Award winner for his contributions to table tennis,
talking to Steve Marcus, a reporter for the Long Island
paper Newsday (Nov. 26, 1973, 73):

Photo by Mal Anderson

My [table tennis] business has unlimited


potential.Im making new contacts all the time. Financially, the banks are behind me.
They know Ive got a good career. As an accountant, I was leading a double
lifetrying to be a player and an accountant. Now I can play and make a living at the
same time.
But making a living as a table tennis pro isnt easy.
Magoos Don Larson (TTT, Jan-Feb., 1974, 17) says a pro
must create a warm, friendly atmospherewhich means he
must deal skillfully with club members who dislike him, and
vice-versa. Don says he works 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to
midnight. There are leagues to start, schedules to keep running,
companies to call on, equipment to buy and sell, letters and
articles to write, employees to hire and fire, business accounts to
check on, schools, colleges, and recreation centers to visit,
tournaments to run, coaching clinics to set up, lessons to give
all of which sure doesnt leave much time for the pro to improve
his own game. Failure to cope, he says, can result in
disintegrationmental, physical, emotional, causing a
breakdown in the pros business operations and in his own
personal life.
Which leads me to still feel the 1974 bombshell-shock of
my impetuous fall resignation from both the Association
Presidency and Editorship of Topicstoo much pressureon
my wife Sally. After wed both cried for two weeks, we worked
out a compromiseId keep Topics, Charlie Disney would be
11

Magoos Pro Don Larson


From TTT, Apr/May, 1990, 16

the USTTA President.


But then, still feeling
responsible for the
players, I fund-raised for,
and Captained, the U.S.
Team to Calcutta. Play
Table Tennis and see the
world, eh? As Ive
indicated in this volume,
India was a very different
place from what our
players were used to.
Different, too,
were the tenor and tenure
of these years of my,
Boggans, Presidency.
How, as you read, will
you assess them? I hazard
Calcutta street scene
a start-off point. Read as
Photo by D-J Lee
much irony as you want
in the voice of Eric Calveley (TTT, July-Aug., 1975, 7) who for a dozen issues or so edited the
British Columbia TTA Newsletter (called LeTTers):
To the Editor:
[It] becomes apparent that Canada is much
more successful at achieving its goals than the US, as
was seen at the recent World Championships. Despite
a valiant struggle the American team failed in its bid
to enter Group A of the mens competition, whereas the Canadians were considered by
more than one esteemed observeras absolutely the very best behaved team in the
whole competition!
Again, we read with amusement in Canada of your National Trials (and
tribulations) and applaud the more sophisticated Canadian method of selection. Our
Executive and Selection Committees simply meet once and quietly name the players
and officials with a minimum of fuss and to the satisfaction of (almost) everyone
concerned. This system is cheap, quick, and convenient and nearly perfect except for
the occasional ignorant outsider trying to push his way into the group for the sake of a
free trip.
Lately, we have been given a more substantial reason for appreciating the
Canadian organization. At the recent semi-AGM [Annual General Meeting] of the
CTTA a motion was passed giving our Executive Committee the right of censorship
over letters and articles submitted to the national magazine. So whilst Topics continues
to be coarse, contentious and controversial, the CTTA News will become even more
pleasant and nice to read than it has been until now. I confess it was a submission of
mine that made this action necessary and I am sincerely thankful that the EC was alert
enough to stop the letter and save me making a fool of myself spreading dirty facts.
12

For many years Canadian officials have shown great wisdom in setting definite
boundaries on the distribution of information and opportunity, thus greatly facilitating
decision-making and increasing efficiency. The USTTA, on the other hand, gets
bogged down with a load of cumbersome principles like justice, and the quest for open
debate and democratic action. When it gets rid of these self-defeating notions it may
anticipate the sort of cheerful complacency we experience in Canada.
Ah, well.For sure, after my shake-up of a Presidency, theres going to be an
assessment, a summing-up of my trial-and-error runbut of course Im saving that for Vol.
VIII. Meanwhile, in this volume, I continue to tell the story of a struggle USTTA players,
promoters, and officials all endured, for if we were to try to make the Sport better in the U.S.
we had to make changes. Changes wanted by some, unwanted by others. Changes that
brought about, and will continue to bring about, failures and frustrations, but also admirable
successes. In short, we felt we had to actand did.
SELECTED NOTES
*I, Tim, not a New Yorker, was living in
my native Ohio when, according to Marty
Reisman, Joe Greene, alias The Phantom, first
appeared at Herwald Lawrences fabled Broadway
Club. He arrived one bright mid-summer day in a
mackinaw, wearing galoshes and carrying a black
umbrella on his left wrist. Seeing him just standing
around, occasionally someone would try to talk to
him, but back then he didnt have much to say,
just I am The Greatest. Which generally
intimidated people so much that they stayed away
from him. Especially since he smelled of beer.
When in 1973 I saw him in person at
Martys Club, he was wearing a large winter
mitten, just one (to hide, as I later found out, a
defective finger on his non-playing hand); had on
a sweater with thirty or forty safety pins visibly
attached to it; and carried an unlit, burnt-down
cigar which hed repeatedly set aside whenever he
felt the need to eat from his open can of sardines.
I knew right then I had to interview him. That is,
Joe Greene, a.k.a. The Phantom
if hed deign to talk to me. Fortunately Reisman
Photo by Mal Anderson
had given him the run of the place and I guess Joe
felt obligated to honor Martys request that he join us, and tell me a little about himself so Id
get to see how he became legendary.
He who thinks he knows many actually knows no onelike that one?, said The
Phantom on meeting me. Then he got into the nitty-gritty: It looks easy when I get out there
to play, but I had to work hard in the Army to learn the Game. I was in the war four years
before I got this special discharge. In the beginning, in order to get into the Army I had to pass
a very high I.Q. test. That was many years ago, and when I got over to Folkestone in England,
13

people at the PXs couldnt believe how I played. There are many but few worth knowing in
this worldlike that one?
When I got out of the Army hospitalI had a disorderI started playing at
Lawrences. I knew Leah Neuberger. I played Cartland and Reisman. Ty Neuberger once bet a
$1,000 on me. And I won, too, back in 51. Then I quit for almost 15 years. Had cancer in
1954. Played some softball in Central Park, bowled a little. Just mostly tended to my job as
doormanI been at this place over 20 years nowbut its hard lots of times standing on
marble all day. And Ive got to watch what I eat, nothing greasy, no fried food. Sometimes I
think, How am I gonna work 5 more years?
There! You wouldnt think I could kick that high, would you? And touch my toes.
Well, you can never tell a book by its cover. You wouldnt think Im about 60, would you?
Anyway, now Ive been making a comeback.
A comebackthats great, I said by way of encouragement. You saw the start of
this comeback? I asked Reisman. Saw how The Phantom got to these heights again?
It all began on a very dull night in the Club, said Marty. We were all sitting around,
watching Joe sip his beer, when all of a sudden someone got the lively idea of setting up a $50
one-game match between Joe and Doug Cartland. At first Joe demurred, for Cartland hadnt
been a world-class player for maybe twenty years, and the mere 15-point spot Doug was
asking for was something of an insultsurely the man needed at least 18 to make a match of
it. But Joe was game, played along, and finally won, 38-36. Of course, since it was a private
wager and ours a family-type club, no payment was made openly.
Ever since, weve had a lot of money matches around here with Joe. Sometimes a
stranger pops in, and we talk to him, fix him up with Joe, warn him that hes about to play the
celebrated Phantom, but he doesnt always understand what hes getting into. Once we had
the U.S. Junior Champion in here for a best two out of three with Joe, and after the kid had
started out strong, had won the first with unchallenged ease, I had to go out and whisper a few
words of warning to himthis while inspecting his racket. After all, we didnt want any
controversy, anyone upset in our Club. But his racket was o.k., so it was a freak first-game
loss for Joethat or hed been playing possum. But naturally he came back to win the next
two, 25-23, 25-23.
At this point, Joe, having put on a smug grin, abruptly broke in to say, I played
Reisman this year. On Easter Sunday. Was down 18-7, but I finally won it, 42-40.
Marty, as if wanting to make more of this game, turned to The Phantom and said, Joe,
face it, youre a total fraud. I created you. Without me, youd be nothing. You wouldnt exist.
The Phantoms response? He looked at Marty in astonishment. You must be insane, he
said. And then he went on. Ive never lost to Reisman. Once he had me 12-0, but I came back and
beat him 23-21. What do you think of that? Just born in me, I guess. Still it wasnt always easy for
me. When I was four-years-old I had scarlet feverwas paralyzed from the hips on down.
Really? I said, sympathetically.
When I was eight and a half and an orphan, I was put out to work. Yessir, I left the nuns at
Mount Loretta on Staten Island and went to Beaumont, Texasto a cotton plantation, where
there were rattlesnakes and copperheads, hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes. I was in them all
but, knock down wood, God spared me. The family had six children and I had to study Polish
to make myself understood. It almost killed me. I dont see how they could have put me in a
place like that. I had malnutrition. When I was fourteen and came to Medina, New York, I
weighed seventy-two pounds, then I went on a diet.
14

Wouldnt you like to hit a few with Joe? Marty said. Youll find hes a lot stronger
player than he looks.
Marty asked if I wanted to bet on myself. Sight unseen Joe would give me 10. He
plays with sponge now, Marty said. But in the old days, in the late 1940s, when our teams
went to Europe, the first thing the EuropeansVana, Bergmann, Andreadis, Leachwould
always ask when they first saw me, or Miles or Cartland, was, Is Joe Greene with you? And
when one of us would casually respond, Oh no, Joes still much too good to play in the
Worlds, they were obviously relieved.
Of course I agreed to a small five-dollar bet with Marty. But I knew I couldnt win. Joe
had a Seemiller-style gripbefore Seemiller. Against me he didnt have to move a bit, just
stood there, moving his racket window-wiper-like, keeping the ball in play.
Strange how these things work out, he said, shaking my hand with his mittenless
one. (One game with me had been enough. What was the point? He could give me 12, 15,
18the result would be the same.) You see me play and you cant believe Im real. They call
me The Phantom. Now you see me, now you dont. Then its all over and Ive won. Its like
Im from Mars or someplace. You know how I do it? Through dreams. Its like a writer. He
wakes up and writes down what he dreams.
At this point Marty interrupted, said he wanted to set Joe up for another match. So I
thanked them both for the interview. As they walked away, it was clear to me that what The
Phantom said was truea writer dreams and writes. But then I thought, People of any
occupation, or preoccupation, dreammix fact and fiction. Even when theyre awake they
feel the need to embellish, to pretend. Reasons no match for the Imagination.

15

Chapter One
1973: First World University Championships. 1973: Norwich Union International.
1973: Commonwealth Championships. 1973: Allan Herskovich Arranges European Tour for
San Francisco Group.
Readers will recall Id finished Vol. VI (1970-73) with an account of the Dec., 1972
U.S. World Team Tryouts outside Chicago and then the Apr., 1973 World Championships at
Sarajevo. But it wasnt only players via an official USTTA Selection process that had begun
representing our country abroad. As wed seen in 1971 a group of predominately Michigan
boys and girls, with Dell Sweeris as Captain/Coach, participated in the English Junior Open.

USTTA
Corresponding Secretary
Mort Zakarin (TTT, MarchApril, 1973, 32) didnt
object to these Juniors
playing in that tournament,
for theyd raised their own
U.S. Junior Team: back, L-R: Team Captain Dell Sweeris, Bill Lesner,
funds, but he felt they
Jeff Smart, Mike Veillette, Dan Seemiller; front, L-R: Kathy
Scheltema, Elsie Spinning, Angie Rosal, Sue Hildebrandt
shouldnt have represented
Photo by William Scheltema
themselves as a USA team,
they should have called themselves Michigan. This suggested name, however, wasnt practical, for
among the players who went to Canterbury were Elsie Spinning of Oregon, Angelita Rosal of
California, and Danny Seemiller of Pennsylvania. Further, since all the other entries in this English Junior
Open were from countries, the sponsors undoubtedly would have considered this a USA team.
Morts point that the U.S. should always be represented abroad by our proven best
players is an ideal one, for it demands the needed wherewithal (time, effort, and expense) on
the part of the Association to foster such teams. Such help has been, is now, and will continue
to be often difficult to come by. Meanwhile, the alternativenot allowing players (recognized,
willy-nilly, as representing the U.S.) who are prepared to go abroad or who are already in
the proximity of an overseas tournament, to be part of the playing/learning experience, the
excitementis again not practical.
Morts decision to put forward his view in print was precipitated, not by the Junior
Team that went to England, which after all was composed of quite a few of our best and most
interested young players, but of the rather hastily put together U.S. Team that represented us
16

at the Feb. 20-25, 1973


World University Games
in Hannover, Germany.
Rufford Harrison (TTT,
March-April, 1973, 4)
rather last minute heard
about the event from the
German TTA magazine,
and on investigating found
that, were players
interested, they had to
work through the United
States Collegiate Sports
Council which had
neglected to inform the
USTTA about the
tournament because the
USCSC itself had no
Hannover--Neues Rathaus
funds.
However, as
readers of Vol. VI know, a number of U.S. players were no longer thinking parochially and
had the get-up-and-go to want to be where the real table tennis action was. So a sevenmember Team, with everyone paying his/her own way, received the Associations blessing.
Jack Wiener tells us (TTT, March-April, 1973, 32), that Rufford
served as a liaison figure, and that uniforms were provided by the
USTTA. For Jack and the others who took the initiative to go to
Hannover it was, as anyone would expect, a memorable experience.
Jerry Fleischhacker penned the cover story for the MarchApril, 1973 issue of Topics, and though enough foreign players were
in Hannover to make a world-class field, Mort neednt have
worriedthe U.S. didnt embarrass itself.
The format for the Mens Team split the countries into eight
groups, each having two or three teams. The winners would play in
the first division, the second place teams in the second. The third place
teams were out. Each of the two divisions would be split into two
even groups of four with the winners meeting for the championship.
Czechoslovakia, led by Kunz who in the Sarajevo Swaythling
Cup matches would beat both Surbek and Stipancic, killed us of
course, 5-0with 1971 U.S. Junior Champion Bill Lesner,
Fleischhacker, and Wiener unable to get more than 12 points in any
game.
Canada was our big tieget 5 singles matches from them and
wed continue to play. Jerry got us off to a great startrallied to take
down Paul Braithwaite, -14, 21, 15. Jeff gave 4-time Canadian Champ
Larry Lee an initial scare, but was beaten 19, -14, -16; Fleischhacker
Jerry Fleischhacker
17, 21 fell to Lee as well. But Lesner had easy wins over Ricky
Photo by Jack Wiener
17

Cheung and Braithwaite, and when Smart finished off Cheung 20, 15, the U.S., up 4-2, was
lookin good. But then Lee 10, 18, 18 came back against Lesner, and Cheung won, 18, 25,
12, from an overconfident Fleischhacker who had 8 match points on him! In the tie-decider
against Braithwaite, Jeff lost the 1st 22-20. So, whoa, what had happened to the U.S. lead? But
Smart, smartly resilient, took the life-saving last two games 15 and 11.
In their remaining four ties (with Greg Gingold now playing in two of them), the U.S.
men split. Theyre stopped by Luxembourg 5-2 (Lesner defeats Andre Hartmann, wholl play
in Sarajevo, but loses to their #1 Jean Krier wholl beat Englands Des Douglas at the
upcoming Worlds). Then, tired, well also go down to Italy5-1. However, we blitzed
Cambodia (who sent a team here but not to Sarajevo), and knocked off Israel, 5-2. So we
finish a respectable 12th.
Meantime, there are interesting matches among the 1st
division title-contending teams. Czechoslovakiawith their
mainstay Kunz, World #21 after Sarajevo, winning 3rallies from
2-4 down to edge France, led by Patrick Birocheau. Romania,
with their Sarajevo twosome of Serban Dobosi and Teodor
Gheorghe (as I write, the USATTs Executive Director!), is beaten
5-3 by Yugoslavia. But Gheorghe, though losing to defensive star
Bela Mesaros, conqueror of our Danny Seemiller in Sarajevo,
downs both World #26 Milivoj Karakasevic and Zlatko Cordas
whom were about to see visiting the U.S. Despite Kunzs 3 wins,
the Bronze was taken not by the Czechs but by the Germans
(Klaus Schmittinger,
Jaroslav Kunz
Germanys
Hans Deutz, and Jochen Caricature by Rudy Stipkovic
Jochen Leiss
(Courtesy of Zdenko Uzorinac)
Leiss, winner of our
1977 U.S. Open).

Yugoslavias
Milivoj Karakasevic

The Team final went, 5-2, to the


USSR (fielding its top 3 players: World #7 Sarkis Sarkhayan, World #12 Stanislav Gomozkov,
and World #30 Anatoly Strokatov) over Yugoslavia (missing its top 3 players, Surbek,
Stipancic, and Korpa). Fleischhacker is impressed by Karakasevics 4, 19 win over 1971
European Youth Champ Strokatov. With what force Karakasevic blocks and how fast he
moves around, says Jerry. Alice Green called him a grasshopper. Also noteworthy is
Cordass 11, 16, 20 comeback against Gomozkov (nicknamed in the German papers a
18

Teddy Bear). But then, after Sarkhayan outlasts Karakasevic deuce in the 3rd to finish as
the only undefeated player in the Teams, the Russians are convincing winners.
In the 9-team Womens ties, the field is split into two groups, with the winners
meeting for the championship. The U.S. (Alice Green, Janice Martin) opens their Davis Cupstyle play against Czechoslovakiaand Alice surprises everyone by downing in 3 the Czech #7
Helena Pauknerova. But, oh, Alicia Grofovas playing, and shell be the World runner-up at
Sarajevo! So forget about winning this onewe lose 3-1.
How about France, can we beat them? Probably not.
Yveline Lecler, whos on their World team, and wholl win the
Womens Consolation here (over Great Britains Elaine Smith),
is too strong for Janice. And their #1 Claude Bergeret isa
surprise! For the last four years, says Jerry, Alice has been
corresponding with a little French girl named Claude, whom
she met in Munich in 1969. But only about a week before the
tournament did she realize that Claude is Claude Bergeret.By
the way, she is not a little girl in more ways than one, as most of
the men in the tournament would bear witness to.
Bergeret, who was beaten in the 71 Worlds by our 72
National Champion Wendy Hicks, wins the 1st against Alice. But
then seems to be bothered when Alice starts hitting Claudes
loop instead of blocking it. This is very effective because of
Alices racketa Hock 3-ply blade with pimpled sponge which
was looked at with astonishment by most other countries in the
tournament. Alice wins the 2ndafter which Bergeret changes
her strategy, starts to push more instead of looping, and takes
the 3rd easily. In the doubles, Janice and Alice complement each
Frances Claude Bergeret
other beautifully as Janice repeatedly scores with her hard smash
Photo by Mal Anderson
after Alice sets her up. But though they win the 1st game at
deuce, they cant win another.
The Soviets of course are too formidablethough Alice does take the opening game
from their former
Alice winning a game from former USSR champ Rita Pogosova
Champion Rita
Photo by Jack Wiener
Pogosova who at
Sarajevo will oust
Swedens AnnChristin Hellman,
later the losing
finalist in our 1975
U.S. Open.
Canada
theres our chance?
Yep, we win 3-1 over
Shirley Gero, Darinka
Jovanovthough
Shirley unexpectedly
beats Janice.
19

Only Lena Andersson of the Swedes here in Hannover will be on their roster in
Sarajevo, but theyre too strong for us toothough not by much, for we take the doubles and
Alice loses both singles in 3, including a killer deuce in the 3rd to Kerstin Johansson. So,
though we might have finished 7th, we end up 8th. No disgrace in this either.
In the competition for
Germanys
the Womens Team title, the
Wiebke Hendriksen
Czechs reach the final with a 31 victory over France. Grofova
beats Bergeret 22-20 in the 3rd
to clinch the win. Who
advances from the other side?
Germany, 3-1, over Romania
when World #25 Wiebke
Hendriksen stands tall over both
the Romanian #2 Eleonora
Vlaicov and the #3 Carmen
Crisan (in 1969 World #13),
and also contributes to a deuce
in the 3rd doubles win. Romania
then loses the Bronze to the Soviets.
In the final, though Grofova takes her two singles, the Germans again prevail in the
doubles to score a popular 3-2 win.
Now a free daywanna go for a spin? Take a drive? Come visit the VW factory
maybe theyll let you get behind the wheel, cruise a littleor pretend to.
In the Mens Singles, the U.S. provides no
Jack
surprises. Gingolds laser loop will have no
Wiener
effect on Kunz; nor in the Consolations on
Belgiums Marcel Lambiotte. Jerry praises Wiener
for playing a lot of great points in losing to
Dobosi 14, 9, 15, and attributes his straight-game
loss to Canadas Chung in the Consolations to
lack of sleep. What the hell has Jack been doing
nights if he isnt sleeping? Hah, read his article.
Make friends, he says; mingle every chance
you can, and explore that explosive motivation to
become better acquainted.
Fleischhacker, after winning the 1st but
stalling out at deuce in the 2nd, plays, as he says,
probably the best match of my life in losing in 4
to Belgian World Team member Frans Bekaert,
then is blanked in the Consolations by Great Britains lefty Tony Clayton, 1971 English
Closed runner-up. Tony will win the Mens Consolation here over Austrias Heinz Schluter
who in beating Clayton teammate Trevor Taylor in a Swaythling Cup match in Sarajevo will
prove to be such a bad loss for England, not to say the apparently unconcerned Taylor, that the
ETTA will send their man packing. This after Trevor had just won the Commonwealth Singles
again and the Doubles with Denis Neale.
20

Smart has an easy triumph over a hapless Cambodian, then falls to Polands Marek
Skibinski. Canadas Larry Lee, whod been eliminated by Russias Viktor Fursov, straightgame downed Jeff in the Consolations. Lesner bombed into ruin an Irishman, then was badly
beaten by Germanys Rolf Jager. In the Consolations, Bill met Turkish International Mahmut
Tezcan, whod forced Leiss into the 5th, and, playing probably the best Jerrys ever seen him
play, won 21, 20, 18. Then, as in the Teams, Lesner will lose to Luxembourgs Krier (hed be
top 5 in the U.S. says Jerry)after Bill had won the 3rd game at deuce to go up 2-1.
In quarters play among the
The USSRs Sarkis Sarkhayan
Mens Singles contenders, it was
Photo by Mal Anderson
Gomozkov over Cordas, 14, 20, 19;
Strokatov over Karakasevic, 18, -11, 8,
19; Sarkhayan over Schmittinger, -18, 19,
-15, 16, 17; and Kunz, who doesnt look
great himself, but makes everybody else
look bad, over Leiss, giving up only 38
points after losing the 1st. In the semis,
Sarkhayan blows a 2:0 and 15:7 lead but
finally beats Strokatov, 11, 20, -19, 13.
As for Kunz, hes able to block back
Gomozkovs lightning-like backhand,
plus his backhand return of serve with
pimpled sponge gives the Russian fits. So
Kunz is the winner, 19 in the 5th.
In the final, Sarkhayan explores a weakness in Kunzs forehand exchange and wins
handily. Jerry is very impressed with this 73 Russian National Champions all-around steady
gameand so he should be, for Sarkhayan did the hat trick here: won the Mens Doubles with
Gomozkov (over Leiss/Schmittinger), and the Mixed with Pogosova (over Gomozkov/
Rudnova). Jerry warns, He could be a surprise in Sarajevo. And he will do well therereach
the quarters before losing to Swedens Kjell Johansson.
With regard to the U.S. women, Janice lost to Great Britains Sheila Hamilton in 4,
dropping a key 19 3rd game, then in the Consolations was surely not at her best, getting 29
points-annihilated by Germanys Renate Neubaumer. Alices match with Germanys
Hendriksen, a defensive player with anti-topspin sponge on the backhand, Jerry speaks of in
some detail:
After the first couple of points, Alice was obviously playing for the expedite
rule. The German, who beat Maria Alexandru a few weeks ago [Alexandru 10 years
earlier was the World Womens Singles runner-up, and in Sarajevo will win her 2nd
World Womens Doubles Championship], was unsuccessful in her pick shotoften
Alice counter-drove in winners. At 19-17 Hendriksen, Alice, who didnt know there
was less than two minutes left, tried a forehand, which missed, and she quickly lost the
game.
The second game followed pretty much the same patternbut the rule finally
came in with Alice down 16-18. And despite a couple of bad breaks Alice won it, 2220. By now this was the only match going and several worried German coaches arrived
on the scene.
21

The third game was very tight all the way. Hendriksen, up 21-20, got an edge
to win it. After the break, the German girl, supported by a home audience, took a 4point leadbut Alice fought back, went ahead 15-14. But then Hendriksen ran it
outand finished our hopes.
In the quarters, Hendriksen had an easy time with Russian World Team member Asta
Gedraitite, winner of the Womens Doubles with Rudnova; Grofova murdered Vlaicov;
Russias 1970 and 72 European Champion Zoya Rudnova rallied from 2-1 down to beat
Bergeret; and Pogosova also came back from 2-1 down to defeat Crisan. Jerry closed his
article by emphasizing that the final was the most exciting match of the tournament:
Grofova, who used anti-topspin on the backhand, could viciously angle the
exchange to both sides and her unusual put away was very effective. In the 5th game,
Rudnova came all the way from 13-20 to 19-20, but Grofova hit in one to win, 11-21,
21-11, 21-14, 19-21, 21-19. And the crowd that was on her side from the beginning
went wild with approval.
Wild with approval, too, should our USTTA E.C. be for supporting this group. Even
from afar, reading Fleischhackers article, you could sense this Teams intense spirit, their
camaraderie.
Another U.S. player, Long Islands Cosmo Graham, was
going to school in London where hed joined two leagues. Establish
leagues, he told U.S. readers (TTT, March-April, 1973, 6)that was
the way to go. But he also said that in the U.S. there werent enough
clustered clubs in any given area to field teams, so we had to have
more clubs to have successful leagues. He makes other comparisons
between the two countries:
The main difference between the English standard and the
U.S. is that England has 3 or 4 players who are much better and
there are many more players who would be quite good A players in
Cosmo Graham
the U.S. Another good thing is that the E.T.T.A. has a permanent
office and a phone number. Also we should follow their example and print the
tournament schedule for the entire year at the beginning of the season. [Ah, but we
cant get all the many pockets in our vast U.S. to be so organized as to know ahead of
time if and when theyll be running a tournament.]
Rufford Harrison informs us that Geoff Harrower has died. He says that Geoff was
possibly the best known of Englands table tennis reportersand England [where Rufford is
from] is a country where one can make a living writing about table tennis.
Topics English correspondent, the Barna biographer Phil Reid, reports (March-April,
1973, 6) on the English Junior Closed. In the Boys, it was Des Douglas (hed come from
Jamaica when he was four and now speaks with the broadest Birmingham accent
imaginable) over Don Parker, wholl grow up to marry the current English #1, Jill (nee
Shirley) Hammersley. In the Girls, the favorite, Linda Howard, was allowed to play despite the
fact that the organizers hadnt received her entry; they believed her when she said shed sent it.
22

Howard, who was to beat Judy Bochenski in the


Womens Singles at Sarajevo 19 in the 5th on an
edge ball, won a match-point-down squeaker in the
final here over Karen Rogers. Doubles went to Paul
Day/Andy Barden; Mixed to Day/Elaine Tarten;
Girls Doubles to Tarten/Gilliam Taylor.
At the Sarajevo Worlds, New Yorker
Shazzi Felstein will help with
the Topics coverage by
reporting on the Womens
Singles and Doubles.
Afterwards, leisurely on her
way for a flight connection in
Paris, shell decide that, since
the French had won the European Boys Team
Shazzi Felstein
Championships, shed stop in St. Die for a few
Photo by Mal Anderson
hours to watch their Junior Closed. Observing
(TTT, May-June, 1973, 36) that the best French
didnt look noticeably better than our U.S. best, she was struck by the fact that more than
250 selected kids were entered, all under 15 and accompanied by 100 officials/coacheswith
of course all expenses paid. She closes with, Will we ever see anything like this in the U.S.?
Well, maybe notbut at least isolated Topics readers are becoming more aware of
what world play is like. And, since Boggan dislikes parochialism, provincialism, and
amateurism, thats his USTTA Vision.
Norwich Union International
The English Open,
which Ive at times covered
in earlier volumes, is now
called, in deference to its
sponsor, the Norwich Union
International. Many of those
entered in the 1973 field
well repeatedly see in the
1970s in U.S. and Canadian
tournaments.
Phil Reid reports (TTT,
May-June, 1973, 56-58) that
on the very day the players are
due to arrive and he to meet
them, Feb. 28, theres a train
strike. But Phil manages to get
out to Heathrow Airport,
where a chartered bus will wait around to pick up all arrivalsGermans, Yugoslavs, Romanians,
and Swedesthen take them, via suburban-Londons chaotic road conditions, down to
Brighton. The year before at this tournament there was a postal strike, and the year before that
23

a power strikeprompting Swedish Captain/Coach Christer


Johansson to quip, One thing the English are champions at is
striking. It was Christer, I might add, who first taught 10-year-old
younger brother Kjell how to play. Hans Alser, Captain/Coach of
the German Team, is more than inconveniencedhis wife is taken
seriously ill and no sooner does he arrive than he has to leave.
Poor Alserhed have bad luck at Sarajevo too: after that kidney
attack hed be taken away from the Hall in an ambulance and
flown to a urological clinic in Frankfurt.
Some early results in the Mens Team ties saw Denmarks
National Champion Niels Ramberg and about-to-be ranked World
#44 Claus Pedersen down favored Hungarys Peter Roszas and
Matyas Beleznai. The English then stopped the Danesthough
Pederson was able to hit through both World #23 Denis Neale and

Christer Johansson
(Joola photo)

Dragutin Surbek:
no backhand?
Photo by Bora Vojnovic
(Courtesy of Zdenko Uzorinac)

24

Trevor Taylor who, as the


National Champion, last
year made about 1500
pounds total, most of
which came from a
summer coaching job at a
large holiday camp.
Englands 17-year-old
Desmond Douglas upset
Kjell Johansson, but not
Stellan Bengtsson. The
Swedes then advanced to
the final over the French
and the Czechs.
Meanwhile, in a
well-played semis tie,
Yugoslavia, coached by
Dusan Dule Osmanajic,
was gaining the final over
England. Taylor, however,
scored a stunning win over
Dragutin Surbek.
Possessing virtually no
backhand, he [Surbek]
covers an enormous
amount of ground and the

result is some very spectacular results indeed. Nothing is given up for lost. Quite often Surbek
returns balls he has no right to even reach and some of his hittingparticularly when hes
yards away from the tableborders on the fantastic. Taylor/Neale almost beatthey lost 19
in the 3rdone of the best Doubles teams in the world, Surbek/Anton Stipancic. In the final
tie, Surbeks incredible will-power allowed him to best Bengtsson in 3. But that was it for
Yugoslavia.
In one Womens Team semis, it was Sweden, with Birgitta Radberg defeating Europe
#5 Ilona Vostova, over Czechoslovakia, 3-0. In the other, thanks particularly to slightly-built
Londoner Karenza Mathews win over Maria Alexandru, England defeated Romania. In the
final, Radberg was too strong for both Mathews and Jill Hammersley, so Swedens women
matched the Mens win.
In Mens Singles, Englands Chester Barnes took Johansson to 25-23 in the 4th, and
Douglas (though losing the 3rd at 19 after rallying from 12-20 down) went on to 23-21 in the
4th avenge Pedersons earlier Team wins over Neale and Taylor. There was a big upset in the
making when French lefthander Christian Martin, retrieving well on both wings and picking
out the odd winner, led Bengtsson 9-5 in the 5th. Question: would Martin keep his
momentum, make it 10-5 at the turn? Answer: talk about momentum, the Swede won 13
points in a row. Then, while Neale was being eliminated by Beleznai, Bengtsson quickly
dispatched Douglas.
In subsequent play, Stipancic was more than a match for French Champion Secretin.
But in the semis, he crumbled against Bengtsson. Johansson, too consistent for the
enthusiastic Surbek, also advanced to the final. The Swedes mainly engaged in hit and
counter-hit play, but Bengtsson, in winning 3-1 (as he would at Sundsvall in the Swedish
Nationals), impressed everyone with his quite remarkable footwork. Reid says the young
Swedes play has a sort of golden quality to itshould be measured in carats, not points.
In
Womens
Singles, two
most notable
results were
defender
Alexandrus
Romanias Maria
devastating
Alexandru
attack against the
Photo by Barry
French #1
Margolius
Claude Bergeret;
and Swedens
Lena
Anderssons 5game win over
Englands
Hammersley. In
the final it was
Radberg against
Alexandru whod won this Open the last 3 years. The fact that she was looking to be the first
woman to make it 4 in a row prompted Reid to make the following observations:
25

The crowd, I suspect, was rather anxious to see a new name on the trophy.
Because, lets face it, Mrs. Alexandru is not to some people the most attractive player
in the world to watch. To me she is a wonderful player. Dedicated, loyal to her team, a
fight to the end, and a charming person off the table. On the tables she is dour,
determined, one of the Thou Shalt Not Pass breed.
With the match tied 1-1, and Alexandru
leading
20-18 in the 3rd, she returned a ball
From the English Table Tennis
News, Apr., 1972, 19
that hit the side. Or at least thats what
everyone thought except Alexandru. In turn,
she appealed to the umpire, her captain, and
finally to her opponent. Reid thought she was
trying to upset Radberg, and, whether this
was true or not, the spectators were not
happy when Alexandru won the next point. In
the 4th, the Romanian, down 18-19 and the
game very near to being expedited, incurred
the wrath of the crowd by leaving the table to
speak to her captain, but was called back by
the umpire. Again Reid thought she had an
ulterior motivetrying to delay the game to
get the Rule in. Radberg, however, scored two more points and so they moved into the 5th.
Here Radberg herself practiced some gamesmanship. Toward the end of the match, after every
point, she went for her towel, and was not stopped by the umpire. So who won? Radberg.
In Mens Doubles, Neale and Taylor did not have a hurried lunch, arrived back late for
their match, and were scratched. Protests were made, a Jury Meeting was called, and, since the
pair they were supposed to meet were already playing their next match, they were scratched
the more. Someone said, In no other country in the world would the host countrys top two
players be scratched, but, then, in no other country in the world would the host countrys top
two players be late enough to be scratched. The final, between Bengtsson/Johansson and
Surbek/Stipancic was won by the Swedes with Johansson repeatedly hammering in winners.
The Womens Doubles final, the only match in the event to go the full distance, was won by
the Czechs Vostova/Miloslava Polackova over the Swedes Radberg/Andersson.
In the Mixed, England fared very well. Scottish International winner Tony Clayton and
Englands #6 Susan Howard beat Swedens Vikstrom/Andersson; Taylor/Hammersley beat
Surbek/Vlaicov; and Neale/Mathews, after downing Jiri Turai/Polackova, had an excellent win
over 1973 World Mixed finalists Stipancic/Alexandru in 5. In the final, though, the English pair
was outclassed by the Czechs Milan Orlowski/Vostova.
Swedens Birgitta Radberg

Commonwealth Championships
At the Cardiff, Wales Commonwealth Championships, England (Taylor, Neale,
Douglas, Nicky Jarvis, Alan Hydes) was dominantwon the Mens Teams over India (Mir
Khasim Ali, 1972 National Champ Niraj Bajaj, Jagannath) and the Womens Teams over
Canada (the Nesukaitis sisters, Mariann Domonkos, Shirley Gero, with Adham Sharara as
Captain). The tournament, however, was a milestone for Canada in that when Torontos
Robert Simpson Company outfitted the team in walking-out uniforms of red blazers, grey
26

slacks and white


turtle-neck
sweaters, it marked
the first time that a
Canadian table
tennis team has
traveled dressed as a
national team.
Mens
Singles went to the
English #1 Taylor
over the English #2
Neale. Womens
Singles to the
English #1
Hammersley over
the English #2
Mathews. Violetta
Nesukaitis was 3rd
on the 73
Commonwealth
Classification List
followed by (4th)
New Zealands
Yvonne Fogarty;
(5th) Rupa Mukherjee
(later Bannerjee),
runner-up at the 72
Indian Nationals to
Indu Puri, and (6th)
Ethel Jacks, Nigerias
73 Pan-African
Canadians dressed as a National Team for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games
Champion.
From Canadian Table Tennis News, May, 1975, 16
In the 1972 New Zealand Championships, Fogarty
had beaten 8-time Champion Neti Traill in a deuce-in-the-5th
semis (a car accident has left Neti with a metal pin in her
left leg inhibiting her mobility), then had lost in 5 to
Defending Champion Anne Stonestreet, described by Doug
Stewart as a tiny little thing with a ferocious forehand.
Alan Tomlinson, 38, was the 72 195-entry Mens Singles
Champ for the 4th timeover Malaysian student Ling Nam
Ming whod ousted both 37-year-old hard-rubber stalwart
John Armstrong deuce in the
New Zealands Richard Lee
5th and the 17-year-old
From the PRCs 1972 Tour of
titleholder Richard Lee.
New Zealand Program
27

India saw tours by both China (led by Chinese Nationals 3rd-place finishers Chou Lansun in the Mens and Cheng Yu-shan in the Womens) and North Korea (led by 1971 World
#23 Pak Sin Il in the Mens and Cha Gwang Suk and Li Chang Suk in the Womens).
According to Stewart, the highlight for China during a quick trip in July, 1972 was visiting a
sheep farm. (New Zealand has 20 sheep for every human being.) China wasnt disposed to
give away many matches, and North Korea, visiting Bombay, Jaipur, Calcutta, Cuttack, and
Delhi in Jan. of 1973, didnt allow a single opponent to reach any semis.
Herskovich Arranges European Tour
Mike Greene gives us (TTT, July-August, 1973, 16-17) an account of the 26-day
European trip, including a stop to take in the Worlds, that Allan Herskovich arranged for a
San Francisco group that included: Allan, Mike and his wife Norma, Shonie Aki and his wife
Ria, Azmy Ibrahim, Pat Crowley, Jeff Mason, and Jeffs parents Jack and Kathryn. Jack, in a
separate article, would thank the USTTA E.C. for including this group in the Sarajevo party
the Americans gave, and would heap high praise on the former Yugoslav/Italian International
Herskovich.
The San Francisco contingent showed togetherness in sporting a street uniform of
gray slacks, purple and gray turtle-neck sweaters, and burgundy blazers with a U.S.T.T.A.
emblem on the pockets. From Oakland they flew to Frankfurt, then took a train through the
sun and snow of the beautiful Swiss country-side to Basel where they dined at the Tropic
restaurant, famous for its live snakes crawling around in wooden casings with glass tops, only
five inches from the top of the tables. Then they were off to Zurich where Allans sister lived.
Met there by representatives of the host club, they were soon
taken on an old-fashioned grand tour of the Lindt Chocolate
Factory where one U.S. player accidentally dropped a gift box of
chocolates in the toilet. It cracked Mike up to see them floating there.
He and Norma then went shopping, and bought what, do you think,
there in Switzerland? A cuckoo clock. After dinner there was an
International T.T. event, but the Americans tired, tense, sluggish
bodies didnt allow them to do too wellthough Jeff and Azmy each
won a match. Pennants were exchanged, the U.S. team was
presented with an engraved silver dish, and each member received
an illustrated book of Zurich.
Next stop: Milano, where at a Pizzeria/Restaurant some of the
players drank wine, much to their disadvantage at the table tennis
matches that followed. The audience cheered for whoever played
wellwhich almost invariably wasnt a San Franciscan. Italy #13
Mike
downed Jeff. But Mike played, as he says, like Ive never played
Greene
before. My backhand kill shot just wouldnt miss. On winning this
Photo by
match he was surrounded by Italian well-wishers. Pat Crowley came
Norma Greene
close to winningfaltered after leading 16-9 in the 3rd. After the
matches, Jeff and Mike went for a long walk, got lost, talked with the girls on the corners so
that 10,000 lire became a private joke among the group.
On to Zagreb, and from there only an hour and fifteen minute flight to Sarajevo.
Except Sarajevo was snowed in. So, no alternative: an 8-hour train ridebut fortunately in a
sleeper car. At the Sarajevo tournament site, it took almost four hours to get registerednot
28

good. But, as he did in Nagoya, Mike will


be able to shoot and sell reels of Team and
Individual matches. These films, he said,
will be far better than the 71 films
because of the experience Ive gained in
filming since then. After watching the
Team matches, Mike and Norma took a
side trip to Greece and Rome (arranged
by Allan who reportedly spoke 7
languages). Then, following the completion
of the tournament, the San Francisco
group and Angie Rosal all went to
Dubrovnik, where a Long Island group had
preceded them. There, in this unique,
peaceful, beautiful old walled-in town,
Angelita Rosal joined them. From there it
was 4 and hours to Zadar by bus, but an
Allan Herskovich (second from right) being hosted by
friends, including (far right) former world doubles champion
enjoyable ride, since the Yugoslavian
Dr. Zarko Dolinar
coastline is breathtakingly beautiful.

Top Right: Long Islanders at a Dubrovnik dinner; L-R:


Mort and Evelyn Zakarin, H Blair, Gayle Eisenberg, Sally Boggan, and Dave Cox
29

Allan had business in Israel, but representatives of the local club met us in Zadar.
Later we WALKED to the club from the hotel. The Americans acted as if walking was a thing
of the past, but we must remember that most Yugoslavians just dont have cars. Anyway we
collected posters from store windows that announced our being in the city. Alas, our players
didnt win here either. In fact, our women didnt even get to playno female opponents.
Splitno, that was not what our very much together group was going to do; Split was
our next stop. A Mr. Tomisic, an archeologist, became our personal guide, and while we
toured the fourth-century Diocletian Palace he gave us a history of the place. At the Split
Club, Angie and Pat played matchesAngie won her Singles, but she and Jeff lost their
Mixed. Mike did wellwon a Mens Doubles with Shonie and a Mixed with Pat.
Zagrebthats the town wed been waiting for, since here wed be playing Surbek,
Stipancic, and Cordas of the Yugoslav Vjesnik Club. Assisted by permanent hosts Zdenko Uzorinac
and Zlatko and Irena Cordas (who, unlike her husband, spoke English quite well), the group spent
about six days in Zagreb, and all the time we were treated like kings and queens.
The first big match with these world-class players came at the Mladost Club. After Jeff
lost to Stipancic, Shonie faced Surbek. Heres Mikes take on that match:
He [Shonie] was probably nervous or just plain frightened. The first match
was terrible. Surbek, who is known as an animal and the man with an iron arm, just
didnt give him a chance. The Yugoslav played an unbelievable game. His loop drive
from off the floor was too muchall you could see was the end of the swing. Shonie
couldnt even get ready for the ball. He tried some of his tricky serves on Surbek, but
Surbek read them all.
Mike, who said he was glad he didnt have to play Surbek, went up against Bozicevic,
a disconcerting player who held the paddle with the blade pointed across his body, and when
he hit the ball it went sideways. Azmy met Zlatko, thought maybe he could win, but lost 17,
19. Would he have been less disappointed were he able to see ahead to the upcoming Yugoslav
Closed? There Zlatko would have wins over Korpa and Surbek before losing in the final to
Karakasevic after leading 2-0 and at deuce in the 3rd. Mike and Azmy
almost took a doubleslost 19 in the 3rd. Angie and Pat? Irena Cordas,
a penholder with a good push and forehand loop drive, was too tough.
Angie did well to take a game from her. Surprisingly, Irena seemed to
have trouble with Pats serveswould turn to her bench with an I
dont know look on her face. It wont be long, though, before Irenas
the new Yugoslav Championwith a semis win over the favorite Resler
in the semis and Jeler in the final. Matches over, it was back to the hotel
for dinnerwith Surbek and Stipancic wearing their new blue, full
length suede coats that were given to them by the Vjesnik Club.*
Next day, Easter Sunday, Vjesnik played the Mladost Club, and, says Mike, we won
out over the Mladost Juniors. Then we were treated to a fine meal, and even got some Easter
eggs. Then the following day we went to the resort town of Toplice where Mike was able to
play Stipancic. In world competition, Stipancic gives the impression that he isnt playing hard,
but I found out that that is his style, smooth, effortless, with lots of spin thats well controlled
and well angled. Unexpectedly in this years Closed hed lose in a straight-game semis to
Karakasevic.
30

After the
matches, there
was dinner,
then dancing in
the
restaurant.No
one could top
the dancing of
Jack and
Kathryn
Mason. The
band played I
Left My Heart
L-R: Surbeks son, Stipancics in San
son, and grandfatherly
Francisco,
Jack Mason
Meal hosted for Californians by
which was a
Photo by Norma Greene
Mladost Club President (center)
pleasant
Photo by Norma Greene
surprise to us and put us in a sentimental
moodespecially since this was the last night of our tour.
We were all again mindful of Allans incalculable help. At one time, the Yugoslavians
had medallions made with Allans picture on them, to give as awards to winners of table tennis
competition. Some tribute, eh?
Jeff Mason, it turned out, met Damyana, fell in
love with her, and would be married this August
15th. Play table tennis and see the world, says
Mike, and maybe find a mate.It could happen to
you.
SELECTED NOTES.
*Tom Nurnberger (who in 1969-70 played on
the same Yugoslav team as Cordas and Surbek) in
his Profile of Zlatko Cordas (TTT, Nov., 1980, 3;
6) explains how 1970-74 was the golden era of
Vjesnik-Zagreb, how they were European Team
Champions (three times in a row), and how to
Coach Herman Vukusic Cordas had to be as
Jeff Mason and his Yugoslavian
valuable as Surbek and Stipancic, for he was by far
wife-to-be, Damyana
the best 3rd player in Europe in team play.
Photo by Mike Greene
Zlatko himself, who was reported as having won
the 1969 Polish Open, the Portuguese and Balkan Opens in 1970, and was runner-up in the
1973 Yugoslav Closed, said in a 1980 or 81 Coaching Review (6) interview: I was on the
National Team from 1967 until 1974, always as the No. 4 or No. 5 player. There were always
three players better than me. When youre on the Team that long youre playing a lot, but not
in really important matches.

31

Dr. Michael Scott, II

Chapter Two
1973: Pre-U.S. Open Winter
TournamentsPart I.
Springthats what Ive just done,
have jumped ahead to link up our U.S. play
overseas. Now I want to go back, pick up
where I left off after those end-of-the-year
U.S. Team Tryouts in Vol. VI and so orient
readers to whats been happening in our JanMar. domestic tournaments. Ill begin in the
northwest, move eastward.
British Columbia held two wintry
tournaments, the Jan. 20-21 Richmond Open
at the James Whiteside School Gym, and the
Feb. 3-4 Winter Festival at the North Vancouver Community Centre. At Richmond, 1970 U.S.
Open Junior runner-up Philip Cheng downed 1972 U.S. Open A Champ Zoltan Pataky, but
at Vancouver Zollie took the Mens from Phil. At both tournaments Merle Bagoo-Weekes
was the Womens winner. And at both Pataky was best in Mens Doubles, first with Eric
Caveley, then with Cheng. Bagoo-Weekes, partnered by Paul Albrecht, split Mixed titles with
Calveley/Joan Hurwood.
Seniors at Richmond went to Seattle Club President Dr. Michael Scott over Art Ngai
who won at Vancouver. Scott was the Jan. 26th subject of a well-meaning Seattle Times
reporter who had Mike spittinglike a small, finely tuned machine spitting out an endless
flow of celluloid ballsand showing a never-quit attitude, even when he is behind (think
what hed do if he were ahead). In Junior Mens, Eddie Lo was twice too 3-game good for
Peter Joe; while Leslee Ward, 22, 24 loser in
Carl Cole
the Womens to Bagoo-Weekes at Richmond,
dominated the Junior Miss.
Vancouver also hosted the Feb. 17
Northwest Open. In the Mens, Jeff Kurtz
downed Class A/Junior winner Eddie Lo in 5,
then won the final from Carl Cole by default
Carl, at the moment, no longer King Cole, or
a merry old soul. Womens went to Judy
Bochenski over Tyra Parkins whod eliminated
Liz Kurtz. Just to give you an idea how well off
the Seattle Club is under Dr. Scott, Tyras the
Assistant Treasurer there. Gord Favell was best
in Class B, as he had been at Richmond. In the
32

Seniors, Michael stopped Dr. Bob Ho


who teamed with Judy to take the Open
Doubles. Scott, we learn, also plays
tennis, skis (on snow or water), and scuba
dives. He expects to stay healthy, be
playing a good game of table tennis
when hes 60 or 70. Think he will?
Readers might well be interested
in Hos book, Bones Out of Place (2003),
wherein we follow his developing career
as an osteopathic physician specializing in
orthopedic surgery. Along the way, we
find out that Table Tennis hasnt been
Bobs only sport. Honolulu-born, he won
the Mr. University of Hawaii contest in
1952 and, afterwards, 3 light heavyweight
Olympic-style weightlifting Iowa State
Championships. Bob learned/practiced in
many parts of the U.S. before coming to
Portland, OR. For a time he interned at
the West Side Osteopathic Hospital in
York, PA, home of the York Barbell
Company and Club. There he saw Chuck
Vinci, the U.S. 123 lb (bantamweight)
champion who could squat 400 lbs., train
for the Olympics. Chuck was one of the table tennis-playing Cleveland Vinci brothers (Ray, I
believe, was best) who, sponsored by USTTA Hall of Famer Sanford Gross, played in Ohio
tournaments in the early 50s.
At the Mar. 10th Oregon Open in Salem, their USTTA suspensions lifted, Tom
Ruttinger won the Open from Rob Roberts. Womens went to Judy Bochenski, who in the fall
will start at Stanford, over Leslee Ward. Open Doubles: Eddie Lo/Peter Joe over, first, Ed Ng/
James Tong, 19 in the 3rd, then over Paul Chang/Greg Eng in a 23, -21, 24 thriller. Mixed:
Judy and her dad Lou over Jeff/Liz Kurtz. Lou will urge that the
Northwest players, though used to their own rating system, adopt
Neal Foxs National Ratings system (Neals work will soon
supplant Jack Howards pioneer efforts). As: Steve Berliner over
Ho, but the two paired to win the A Doubles from Ron Farrians/
Eng. Bs: Victor Chan over Chris Depee, B Doubles winner with
Ron Vincent. Cs: Red Duncan over Dave Barber. Seniors: Hugh
Ward over Jim Tisler, then Art Ngai. Ron Carver took the
Consolations from Carl Lehrhoff.
The first Northern California tournament of 2003, the Feb. 1011 Cupertino Open, was won by newly arrived German native
Franz-Joseph Heurmann over Jeff MasonFranz playing with a
hardbat covered with something other than Marty Reismans
favored Leland rubber. Womens winner was Yuriko Kerby over
Franz-Joseph Heurmann
33

Jai Howard. The two Singles Champs also took the Mixed over Jim Naik/Hilda Brautigan
(who would avenge this loss at the upcoming San Francisco Winter Open). Mens Doubles
went to Ramon Fernandez/Azmy Ibrahim.
As: LeRoy Kondo over Alvin Hills whod barely escaped Mike Greene. Bs: Graham
Wilson in 5 over Chuck Shackelford. B Doubles winners: Wilson/Walt Thomas. Cs: Ken Pitts
over Armand Romero. C Doubles: Nick Sawin/Tom Joyce over Wayne Tieke/Audie Rosales.
Ds: Frank Chang over Danny Loudon. Allan Herskovich won the Seniors from Bob Eckert,
and the Senior Doubles with Thomas. 17s: Dan Blumberg over Johnny Nevarez. 15s: Frank
Chang over Tieke.
One wonders whether Don Gunn is more of a reader or an athlete: from an article in
the 1973 World Book Science Annual, he shares this tip for he (she) who wants to have
stamina enough to be a Champion: Eat a balanced diet regularly, but exercise to exhaustion
four days before competition to deplete the glycogen stores. Then eat foods high in
carbohydrates for the next three days so that the glycogen stores are filled to capacity for the
event. Emphasize such foods as cereals, bread, potatoes, rice,
sugar.
Gunn aims one of
his Shots more at the
old, rather than the new,
San Francisco Club, noting
that any change had to
be an improvement. He
cites, Six tables, a
refinished floor, good
lighting, and the lowest
temperatures this side of the Arctic Circle. In the
March San Francisco Open, Denis OConnell, helped
by a 24-22 3rd game, won the Mens in 4 over Dave
Chan whod knocked out Jeff Mason 23-21 in the
4th. Womens winner was Virginia Spiersch over Jai
Howard. Mason paired with Richard Terry to take
the Doubles from Chan/Wilson Wu. Fox praises
Terry for providing him with helpful area and Club
ranking lists. As: Jim Naik over Amin Jaffer. A
Doubles: Naik/LeRoy Kondo over Mike Greene/
Peter Yu. Bs: Joe Proksch over Jaffer.
Denis OConnell
Photo by Don Gunn
Jack Howard may be more interested in
coaching than playing, but youd never know it from
Milla Boczars March tournament, a warm-up for next weeks Nationals. Jack won the Open
over Paul Raphel who, after eliminating Danny Banach, 18 in the 5th, struggled to 24-22 in the
4th down Glenn Cowan. Howard was also in the final of the Mens, but lost that to OConnell
whod survived 5 games with Raphel. Shy Denis, whod dominated the two Singles events in
Millas Jan. tournament, twice downing Ray Guillen, is about to find girlsand when that
happens, goodbye table tennis! Womens went to the anything but shy Angie Rosal over her
sister Monica. Cowan took both the Mens and the Mixed Doubleswith Guillen (over
Raphel/Eric Thom); with Monica (over favored Ray/Angie).
34

Other results:
Mens As: Brenner over
Bill Garrett, 19 in the 5th.
Womens As: Howards
girl (maybe wife-to-be?),
Bonnie Johnson, over
Annie Smith. Bs: David
Chiu over Dieter Huber.
Cs: Dean Galardi over
Marcus Neely. Ds Gary
Templeton over Chu. A
Doubles: Huber/Joe
Proksch. B Doubles:
Monico Rosal talking to daughter Angie and Stellan Bengtsson
Huber/Ken Pitts. C-D
Doubles: Richard Alden/
Jim DeMet. Parent-Child Doubles: Chris Rosal paired with his father Monico, of Philippine
heritage, who works as a radar technician at the San Diego naval base; they defeated Dieter
and Karl Huber. Seniors: Danny Banach over Julius Paal. 11s: Joe Napoles over Terry
Absher. 13s: Chris Rosal over Alan Napoles. 15s: Joe Napoles over Steve Schultz. 17s:
Ricky Walker over Schultz.
Mens winner at the Huntington Beach California Open was Joong Gil Park in 5 over
Guillen. Womens went to Angie over Patty Cash. Strangely, Ive no record of either a Mens
or Mixed Doubles. As: Kondo over Joe Proksch. Bs: Kondo over David Chiu. Cs: Sandy
Lechtick over Pitts. Ds: Ron Whitlock over D. Thompson. Esquires: Richard Badger over
Paal. Seniors: Paal over Banach. Senior Doubles: Banach and Russ Thompson over George
Kelemen and Carmen Ricevuto whos more than a mite put out cause hes still waiting,
waiting, waiting for those paid-for sheets of rubber Fuarnado Roberts had promised to send
him. 17s: Raphel over Eric Thom, deuce in the 4th. 15s: Dean Galardi over Dennis Barish.
Galardi was
discovered by Lou Dubin
playing table tennis,
amateurishly but showing
agility, with his mother at
the Redondo Beach Sea
Innthat same Inn
where Steve Shoemaker,
Treasurer of the local
Chamber of Commerce,
first conceived the idea
of the $7,500 1971
Redondo Beach Western
Lou Dubin: a juniors best
Classic. A year later,
friend...until hes sent away
Dean was sponsored to
Dean Galardi
Photo by Don Gunn
the U.S. Open at Hofstra
University by the Redondo Beach Kiwanis Club. There Long Island reporter Larry Sherman
interviewed him and learned something of his background:
35

Galardis mother suffers from epilepsy, his father abandoned them when he
was three years old and his family is on welfare.Galardi is currently on medication
(tetracycline) for a bout with pneumonia which hes still recovering from. He was
bedded for six weeks with what was feared to be a blood disease before it turned out
to be a plain old virus. Until recently he was never out of his hometown [sic: for state?;
hes from Torrance] because he was too poor to go anywhere. [Now, its 1973, and
after his second year of play, Dean continues his rapid improvement.]
Wintertime in Long Beach, the 27th Open
thereand Guillen was a triple winner. In Singles over
Howard after being down 2-0. In Mens Doubles with
Shonie Aki (over Ichiro Hashimoto/Nick Mintseveris).
And in Mixed with Nurse Pat Crowley (after losing the
first two, over Thom/Rosal). Angie took the Womens
from Priscilla Parker. As: Mark DaVee over Proksch.
Bs: Angie over Frank Suran. Cs: Maltrus Neely over
Greg Sherman. Seniors:
Banach over Jim Limerick.
Kathy Chin Gutwein
does the Topics coverage
for the Feb. Richard and
Martha Alden-run San
Diego Balboa, er, check
that, Rosal Open. Raphel
Ray Guillen
won the Mens, beating in
Photo by Mal Anderson
this order: Thom in 5, then
Howard (whod been down 2-1 to Bill Ukapatayaskul), and finally
OConnell who in finishing Cowan 20, 24, -18, 10 might have lost
in straight games. Womens went to Angie over 18-year-old dental
assistant Cindy Cooper who survived Heather Angelinetta by taking
the 4th and (after almost blowing an 11-3 lead) the 5th at 19. By the
time you read this, Cindy will have married 21-year-old
construction worker Gary Feilen. Mens Doubles: Joong Gil Park/
Ichiro Hashimoto over Cowan/Raphel 19 in the 5th. Hashimoto,
Kathy said, gave a spartan 8-week training camp at Milla Boczars
Hollywood Club for Lou Dubins Junior prospects. Mixed:
Mintsiveris/Angie over Park/Karen Berliner, -23, 11, 21, 20.
Other winners: As: Angie (after 2nd-round stumbling by
Bard Brenner deuce in the 3rd) over DaVee. Womens As: Monica
Shell clean your teeth
Rosal over Bonnie Johnson. Bs: Lyle DeJong over Sandy Lechtick.
Photo by Mal Anderson
Cs: Dennis Barish over Dean Galardi 19 in the 5th. (Can so many
matches really end 19 in the 5th?) Ds: Pat Crowley over Monica Rosal and 42 others. A
Doubles: George McGhee/Brenner over Stan and Angie Rosal. B Doubles: Dieter Huber/
Eugene Kunyo over Ken Pitts/Lechtick. C-D Doubles: Barish/Galardi over Lechtick/A.
Serrano. Seniors: Don Ayers over Banach. 17s: DaVee over Angie. 15s: Barish over Galardi,
13s: Joe Napoles over Chris Rosal.
36

You might have noticed that longtime San


Diego Club member Patty Martinez was absent
from this tourney? Actually, though shed been
sick and didnt play, she was thereas readers
could tell from her later angry Topics article (JulyAug., 1973, 15). She felt abused, felt Tournament
Director Richard Alden had lost it, had, unjustly,
without warning, began screaming at her to get off
a table he needed for a match, and, worse,
continued screaming at her that she ought to get
off all HIS tables since she wasnt playing in the
tournament. Meanwhile, little kids and players
relatives were playing on nearby tables, for only 5
of the 40 were occupied.
Pattys mother confronted Richard about
his rudeness, and he said hed meant that Patty
had to get off the tables nearest the Control Desk.
He apologized to Patty who said, Thats cool,
Alden. Later, though, she found out that in his
fury hed asked an official to call the police to
bodily throw out that troublemakerwhich,
Patty Martinez. Dig those earrings!
when she read in Gutweins coverage that Alden
Photo by Mal Anderson
was commended for contending with a lot of
pettiness and hassles, no doubt prompted Patty to publicly protest the way shed been
treated.
Phoenix Club President Forrest Barr reports (TTT, May-June, 1973, 11) on the 21st
Arizona Open, held Feb. 17-18 on ten Brinkton tables at the Trevor Browne High
gymnasium. In the Mens, 17-year-old Eric Thom blanked Defending Champ Howie
Grossman. But in his semis against California Ranking Chair Dieter Huber, Eric was 16, 13
cruising along nicelythenoh, oh, -18, -20 (need for temper-tantrum control coming
up?)was down 18-14 in the 5th. At which point, Barr says, Dieter awakened just in time to
the undemanding character of his unranked status.
In the Jan.-Feb., 1973 Topics (12), Dieter made the case for ignoring
the seeding/placing rules in the USTTA Rules Manual because, he says,
theres no logic to them. For example, if you have 12 proven strong players in
a 32-Draw, its just not fair to pick out 8 of them for seeding and placing,
then flip the other 4 with the remaining entry so that possibly 2 of these 4
could meet in the 1st round while in that same round two weak players might
meet. Instead, whatever the Class, Championship or Ds, local Ranking Chairs
should follow strict guidelines based on a players performance. Win a certain
Class event, and next time you certainly cant play in a lower Class. Also, if
Dieter Huber you play a match as Huber did against Thom here in the Arizona Open, youre
going to accumulate advancement points. Hence with such a good showing
Dieter may play himself out of the Bs and be advanced in current Eligibility Lists. Dieter
also says that other USTTA Ranking/Rating practices defy common senseautomatically
ranking the U.S. Open winner #1; offering a National Class A rating by counting results from
37

all classes; and rating Juniors as one group rather that rating them
separately according to their respective age event.
Angie won the Womens here in Phoenix without benefit of
tough battle over, first, Angelinetta, 19, 20, 19 (looks like a battle to
mescores suspect?), then her sister Monica. Mens Doubles went to
Thom/Grossman over Huber/Joe Proksch; the Mixed to Grossman/
Angelinetta over Proksch/Pat Crowley whod upset Thom/Rosal in 5.
The Esquire winner was Ed Bacon of Ocean City, N.J. all warmed-up
to straight-game stop Ken Hoover and Sy Kenig. Best in Seniors?
Helmuth Vorherrjust edging out Mac Horn 23-21 in the 5th.
Other results: As: Angieblitzing Harold Kopper and Dennis
Barish. Bs: Phoenix City Champion Bill Kenig, Sys son, over Bill
Ed Bacon
Guerin. Barr says that L.A.s Lou Dubin, for many years now a
juniors best friend, drove to the tournament in an ancient limousine full of flashy, young,
polite and polished talent from California. Galardi and Barish dominated the Class Doubles
winning the As from Huber/Proksch and the Bs from Guerin/Byrd. U-17s went to Thom
after a furious-18, 13, -22, 15, 17 final with Angie. Galardi, who just a month earlier
sustained kidney surgery, was the U-15 winner. Chris Rosal took the 13s from David
Redman.
At the Feb. Texoma Open in Holiday, Texas, Brad
Fountain came 1st via a 3-way tie-breaker with runner-up
Tommy Vaello and David Bell whom Brad had beaten two
weeks earlier in the final of the Billie Watkins-run Irving Open.
Womens went to Peggy Shaha over Cindy Garza, also the
winner at Irving over Anna Lynn. Mens Doubles: Vaello/Hibbs
over Fountain/Dennis Crawford. Mixed: Stacie Moore/John
McAdams over Garza/Vaello in 5. (McAdams: that
shakehands player who uses only one side of the racket and is
cat-quick.) As: Vaello over Don Weems. Bs: John Hewes
over Marshall Gordon. Cs: Dan Rodriguez over teen dynamo
Irl Copley. Seniors: D.G. Van Vooren over Gordon. 17s: Joe
Windham over Steve Hammond, 24-22 in the 5th. 15s:
Hammond over Dale Donaldson.
Mike Finnell, 15, writes (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 19) that
Holiday is a small town of 1,000 people just outside of
Wichita Falls, Texas. Though Mikes club has no equipment
(it was rented from Oklahoma City, Waco, and Amarillo),
this 2-star tourney drew about 100 entries, and so allowed the
organizers to more than break even. Mike thanks the USTTA
for sending 700 address labels of prospective players, and,
Brad Fountain
because of potential entries from nearby states, he hopes to get
Photo by Leon Nevil
a lot more labels next time. As Mike says, Its not often a
tournament increases a towns population by 10%.
Over now to Louie Lancers write-up of the Texas Open at Fort Worth (TTT, MayJune, 1973, 13). In one half of the Mens Draw, Arlingtons Richard James squeaked out a
deuce in the 5th win over San Antonios Vaello, then knocked out Defending Champion
38

Fountain in 5. In
the other half,
Lancer was
fortunate to outpush J.C. Tenay
for a deuce-inthe-5th advance.
Joe Cummings
Then he got by
Joe Cummings, a
jack-in-the-boxtype player who
likes to hit the ball
through his
opponents
backhandlikes
to hit it strangely,
sideways. In the
final, James
couldnt seem to get his devastating attack going
consistently enough to force Lancer away from the
table where his game is at its best. And the only reason
he can stay close to the table against a player of
Jamess talent is by protecting himself from super-spin
serves and loops with an all wood backhand.
Womens winner
Louie Lancer, 6-time Texas Open Champion
was University of
Houstons Shirley Woo over Fort Worths Carolyn Gault. Woos
toughest match: a 23-21 in the deciding 3rd against Liz Gresham;
Gaults toughest: a 19-in-the-3rd against Cindy Garza. Shirley and
Cindy teamed to take the Womens Doubles from Carolyn and Lyn
Lancer. Shirley proved a triple winner by pairing with Fountain to
win the Mixed over Liz and Dennis Gresham. Fountain also won
the Mens Doubles: he and Louie beat Vaello and Bob Mandel.
The Seniors, too, went to Lancerover Wacos Dr. Grady
Gordon whod won at Irving. In the Senior Doubles, all four
finalists featured a clanking, wooden backhand for protection
against goofy spin games, and thin, fast sponge on the forehand to
blast any balls that might get loose. Paired with John Rangel in
this event, Louie scored againover Lon Clark/R.C. Watkins.
Other results: As: Irvings Sid Minyard over Gordon
whod been down 2-1 to Gary Fagan after Gary had rallied from
2-0 down to oust Rangel. Minyard had earlier eliminated Dave
DeWald who in the upcoming Open at Midland would win both
Liz Gresham
Photo by Don Gunn
the Mens and Seniors. The Esquire Champ at Midland,
Amarillos Jay Evans, won the Mens Consolation here from, first,
Watkins, 23-21 in the deciding 3rd, then Vern Eisenhour, 24-22 in the 4th. A Doubles: Jamie
39

Stengele/Don Weems over Steve


Smith/John Hewes. Boys: Mike
Finnell over Larry Puls. Juniors:
Oklahoma Citys Charles Butler
over Puls, then Steve Babb, both in
5. The athletically built Butler with
his long-armed reach can get
angled hits, whereas his opponents
have to show a little footwork to
get the same ball.
John McAdams received the
Sportsmanship Awardthough
earlier involved in a bit of
controversy:

Charles Butler

He is one of many top players in Texas who received a warning phone call
from an unidentified USTTA official or spokesman advising him he would not be
allowed to participate in this years U.S. Open [to be held the following weekend] and
[would] be suspended for one year from the USTTA if he participated in this years
unsanctioned Texas Open. He did decide not to play but offered his services to help
during the tournament.And thanks to Mr. Tim Boggans ability to think clearly after
being awakened at 1:00 AM by a call from the Texas Open Tournament Director, John
McAdams did get to participate in this a USTTA sanctioned eventsanctioned one
day before the scheduled start of the tournament. [To suspend, or not suspend, ay,
theres the rub.]
Larry Knouft, owner of the Kansas City Midtown Club,
reports that 106 players from six states braved the bad
weather to attend the K. C. Winter Open. Results: Mens
($500 cash prizes): Houshang Bozorgzadeh over Frank
Mercz. Womens: Jean Varker over Paula Frankel. As: Richard
Berg over Mercz. Bs: Dale Donaldson over Ron Shirley. Cs:
Robert Henry over Bill Chan. Ds: Steve Siegel over Dan
Murphy. Es: John Hinde over Jim Bruce. Seniors: Art Fiebig
over Cliff Smith, a research chemist with the Phillips
Petroleum Co. 17s/15s: Steve Hammond over Donaldson.
13s: Gerald Evans over Del Cook.
Tom Walsh says the Omaha TTC wasnt aware that Cedar
Rapids was holding its Hawkeye Open on the same Feb. weekend
Cliff Smith
they applied for and received sanction for their Omaha Open. So
Courtesy of Larry Knouft
when the out-of-towners went to Iowa, attention focused the
more on local young stars Murray Kutler, Diana Myers, Scott Ichkoff, and Wisners Todd Petersen.
Meanwhile, John Stillions left his job to start the Jan.-Feb., 1973 Topics Club of the Month (21)
the Spaceball and Table Tennis Club located in the new Racquet and Sports Center in Cedar Rapids
named after trampoline enthusiast George Nissen. Stillions, the table tennis enthusiast whose son,
John Jr., is becoming quite a player in the U-11s, tells us why hes rented space here:
40

Cedar Rapids Club: after the women got sponsors they made their own uniforms
Photo courtesy of John Stillions

No initial investment in land or building.


No light, water, or heat bills.
The tennis center pays for snow removal, maintenance, yard care, etc.
Lighting, background and a floor surface which is ideal for tennis is also
ideal for table tennis.
By paying the membership fee of $15.00 for a student, $25.00 for an
individual adult, or $40.00 for a family, the table tennis players share in the use of the
well-lighted parking lot, beautiful carpeted locker facilities, and showers with separate
Scandinavian Saunas for men and women, free towel service and two beautiful
elevated viewing lounges where players and spectators may relax.
Sounds greatsuggests a revival of the interest Cedar Rapids had shown in the early
1950s.* How can it miss being successful?
The Club, which is open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., sports 15 new Nissen
tables and accompanying barriers; a Stiga Robot; tables and chairs near the courts; a
concession area; and a t.t. equipment pro shop. The backbone of the Club is the League
program; and of course theres individual and group coaching. During the first tournament put
on by this Club, the Hawkeye Open, Norikazu Fujii was a noted visitor, for, helped by Joe
41

Newgarden, he had just opened a club in Miami, and, after visiting Disneys Magoos Club in
Minneapolis, had come here to learn and share club strategy. Dell Sweeris, owner of the Grand
Rapids Woodland Club, was also on hand for discussionshis quest-question: could one make
a living with a table tennis club?
Of course, unlike Fujii, Sweeris playedand ended up
in a 3-way tie for the Mens title. Dell beat Houshang
Bozorgzadeh; Houshang beat Danny Seemiller; and Danny
beat Dell. The tie-break winner? Bozorgzadeh, who barely
edged out Seemiller. Says Stillions, Its not often that Sweeris
goes to a small town and comes in 3rd, huh?
Houshangs 6-year contractual obligation to the Iranian
government for having sent him to school, allowed him to get
a degree in the U.S., was completed, and hed come back to
the States. Accompanied by his familywife Elmeda (Ellie),
daughters Mina and Gity, and son Amir (named after his
teammate and doubles partner Ehteshamzadeh?) hed settled in
Independence, Iowa, not far northwest of Cedar Rapids. At
Independence, hed applied for and gotten the post that, after
Houshang Bozorgzadeh
many years of service and the coming of a new millennium,
hed retire fromthat of Recreation Therapist at the Mental Health Institute there.
Houshangs always taken his therapy work seriously. He feels hes been of considerable
help to addicts, alcoholics, the depressed. Such people particularly need to discover how to
use their leisure time wisely, productively. Sports, games, dancesthese are important. Under
the supervision of Houshangs increasingly experienced eye, clients can learn to hope again, to
motivate themselves to do something positive rather than give in to despair and selfdestruction.
Other Hawkeye events went pretty much as expected: Mens Doubles: Seemiller/
Sweeris over Bozorgzadeh/Jim Davey. Womens: Teresa Lee over Darlene Friedman. Womens
Doubles: Lee/Friedman over Deb Holle/Sheila ODougherty. Mixed: Davey/Lee over Mike
Carter/Friedman. Esquires: Bruce Ackerman over Mark McKnight. Seniors: Ackerman over
John Wall. U-17s: Mike Baber over Joe Windham. U-15s: Baber over John Soderberg. U13s Jeff Soderberg over John Stillions.
Young Stillions was named Jan.-Feb., 1973 Topics Junior of the Month (22). Although
the 3rd-grader has been playing less than a year, a growing number of people are saying hes
the best 8-year-old in the country. He plays in tournaments, was even on his dads team at the
USOTCs, and of course he practicesmaybe 20 hours a week at the Nissen Center, and
drives the family crazy hitting the ball against his bedroom wall during his free time.
We werent hearing much from Midwest Canadabut up in Winnipegs Unicity Open,
Andrew Ying won both the Singles (over Hans Hirsch after being down 2-1 and at deuce in
the 4th) and the Doubles with Jamieson (over the areas strong Juniors Shanahan and Ranier).
Allan Romanosky whod win the Feb. Saskatchewan Closed lost in the Bs. Budding cardtrickster Brian Kid Zembik sleight-of-hand took the Boys.
When St. Paul held its Jan. Winter Carnival, plenty of Minneapolis Magoo players
showed their support. Results: Mens: Doug Maday over Stu Sinykin and runner-up Charlie
Disney. Womens: Sheila ODougherty, wholl soon be the best woman player ever to come
out of the Magoos Club, over JoAnn Rolling. Open Doubles: Ray Mosio/Ted Gliske. Mixed
42

John Stillions-the best 8-year-old


in the country?

Dave Lindquist and runner-up Andy


Lantos. Seniors: Ray Mosio over
Henry Klaas. U-17s: John
Soderberg over Pete Tellegen. U15s: John Soderberg over Jeff
Soderberg. U-13s: Greg Mosio
over Jeff Soderberg.

Doubles: Doug/Pam
Maday over Don Larson/
Deb Holle. Don is one of
the Clubs two full time
professionals; Hal
Lupinek is the other. They
contact companies,
arrange exhibitions and
coaching clinics, and
promote league play.
Other results: As:
Ed Hogshead over
Lupinek and runner-up
Dave Tures. A Doubles:
Ed Ells/Lupinek over
Sonny Chee/Hogshead.
Bs: Steve Steblay over
Jeff Soderberg. Cs: Rich
Gruis over Scott Hill. Ds:
Craig Satersmoen over
John
Soderberg

Magoos was named the


May-June, 1973 Topics Club of the
Month (15). In Vol. VI Id
mistakenly shown a photo of this
3rd-floor ClubI say mistakenly
because I was describing not the
new but the old Magoos I had
visited. A photo anachronism,
unlike some Ive willingly used, I
just totally overlooked. Heres
Dave Lindquist on the new
Magoos:
[It] has 12 well-lighted tables, each with enough room to make the game
interesting. Theres a snack bar and booths, a pro shop, a pool table and pin- ball
machines, and spectator balconies for a good view of the eight center tables. And in
43

one corner theres a screened-off area with two tables inside, one for the Stiga Robot
and one play-back table for the solitary player looking to improve his push.
Lindquist tells of the continuing success of the High School League (promoted by
Larson and Rich Sinykin), and of the great publicity Disney and others generatepapers
publish tournament results, television crews come to the Club, and both TV and radio are
accommodating with interviews and announcements. But the real reason for Magoos pingpong boom is
the individual player who plays the game only once a week or once a
month. He knows its an exciting, competitive, healthful game, but, above all, hes
having fun. There are millions of crackpots out there who like to flail away at a little
celluloid ball and clubs like Magoos will bring them out of the basement and into
organized table tennis.
Who among the dedicated could think otherwise?
SELECTED NOTES.
*On Aug. 9, 2005 current Hardbat player Dean Norman sent me a very specific
personal history of his Iowa play that relives table tennis in Iowa and especially in his
hometown of Cedar Rapids in the beginning1950s. Dean was Iowa State Junior Champion in
1950, and Cedar Rapids City Champion in 1951. Hes shown here with the best Iowa players
of his day.
March 18, 1951

44

Chapter Three
1973: Pre-U.S. Open Winter TournamentsPart II.
In covering the Jan. 6-7 Rockford, IL Open (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1973, 25), held in
Rockfords huge new fieldhouse (24 brand new Nissen tables, good lighting, rubberized
floor), Jeff Smart proclaimed it the best 1-Star Open Ive ever seen! Tournament Director
Paul Erikson deserves much of the credithowever, he had help:
[Paul] hired Dell Sweeris to come in Friday night to give promotional
exhibitions and to coordinate the tournament. Ivar Dahlgren not only made 50 barriers
but he got up before 5:00 a.m. to cook a free Swedish pancake breakfast; Paul Hahn
helped by getting all the beautiful trophies; [and John Rule, Gary Getchal, Gary Phelps,
and several others also made contributions important to a successful running of the
tournament].
The Sweeris 4-A format initially established 16
preliminary round robins, 4 players in each selected
according to strength. Winners, runner-ups, 3rd, and 4thplace finishers then advanced into their respective
groups of 16 players each. These 16 in each group
were divided into 4 round robins, the 4 winners of
which in each would become semifinalists. In the
Championship group, Mike Veillette, 19, 19 upset 37year-old hardbat blocker/hitter Houshang
Bozorgzadeh, and Doug Maday
(who was almost beaten 2-0 by
Mike Veillette, Rockford Open Champion Smart) upset Sweeris.
Afterwards, Dell somehow
managed to play Houshang, as if the semis were a round robin, but
since the entry blank specified single elimination semis, the match
was disallowed. Veillette then went on to down Maday in the final.
Mike also won the 17s; runner-up John Soderberg won the
15s; runner-up there, John Stillions, the 13s. The Davis Cup-style
Team event went to Smart/Veillette over Sweeris/Ralph Stadelman (3-2
semis winners over Maday/Stu Sinykin when Dell avenged his earlier
loss to Doug). In the final (all 4 players had come in the same car and
would be taking the 7-8 hour-trip back to Michigan togetherso, no
hard feelings), Smart, getting off to a 14-1 lead in the 1st, stopped
Doug Maday
Stadelman. Then Mike, also playing fiendishly, clobbered Dell 21-8,
From 1972 Minnesota
nd
rd
lost the 2 , then lost the 3 after leading 14-3, 17-11. Doubles went to
Classic Program
Smart/Veillette in 3, thanks to their serves and 3rd-ball attack. Then
Mike finished off Ralph for the win.
Jeff closed his article by praising the tournaments social atmosphere, the indoor swim
party, the get-together with home-baked pies, cakes, and cookies, and the all-you-can-eat
spaghetti dinners for $1.19 (or chicken for $1.39).
45

Back home in the


Pontiac League, Mike
would continue
heading the
McKinstry Insurance
team, Jeff the West
Side Mobil team,
their friend Bill
Lesner the McDonald
Food team, and the
Leagues Mr. Table
Tennis, Perc Secord,
the Capitol Barber
Shop team. Among
those playing for
The Capitol Barber Shop Team, 1972 Pontiac League Champions, L-R:
Capitol, the
Will Scheer, Bob Quinn, Nancy Heyd, Perc Secord, and Jeff Heyd
Defending
Champions, were 1972 Michigan Seniors Champ Bob Quinn, and Nancy Heyd, a high school
senior, who last year won the Player of the Year award in the approximately 100-member
league [that had been started by Secord in 1947].
Veillette, Smart, Lesner, theyre
Mike Baber
all playing in Grand Rapidsnot at
Photo by Mal Anderson
Sweeriss Woodland Center, but at the Y.
Dell isnt playing, so perhaps hes running
the tournament, or renovating his Club.
Results: Mens: Veillette over Lesner.
Mens Doubles: Paul Lamse/Imants
Karklis over Veillette/Don Clark, -19, 14,
18, -24, 23. Womens: Maureen Farmer
over Barbara Taschner. Mixed Doubles:
Smart/B. Taschner over Lesner/Dorothy
Taschner. As: Mike Baber over S.
Snyder. Bs: Karklis over Tom Hall. Cs:
Hall over Snyder. Novice: Bruce McGhee
over E. Todd. Handicap: Veillette over
Quinn. Consolation: Rick Cogswell
(destined to die young) over Michigan TTA President George Buben. Seniors: Quinn over
Elmer Ybema. 17s: Veillette over Mike Baber. 15s: Baber over Greg Jelinski. 13s: Faan
Hoan Liu.
If Sweeris cant make a table tennis club profitable, who could? His lifes Balance
Sheet is in the making. Heres a description of his Woodland Center (TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1972, 22):
twelve well-lighted, spacious courts, all surrounded by Butterfly barriers.
[Equipment in use:] Detroiter tables, Hanno nets, and Nittaku balls.Green walls and
a red floor make the ball very easy to see. Ninety chairs give ample room for friends
and relatives of the players to watch.
46

The snack bar


area and pro shop are
carpeted. Four tables
in the snack area plus
bar stools at the
counter make nonplaying time very
enjoyable. Available
coke machines, ice
cream, sandwiches,
and candy give the
player a wide variety
of snacks. The pro
shop has a wide
variety of equipment,
including
clothing.Just off the
pro shop area is the
office of the manager.
The rest rooms
have four showers for
the players so they
may leave as fresh as
they came. The
parking lot is paved,
well lighted and
located adjacent to the
club.
Of course as Dells continued advertising in Topics shows, his Woodland program is
extensive. Its based on [handicap] league play, tournaments [a guaranteed 7 matches for each
entrant], and coaching classes and clinics [for juniors every day after school, with two adult
classes available at nights].
At Woodland, Sweeris ran the $1,000 Jan. 13 Tacker Open featuring a Mens Pro
Singles and Doubles with the following results: Singles: (1) Alex Tam, 5-0. (2) Dell, 4-1. (3)
Danny Seemiller, 3-2. (4) Derek Wall, 2-3. (5) Lesner, 0-4. (6) Veillette (0-4). Doubles: Tam/
Sweeris -20, 25, 17, 13 over Wall/Jim Davey whod knocked out Seemiller/Lesner in 4. Id
read where Tam once had an ulcer problem that put him in the hospital for a long time. He
took top money here, but maybe that 2nd game in the Doubles final gave him a little gnawing
sensation? Naw. This summer Alex will join Dell at Woodland as complementary coach and
trainer for a three-week camp.
There were other events as well: 4-A: Davey over Smart. Women: Janice Martin
over Maureen Farmer. Womens As: Sue Wright over Kathy Stadelman. Esquires: Elmer
Ybema over Bruce McGee. Seniors: Ybema over Bong Ho. Boys 17s: Veillette over Baber.
Girls 17s: Debbie Foster over Farmer. 15s: Baber over Jelenski. 13s: Cathy Payotelis over
Steve Champion. 11s: Champion over Ricky Verstrate.
47

The March 3-4 Ohio Open saw Dick


Hicks win the Mens over runner-up John
Spencer, Homer Brown (no longer gassing it
up in New England), and Mark Wampler
who, though, he wasnt playing in a
wheelchair, had to go 5 to beat Mike
Dempsey. Hicks also won both Doubles
the Mens with Brown (over Lyle Thiem/
Dick Evans) and the Mixed with wife Norma
(over Spencer and Womens Consolation
winner Kathy
DeMent).
Womens went
to Laurie Miller
over DeMent
who paired to
take the
Womens
Doubles from
Claudia Fritz/
Elaine Fantaske.
Andy Gad came 1st in the
Mens Consolations.
Other results: As: Thiem
over Art Holloway whod
knocked off Tom Hall in 5.
A Doubles: Thiem/Hall over
John Spencer
John Temple/Dempsey. Bs:
Photo by Mal Anderson
Gad over Van Dien Vu. Ds:
Paul Brakke over Ricky Hicks (from down 2-0) in the
semis and over Chris Williams in the final. Esquires:
George Sinclair over Herschel Self. Seniors: Evans
over Holloway. Young Adults: Dempsey over Vu in 5.
Boys 17: Greg Doud over Dempsey whod slipped by
Kevin Legge in 5. Girls 17: Miller over Sandy Hensley.
17 Doubles: Doud/Miller over Paul/Greg Faessler. Boys
15: Doud over Greg Collins. Girls 15: Hensley over
Gail Winters. Boys 13: Hicks over Collins. Girls 13:
Jodee Williams over Winters.
Last October, Dick Hicks had won the
Wisconsin Open over Davey. But none of those other
players whod done well in Milwaukeetriple winner
Karl Will (As, Bs, Mens Doubles with Tony Poulus);
Seniors winner and B finalist Joe Bujalski; and C and
U-17 winner Wayne Wasielewskiseemed too
interested in going much out of their area. Big surprise
48

Karl Will
From Mar. 4, 1976, Harnischfager P&H

at Greenfield wasnt Hickss win over Homer Brown, but 1952 U.S. Open Boys U-15 Champ
Dave Krizmans appearance out of nowhere to finish 3rd in the Mens and win the Class A over
Bob Petty. Hicks/Brown took the Mens Doubles as expected, 3-0, over Lyle Thiem/Tom Hall,
but dropped a game in the semis to Krizman/Jerry Glass.
Other results: Womens: Mary Ann Burdick over runner-up Diane Turnbull and Carol
Cook. Mixed: Dick and Norma Hicks over Brown/Cook in 5. Bs: Sheldon Zamansky over
Jerry Button and runner-up B. Bell. Seniors: Festus Mead over Sam Shannon. U-15s: Greg
Doud over Ricky Hicks whod won the 15s in Milwaukee.
A good turnout for the Jan. 27-28 Gateway Open in Edwardsville, IL. Mens: 1. Danny
Seemiller. 2. Dell Sweeris. 3. Richard Hicks. 4. Houshang Bozorgzadeh. Womens: Jean
Varker over Doris Mercz. Mens Doubles: Sweeris/Seemiller over Hicks/Homer Brown.
Mixed: Varker/Brown over Hicks/Hicks. Mens As: Larry Chisolm over Brown (from down 20) after Homer had downed Ralph Stadelman in 5. Womens As: D. Waychoff over Leslie
Harris. Bs: Hugh Lax over Stadelman. Novice: Bob Flowers over Hicks. Seniors: Lax over
Art Fiebig. 17s: Bob Berg over Varker. 15s: Berg over Hicks.
Hugh Babb (TTT, May-June, 1973,
16) reports on the Kingsport Winter Open,
held Jan. 29 at the Civic Auditorium under
the direction of Jim Ervin. Championship
Singles: Nashvilles Bill Edwards over Dr.
Joe Ching, a nuclear physicist at Oak
Ridgethough Bills toughest test was his
5-game quarters match against his older
brother, Lee, a University of Tennessee
sophomore. Championship Doubles to
Edwards/Larry Bartley over Ralph Kissel/
John White. Womens went to wood
player Betsy Bradley over Nora Ching.
Stan Wolf, whos working in Public
Health with the Peace Corps in South
Korea and wants to exchange some of his
Asian tournament posters for American
ones (sic), writes (TTT, July-Aug., 1973,
Thats Joe Ching backing up brother Hugh
20) that many Koreans just want plain
wood on the backhand side of their racket. It may eliminate backhand smashing, but the lack
of rubber is more than compensated for by the strange flight of the ball when chopped by
wood. So Betsy must be giving her opponents a double whammy?
Other results: As: Ching over Ray Filz in 5, then over Gary Ervin, 23-21 in the 4th in
the final after Gary had gone 5 with Lee Edwards. Bs: James Neal over Vincent Chan. Cs:
Peter Neal over his brother and fellow University of West Virginia student James, deuce in the
5th. Consolations: P. Neal over Dick Tucker. A Doubles: Neal/Neal over G. Ervin/V. Chan.
Seniors: White over Neil Holloway. 17s: Edwards over Bradley.
Winners in the 4-Man Teams at the Arkansas Spring Open were: John Dichiaro, Duke
Stogner, Val Eichmann, and Paul Hadfield. Runner-ups: Max Denman, Marty Simpson, John
Smith, and Jamey Hall. There were also Youth events: 17s: Danny Trawick over Simpson. 17
Doubles: Trawick/Grace over Simpson/Jeff Denman. 15s: Hall over Jon Baker.
49

On Feb. 24, Baton Rouge held its first USTTA sanctioned tournament, the now Annual
Louisiana Open. Tournament DirectorsClub President Tom Baudry; Vice-President Ray
Kelly; and Charles Klestadthelped by Wes Stuckey of the local Recreation and Parks
Commission, got good media cooperation, and as a result play drew at times close to 200
spectators, each of whom got a Program identifying the 64 entries. The Mens final didnt
disappoint: Cecil Kost beat John Quick in 5, after John had rallied from 19-11 down to win the
3rd. The organizers particularly appreciated the efforts of Nashville players to attendJohn
White, Larry Bartley, Bill Edwards, Allen Wright, and Melanie Spain.
Bowie Martin, whose Martin-Kilpatrick Company had donated two films of the 1971
Worlds to the USTTA, held his $1600 Butterfly Tournament of Champions Feb. 17-18 at the
Lions Park Rec Center in Raleigh, N.C. In a Sept. 27, 2005 e-mail to me, Mike Babuin, who
currently runs the annual 4-star Cary, N.C. Cup, reminisced about how, with a Hock blade and
pips-out rubber, hed started as a beginning player at this East Raleigh Center in 1973. The Lions
Park site he thought a dingy place,constructed in the late 50s or early 60s, [and] located
adjacent to the downtown. The lighting, the floor, left something to be desired, and there was no
air-conditioning. Mike remembers from his 15-year-old perspective that an old guy named Jim
McQueen ran the
Club, which was a
successor to Jims
mid-60s Club at
the old Pullen
Park Armory at
the campus of NC
State University.
Of course from his
perspective 33
years later Mike
The old guy is resting, or practicing a future Boos Brothers routine
praises Jim,
perpetually young at heart, for keeping organized play going in central North Carolina for decades.
Though it would seem such a playing site didnt befit the
out-of-area top-flight players who entered, Steve Isaacson says the
Lions Park gym really wasnt such a bad venue, and, in any case, the
many hard-fought matches reflected the reason the good players
were therethe Butterfly prize money to be won. Results: Mens
Singles: Final: Peter Pradit ($500) in straight games over Danny
Seemiller ($400). Semis: Pradit over Lim Ming Chui ($250), -18,
15, 15, -23,
20; Seemiller
over Alex
Tam ($250),
Steve Isaacson
10, -17, 21,
-20, 14. (In
the quarters, Alex 19-in-the-5th outlasted
George Brathwaite, after George had gone
5 with Lem Kuusk.) Womens: Barbara
Kaminsky ($125) over Bev Hess ($75), Barbara Kaminsky, Butterfly Champion
50

20, 10, -20, 22, 15. A $375 differential in 1st prizes for Men and Womenthatll bring a Letter
to Topics entitled Unfair to Women which Ill take up shortly. Mens Doubles: Pradit/Tim
Boggan over Errol Resek/Chui, then Seemiller/Fuarnado Roberts, 23-21 in the 4th. Mixed:
Seemiller/Hess over Brathwaite/Kaminsky.
Other winners: As: Jerry Thrasher over Boggan, 19 in the 5th. Womens As: Yvonne
Kronlage over Shelby Jordan in 5. A Doubles: Thrasher/Wayne Daunt over Stan Peele/Brad
Banta. Bs: Alan Nissen over Doyle Dye. Cs: Joe Ching over John Sholine. Consolations:
Thrasher over Pete May. Seniors: Boggan over Sol Lewis. 17s: Ricky Seemiller in 5 over
John Elliott who rallied from two games down to knock out Jeff Zakarin. 15s: Seemiller
(from down 2-0) over Zakarin. 13s: 1. Mark Wilder. 2. Chuck Zakarin. 3. Eric Boggan. 4.
Curt Kronlage.
Gene Wonderlin reports the results of the tri-state (N.J., PA, DE) Delaware Valley
League. Winning team: Lancaster, with Bob Diller (23-3), Bob Cogley (25-4), Capt. Andy
Tompos (22-7), and Bob Sheckard. Runner-up team: Brandywine and Newark tied,
necessitating a play-off in which Brandywine squeaked out a 6-5 win. Brandywine was
represented by Al Allen (28-2), Capt. Walt Guyer (10-8), Tom Newlin (7-13), and Sid
Halperen (3-8); Newark by Dick Organist (20-10), Al Flocco (16-11), and Blaine Tilghman
(10-8).
Herb Vichnin (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1973, 26-27) covers the Jan. 13-14 Quaker City Open,
the first of six tournaments in the Philadelphia Clubs $1,000 Invitational series. Improvements
in the venue continue: club is almost completed paneled now; hot sandwiches are available
during play; and more barriers have been added to minimize let balls. When Bernie Bukiet
walks in, hell say, Where is dust? You hiding it?

Bernie Bukiet

Mr. and Mrs. Dave Gaskill


Photo by Mal Anderson

Mens: 16ths: Horace Roberts, 18, 17, 29 over Dave Gaskill (now married and back
playing again). 8ths: Dave Philip over Vichnin in 5. Quarters: George The Chief Brathwaite
over Mitch Sealtiel (after being down 2-0 and 6-0 in the 3rd!); Errol Resek over Jim Dixon
whod eliminated Rich Farrell, now on an exhibition tour with D-J Lee; Alex Shiroky over
Bukiet whose back injury forced him to quit after the 1st game; and Philip by killing at least
51

300 shots over the ever-steady


Gerardo and Laura Briceno
Roberts. Semis: Resek over The
Photo by Mal Anderson
Chief, 18, -19, 26, 20; Shiroky,
running around all over the place,
over Philip in 5. Final: Shiroky over
Resek three straight. Womens: 1.
Muriel Stern. 2. Laura Briceno, the
runner-up in a tie-breaker over Evelyn
Zakarin. Mens Doubles: Philip/
Sealtiel over Brathwaite/Resek, 18 in
the 5th. Mixed: Vichnin/Stern over
Gerardo/Laura Briceno.
Other results: As: early
upsets: Al Allen over Jerry
Fleischhacker, 23-21 in the deciding 3rd; Mike Bush over Roberts, 18 in the 3rd, and Sid Jacobs
over Gaskill, 28-26 in the 3rd. Semis: Stan Smolanowicz, said to have copied his attack after
Gaskills, over Roger Sverdlik; Vic Landau over Sam Balamoun (who used to play with D-J in
Cleveland). Final: Landau over
Smolanowicz (Vic receives the firsttime prize in these Asa donated
G.E. clock-radio). Womens As (4
entries): following a 2-1 three-way
tie-breaker: Debbie Wong (5-2),
Evelyn Zakarin (5-3), and Gloria
Amoury after surviving car trouble
on the way to Philly (4-3). A
Doubles: Landau/Fleischhacker over
Bill Sharpe/Marty Theil. Bs (62
entries): Balamoun, 18 in the 3rd,
over fellow chopper Theil (in a
Vic Landau
hitting match!). Cs (58 entries): Ed
Photo by Mal Anderson
Pricketts anti-spin play finished
Steve Berger in the semis, but then Karl Szakacs, whod escaped Al Allen, 19 in the 3rd, had
to default the final with a pulled muscle. Ds: Lincoln Laguerre over the injured Szakacs.
More results: Esquires: Final: Jacobs (playing with
sponge to adjust to the Nittaku ball being used) over George
Rocker. Semis: Jacobs over Marv Shaffer, 19 in the 3rd; Rocker
over Manny Moskowitz, 18 in the 3rd. Seniors: Rocker over
Sharpe. Jairie Resek points out that, though George teaches
electronics in a Junior High, he joins ex-Olympian Sharpe on
early-morning runs through Fairmount Park. Marv Plevinsky,
Publicity Chair for the Club, told me later that George and Bill
used to play each other at the old Center City (African-American)
Club and that a postal worker named Sherman Hemsley played
Marv Plevinsky
with them there. Recognize him from the name? Yep, thats him
From the Nov. 1, 1990,
George Jefferson of All in the Family and The Jeffersons.
Jewish Times
52

Senior Doubles: Jacobs and Don


Coluzzi (reported to have a Rochester, N.Y.
Genesee Valley Club record of winning 13
straight local Opens) upset Sharpe/Rocker,
then took out Moskowitz/ Mort Zakarin.
Adult/Junior Doubles: Philip/Roger Sverdlik
over Resek/Jeff Zakarin. U-17: Ricky Rumble
over Bush. Junior Doubles: Alan/Roger
Sverdlik over Bush/Scott McDowell. U-15:
Zakarin over Mike Stern. U-13: Stern over
Rutledge (Squeegee) Barry, after Rutledge
had beaten Robert Nochenson to win his first
trophy ever.
Rutledge, almost 11, a 6th-grader at
Manhattans Town School, was Nov.-Dec.,
1972 Topics Junior of the Month (9). Loop,
chop, block, forehand, backhandIve got all
the basic strokes, all the shots in the game,
hes telling me. Were at the Riverside Plaza
Hotel Club on 73rd, west of Broadway, where
young Barry shows up a couple of times a
week. Right now hes taking time out from
coaching and playing some high school kids.
They expect to be joined by Sam Hammond,
Rutledges friend and #1 coach. Rutledge tells
Rutledge Squeegee Barry
me about a tournament in N.J. I was there
Photo by Raul Rodriguez
until 1:30 in the morning. I didnt want to
leave. I was playing bridge with the Zakarins. I
dont play very well but we won. My brothers a champion. He writes poetry too. We went to
England to visit him.
Sandor Glancz (1933 World Doubles Champion with Victor Barna) is sitting nearby
and cant resist saying with a twinkle that he once wrote a poem. Would we like to hear it?
Of course we would.
I went to London, Paris, and Venice/Believe it or not, to play table tennis.
I can see why you gave it up, says Rutledge.
Well, young Barry, I say, when you dont play table tennis, what do you do?
Rutledge thinks for a while, says, I collect coins.
Oh? I say. Whats your best coin?
More thought. I have an uncirculated 1891 silver dollar. Im going to save it, too, so
it grows in value. Then after a moment he adds, I collect money.
You get an allowance? How much do you get?
Rutledge squints a long time under his Prince Valiant bangs. Enough, he finally says.
And how about school? What do you do in school?
This is a weird table tennis interview, says Rutledge.
Turns out, though, hes the President of the Town School Debating Society. I want to
be a lawyer, says Rutledge. He earns good money.
53

English, I say, is that your best subject?


Yes, says Rutledge. So far I have an A+, 14 As, 2A-s, 1 B+, 1 B-, and a C+.
Someone interrupts our train of thought to say that Rutledge has a girl friend at school.
Says her names Adaire.
You have a girl friend? I ask the 10-year-old, remembering how in a recent
tournament my own little boy so hated to play a girl.
These are changing times, says Rutledge.
What books do you read in school?
Oh, thats Humanities, he says. The Siege and Fall of Troythats what were on now.
Actually, Rutledge confesses, he likes underground comics.
Crumb comics, says a nearby player by way of illustration. You know Crumb, dont
you? he says to me.
It was satire. Like Mad. I remember earlier Rutledge had told me he was for President
Nixons re-election.
Captain Guts has to drink beer, Rutledge explains. He fights anarchy, black power,
and drugs. I like the part where he kills White Winghead because hes going to drop an acid
bomb on Washington.
Hey, adds Rutledge unexpectedly. Dont you want to hear how I started playing
table tennis?
Yes, I did.
I had appendicitis last year [and here Rutledge pushes down his pants to show his
scar], and it was the only thing I was allowed to play except pool. Itd been so boring sitting
around in a wheelchair that I began throwing clay at the nurses. I know about hospitals. I was
there with a hernia and some kind of nephritisthats a kidney disease I got from a strep
throat. Anyway, it was o.k. for me to play table tennis once they took the tube out of my
nose.
The tube? I say.
Yeah, they put it in before the operationto get the gas out so afterwards you dont
get abdominal pain or throw up.
Say, listen, says
Rutledge at play
Rutledge, can I go play
Bill
Photo by Mal Anderson
Walk now?
Since thats the end of
the interview, well go too
back to Pennsylvania.
Larry Pharo, PA
Ranking Chair, gives us the
winners of the Feb. 24-25 PA
Team Championships. Division
A: South Park I: Danny
Seemiller (12-0), Ricky
Seemiller (11-0) and PA #12
Bill Walkwith Danny having
fun lobbing balls as high as thirty to thirty-five feet in the
high gymnasium. Division B: Carlisle: PA #5 Peter Podol,
Wishmeyer, Wagner, and PA Boys U-15 #4 Tom Van Zandt.
54

Tournament Director Vichnin


Mal
reports on the Mar. 3-4 William Penn Open,
Anderson
but, because of the upcoming Nationals
and Easterns, the turnout wasnt as big as
usual. Mens: best early-round matches:
Mal Anderson over Jack Wiener; Roger
Sverdlik over Johnny Ou; Marty Theil over
John Locke, -22, 17, 19; Pete Cohen over
Bob Covey, 19 in the 3rd; and Jeff Zakarin
over Hank McCoullum. Later-round upsets:
Jonathan Katz over #7 seed Tim Boggan,
20, 21, -18, 16, and Dave Philip (almost
losing in 3) over Fuarnado Roberts, -15,
23, -19, 11, 16. Semis: George Brathwaite over Errol Resek; Bukiet over Philip in 5. In the
finals, old old, oooooooolldd Bernie [winning in 5] just kept getting the ball back until
Brathwaite nearly collapsed from exhaustion. Mens Doubles: Brathwaite/Resek over Alex
Shiroky/Bukiet. Womens: Muriel Stern over Laura Briceno. Mixed: Vichnin/Stern over
Gerardo/Laura Briceno.
Other results: Mens As: early-round matches: Gary Wittner over Joe Mimoso, 17 in
the 3rd; Peter Holder over Mike Bush, 19 in the 3rd; Bill Sharpe over Jeff Zakarin, 19 in the 3rd;
Landau over Wittner, -20, 18, 21; Sharpe over Al Allen, -15, 20, 20 (after Al had Bill 20-15 in
the 2nd and 20-16 in the 3rd9 match points in all!). Final: Landau over Sharpe in 5. Womens
As: Debbie Wong over Janet Newbold of the United Nations Team. Janet writes a Letter to
Topics (May-June, 1973, 28) entitled Unfair to Women. Heres an excerpt:
[With men, as opposed to women,] more pre-training is most likely
involved; but we are
giving awards to the top
playertheres no award
for the player who put in
the most training or who
played the best type of
game! [Isnt that very
often the wining player?]
[Most] likely the
cash award [for women]
just merely covers the
players expenses
(transportation, lodging,
food, sometimes even
working-days missed); is
the USTTA [that condones
a $375 differential in 1st
prizes for men and women]
saying that women have
less expenses than men?
55

[The] 5 most likely to win any one special tournmament [are easy to
name].Does it matter how many other little [male] rabbits are thrown in.Those
top five, both male and female, work hard to win.[So] why award so unfairly?
[Rebuttal: if prize money comes from entry fees, those proliferous male rabbits sure
bring in a lot more bucks than do the women entries, so many tournament organizers
and men players think the awards should be proportional. Though of course this point
of view is not apt to encourage womens play.]
More Penn Open results: Bs: in the one semis, Roger Sverdlik defaulted to his
brother Alan (to let him rest before the final); in the other semis, Dan Green rallied to down
Joe Mimoso after being 3 match-points down. The final, a slugfest, went to Dan, -19, 19, 27, 19, 19. Cs: Al Allen over Barry Robbins, -12, 21, 18. Ds: Eliot Katz over Eric Weisenborn,
22-20 in the 3rd in the semis, and over John Locke, 26-24 in the third in the final, after John
had nipped Marv Plevinsky, 19 in the 3rd. Handicap (to
50): Katz ($30) over Theil. Esquires: George Rocker
over Sid Jacobs. Seniors: Sharpe over Rocker, after
George showed the crowd he sure had Boggans

Bill Sharpe and George Rocker


Rocker photo by Mal Anderson

number! Thats about four times hes beaten the volatile VIP here in Phila. GO GEORGE! U17s: Alan over Roger Sverdlik. U-15s: Jeff Zakarin over Mike Stern. U-13s: Stern over
Bruce Plotnick, -15, 19, 20.
It wasnt Rory Brassington who wrote that Apr., 1972 Letter to the N.Y. Times, but a
Dartmouth student wondering if there was an endurance record established for Beer Pong
a game thats played as follows:
56

In a singles match, one [cup of] beer is placed in the middle of the table on
each side, approximately 10 inches from the back edge. In doubles, there are two beers
on each side, but in front of each player. The game is played by trying to hit the
opponents cup, and if done, he must drink from the beer.
A double fault or hitting the opposite cup on the serve forces the server to
drink. We usually play five drinks to a cup, with the winner staying on the table to play
challengers. What evolves many times is a great time had by all for a very long time.
Therefore, a few of us thought to enter competition and try to set an endurance record
for the longest beer-pong game.
As President of the USTTA, I hadnt been asked
to recommend an excellent Beer Pong player, but
without hesitation Id have recommended Rory. I
mean, there he was winning the Feb. 17-18 Garden
State Open at the Westfield Club over that super
athlete and teetotaler Bill Sharpe. So you know, and
not only from strewn six-packs, that Rorys got
endurance. Womens winner was Muriel Stern over
Ronni Klein. I dont know how adventurous Muriel
is, but she certainly takes trips here and there
would play on the U.S. Team to the Maccabiah Games
in Israel, then later would be off to Belize. Mens
Doubles went to Peter Holder/ Winston Bobby
Cousins over Joe Mimoso/Stan Smolanowicz.
Rory Brassington
Esquires: Bill Cross over John Kilpatrick. Seniors:
Sharpe over Sid Jacobs. Senior Doubles: Sol Schiff/Manny Moskowitz over Sharpe/Jacobs.
Other winners: As: Jonathan Katz over Horace Roberts. A Doubles: Cousins/Holder
over Joe Andrews/Doon Wong. Bs: Al Schwartz over
Roger Sverdlik in 5. Cs: Alan Sverdlik over Barry
Robbins. U-17s: Ricky Rumble over Mike Stern, U-17
Doubles: Steve Berger/Rumble over Stern/Gary Wittner.
U-15s: Jeff Steif over Robert Nochenson. U-13s: Stern
over Nochenson.
Results from the
Rochester, N.Y. Winter Open,
held Feb. 3-4 at the Carter
Street Recreation Building,
came to Topics via Walt
Stephens. Ray Mack in a short
History of the Genesee Valley
Table Tennis Club writes that
Walt had an array of bats that
were equipped with lights and
music, and that he once
made a paddle that weighed 3
Walt Stephens
Jonathan Katz
and pounds! Mens at this
Photo by Mal Anderson
Photo by Mike Wetzel
57

wintry Open went to lefty Jim Shoots whose endless practice finally paid offwith semifinal round
robin wins over Jim Dixon, deuce in the deciding 3rd, and over Emile Short and Mack, both in 3.
Womens winner was Kathy Remington over Carol Mosher. Mixed Champs were Shoots/Helen
Weiner over Short/Helgi Mepham, 19 in the 5th.
Other winners: Open Doubles: Mack/Charlie
Rose
Burroughs
over a Cornell University pair, Hank Colker/
Brickell
Kim Wang. Burroughs was into sports, said Mackhe
hurled fast pitch softball shutouts at Kodak Park, and
was also into weight lifting and skiing down the
local slopes. As: Bob Brickell, who for years,
accompanied by his pleasant wife Rose, would sell
equipment at tournaments, over runner-up Don
Coluzzi, -19, 21, 19. A Doubles: Bill Davis/Pat Yu over
Buffalos Neal Fox/Vic Meridith. Bs: Davis over
Meridith. B Doubles: Davis/Yu over the Frank
McCanns, Sr. and Jr. Cs: Ev Murphy over Tom
Brickell. C Doubles: Larry Sheng/Al Boardman over
Ron Schenk/Mike Bacci. Seniors: Coluzzi over
Burroughs. Senior Doubles: Coluzzi/John Kazak over
Burroughs/Brickell. U-17s: Tim McCann over Tom
Brickell. U-15s: Mike Kashtan over Dave VanDyke.
Buffalos Neal Fox is working hard on his Rating Systemthough he says (TTT, MarApr., 1973, 10-11), I am not suggesting that my ratings be used to replace Jack Howards.
But in point of fact that really is whats happening. Heres his take on Howards pioneer
efforts:
Jacks ratings [following a chess model] change too slowly. This is
complicated by the fact that he is getting only a few tournaments and using none of the
ABC rating classes, seniors or junior events. The result is a rating system that is going
to reflect a very accurate average rating with a mid point over 6 months back of its
present latest tournament.
Jacks ratings could be improved immensely by getting results faster, and
getting more of them [as happens when the many USOTC matches are played]. The
use of other events A, B, C, D, Srs., Jrs., would help for players below the top twentyfive.
Jack doesnt want to use Closed tournaments because he feels many areas
use them to get out of Open sanction fees. He feels the use of them in ratings might
cause an increase in Closed tournaments. [But the results of these Closed tournaments,
says Fox, help the accuracy of his own ratings.]
Neal closes his article by saying, despite his protestations, that hed like his ratings to
be used for the top 100 players until such time as Jacks system is up to date. Since, Neals
1971-72 Ratings occupy two pages in the Mar.-Apr., 1973 Topics, theyll be used for
seedings/placings in at least some events at the Mar. 16-18 Nationals? And Jack, for whatever
reasons, will choose to abandon his own Ratings progress and leave the field to Neal?

58

Chapter Four
1973: D-J Lee/Violetta Nesukaitis Win U.S. Open. 1973: Dempsey/Gray Golden at
World Paralympics. 1973: D-J/Angelita Rosal Take Easterns. 1973: E.C. Officers/
Committeemen.
Readers had been praising my Topics, but one fellow had a just complaintthat I
didnt have my usual story on the U.S. Open, or, as also happened, on the Easterns that
immediately followed. Id be off to the Mt. Airy Training Camp with the U.S. Team and then
to Sarajevo for the Worlds and, with only a few days to spare, I had to get done what I could
of the enormous 60-page May-June issue Id put out on my return. Fear not, however; the
1973 U.S. Open results have been preserved, and youre about to read themalong with the
division of the $2,614 prize money that Tournament Manager George Buben later complained
Id not mentioned in Topics. Not mentioned, likely, because Id not at the time been told what
it wascertainly it wasnt stated in the Program.
But, having that Open Program in front
of me, Ill give you now, first, something thats
not in there, then something that is. When
USTTA Past-President Graham Steenhoven
was a boy growing up in England, he had two
ways of making pocket moneyone, working
a hustle shooting marbles, and, two, picking up
horse droppings and selling them for
sixpencethat is, until his father found out and
became furious: You sell them to me, and not
to a neighbor! he said. (So his father could
then profit? Or was he just embarrassed?)
Decades later, Graham, in a manner of
speaking, was selling againpaying homage to
the driving force behind all of the major
tournaments held in Metropolitan Detroit in the
last decade [including this U.S. Open].
Madeline and George Buben
Madeline
Photo from 73 U.S. Open Program
and George
[Buben] are a unique blend of management talent and table tennis
expertise. They combine conscientious effort with exacting
performance standards and inflexible integrity to produce a wellorganized efficient team. They are gracious hosts and good friends
and with charm and good humor they motivate us to increase our
commitment to Table Tennis generally and to the Detroit Table
Tennis Club in particular. Under their direction the Detroit Table Tennis Club has
benefited its members far beyond any normal expectation.

Results of the Open Mens: Sixteenth matches of note: George Brathwaite (from down
2-0) d. Bill Lesner; Fuarnado Roberts d. Jim Lazarus in 5; and Houshang Bozorgzadeh d.
59

D-J Lee (left) about to win his 6th straight U.S. Open over Alex Tam
Photo by Mal Anderson

current Ontario Closed Champ in Singles, Mens and Mixed Doubles, Errol Caetano, in 4.
Eighths: D-J Lee d. Bill Sharpe; Bozorgzadeh d. Lim Ming Chui, 17 in the 5th; Joong Gil Park
d. Fuarnado Roberts in 5; Bernie Bukiet d. Mike Veillette; Brathwaite d. Danny Seemiller, 2321 in the 4th; Alex Tam d. Dell Sweeris, 18 in the 4th; Errol Resek d. Peter Pradit in 5; and
Derek Wall d. Franz Huermann. Quarters: Lee d. Bozorgzadeh ($75), 24-22 in the 4th; Park d.
Bukiet ($75), 3-0; Tam d. Brathwaite ($75) in 4; and
Resek d. Wall ($75), 3-0. Semis: Lee d. Park ($100) in
5; and Tam d. Resek ($100), 3-0. Final: Lee ($332) d.
Tam ($250), 18 in the 4th. This was D-Js 6th straight
and last U.S. Open Mens win. That precise $332
seems a strange amount to award, does it? Its
because, according to ITTF rules, the winner of an
Open could receive only 1250 Swiss Francs, or $332
a ridiculous rule that had to be changed if the Sport
ever hoped to gain an audience.
And from what Caron Leff says, D-J deserved to
retain the title. I dont think I have ever seen anyone
[certainly not Erwin Klein?]** work as hard as this
man did readying himself a week before these
Nationals as a guest of Fujiis Miami Club.
Erwin Klein and Caron Leff
60

The Seemillers practice hall--a converted chicken coop


From World Team Tennis, 1974 season

Immediately after the tournament, a large group of players, maybe 60 in all, were eating at
Carls Chop House when D-J came in. We gave him a rousing cheer and a standing ovation.
Some gentleman from the back of the room got up and started singing For Hes A Jolly Good
Fellowall of which prompted D-J to buy champagne for the whole room.
Lee Gutkind, in his Sports Illustrated Profile of Danny Seemiller after Dannys #1 finish in
the U.S. Team Tryouts, catches him at home in Carrick, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Its a week before
these Detroit Nationals, and Dannys feelin high. Hes rallying with brother Ricky in an old shed,
remodeled by his fathera salesmanto resemble a clubhouse. There is an unpainted plywood bar
in the back of the building. A ribbon of chairs lines the walls, surrounding a jerry-built practice table.
Nearby stands a greenhouse in which are planted hundreds of gold and silver medals and trophies
that sparkle and blink under the fertilizing rays of the afternoon sun.
Danny said that some months before the Chicago Tryouts hed thought of quitting
table tennis, but when he accepted Dell Sweeriss invitation to train at Woodland his
perspectiveand gamechanged. So now hes confident, or appears to be. He notes that the
perennial U.S. Champion Dal-Joon Lee has been selling equipment rather than training; hes
falling apart. And he is too old; hes already 26 [sic]. Alex Tam, who was 14th in the world
before he escaped from China, is the only guy with a chance. My problem is that everybodys
going to be psyched up against me. Im like UCLA in basketball. Everybody tries a little
harder to put the No. 1 down.
Yeahbut you neednt tell it to The Chief.
Dannys thoughts also go to the upcoming Sarajevo Worlds. In preparation for play
there, hell be running three miles each day, exercising and lifting weights. He is upbeat: As
61

it stands now, he says, Im not scared of anybody and nobody could beat me easily. If I can
keep my concentration I have a chance to beat them allincluding Bengtsson. Gutkind
closes his article with this quote from Danny: I wont make predictions for 1973but by
1975 or at the latest 77, Ill be the world champ.
You can believe Danny wasnt happy when he saw that last quote in print. His
statements, he said, were changed around just enough so that he came out sounding like a
cocky young squirt. They made me sound like a braggart.
Now to the Womensthough neither Connie Sweeris nor Pat Hildebrand will be
playing; both are 7 months pregnant. Connie with Todd Allen (T. S.those are his initials,
said father Dell, to which their friend Jairie Resek said, Sounds like a competitor; Pat, with
continued support from husband Bob, is expecting Russell Christopher.
Womens 8ths match of note: Karen Berliner d. Kathleen Remington, 19 in the 4th.
Quarters: Violetta Nesukaitis d. Olga Soltesz, 3-0; Patty Cash d. Berliner, 3-0; Alice Green d.
Judy Bochenski in 5; and Angie Rosal d. Sue Hildebrandt, 19 in the 4th. Semis: current
Ontario Closed Champ in Singles, Womens, and Mixed Doubles Violetta Nesukaitis d. Cash
($50), 19 in the 4th (Violetta had been coached to chop heavier and hit any loose ball?); and
Green, on defeating Rosal ($50), 17 in the 4th, came rushing into her fathers arms.

Alice Green, on beating Angie Rosal in the Open semis, readying herself for her fathers arms
Photos by Mal Anderson

Final: Nesukaitis ($200) d. Green ($100), giving up only 33 points. This was Violettas
4 and last U.S. Open Womens win.
A rancorous Letter writer (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1973, 29) accused Rufford Harrison of
being crude, of lacking civi1ized behavior, for mentioning Rosals Indian heritage on
introducing her at the Dec., 1972 Chicago Team Trials. This anything but civilized writer said
th

62

that, instead of the deplorable racial remark, Harrison might as


well have told us whether or not his victim were a virgin and, if
not, the reasons and circumstances, and, if so, the reasons and
circumstances.
Mal Anderson (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1973, 3) and Freb Herbst
(TTT, May-June, 1973, 6) quickly came to gentlemanly Ruffords
defense. Mal said that he told Rufford to make that
announcement. Why? Because Mal was aware that during the
1972 Ping-Pong Diplomacy Tour of the Chinese, Angie
requested that at each exhibition the announcer mention shes an
American Indian. In one city the announcer neglected to do so,
and, as shes quite proud of her Sioux heritage (on her mothers
side), she indicated her disappointment. Fred pointed out that
Rufford was bedeviled as racially prejudiced when it so happens
that the background information about Miss Rosal is publicized
specifically at the request of her and her parents. The reason is
that she is assisted financially for her tournament travels by a
native Indian foundation which wishes the fact known. Herbst
said that he helped Angelita obtain this sponsorship with letters
of recommendation. When the Chinese played in L.A. on their
Tour, Angie and the foundation were irritated when she couldnt
formally present the Chinese with a giftas a representative of
Angelita Rosal affirming
the American Indians.
her Indian heritage
Mens Doubles: Final: Sweeris/Tam ($332) d. Resek/Chui
Photo by Mary McIlwain
($200), 3-0. Semis: Sweeris/Tam d. D-J Lee/Pradit, 23-21 in the
4th; Resek/Chui d. Canadas best, Caetano/Peter Gonda, 24-22 in the 4th. Quarters match of
note: Chui/Resek d. Jack Howard/Paul Raphel, 18 in the 5th. Womens Doubles: Bochenski/
Cash ($100) d. Rosal/Hildebrandt ($50) in 4. Semis: Rosal/Hildebrandt d. Violetta/Flora
Nesukaitis, 19 in the 5th (the sisters just cant get it together as their father/coach John had
hoped). Mixed: Defending Champions Caetano/V. Nesukaitis ($200) d. Pradit/Rosal ($100) in
4. Semis: Pradit/Rosal d. D-J Lee/Cash, 24-22 in the 4th.
Parent-Child Doubles: Dick/Ricky Hicks over Red/Mark
Wilder in 5.
Mens As: Richard Ling d. 1942 U.S. Open Mens
finalist Chuck Burns. Other matches: Jerry Fleischhacker d.
Richard McAfee, 17 in the 5th; Burns d. Cecil Kost, 23-21
in the 4th; Steve Feldstein d. John Quick, 22-20 in the 4th;
and Jim Davey d. Lem Kuusk, 26, 21, -11, 12. Womens
As: Torontos Birute Plucas d. Jose Tomkins (from down
2-0), 19 in the 5th. Other A matches: Marie Kerr d. Monica
Rosal in 5; Plucas d. Flora Nesukaitis, 23-21 in the 4th; and
Tomkins d. Pat Crowley, 19 in the 4th. Mens A Doubles:
Homer Brown/Richard Hicks d. Paul Wong/Heng-Chi
Chang in 5. Semis: Wong/Chang d. Dan LeBaron/
Stadelman, -17, -13, 18, 18, 19; Brown/Hicks d. Marv Leff/
Chuck Burns
Quick in 5, after Marv and John had outlasted Bill Sharpe/
Photo by Don Gunn
63

Marty Theil, deuce in the 5th. Quarters: LeBaron/


Dan LeBaron
Stadelman d. McAfee/Thrasher in a gutsy thriller, Photo by
23, -13, 20, 17, 17. Womens A Doubles: Plucas/
Mal Anderson
Kerr d. Jose/Christine Tomkins. Mixed A Doubles:
Brown/Jean
Varker
Joe
Mens Bs:
Mimoso
Joe Mimoso d. Joe
Rokop after Joe
had eliminated Joe
Ching, deuce in
the 5th. Quarters:
Bill Edwards d.
Thrasher, deuce in
the 5th; Rokop d.
Paul Wong, 18 in
the 5th. B Doubles:
Rokop/Bill Zatek
d. Laszlo Keves/
Mike Carter, 18 in
the 5th. Mens A/B
Consolation: Wong d. Jeff Smart. Semis: Wong d. Kuusk, 22, 19, 18; Smart d. Don Larson. 22,15. Womens
Consolation: Debbie Foster d. Kerr.
Veterans: the Detroit
Tournament Committee
responded favorably to Abe
Rudicks 10-paragraph plea
in Topics that the Veterans
(Over 70s) be included, as it
was last yearand, sure
enough, Abe successfully
defended his title from
runner-up Paul Jackson and
Ramon Williams. Senior
Esquires: Laszlo Laci
Bellak d. Sandor Glancz.
Esquires: Max Marinko d.
Burns, 13, 10, 15. Semis:
Marinko d. Sol Schiff, -15, 15, 13, 8, 10. Max, with that
Abes entry into the Rocking Chair event,
comeback, appears to be in
the Septuagenarian Singles, is accepted
Cartoon from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin
good health, eh? Earlier,
Courtesy of Marv Plevinsky
Bellak edged Bill Rapp in 5.
Esquire Doubles: Burns/
Schiff d. Fred Coryell/Elmer Ybema whod downed John White/Bob Walker, 25-23 in the 4th.
64

Bellak, 3-time World Singles finalist, on or off


the court loves a joke. He lives in sunny Florida where
he sees any number of elderly retirees, who are of
course doctors patients. Indeed, the area is called
Gods Waiting Room, for every day someone dies.
Mostly, though, its the men who die first, so, as Laci
tells it, for every three men who survive their spouses
there are maybe 50 or so widows.
Recently, says Laci, one elderly woman gets
into an elevator and sees a gray-haired stranger. She
looks him up and down and says, Who are you? I
havent seen you before.
Oh, he says, I just got out of prison. I killed
my wife.
So youre single? she asks.

Lacis celebrated fore-backhand

Seniors: Derek Wall ($100) d. Bernie


Bukiet ($50), 2 [sic], 23, 12. Quarters: Wall d.
Schiff, 19 in the 5th; Burns d. Sharpe in 5.
Senior As: Rapp in 5 (winning a pivotal 4th at
deuce) over Don Coluzzi who was extended
into the 5th by Bob Quinn. Senior Bs: Quinn d.
Hugh Shorey. Senior Women: Inez Frazier d.
Ruth Hunter. Senior Consolation: Joe Bujalski
d. Quinn. Senior Doubles: Burns/Schiff d.
Sharpe/Al Nochenson whod advanced over
Neil Holloway/Dick Evans.
Dick, Ohios #1 Senior, will one day
build his Friars Knob private hilltop retreat
on the 143 acres in Hillsboro, W.VA hed had
the foresight to buy in 1970. He says that if
you strike a nail several times with a hammer
Canadas Derek Wall

while pointing it north, the nail will be


magnetized to continue to point in that
direction. Now in 1973, Dick whos been
part owner of the Columbus, Ohio Club, is
pointed North by Northwest. It was the
obligato of Lets go/Come on/Lets go
and off he went to Berkeley (the Don Gunn
Club), to San Francisco (the Les Madden
Club) and the poetry of City Lights
Appalachia coming to Ferlinghetti. There,
listening to the sounds of a different
drummer, hed, finally, as hed say, get it
right with Sue, his 3rd wife of 30 years now.

Dick Evans
at the
San Francisco
Club

65

Boys U-17s: Paul Raphel d. Paul Klevinas by default when Pauls father said Forget it!
(I dont know disputatiously whysome argument with Canadian officials.) Semis: Raphel d.
Mike Veillette in 4, after Mike had stopped Steve Hammond, 19 in the 4th; Klevinas d. Eric
Thom, 23-21 in the 4th, after Eric had rallied from 2-0 down to oust Rick Rumble. Mark Kohn,
a precocious 10-year-old, wrote a 32-line poem in Mikes honorsort of. It starts off well
enough: Mike Veillettes a good player,/His game is quite adroit./ Hes playing in the
Nationals,/This year theyre in Detroit. But it takes a slippery slide from there, and so does
Mike: And now Veillette gets set:/ He tries his mighty loop/Andhits it squarely in the net.
Boys U-17 Doubles: Quick/Rumble d. Seemiller/Rokop. Boys U-17As: Dean Galardi d. Mike
Bush, 25, 17, 21. Semis: Bush d. Roger Sverdlik, 16 in the 5th. Quarters: Alan Sverdlik d.
Montreals Alex Polisois, 19 in the 5th; Bush d. Phil Pinnell in 5. Boys U-17A Doubles: Carl
Danner/Gary Wittner d. Eliott Katz/Scott McDowell, -19, 21, 22, 18, after Eliot/Scott had
survived the Berg brothers in 5.

Judy (left) winning Girls Under 17 from Angie


Photo by Mal Anderson

Girls U-17s: Bochenski d. Rosal. Judys about to be selected by the Oregon Trail
Council as one of six to receive the Young American award in 1973. Shell be a guest of
the Boy Scouts of America at the Councils May Meeting in Minneapolis. Girls U-17 As:
Laurie Miller d. Christine Forgo. Girls U-17
Doubles: Bochenski/Rosal d. Hess/Newgarden.
Ricky Seemiller,
Mixed U-17 Doubles: Thom/Rosal d. Veillette/
Boys Under 15
Hess whod beaten Berg/Varner in 5.
Champion
st
Boys U-15s: Ricky Seemiller (his 1
Photo by David
U.S. Open Championship) d. Steve Hammond in
Levingston
5 (after winning the 4th at deuce). Semis:
Seemiller d. Mike Baber, -10, 15, 21, 19.
Quarters: Hammond d. Perry Schwartzberg, 19 in
the 4th. Boys U-15 Doubles: (a second birthday
present for Ricky) Seemiller/Baber d. Bruce
Plotnick/Jeff Zakarin in 5 in the semis, and Hammond/
Dale Donaldson, deuce in the 5th in the final.
66

U.S. Girls Under 15 Champion Beverlyn Hess


Photo by Mal Anderson

Jeffrey Lees a little


young yet for the
Under 11s, but hes
already following in
his fathers footsteps

Stef Florescu

Boys U-17/U-15 Consolations: Octavio


Pinnell d. Greg Jelinski. Girls U-15:
Hess d. Plucas. Girls U-15 Doubles:
Gloria Nesukaitis/Christine Tomkins d.
Michele McKinstry/Cathy Payotelis.
Girls U-17/15 Consolations: Maureen
Farmer d. Christine Tomkins.
Boys U-13s: Plotnick d. Perry
Schwartzberg in 5 in the quarters, d.
Robert Nochenson in 5 in the semis,
and d. Pinnell in the final. Boys U-13
Doubles: Plotnick/Schwartzberg d.
Ricky Hicks/Jeff Williams, after Ricky/
Jeff had finished Stern/Scott Boggan,
deuce in the 4th. Girls U-13: Forgo d.
Sylvia Franz, -17, 11, 19, 21 in the semis,
then Debbie Wong in the final. U-11s:
Pinnell d. Joe Napoles, 19 in the 5th, after
Joe had eliminated Chuck Zakarin, 19 in
the 4th. U-13s/U-11 Consolations: Scott
Boggan d. Eric Boggan.
Mens Wheelchair
Open. 1. Mike Dempsey
d. 50-year-old runner-up
Sam Fletcher, a corporate

lawyer crippled in a military plane


crash during World War II. (Before
leaving Miami for Detroit, Sam goodnaturedly watched airport inspectors
check out his crutches.) John Gray,
along with Mike, a member of the
Board of Trustees of the Ohio
Sam Fletcher
Wheelchair Athletic Association, was
Photo by William Scheltema
3rd. Stef Florescu, past National
President of the National Association of the Physically
Handicapped, finished 4th.
67

Womens Wheelchair Open: 1. Jeannie Kish. 2. Angie Corrieri.


Mens Paraplegic Singles: Gray d. Florescu.
Womens Paraplegic Singles: Kish d. Corrieri.
Mens Wheelchair Doubles: Dempsey/Gray d. Fletcher/Florescu.
Mixed Wheelchair Doubles: Gray/Pat Nevin d. Fletcher/Jacqueline Visner.
At the June 14-15 (17th Annual) National Wheelchair Games on Long Island, the 47year-old Florescu (Quadriplegic Class 1A) will finish first in 1-2-3-4-5 National events. The
Rolling Romanian, Editor of The Wheelchair Competitor, will successfully defend his
National 40-yard dash Championship, and will score a 1st in table tennis, and in 25-yard
freestyle, back, and breaststroke swimming. Hell also win these same 5 events at the first
annual Toledo Jaycees Wheelchair Athletic Games in Toledo, Aug. 24-25th.
Dempsey/Gray Paralympic
Winners
Not only are Columbus,
Mike Dempsey, Mens
Ohio Clubmates Dempsey/Gray
Wheelchair Class 4 World
U.S. Open winners, but theyll go
Singles Champion
on, as Lyn Doudna tells us (TTT,
July-Aug., 1973, 24), to triumph
at the Paralympics held at StokeMandeville, England (near
London). Mike, the GahannaLincoln High senior, will win the
Mens Class 4 Worlds Singles
Championship from Israels
Haigai, the titleholder for the
past eight years. Hell also
partner his friend and former
mentor John, the electronic
technician at OSUs Dodd Hall,
to bring home the Mens Class 4
Worlds Doubles Championship,
downing an Israeli pair, 3-1 in the
final. This is the first time in the
21-year history of Paralympic
competition that U.S. competitors have won gold medals in table
tennis.
D-J/Angie Take Easterns
Sandor Glancz, Hungarian star of the 1930s, opens his short
write-up on the Eastern Open, held Mar. 23-25 at the State
University of New York, Farmingdale, Long Island, with a
congratulatory GUT GEMACHT to the LITTA organizers headed
by President Chris Schlotterhausen. Given the atmosphere of
friendliness and goodwill, Sandor pronounced the prevailing mood
GEMUTLICHKEIT.
68

Chris Schlotterhausen
Photo by Mal Anderson

D-J Lee is aging, has entered his


30s, but I expect hell be able to play a
little longer, especially after we see him
win the Mens here. In the final, Lee
allowed Rory Brassington only 34
points, but in the 8ths D-J gave up a
game to Mark Radom; in the quarters
another to Mike Veillette; and in the
semis, after losing the 4th at deuce, was
forced into the 5th by George
Brathwaite. How The Chief must be
chafing as the U.S. Team leaves for its
Mt.-Airy-in-the-Poconos warm-up and
then goes on to the Worlds. Chance
worked its unpredictable wiles, and he
who beat Danny Seemiller in last weeks Nationals and then went 5 with D-J here sure proved
he had the game to play in Sarajevo. Andquirky Chance againwho does Brassington
upset, embarrass, 15 in the 4th in the 8ths, but Danny Seemiller! Also in the 8ths, then in the
quarters, other U.S. Team members go down: Veillette beats Fuarnado Roberts, 12, -14, 21,
19; Bill Lesner topples Bernie Bukiet, then Peter Pradit, 18 in the 4th. In other good matches,
its The Chief over Lim Ming Chui, -15, 18, 20, 19, and Brassington over Errol Resek, 17, 18,
-20, 21.
And damned if Lee/Pradit arent shaky in the Doubles toogoing 5 with Brathwaite/
Alex Shiroky in the semis, and dropping a 25-23 3rd game in the final to Chui/Resek. Womens
went to Angie who maybe gave out just a little
war-whoop after rallying from two games down
and deuce in the 3rd against Judy Bochenski. In
the semis, Angie stopped Alice Green, -17, 19,
18, 15, after Alice had 21, -18, 18, 13, 11
stubbornly prevailed against Sue Hildebrandt.
Alice was wired to go to the World University
Tim Boggan,
Championships but not the Sarajevo Worlds?
Mens A
Womens Doubles: Bochenski/ Patty Cash (did
Winner
Photo by Raul
Patty play Singles?) over Rosal/Hildebrandt, 13,
Rodriguez
18, -21, 19. Mixed: Pradit/Rosal over D.
Seemiller/Hildebrandt, -15, 22, 21, -19, 22! No
these two major tournaments werent a
confidence builder for Danny. Hell be 10-10 in
Swaythling Cup play in Sarajevo, which didnt
impress Ogimura for one.
Other results: Mens As (79 entries): Tim Boggan in a battle of forehands over
Veillette, 18 in the deciding 3rd. Semis: Boggan over Horace Roberts in 3; Veillette over Stan
Smolanowicz in 3. A Doubles: Peter Holder/Bobby Cousins over Dave Philip/Jerry
Fleischhacker. Womens As: Debbie Wong over Muriel Stern, 21, -16, 19, after Stern had
struggled by Louise Chotras, 19, 20. Bs: Roger Sverdlik over Alan Sverdlik, def. Semis: R.
Sverdlik over Ralph Robinson, 26, 15; A. Sverdlik over David Steinberg, 19 in the 3rd. Mens
George Brathwaite:
reaching out

69

Consolation: Fleischhacker over


(late entry) D.S. Dodge Bhalla,
-20, 18, 16. Womens
Consolation: Stern over Gloria
Amoury.
Senior Esquires: Glancz
over Joe Blatt (returning, says
Sandor, to play in a tournament
after a 37-year absence!).
Esquires: Benny Hull over
Alberto Resek (Errols father), 18
in the 3rd, then over Irv Levine in
the final. Senior Doubles: Schiff
and Bill Cross (winner of the
1940 U.S. Open Mens
Consolation) over Hull and
Alberto Resek, Errol and Priscillas father,
Manny Moskowitz whod gotten
looks back to a former win
a thrill out of umpiring some U.SLeft photo by Mal Anderson, right photo courtesy of Jairie Resek
China matches during last years
Ping-Pong Diplomacy Tour. Wheelchair Singles: Mike Dempsey over Serge Jelenevsky.
Boys 17: Veillette over
Rumble, 18 in the 5th. Girls 17:
Rosal over Bochenski. Junior 17
Doubles: Rosal/Bochenski over
Veillette/Scott Boggan. Boys
15: Ricky Seemiller over Jeff
Zakarin, 17 in the 3rd. In
Bruce Plotnick, U.S. Boys
reviewing a 1972 book, Better
Under 13 Champion
Table Tennis For Boys And
Photo by Mal Anderson
Girls, Jeff says author George
Sullivans copy is o.k., but, boy,
the models used in the
photographs have awful
strokes. Boys 13: Bruce
Plotnick over Robert
Nochenson 21, 16. Best match:
Rutledge Barry over Mike
Stern, 23-21 in the 3rd. Girls 15/
13: Gail Garcia over Orli Himmelweit. Under 11s: Barry over Chuck Zakarin, 8, 21, after
Chuck had squeaked by Eric Boggan, 24, -17, 19. Parent/Child Doubles: Ray/Scott McDowell
over Tim/Scott Boggan.
Sandor loved the Danny Ganz party. Enviously he watched as Rutledge scored heavily
with the beautiful and shapely Angelita Rosal. Whenever she had a chance she hugged him.
When I kidded Rutledge about this, he said, Shes doing it because Im a kid. Hence, no
repercussions? Sandor kept it up: I told him Id seen many a hot Hollywood movie scene, but
nothing like this.
70

E.C. Officers/Committeemen
Much of the Dec., 1972 E.C. Meeting had been taken up with preparations for the
World Team Tryouts. Treasurer Dell Sweeris would present a Statement of Cash Receipts and
Disbursements for the six months ending Nov. 30, 1972 in which the Association had
$6,237.37 more Income than Expense. Our Net Worth was reported to be $35,045.28. The
International Fund Balance totaled: Senior: $5,635.74; Junior: $2,568.59. A bid was made for
the 1974 U.S. Open by a delegation from Oklahoma City consisting of Ron Shirley of the
Oklahoma Table Tennis Club, and Dan Saunders and Stan Draper, Jr. of the Oklahoma City
Chamber of Commerce. They guaranteed $10,000 in ticket sales and $5,000 in prize money
with the event to be held in the Myriada new sports complexMarch 22, 23, 24. The E.C.
unanimously accepted this bid. (Later, the date was changed to May 17-19 then to May 2326.) Of not so singular importance was Geza Gazdags
proposed $25,000 North American Open. E.C. discussion
brought out the negotiations needed to make this Open a
reality. But reality it never was. Frank Tichy announced he had
plans to run a $20,000 International Open in Chicago in Sept.
Think that will happen?
Following the two March majors, there was the annual
election of USTTA Officers. Meanwhile, that rancorous Letter
writer whod insulted Rufford Harrison had come at Cyril
Lederman too, reminding us of Mr. Ledermans facial
expressions and body contortions when he chops, and of a
mistake he made when umpiring. Cyril may have agonized
regarding his decision to resign as Executive Vice-President
(for fear, given the circumstances, he could not continue to do
As you can see,
Cyril doesnt like the insult
a good job), but lets hope his choice of devoting more
Photo by Mal Anderson
attention to his livelihood is not a mistake. In his stead,
President Boggan appointed Charlie Disney. USTTA Treasurer
Dell Sweeris also resigned, and in his place Boggan appointed Fred Danner.
The Mar.-Apr., 1973 Topics (13-15) presents the Campaign Statements of those
seeking office, and my Presidents view (17) of those Id like to see
Jack Carr
in office working with me. A Treasurer and three Vice-Presidents
will be elected.
Those running for Treasurer are Jack Carr, Fred Danner,
and John Read.
Jack says, I was the top man in my college Accounting
course. He offers, unlike the other candidates, a specific list of
things (What a Treasurer Ought To Do); and says hes had the
impression that the USTTA Executive Committee tries to keep
secret how it makes and spends money, but that hell open the
books for all to see. He takes credit for being the one who started
the money tournaments, and for coaches being paid. He reminds us
of all the positions hes held, and of the book royalties hes turned
over to the USTTA. He says, I will try to be the best [Treasurer]
the USTTA ever had. If my invalid wife can put up with me for 30
years, perhaps I have a few more useful years for the USTTA.
71

He says, President Tim is doing one hell of a good job; says, I have worked well
with Tim; says Tim has confidence in me. Uh, as readers of Vol. VI know, Jack and I are
not exactly buddies. After I defeated him for the Presidency, knowing much of his life is
dedicated to table tennis, Id appointed him to chair two committees. But, as I said in my
article, I want to make it clear to everybody that Im still running against Jack and his small
time deviousnessregardless of what he falsely implies in his campaign statement.
Fred speaks of the expansionclubs, juniorson Long Island hes been behind, and
his proven experience via table tennis positions hes held in the last 10 years, including his
current tenure as National Director of Junior Development. He has my unqualified Presidential
endorsement.
John, a Chicago Insurance man, mentions his Accounting background, says he prepares
budgets in excess of $200,000 each year. As Captain and Manager of U.S. World Teams hes
used to watching expenses. Says he got the IL Jaycees to sponsor the World Tryouts, and that
hes running in part because he doesnt want the N.Y. area taking over the E.C.
Carr will win this election (379 votes) over Danner (351 votes) and Read (214 votes).
There are 10 candidates for the three Vice-President spotsMal Anderson, Ralph
Bender, H Blair, George Buben, Steve Isaacson, Bob Kaminsky, Bowie Martin, Coach
Schleff, Marv Shaffer, and Joe Sokoloff.
Mal says hes a needed follower, is a very good correspondent, and is skeptical of
those who promise much. He urges voters to look at what the candidates have actually done.
He points to his several USTTA positions, and especially to the hundreds of photos hes
provided to tournament sponsors. He urges a vote for Carr as Treasurer, praises his work as
Equipment Chairman. In my article I explained why I didnt want to work with Mal, and, as I
indicated in Vol. VI, a reader publicly questioned my judgment.
H reminds us he started the Orlando Club, was its President for many years, and has
been chairman for twenty-six tournaments. He also worked hard at being Southern Region
Tournament Director and as Editor of Topics.
George says hes not obligated to any one person or group of people, and believes in
equality of all players. He thinks the E.C. should be a composite of all sections of the
country. He has John Reads endorsement.
Steve tells us he was a good player; that as former Selection Chairman hed urged
Tryouts. He wants the better players to reap all the benefits possible, much as do the
champions of other sports. And he wants to revive the Hall of Fame that he started.
Bob urges that voters be conscientious, that they familiarize themselves with what the
candidates have done. Vote for the executive type, he says. The
USTTA ought to operate like a business corporation. The problems
the Association needs to solve revolve around FUNDS and
PUBLICITY. Every E.C. member should help to develop 1-year, 5year, 10-year goals toward these two ends. The USTTA should
construct a stronger foundation through its local organizationsi.e.,
its clubs. Bob details his numerous positions, as,
indeed, theyve been documented in my volumes. He
has my unqualified Presidential endorsement.
Bowie Martin would represent the USTTA
as a table tennis professional. After all, as
President of the Martin-Kilpatrick Co., table tennis is
Bowie Martin
72

his full-time job, and he has a know-how with the table tennis industry that can be of benefit to
the Association. He points to his background as a table tennis promoter, table tennis
businessman, and table tennis player. Hes for Juniors, big money tournaments, and
seriously thought-out programs. He wants to increase the number of players, elevate the
status of the game, and increase the standard of play.
Dick says, Tim should be surrounded by people he feels comfortable with. The E.C.
ought to start thinking as a committee of executives. They should begin to think in terms of
priorities for the games growth, plans, long and short-term goals. The Sport needs
participants, needs places to playnot 8-table clubs that meet twice a week in a high school
gym but 70-table public places that are attractive and reasonably conspicuous. Club
proprietors need to make money. To enable them to try to be successful, the USTTA might try
a long-range planmight consider setting up a borrowing fund for potential tt center
operators, lending the money out judiciously of course. If the proprietor is successful, repays
the loan, another can be made, and so on. Also, the Association needs to establish a plan by
which school organizers can make some money for their work. Workers need incentives. Just
as Boggan is paid for editing Topics (increased now to $300 an issue), and Marv Shaffer is
paid to handle Membership, so should Fox be paid to do the important Ratings. Dick has my
unqualified Presidential endorsement.
Marv is proud of the job hes done with
Membership the past two years. Others are proud of him
toohell receive this years Barna Award. Marv says
hes supported President Boggan in his selections of
people and courses of action, and will continue to do so.
He has the endorsement of both Danner and Read.
Joe is an experienced table tennis player/coach/
traveler. He gives about 30 Table Tennis exhibitions a
year in Churches, during Basketball games, at Elks clubs
and other such places to promote the sport. He runs a
Sporting Goods company, and is the sales rep for Table
Tennis wear that he can make available to clubs at
wholesale prices.
Results of this Vice-Presidential election: Dick
Miles (660 votes), Bob Kaminsky (372 votes), Marv
Shaffer (345 votes), Joe Sokoloff, 224 votes), Mal
Marv Shaffer
Photo
by Mal Anderson
Anderson (218 votes), George Buben (202 votes), Bowie
Martin (169 votes), H Blair (153 votes), Steve Isaacson
(100 votes), Coach Schleff/no Campaign Statement (80 votes), and Ralph Bender/No
Campaign Statement (75 votes).
When Miles was elected Vice-President, Mort Zakarin, the USTTA Corresponding
Secretary, resigned because he didnt want to work with Dick. Since Carr became Treasurer
replacing the interim-appointed Danner, Fred was now free to take Morts place and thus I
could keep him on the E.C. Committee Chair changes occurred as follows: Advertising: after
Zakarins resignation, this Chair was Vacant for several months, then Gus Kennedy took over
(as of Mar., 1973 Topics advertising rates would be increased 50%). Affiliates: Co-Chair Chris
Schlotterhausen resigned, left the Committee in the longtime hands of Richard Feuerstein.
Dick not only has had endurance as a USTTA Affiliates Chair (the USTTA now has 10 times
73

the number of clubs when, dedicated, he took over the Chair), but, since jogging is even more
his sport than table tennis, he repeatedly competes in 25-mile marathons. Jogging, he says,
helps [a person] physically, mentally and morally.
Coaching: Jeff Smart replaced Earl Adams. Disciplinary: Dr. Michael Scott II replaced
Jack Carr (who as Equipment Chair finds out that the Federal Trade Commission cant do
anything about non-USTTA equipment labeled Officialsuch a labeling means Nothing).
Fund-Raising: Miles replaced Boggan. Library and Film: Dr. Warren Rasmussen replaced
Ralph Bender. Rating: Neal Fox replaced Jack Howard. Rules: Mal Anderson replaced Cyril
Lederman.
Three Committee Chairs who are intensely dedicated and look to share their
preoccupations and hopes with readers of Topics are Danner (Junior Development), Smart
(Coaching), and Fox (Ratings).
Fred (TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1972, 9) says that to start Junior
Clubs round the country you have to combat two problems:
a)You need 4 adults [theyll be Club
officers] who want to set up the junior club & stay with it
for at least two years. b)You must convince people
who control the allocation of good facilities (schools,
firehouses, American Legion Halls, etc.) that your
program is worthwhile & should be supported by
them.
After you get committed people, you have to find a facility where the whole family
will come. It must have good lighting and space enough for six tables, and the floor must
not be slippery. The facility must be NOT USED at least one night a week, hopefully more.
(The club can survive even if play is available only once a week.) Now you must SELL
YOUR PLAN TO WHOEVER OWNS OR CONTROLS THE USE OF THE FACILITY.
Arguments: stress that the Game helps kids to become physically fit, morally straight; and
that the Junior Club is financially independent. It helps if you can get facility insiders on your
side (at schools, phys. ed teachers; at firehouses, firemeninduce their kids to play).
Next, youve got to put up money for equipment,
a big chunk of which goes for tables to run USTTA
tournaments on. Fred details estimated expenses for a
year: comes to $705. Sponsorship may be possible from
such project-oriented Clubs as the Lions or
Rotarygive them a try. Of course youve got to GET
THE LOCAL BOYS & GIRLS OUT TO PLAY.
Hopefully the school system will give you names and
addresses. You want 36 players for 6 tables. Dues will be
$16 a year for regulars [covers about 30 playing nights]
and $1.50 per session for occasional players. The play
format will be a ROUND ROBIN LEAGUE (of the
kind outlined by Fred in the Nov.-Dec., 1971 Topics). The
On being called for a
plan is that school play will lead to Varsity Club activity
Round Robin match on table 1.
and thence to related adult programs.
Drawing by Greg Sawin
74

Danner then has two articles, Progress on Junior Development and Methods For
Play of Inter-School Matches (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1973, 8). In Progress, Fred says theres
been a general increase in Junior memberships in most states since July, 1972, and an
increase in Junior Development State Chairmen (12 to 23, later up to 26). He tells us that
Minnesota Chair Rich Sinykin has 41 school teams playing, plus a 200-player Kiwanissponsored Junior league in Minneapolis.
He also cites great progress on Long Island: 13 varsity high school club teams are
actively playing inter-school matches in Nassau County, 6 high school teams in Suffolk have
started to play along with a 60-member all-Junior club at Finley Jr. High in Huntington. Fred
reports that Walt Whitman High School came from 30 points behind to edge Huntington, 112
to 109, then remained undefeated with a 137-113 win over Harborfields High. In the
Huntington tie, Whitman Team Captain Marc Landman upset Long Island Junior Champ Carl
Danner.
Freds the more enthusiastic because, he says, weve just received a GO-AHEAD to
run an All Long Island School Team Championships co-sponsored by Nassau Recreation &
Parks Department with the Long Island Table Tennis Association. This will be a 3-man
USOTC-type round-robin team event with FREE entry for teams from LI schools, youth
groups, churches, etc. It will be held in a 30,000 sq. ft. facility in the Nassau Community
College at Uniondale, on April 28-29. Later, Fred will report that this 29-table tournament
drew 173 players.
In Methods,
Danner shares his Long
Island experience to
describe the factors
that make for a good team
match:
Fred Danner
Photo by Ray Viola,
from Freds National
School Table Tennis
Guide (1976)

The scoring
system must make points
important in an uneven
match to prevent the good
player from fooling around.
Players must all
play enough of the time to
be satisfied.
Players should
root for their team during
the key points.
More than 3
players should play for a
team to prevent domination

of the match by one good player.


The system of play should introduce as much uncertainty about the match
outcome as possible prior to the start, and for as long as possible during the matches.
Too many players on a team make it hard to get all of them available and
transported to the match at the same time.
75

He also shows how the innovative team scoring works (match=2/3 games):
A game win of 21-6 or better gives 5 points to the winner, 0 points to the loser.
A game win of 21-13 down to 21-7 gives 4 points to the winner, 1 point to the loser.
A game win down to 21-14 gives 3 points to the winner, 2 points to the loser.
When a player wins the first 2 games of a match he receives 5 extra points for the third
game he didnt have to play.
The player winning the match gets 10 additional [points].
Fred urges that in, say, a 4-man team match with 8 singles and two doubles to be
played, the mismatches go on first, with the more or less even struggles to follow. A
scoreboard visible to the spectators with a running total of match points makes for more
excitement, more fun.
Jeff Smart (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1973, 5) wants clubs to hire well-known coaches to
spend say a week teaching AT THEIR CLUB, rather than making the players pay to go to the
coaches [which most cant afford to do]. Jeff, whos become a USTTA Associate Coach and
an Umpire, says that he, for example, if he can stay at a players home, is prepared to teach
20 [club] members 6-8 hours a day for a week for $200. Each member only spends $10!
Moreover, says Jeff, he thinks he could arrange several exhibitions during evening hours, with the
ticket money going to the club. Hence Jeff, for, lets say, a 50-hour work week would be paid $4 an
hour. Granted one loves the work, how many other qualified coaches would be job-free to travel
about in the missionary footsteps of Dell Sweeris and Jack Howard? How many gigs could the
most enthusiastic coach expect (along of course with travel expenses from one club to another)?
Jeff says (TTT, May-June, 1973, 4) hed really like to plan a coaching circuit for
himself, and, in what amounts to a perk of an ad, details his experience, and suggests a camp
format. Of course he isnt married, and has summer months off from his studies at Oakland
Universitythese are big factors, not easily duplicated by those most qualified.
Smart also urges (TTT, May-June, 1973, 54) we set up inter-regional play based on the
European Union League format in which 6 or 7 countries compete in round robin competition,
playing each other only once, at a rate of about one tie a month. Best of 7 matches are played,
including 4 Mens Singles, 1 Womens Singles, 1 Mens Doubles, and 1 Mixed Doubles. (For
example, in a match on Mar. 4, 1973 in Leningrad, the USSR defeated Germany, 4-3: Sarkis
Sarkhoyan d. Ebby Schoeler; Stanislav Gomozkov l. to Wilfried Lieck; Zoya Rudnova d.
Diane Schoeler; Gomozkov/Sarhoyan l. to Lieck/Schoeler; Gomozkov/Rudnova d. Schoeler/
Schoeler; Sarkhoyan l. to Lieck; Gomozkov d. Schoeler, 19 in the 3rd.)
Jeff posits a captain/coach and a squad of 10 from each regionwith a Regional Closed to
select the Squad and then a selection to be made by the captain/coach for each Regional match.
With such a large squad, though, how many ties would any one player play? Transportation
expenses would have to be worked out. Money could be saved by bringing, say, 3 teams to the
same venue to play each otherbut that would limit the number of sites, and the importance of
these matches need be emphasized locally in each Region. At any event, though this particular
suggestion has some bugs, Jeffs all for promoting the Sportis trying to encourage each region
to hold more training camps for its top players, give improving players a middle-step on the ladder
to the top by making it easier to get on a strong team, if not the U.S. Team[and, by more
accurately comparing players from different regions,] improve rating and ranking methods in
addition to promoting and advertising top-level table tennis.
76

Jack Howard, whod been


working diligently, making progress
with his Chess Federation-based rating
system, had a long article in the Jan.Feb, 1973 Topics (10) in which,
contrary to Ranking Chair John Read,
he felt that a match in a local small
tournament [should] be rated the same
as if the match were played in a large
national tournament. Otherwise, he
says, strong players wouldnt play in
small tournaments, and weak players
wouldnt play in large tournaments.
However, Ratings arent the be-all and
end-allthe better players dont want
to play in small tournaments because
there isnt enough money to be won.
But, if players are rating point
conscious, why wouldnt the weaker
ones want to try to pick up upset
points, more points, in a big
tournament?
Jack says its demeaning to local
tournament sponsors and players to hear
that their tournaments are unimportant
compared to the biggies. Not as
important is a better way to put it,
Philadelphias Herb Vichnin innovatively trying to raise rather than the loaded word
unimportant. But why would those
his table tennis rating by playing chess
Photo by Ray Chen
who run small tournaments without prize
money expect to draw strong players?
Jack himself says, top playersgo where the money is. Why should organizers who dont offer
money prizes take the absence of top players personally? Conversely, one might say its demeaning
to the better player to give his support to those who continue to run unambitious tournaments.
At any event, Jack speaks of the future, gives no hint that hes about to abandon this
Rating project hes made such progress with despite having for so long to play catch-up. But
likely hes just overwhelmed by the magnitude of a nation-wide rating system in which over
20,000 [matches] will be rated this season. There are always questions to be answeredi.e,
Shouldnt a winner of a match be awarded the same number of rating points that the loser of
the match loses? Answer: No. Player A is young, fast-improving.
But though B is upset, his game hasnt diminished to the extent A has improved. And,
bummer, theres just so much work to be done (for which Jack needs help): reports for
hundreds of ranking eligibles must be prepared; rating lists must be published regularly; certain
separations (juniors, seniors, women) must be accounted for; stars must be kept track ofits
probably, especially when hes involved for several weeks in World Championship duties, and
has a job to hold down, just too much for him.
77

Neal Fox is ambitious, immersed in his Rating System. Hes innovative: To get rid of
the subjective guess for initial ratings, which can bias a players rating for several months, I
have been generating equilibrium ratingsthe basic principle of which is that you repeat the
adding and subtracting procedures over and over for a set group of results, as if the results
happened in identical fashion several weeks in a row. These calculations continue until
everyone stops changing, or reaches his equilibrium point.
Neal says (TTT, July-Aug, 1973, 7) the big difference in his, as opposed to Howards
chess-based system, is that all singles matches in all sanctioned USTTA tournaments (Closed
included) count equally toward one rating per person. That short-cut does away with
separations urged by CA Ranking Chair Dieter Huber that had been followed by Howard. Fox,
too, needs helpfrom clubs, tournament directors, on-the-scene match-form preparers and
recorders. Workers, including Neal, have to be paidwhich means local tournament sponsors
need to add 20 cents to the entry fee for each singles event (10 cents per Junior Singles
event).
USTTA Leaders in the early 70s are doerstheyre for expansion; hopefully, the
money will follow to help them.
SELECTED NOTES.
*Ive commented before on how the Programs for Detroit-held U.S. Opens have
always been parochially oriented simply to Michigan matters, with never pictures or bios of
country-wide U.S. stars, or articles of general interest, seen in other U.S. Open Programs.
Still, I was surprised that the front page of this 1973 Program was given over completely to
MTTA officers and a detailed listing and description of the State clubs, whereas my
Presidential Greetings had been relegated to the bottom of the Programs next to last page.
However, Im sure the slight didnt bother me as much as did Michigans insularity over the
years.
**Since in these volumes theres the occasional negative word about Erwin Klein, I
want to include here an e-mail I recently received from the well-known contract bridge player/
teacher Eddie Kantar:
I remember that not all of the guys liked Erwin, but with me it was
completely different. Never a mean word, nothing like that. And how he took care of
his stepbrother after he had a stroke.
I once brought him over to my house for dinner to meet my parents (I was
living at home at the time). Erwins mother was Hungarian and they never had salads.
My mother made a huge bowl of salad for everyone. Erwin thought it was for him and
he polished off the whole bowl!
I also played several exhibitions with Erwin where he was the featured player,
of course. Several times it got down to the end of the last game and it was close and it
didnt bother Erwin one bit if I happened to win. I didnt think I should throw the
points so I just played normal exhibition points. He never ever mentioned that he was
expected to win.

78

Chapter Five
1973: End of Season TournamentsPart I.
The 70s expansion of course is very evident in the number of tournaments reported in
Topics, which itself has expanded considerably from its July-Aug., 1970 12-page tabloid start
(the 6 issues for 1973 have the following pages: 32, 32, 60, 32, 32, 40). In this Chapter and
the next Ill cover tournaments from the middle of March to the end of June and will again
begin in the Northwest and move eastward.
The Desert Air Open is played where, do you think? In Richland, Washington. Desert/
Rich land; Desert air/Washington statedoesnt seem a match to mebut the names Tom
Ruttinger over Rob Roberts in the Mens do. Tom also paired with MITs Bill Ladd to take the
Doubles from Dave Hudson/Jeff Kurtz. Judy Bochenski easily won the Womens, slipping
slightly in her semis, 21-0, 21-1. As went to Charlie McClarty over Eddie Ng, deuce in the
4th. McLarty/Bob Ho won the A Doubles from Steve Berliner/Earl Adams. Bs to Ho over
Dick DuBonne. B Doubles to Jim Waugh/David Gross. Cs to Jimmy Bamgbose over Lee
Olsen. C Doubles to Olsen/DuBonne over Red Duncan/Nat Jackson. Novice to Chet Harmala.
Mens
winner at the
San
Francisco
Spring Open
was Jeff
Mason over a
spirited Azmy
Ibrahim, 2725 in the 4th.
Jeff paired
with Richard
Terry to take
the Doubles
too over
LeRoy
Kondo/
Wong. No
Womens
event
Norma Greene filming in her
reported
mind husband Mikes play
Photos courtesy of the Greenes
though there
was a good
Mixed: Mike
Greene/Irene
Ogus over
Jim Naik/
Hilda Brautigan, 18 in the 5th. As: Tom Joyce over Greene (does wife Norma film Mikes
own matches?). Bs: Chick Chui over Vance Gillette. Ds: Arthur Yu over Bob Glenn.
79

Mens Consolation: Shonie Aki over


Masaaki Tajima who 30 years hence will
be one of the U.S.s most prestigious
coaches. Seniors: Allan Herskovich over
Harry Nelson. 17s: John Nevarez/Chui.
Shonie Aki
B/C Doubles: Nevarez/Conway Redding
Photo by Don Gunn
over Reagan Tom/Louie. D Doubles:
Lim/Tam over Richard Dong/Henry
Fung. Junior Doubles: Barish/Rosal over
Steve Schultz/Laing.
At Milla Boczars May 18-20
Hollywood Club tournament, Howard,
free of his Rating responsibilities, won
the Open Singles over Paul
Raphel who in the semis had
downed Guillen while Jack had
knocked out Eric Thom.
However, in the Mens Singles,
Raphel stopped Thom, after Eric
had eliminated Jack, and Paul had
finished Denis OConnell.
Doubles went to Thom/Raphel
over Banach/Ron Von
Schimmelman. Angelita Rosal
won the Womens over Heather
Angelinetta, and the Mixed with
Raphel over the close (15, -16,
21, 19) twosome of Howard/
Bonnie Johnson.
An earlier Topics photo of
Bonnie that Id extracted and
Bonnie Johnson
Jack Howard
enlarged from a group shot, Gunn
Photo by Don Gunn
pointed out to me, neither did
justice to Bonnie (runner-up in
Womens As to Ann Smith) nor to himself, the qualityminded photographer. He had a good point, and Ive
done better with bonnie Bonnie here, but Topics wasnt a
fashion magazine (nor were any of my History volumes
coffee-table crafted), and it might be argued that
something I hoped was at least passable was better than
nothing (though certainly I did make some bad choices).
Other Hollywood Results: As Garrett over
Barish, 19 in the 4th. Other Hollywood results: Bs:
Kunyo over Richard Valentine. Cs: Whitlock over Joe
Napoles, U-11 winner over Don Schultz. Ds: Monica
Rosal over Jerry LaLande. Seniors: Banach over softRon Whitlock
80

Dennis Barish
Chris Rosal

spoken Gene Wilson, predominately a wood-side


blocker who uses his inverted side for serves. 17s:
Chris Rosal over Steve Schultz. 15s: Barish over
Dean Galardi, then Rosal. 13s: Rosal over Joe
Napoles. A Doubles:
Garrett/Barish over
Steve Berliner/Kunyo.
C/D Doubles: Marco
Chao/Wilson Wu over
Valentine/Tom.
Tournament
Chair Bard Brenner,
given an assist by an
up-for-election Mayor
Yorty, was able to hold
the June 15-17 $1,000 Pacific Coast Open at East
Los Angeles Community College. Bard (TTT,
Sept.-Oct., 1973, 15+) gives us the resultsand
cant resist telling us that The American
Broadcasting Company (ABC) came in to do news
coverage of the tournament and got screamed at by
some players and even an officialwhile Don
Gunn (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 15) provides human
interest coverage. Here, then, before I bring in
Pacific Coast Open Tournament Chair
Gunn, are the Results: Mens (almost 60 entries):
Bard Brenner
Semis round robin: Park over runner-up Raphel.
Photo by Don Gunn
Photo by Don Gunn

81

3rd Place: Guillen over OConnell (Ray, up 2-1 on Park in the semis, even had Yortys people
on their feet). Deuce in the 5th matches of note: Eric Thom over Nick Mintsiveris, and Shonie
Aki over Angie Rosal. Mens Doubles: OConnell/Earl Jones over Park/Danny Goodstein,
deuce in the 5th in the semis, and over Dave Chan/Cliff Hwee in the final. Womens: Rosal
over Cindy Cooper Feilen. Mixed: Raphel/Rosal over Guillen/Pat Crowley.
As: Doug Hobson over Don Ayers. Bs: Dean Galardi
over Vance Gillette. B Doubles winners: George Taplin/Ed
Kelemen. Cs: Utahs Jafar Fatemi over Thorvan Suwanvanichij.
C Doubles: Taplin/Richard Alden over Joe Napoles/Chris Rosal.
D winner: Rich Livingston (makes great greeting cards). D
Doubles: Jerry LaLande/Richard Banagas over Kent Lofthouse/
Richard Ward. Womens Novice: Jai Howard over Claire Yonan.
Esquires: winner Julius Paal. Seniors: Allan Herskovich over
Dan Banach. U-17s: Raphel by default over Barish whod nipped
Eric Thom deuce in the 3rd. U-17 Doubles: Raphel/Thom over
John Elliott/Ricky Walker. U-15s: Galardi over Barish. U-13s:
Napoles over Chris Rosal in 5. U-11s: Napoles over Bobby
Rinde. Brenner thanks his many helpers, but its little Faan Tone
Liu who wins his Chairmans Trophy.
Since Gunn played his 1st C match
at 2:30 p.m. and his next at 8:40 p.m., he had
plenty of time to watch and report such
tidbits as Glenn Cowan sitting idly in the
stands, unable to play because hed gotten
Rich Livingston
mononucleosis, and Mark Davee sitting idly
there too, as one girl said, looking lonesome, and sort of cute, because hed
gotten religion. Much more noticeable, however, was Ray Mincand here,
Gunn says, is why:
They took Ray Minc
away in an ambulance.How
Don Gunn
it all came about I couldnt
say; he was found unconscious [after
fainting] in the mens room, and what
ensued was a scene right off your TV
screen. The East Los Angeles [Community
College] Campus Police were already on
hand, shortly to be augmented by the fire
department, paramedics, sheriffs office,
and finally the ambulance that took poor
Ray [Im o.k.] away.*
Don says he watched Bill Garrett play
Floridas visiting John Elliott. John made a very
good shot, writes Gunn, and Garrett said,
Good shot, and then made a good return.
82

John Elliott
Photo by Don Gunn

Instead of playing the return, Elliott caught the ball,


claiming the point on the grounds that players are not
supposed to talk while the ball is in play. The point was
awarded to Garrett, as players are also not supposed to
enforce the rules themselvesthat is what umpires are
for.
Youll note in the results that Gil Park won the
Open from runner-up Raphel. In a round robin semis
match, Paul had rallied after being down against
OConnell, and thenOConnell knocked one off the
table, which would have ended the match; indeed, umpire
Harold Kopper called Game and match to Raphel, and
Raphel gleefully volleyed the ball! So Kopper gave the
point to OConnelland the match continued. Of
course, seeing this, Gunn wants to know if the match
wasnt over when the umpire said it was. Good
questionespecially for one of those Qualified Umpire
tests one finds in Topics. Answer?(Rules Chair Mal
Anderson would have some difficulty in getting enough
qualified people to administer the Umpires Practical
Umpire Pat Collins
Exam, and, indeed, would have absolutely no one to
Photo by Mal Anderson
handle this chore in the Pacific Northwest until Pat
Collins moved from Dallas to Seattle. Wouldnt you think someone would go out and drink a
Tom Collins or two to the both of them if he could see strict Pat observing, or, better yet,
critiquing Tom Ruttinger?)
Perhaps it was that same umpire, and/or another, and/or
another, who had a few words to say to Thom when he threw
his bat, bat-like, across the gym. Yuphe was defaulted on the
spot.
But perhaps the best of the action was saved for last.
Heres Gunn again:
The last match of the tournament was the Mixed Doubles
final, and a sorry affair it was. The women had been angry all
along over the small cash prizes offered them, and apparently with
good reason. The entry blank did not state precisely how the
money was to be allotted, but surely any finalist should win a prize
greater than his (or her) entry fee into that event. The players
Eric Thom
clowned and chatted with the audience, which threw them money,
Photo by Pam Ramsey
although not nearly enough. The umpire endured a fusillade of
abuse, before descending from the Cross. Jeff Wilhite volunteered to finish the job, and
collected the $1.00 fee for officiating only five points. When the [double default] match was
over, the players and sundry others stormed the control room.
Paul Longmire reports (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 19) that the 3rd Annual New Mexico
Open, played May 19 in Albuquerque, drew 75 participants. Results: Championship Singles:
83

1. Bob
Dawidowicz
($40). 2. Jerry
Plybon. 3. Sigi
Sporer. 4.
Longmire.
Womans: Bobs
10-year-old
daughter Kasia
over Liz
Gresham for the
2nd year in a
row. Mens
Bill Hodge
Bob Dawidowicz
Doubles:
From the 1976 U.S. Closed Program, 43
Photo by Mal Anderson
Dawidowicz/
Sporer over Plybon/John Gillies. As: Keith Treece over Longmire. Ohios Bill Hodge, now
living in Las Vegas and reportedly Nevadas best player, complained of a lack of good
practice as he was eliminated from both the Championship and A singles. Bs: Jim Wherry
over Salt Lake Citys Yihlin Chan who upset Texas Open finalist Richard James in his
Championship opener. Seniors: perennial Champ Mac Horn over Charles Griffin. 17s: Steve
Dodgen over Dawidowicz.

Top-right: Frank Mercz, Air Force


Singles Champion; far left: Bob
Burke and his partner Dennis
Driggs, Air Force Doubles Champions; inset: Driggs and Burke

At the 1973 Air Force Championships, held in handball


courts at the Kirtland Air Force base in New Mexico, Ferenc
Frank Mercz successfully defended his Singles title by defeating Ziad Shebaro. Mercz said
that Shebaro, reputedly No. 1 in Lebanon a few years ago, had consistent, sharp pushes
that reminded one of Surasaks serve returns, and that his angled-off shots made it difficult
for Frank to loop well. Up 1-0 but down 10-5 in the 2nd, Mercz rallied for an incredible 16
out of 17 points to win the 2nd game at 11.
84

Last years runner-up Larry Kesler couldnt attend this years tournament, and
through some administrative mishandling that requires the mentality of a bureaucrat in
uniform, the two talented players from Japan, Bob Burke and Dennis Driggs of the Pacific
Air Forces (PACAF), had to choose whether to play Singles or Doubles. Because theyd been
training and practicing togetherjogging, bike-riding, going into Tokyo to practiceand also
because, as Frank says, Dan Reeves of Dayton, Ohio scared their athletic supporters off of
them by letting it be known that Mercz had taken a game from Lim Ming Chui at the
Nationals, the Pacific pair chose to play Doubles. A wise choicefor they won the title over
Mercz/Greg McElveen.
Austins
Alex Tam, his
English
labored but
improving,
defeated his
friend
Richard Ling
to win the
Southwest
Open Mens
at Waco, and
paired with
him in
Doubles to
Dr. Grady Gordon
Jack Buddy Melamed
down John
Photo from 1975 Houston Open Program
McAdams/Bob ONeill. Womens went to
Cindy Garza over Anna Lynn. As: John Tomlinson over Don Weems. A Doubles: John Hewes
and Steve Smith, who was instrumental in getting Tam to Austin, over Paul LaBlanc/
Tomlinson, 19 in the 5th. Consolation: Hewes over Perry Schwartzberg, 19 in the 4th. 17s:
Steve Hammond over Octavio Pinnell. 15s: Hammond over Schwartzberg, 19 in the 4th.
Esquires: George Batson over Jay Evans. Seniors: Grady Gordon over Edgar Stein. Senior
Doubles: Stein and Jack Buddy Melamed over Van Vooren/Watkins. After making a name
for himself in baseball, basketball, and bowling, Buddy, at 42, has brought his competitive
spirit to table tennis. If you want to share his focus, know whats going on in southwest t.t.,
contact him at the Houston Club.
Remember the Alamo Open with Paul LeBlancs write-up (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 20),
$645 in prize money, and excellent playing conditions in the Alamo Heights High School Gym.
LeBlanc, an innovative fellow himself, pointed out that the tournament organizers, in addition to
money and trophies to the winners (some, afraid they might lose their amateur standing, took
trophies in place of cash), gave out patches. These were inscribed with Alamo Open Table Tennis
1973 and the name of the event and the place won (1st, 2nd, etc.). Since bulky trophies have
become meaningless to repeated winners, it was thought they might prefer these patches that could
be sewed on to shorts, warm-ups, shirts, etc. Sounds tacky to me to be sporting such stuff
regardless of what place one finishedbut, hey, if people want a jacket full of them, why not?
I might add that elsewhere (TTT, May-June, 1973, 12;15) LeBlanc proposed a nationwide U.S. World Team Selection System, heavily dependent on a series of Regional play-offs
85

(demanding much work from Regional Directors), which would allow for more geographical
representation in the Final Tryouts. Hes thinking particularly of the Southwest players whove
found it too much of a burden financially and/or time-wise to try to qualify in West, Central, or
East Regions. In Pauls multi-step plan, qualifiers gradually paying incremental entry fees
would advance from Club, Area, State, and Regional participation to finally arrive, four of
them from each Region, expenses paid, at the National Play-offs. One wonders, however, what
states would be in what Regions, and, since good players beget other good players, what a
clamor thered be if you had 20 high-rated players clustered in one Region who are, with
possibly an exception or two (Alex Tam in the Southwest, for example), superior to the best of
the best from another Region. Nope, dont think it would work.
Alamo Open results: Championship: 1. Tam ($200). 2. Hanumanth Rao ($100). 3.
John Tomlinson ($50) who (from down 2-0 and deuce in the 4th) upset #2 seed Richard Ling.
4. Brad Fountain ($50). Womens: 1. Norma LeBlanc ($15). 2. Cindy Garza ($10). 3. Shirley
Woo. 4. Sue Sargent. The Mens/Womens Prize Money ($400 to $25) is a bit
disproportionate, dont you think? Championship Doubles: Tam/Ling in 5 over Joe Cummings/
Tomlinson whod edged Tommy Vaello/Fountain, rallying from 2-0 down to win deuce in the
5th. Womens Doubles: LaBlanc/Stacie Moore over Garza/Woo. Mixed Doubles: Tam/Sargent
over Fountain/Woo whod eliminated Ling/Karen Ostrum 24-22 in the 5th.
Paul picked a moment from the Mixed semis, won by Tam/Sargent over Vaello/
LaBlanc (14, -16, 21, 23), to share with us: When Sargent pushed LeBlancs serves back,
Vaello power-looped to Tam, and Tam was having trouble getting in fast enough to cover the
ball with a block. So Alex (a penholder) switched to the handshake grip and began chopping
the loop back with the wood on his forehand (hes quite good at it).
Other results: As: Vaello ($50) over ONeill ($25). Bs: Hibbs ($35) over Choi ($20).
Cs: Steve Simon ($25) over Collins ($15). Ds: Steve Babb ($15) over Larry Puls ($10).
Novice: Shirley Woo over Mike Finnell. Championship Consolations: Koo over Bob Mandel
in 5. Seniors: Van Vooren over Melamed whod knocked out Grady Gordon, 23-21 in the 5th.
Boys Under 17s: Schwartzberg over Simon. Girls Under 17: Garza over Ostrum. Under 15s:
Schwartzberg over Puls in 5.
Phil Napolietto tells us (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 20) that at the 8th Annual Oklahoma
Closed 15-year-old Northwest High sophomore Steve Hammond, the
nations youngest State Champion, became the first Oklahoman to win
back-to-back titles. Mens runner-up was 27-year-old Russell Finley of
Oklahoma State University. Wiriya Tjakra finished 3rd; Dennis
Crawford 4th. Defending Champ Peggy Shaha took the Womens from
Mary Martin. The Mixed also went to Peggy who paired with
Crawford to beat Markwell/Markwell. Mens Doubles went to State/
Regional Collegiate Champ Finley and Crawford over Irl Copely/Ron
Shirley whod squeaked by Hammond/Dale Donaldson, 19 in the
deciding 3rd.
Russell Finley
Shirley, who, according to an article by Kathy Lowe in Orbit
Magazine, first played the game in a junior high school church youth
group, is part owner of the full-time Oklahoma City t.t. center, Table Tennis Oklahoma. Hes
quick to point out to newcomers who come to his Club (80% of the players are adults) that it
isnt like a pool hall. No smoking or bad language is allowed. This is a sports center, not a
place where people hang out for long periods of time. Ron himself organizes leagues and
86

coaches (50 children and five adults in his [six] classes), so its not surprising that its
operation is similar to a tennis club or bowling center.
Other Closed winners: As: Donaldson over Shirley. Bs: Charles Butler (who years
later would be having a table tennis career in Germany) over Fred King. Cs: Baird Askins
over Johnny Owen. Seniors: Vern Eisenhour successfully defendedbut 19, 21, 16 just
barely over Rudy Crawford. 17s: Hammond over Northwest soph Copely. 15s: Hammond
over Donaldson.
Larry Knouft had originally scheduled his $5,000 Truman Memorial in Kansas City for
May 12-13 with a percentage of advertising sales to be donated to the Truman Institute.
But that tournament was postponed (not canceledthe prize money had been raised, said
Knouft), and in its place Larry (TTT, May-June, 1973, 14) reports on his $1100 Kansas City
Open, the biggest money tournament ever held in Missouri. For the $800 in prizes in the
Mens, the quarterfinalists played a complete round robin. Results: 1. Joong Gil Park (without
losing a game)included wins over runner-up Tam, #3 finisher Lim Ming Chui, #4 finisher
Danny Seemiller, #5 finisher Errol Caetano, #6 finisher Siegfried Sigi Sporer, a student at
the University of Colorado, #7 finisher Bob Dawidowicz (who lost two games 3 and 6 to
Park), and #8 finisher John Messerly. A 3-way tie for 2nd was broken by games when
Seemiller beat Chui in 5; Chui beat Tam in 5, and Tam beat Seemiller (scores missing, but
games had to be 3-1 or 3-0 for Tam). Alex had an easy win over Caetano who also lost to
Chui in 5 and Seemiller in 4.
Other winners: Womens:
Kathy Dawidowicz over Doris
Mercz. Championship Doubles:
Chui/Tam over Park/Caetano in 5.
Championship Consolation: Rick
Seemiller over Don Bassett. As:
Sporer over R. Seeemiller 19 in
the 4th, then over Steve Hammond,
3-0. A Doubles: John McAdams/
Tommy Vaello over Sporer/Tom
Hall, 19 in the 5th. Bs: Pat
Windham over Scott Grafton, 2321 in the 3rd, then over Dennis
Orne in 4. Cs: Charles Butler over
Don Haskard. U-17s/U-15s: R.
Don Bassett
Seemiller over Hammond (Rickys
Photo by Hank Frankel
best tournament to date; he must
be learning something from brother Danny).
Amazing! We learn from LeRoy Petersen (TTT, May-June,
1973, 16) that the little town of Wisner, Nebraska (Pop. 1900) ran a
Ricky Seemiller
rainy-day tournament that drew 100 playersand this despite
particularly heavy rains in the south and a snow storm in the west, [so that] a number of
players just couldnt make it. Petersen says that we were able to sell all the equipment we
had on hand, and because most people bought chances on a color TV we were offering, we
made a profit just on that of $1050. Juniors who sold tickets got warm-up suits, USTTA
memberships, paddles and other equipment. Some of the money generated, LeRoy says, will
87

be used to hire
coachesthe first
being Jeff Smart.
Appropriately, Wisner
won the overall Club
trophy donated by
Wisners Dr. John
ONeal; the Benson
Club was 2nd.
At the Omaha
Nebraska Open,
Larry Kesler will lose
a close encounter
with Joe Windham,
but here in Wisner its
rapidly Rapid City,
Diana Myers
Todd Petersen
South Dakota Larrys
Photo by Mal Anderson
day. He takes four titles: the Championship Singles (over
Don Taylor); the Mens Doubles with Craig Minnesota Dead Satersmoen (over Taylor/
Francis Leung); the As (over Diana Myers with whom hell win both the Championship and
Mixed Doubles in Omaha); and the Bs (over Satersmoen). A Consolations: Jim Craig over
Francis Leung. Todd Petersen also won four events: the U-11s (over Mark Engelman); the U13s (over Kevin Jimmerson); the U-15s (over Scott Ichkoff whod beat him in the U-17
final); and the U-15 Doubles with J. Moeller. Diana Myers of course has no peer in the area
is a lock to win Womens, Girls U-17, and the Mixed. Debbie Denenberg, Kathy Moeller, and
Vicky Heller bravely contest with her.
In the Mar. 26-27 Minnesota Team tournament, Class A winners were: Stu Sinykin
(11-1), John Soderberg (10-3), and Ed Ells. Runner-ups: Doug Maday (13-0), Pete Tellegen
(8-4), and Steve Steblay. MVP: Don Larson (8-3). Class B winners were: Hal Lupinek (12-2),
John Luk (11-2), and MVP Brian Saeger. Runner-ups: Jeff Soderberg, Greg Mosio (11-2), and
Nick Steblay. Class C winners were: Sheila ODougherty (13-1), MVP Deb Holle (11-2), and
Karen Skenzitch. Runner-ups: Dean Redman (113), Yousef ben Yousef (11-3), and Steve Gilman.
The May Western Michigan Open is
surely being held at Sweeriss Woodland Club and
since Dell isnt playing he must be preoccupied
with running the tournament, selling equipment,
and trying to drum up business for his June/July
Coaching Clinics and Training Camps. Results:
Mens: Tim OGrosky d. runner-up Jim Lazarus,
3-0; 3rd Place: Mike Veillette d. Alan Goldstein in
5. Womens: Sue Hildebrandt d. Lorma Bauer. No
Tim
Mens Doubles? No Mixed? As: Paul Lamse d.
OGrosky
Don Brazzell. Bs: Mike Baber d. Leroy
Bontrager, -25, 11, 23, then S. Hildebrandt. Cs:
Arni Muzumbar d. Larson. Consolation: Larson d.
88

Brazzell. Handicap: Randy Priest d. Brazzell. Seniors: Joe


Bujalski d. Ray Hildebrandt, 26-24 in the 4th. 17s: Veillette
d. Rick Cogswell. 15s: Veillette d. Dale Scheltema. And
Tommy
Mikes dad, Sam, what of him? With Sweeris and Smart so
Waters
into coaching, Sams just slipped away from the scene? Is
pursuing other interests? Someone said, With his full beard,
he looks more like a Norwegian whaler than a hair stylist.
Jeff Smart reports (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 23) on the
June Detroit Team Tournament, held at the G.A.R. building,
with its nice wooden floors, strong lighting, andfirst time ever
used in a tournament1 and 3/8-inch thick Detroiter
International tables. Billy Reid, Michigans new Ranking Chair,
ran the 4-team tournament with the following results. #1 seed
Wayne State (Chuck Burns, Pete Kelly, and Tommy Waters)
beat G.A.R
(Paul Potter,
Hani
Sirgani, Bill
Rapp, Frank
Sexton, and Chad) 5-2; and #2 seed Pontiac
(Bill Lesner, Jeff Smart, Bob Quinn, and Bob
Tunnell) stopped Ann Arbor (Pete Nasvytis,
John Herman, Levers, and substitute Cass Tech
graduate Aaron Smith who, because of his
desire to continue his education and especially
because of his continued assistance to the
Detroit Club, was the 1973 $500 recipient of
the Clubs Scholarship Program).
In the final between the two topseeded teams, Lesner opened with an easy 2game win over Kelly. Smart, however, had to
rally from 20-18 match-point-down in the 3rd
Pete Kelly
to best Burns. Waters then beat Quinn to
Photo by
make the tie 2-1 Pontiac. Now Kelly, with his
Mal Anderson
2.2 mm. antispin on both sides, built a 20-15
1st-game lead against Smart. But, says Jeff, concentrating with all his strength, to the delight
of his friends and teammates, Smart looped and looped, then killed, to win 7 straight points!
The 2nd game was equally exciting, with Smart finally smashing his way to a 23-21 victory!
Next up: Lesner vs. Burns with Bill winning in 3 after blowing a 16-9 lead in the 1st. Smart
then gave Pontiac a 5-1 win (and the $60 prize) by downing Waters two straight.
In the Singles event that followed, the best quarters match saw Kelly exact 3-game
revenge on Smart. In the Team event, Nasvytiswith his consistent chopping and his lefthand super-side-spin loopshad blanked Jeff (Without a doubt, this was the biggest upset
of the tournament), and had then gone out to play Lesner. Bill won the 1st game at 6, then
from 1-all ran out the matchtook 20 consecutive points! So, strange, when before he didnt
give Pete a chance to loop a single ball, he now in the Singles lost an 18 game to him.
89

In the one semis, Lesner beat Waters, 10, 20. In the other, Kelly, leading Burns 1-0
and 20-18 match point, retired because his legs were too sore to give him a chance against
Lesner. The final was some matchit went to Burns, 28-26 in the 5th, after Chuck, down 2017 that last game, decided to hit Bills [heretofore effective] high loops.
Sylvia DeMents pleased to say (TTT, May-June, 1973, 17) that her Newark, Ohios first
Annual Moundbuilders Open and its 99 entries kept Jennie Williams (bless her) busy almost 16
hours behind the tournament desk seeing that the tables were filled with matches at all times.
Results: Mens: Ricky
Seemiller over Mark
Sure, I can beat him
Cartoon by Bruce Peeso
Wampler. Womens/Girls
17: Mary Ann Burdick over
Clevelands Laurie Miller.
Mens Doubles: Graham
Gear/Tom Hall over
Wampler/Lyle Thiem.
Mixed Doubles: Wampler/
DeMent over John Temple/
Temple. Young Adult
Singles (Under 21): Mike
Dempsey over Burdick in
5, then (from down 2-0)
over Seemiller. Mens Consolations: Duong Van Vu over Kam Kwan. (Back at the Dayton Gem
City Open in Nov., Vu won the Young Adults and Class B, so he sure had to be upset to be in the
Consolations here).
As: Seemiller over Vu who attends Ohio University in Athens. A Doubles: Vu/Pinson
over Seemiller/Dempsey. Bs: Glen Marhefka, 26, whos very serious about taking notes at
Sweeriss clinics, over the Beatty Clubs Leon Turner in 5. Cs (64 entries): Greg Collins, 13,
over Miller. Other winners: Esquires: Lou Radzeli over George Sinclair. Seniors: Radzeli
over DeMent. Boys 17: Seemiller over Dempsey in 5. Boys 15: Seemiller over Cincinnatis
Greg Doud. Girls 15: Sandy Hensley over Newarks 11-year-old Denise Horn (her 1st
tournament). Boys 13: Collins in 5 over Jeff Williams (who has 3 more seasons in this event).
Girls 13: Jodee Williams over Horn.
George Sinclair, in reporting on the Columbus Beatty Clubs May 19-20 Midwest
Open (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 25), stressed
Ohio TTA
tournament-related outside activities. John
President
Tannehill, Mary Ann Burdick, Laurie Miller, Leon
Andy Gad
Turner, and Jeff Smart returned to an audience of
Photo by Cam
500 at the Juvenile Diagnostic Center to
demonstrate the dress, rules, and skills of
organized Table Tennis. Also, Tannehill crowned
Midwest Open Queen Jenese Smith. And honored
guest D-J Lee showed and commented on his
movies of the Sarajevo Worlds and the 1973 U.S.
Championships. Receiving plaudits for their
leadership in Ohio Table Tennis were OTTA
President Andy Gad, Secretary-Treasurer Gene
90

Cravens, and Ex-President John Spencer. The presentation of trophies and travel expense
vouchers was climaxed by hefty servings of home-cooked food.
Results: Mens: Tannehill (in his 3rd successful defense) over runner-up Jerry
Thrasher whod escaped Tom Hall, 17 in the 5th. 3rd Place: Mark Wampler (after earlier
outlasting Lyle Thiem, 27-25 in the 5th). 4th Place: Spencer. Womens: Burdick over Miller, 17,
-17, 21, 19. Mens Doubles: Tannhell/Thrasher over Spencer/Wampler, 18 in the 4th. Womens
Doubles: Burdick/Miller over Dempsey/Lyn Doudna. Mixed: Spencer/Burdick over Tannehill/
Miller.
As: Dempsey in the semis from down 2-1 and deuce in the 4th over Tom Hall (19-inthe-5th winner over Neil Myers), and 23-21 in the 4th in the final over Thiem (whod earlier 2826-in-the-5th triumphed over John Temple). Bs: C. Federal over John Dichiaro. Special (what
makes it so?): Thrasher over Smart. Consolations: Art Holloway over Ron DeMent.
Esquires: Sinclair over Sam Shannon, 23-21 in the 4th, then over Harry Sage, 25 years ago
one of Ohios best players. Boys/Girls 17s: Greg Doud over Dave Strang in 4, then over
Dempsey. Boys 15s: Doud over Greg Collins.
Coach Schleffs May 5-6 Steel City Open in Gary, IN drew some high-powered entries.
Earlier Coach had advertised a National Interscholastic tournament and, in conjunction with
that, a $5,000 Athletic Association Open to be held on this date. The Interscholastic
tournament seems to have disappeared. How much of the $5,000 remains is speculative.
Anyway, he is running something. Mens: 1. Dell Sweeris, 3-0. 2. (via a tie-breaker) George
Brathwaite, 1-2. 3. Lim Ming Chui, 1-2. 4. John Tannehill, 1-2. Womens: Angelita Rosal. 2.
Millie Shahian. Championship Doubles: Sweeris/Bill Lesner over Brathwaite/Alex Shiroky
whod downed Karbulka/Dawodu, 23-21 in the 4th. Mixed: Sweeris/Rosal over Chui/Burdick.
Other results: Mens As: Eric Thom over Hong-Chi Chang. Womens As: Final: Jean
Varker over Maureen Farmer. Semis: Varker over
Carol Cook, 21, -20, 22; Farmer over Doris Mercz,
21, 22. A Doubles: Smart/Danny LeBaron over
Shorey/Imants Karklis. Mixed A Doubles:
Muzumdar/Barbara Taschner over Frank/Doris
Mercz. Mens Bs: Chang over Hugh Shorey in 5.
Womens Bs: Taschner over Mercz., 23-21 in the
3rd. B Doubles: Karklis/Shorey over Robert Irvin/
Bruce Ackerman, 19, 20. Cs: Joe Bujalski over
Wayne Wasielewski, 19 in the 3rd, then over
Dempsey. C Doubles: Irvin/Ackerman over
Cieslarski/Wasieleski. Mens Consolations: Mike
Baber over Dempsey, deuce in the 3rd. Wood Bat:
Tom McEvoy over Bruce McGee.
John Read writes (TTT, May-June, 1973,
14) that the semis and final of the 8-player, single
elimination May 14 $1800 Chicago WTTW
Invitational was shown live on TV (prime-time8
to 10 p.m.) Watching was an enthusiastic studio
audience of close to 500 (seating capacity 450).
The fact that some very good players were not
Jean Varker
invited prompted John Read to ask if the USTTA
Photo by Tom Slater
91

should have some say in whos


invited to whose Invitational?
John umpired every match, and
as Dick Miles was kept busy on
court, Steve Isaacson played
color man to local announcer
Frank Sweeney.
Results: Final: Dell
Sweeris ($500) d. George
Brathwaite ($400), 18, 13, 19.
Semis: Sweeris d. Miles ($200),
-16, 10, 20, 10; Brathwaite d.
Lim Ming Chui ($200), 15, 19,
18. Quarters: Sweeris d. Alex
Shiroky, -16, 10, 14, -16, 17;
Dell Sweeris
Miles d. Joong Gil Park, 19, 20,
Photo by Robert Compton
-13, 18; Brathwaite d. Danny
Seemiller, 15, 16, -18, 19; Chui d. Errol Caetano, -10, 14, -10, 16, 14.
There was also a one-game Doubles match for $100won by Park/Jim Lazarus over
Caetano/Paul Pashuku.
The St. Charles, MO Club held
it s annual Great Plains Open Apr. 1415, a week before the St. Louis Closed.
Results: Mens: 1. Dick Hicks, 3-0. 2.
John Messerly, 2-1. 3. Homer Brown,
1-2. 4. Larry Chisolm (next weeks
Closed winner over Messerly), 0-3.
Womens/Girls U-17 Jean Varker over
Peggy Shaha, Mens Doubles: Hicks/
Brown over Messerly/Chisolm.
Womens Doubles: Varker/Doris Mercz
over Shaha/
Richard Hicks
Melanie Spain.
Mixed: Brown/Varker over Dick/Norma Hicks. Women Over 21
(thats new): Mercz over Spain. Mens Consolation: Dave Barnes over
Dennis Orne.
Other winners: As: Joe Windham over Bill Edwards. A Doubles:
Mercz/Richard Berg over Ricky Hicks/Angel Cruz. Bs: Cruz over
Steve Rattner. Esquires: Sam Shannon over H. J. Hofacker. Seniors:
Hugh Lax over Harry Kasten, 23-21 in the 4th, then over Closed
Senior winner Art Fiebig, 23-21 in the 4th. Boys U-17: Edwards over
Richard Berg, 18 in the 3rd. Boys U-15: Robert Berg over Chris
Clendenin. Girls U-15: Shaha over Leslie Harris, deuce in the deciding
3rd. Boys U-13: 1. Ricky Hicks. 2. Steve Lowry.
At the end-of-season St. Louis Open, Danny Seemiller came 1st
in the Menswith Tom Hall runner-up, Graham Gear 3rd, and Homer
Leslie Harris
92

Brown 4th. Womens: Mercz over Harris. Mens Doubles: 1. (via a 3-way tie-breaker)
Seemiller/Frank Mercz. 2. Gear/Hall. 3. Brown/Messerly. Mixed Doubles: Seemiller/Mercz
over Brown/M.Dahl. As: Hall over Mercz. Bs: Orne over R. Berg. Cs: Jim Schnorf over
Rich Doza. Seniors: Art Fiebig over Hofacker. Boys U-17: Greg Redman over John Stillions.
Girls U-17: Harris over G. Dahl.
George Hendry, a
famous St. Louis name
from the past, in an Oct.
26, 1973 letter to Leah
(Miss Ping)
Neuberger, would say
that he hadnt played
table tennis in 15 years
and that the Game was
dead in St. Louis. But
theres no denying this
tournament was held
there, and that Rich
Doza is President of a
Rich Doza: at his St. Louis Club desk
1935 U.S. Open Boys Champion
USTTA affiliated club in
George Hendry
St. Louis,
Photo by Mal Anderson
so well see
if George might have to change his mind.
Also remembering the Citys once
intense interest in the Sport was the former
South American Champion Raul Rivero. Hed
attended the 1950 St. Louis U.S. Open (Mens
winner: Englands Johnny Leach), and was
friends with
former U.S.
Team Captain
Bill Gunn and
future USTTA
Executive
Director Bill
Raul Riveros
Haid and his
Photo from St. Louis
Post-Dispatch,
wife Sarah. In
Apr. 9, 1950
an article in
Topics (Nov.Dec., 1974, 2; 26), he seeks to get in touch with them again.
Duke Stogner (TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1973, 21) gives us the
Results of the June Arkansas Closed: Mens: 16-year-old Marty
Simpson ($50)with beat-the-drum wins: over Max Denman
in 5 in the quarters; over Duke (from down 2-0) 19 in the 5th
in the semis; and over Senior Champ Dick Coffman in the
Marty Simpson
final. Womens: J. Bratton over C. Leflar. Mens Doubles: 14Photo by Leon Nevil
93

year-old Jamey Hall/Paul Hadfield over Stogner/Val


Eichmann, 18, -19, 23, 20. Mixed winners: Coffman/T.
Cappleman. As: Hadfield over Hall. Bs: Larry Lyon over Jim
Pruden (whod knocked Simpson out of the As).
Consolations: Pruden over Hall. Hardbat: Denman over
Novice winner J. Light. Under 17s: Simpson over Hall whod
ousted Danny Trawick, 19 in the 3rd. Under 14s: Jon Baker
over B. Rogers.
Duke adds that 47 players battled it out for 31
trophies and a little cash. Sounds like good odds for a player,
huh?. When the organizers gave away a table tennis table, a
players wife, who was not playing, reached in the box,
which was way over her head, and, talk about odds, guess
what? Uh-huh, she pulled outJerry Palmerher husbands
name. It was his first sanctioned tournament. But with such
easy pickins, chances are it wont be his last.
SELECTED NOTES.
*When Ray was discovered to have fainted, Bard
Paul Hadfield
Brenner thought instinctively of calling out for Dr. Ike
Sanders, then remembered that Dr. Ike quit the tournament
scene, maybe no longer plays even at home. For those concerned about Rays fate as they took
him away, the vibes had to be better if the ambulance wasnt heading for White Memorial
Medical Center there in East Los Angeles, for thats where Dr. Sanders worked, and he was an
L.A. County Deputy Coroner.

94

Chapter Six
1973: End of Season TournamentsPart II. 1973: Sealtiel/Turnbull Win National
Intercollegiates.
Steve Hitchner, co-Tournament Chair with Randy Hess, in talking about (TTT, May-June,
1973, 19; 22) the absence of star players from the Mar. 31-Apr. 1 Orlando Spring Open, thinks
maybe their next tournament theyll start giving out money prizes. He isnt April-Fool kidding when
he says they might have a Championship Singles, the entry fee for which could be on a gradient,
with a top player paying, say, $20, and a class B or C player maybe $5. That would certainly be an
innovation: guys pleading not to be seeded or placed (Really, Im not that good).
Steve focuses on a few matches from the Championship
Singles. In the quarters, Junior Champ John Elliott played his old
master, Steve Rigo, who taught John to play choppers patiently.
Which is just what John did in downing Steve in 5, being careful,
careful until he had a ball he could loop, then kill. In the semis,
though, Alan Nissens pick-hits turned John away from his normal
play, and when he tried to force an attack he had no chance.
In the final, Alan met Wayne Daunt who on this occasion
had his A game at the ready. Wayne is naturally not patient
always attempts to overpower the opponent with horizontal loops
and kills. Against this onslaught, Alans steady push and chop
defense wasnt quite up to the task. Randy Hess, in a Topics article,
had warned against overusing the push, had cited Fujii coaching a
student in Miami (perhaps Nissen himself?) not to push over two in
a row in a rally; otherwise, he said, your opponent will start the
attack and you may lose the table.
Results:
Championship
Singles. Final:
Daunt d.
Alan Nissen
Nissen, 10, 20,
From Table Tennis Unlimited
-15, 14. Semis:
Daunt d. Greg Gingold, 19 in the 4th;
Nissen d. Elliott, 12, 7, 15. Quarters:
Daunt d. Marv Leff, 18 in the 4th; Gingold
d. Jerry Thrasher, 26-24 in the 4th; Nissen d.
Pat Patterson, 15, 11, 19; Elliott d. Rigo, 12, 20, -18, 12, 8 (Steve, who hadnt been
playing much, just got tired?). Womens:
Bev Hess d. Teresa Miller in 4. Mens
Doubles: Thrasher/Daunt d. Rigo/Ray
Mergliano, 21-16 in the 5th, then Leff/
Nissen, 23-21 in the 5th. Mixed Doubles:
Rigo/Hess d. Thrasher/Nancy Newgarden
in 5.
Nancy Newgarden and Jerry Thrasher
95

As: John Sholine d. Ray Filz. John, a University of South Florida student, would later
tell reporter Randy Splaingard at the 1974 Oklahoma City U.S. Open that it takes three hours
of practice daily in his citys table tennis club to keep up his game. (And how many hours to
keep up his school work?) He admitted that he ought to do more physical trainingbut, as for
lifting weights, forget that. Bs: Robin Hastings d. Allan Averill, 18 in the 5th. Semis: Hastings
d. Kenneth Kwan, 19 in the 5th; Averill d. Sholine in 5. Novice: Hastings d. Blake Chamberlain.
Mens Consolation: Filz d. Steve Federico, 19 in the 5th. Seniors: George Woods d. Max
Miller whod gone 5 with Ted Bourne. Randy Hess says that his friend Ted, 61, just got
married. For 10 years he toured with the Harlem Globetrotters, giving exhibitions with
different partners, and has a great bag of tricks (with which he won his wife Lori who maybe
had a few tricks of her own?). U-17s: Elliott d. Chamberlain. U-15s: Hess d. Elliott (from
down 2-0 and deuce in the 3rd). U-13s: 9-year-old Ronnie Rigo d. Jim Elliott.
In his June 23-24 Orlando Summer Open write-up, H Blair invites us to his Orlando
Clubopen every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7:00 to 10:30 p.m.[with] five
tables, good lighting, air-conditioning, and plenty of room. Then he gets down to business
tells us (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 26) that $500 in prize money was given out at this Summer
tournament, spread over several events (Womens, Seniors, As, Bs, and, mgod, rewarding
mediocrity, Novice!). John Tannehill was a triple winner ($100 for Singles), and a winner, too,
for his overall improved appearance. The Newgarden influence, no doubt, for Joe, in his
unassuming way, has been a big help to Johnand to quite a few others.
Results: Mens: 1.Tannehill, 3-0tested 19, 10, 20, 16
only by Joe Sokoloff who continues his My Way coaching
articles in Topics (on his innovative Whip Drive, for instance,
used by Richard McAfee at the 72 USOTCs in his upset of D-J
Lee). 2. Mitch Sealtiel, 2-1with a 16, 13, -17, 20, 17
comeback against Joe. 3. John Quick, 1-2 (I note his earlier 16,
-14, 20, 22, 11 thriller over Pat Patterson). 4. Sokoloff, 0-3.
Womens: 1. Olga Soltesz in a runaway. (Though she lost in the
Mens to Tom Hall, H reports that at a recent tournament in
Miami she beat Thrasher, Daunt, and Leff!) 2. Bev Hess (has
played so long in Olgas shadow, H thinks shes got a mental
block against her). Mens Doubles: Tannehill/Gingold over
Sealtiel/Rigo whod survived Thrasher/Daunt, 16, -24, 19, -20,
21. Mixed Doubles: Tannehill/Hess over Rigo/Soltesz.
Other winners: As: Gingold (has an ideal temperament
and fortunately has switched from an eccentric to a normal
shakehands grip) over genial Pete May. Bs: John Wimbish over
Herb Beckham, 24-22 in the 5th. Novice: Blake Chamberlain in 5
Olga Soltesz
over Augie Schenzinger whod eliminated Cornelius Cornie
Photo by Mal Anderson
Harrison in 5. Consolations: May over Cosmo Graham. Seniors:
Sam Hoffner over A. Herrera in 5, then ex-Pennsylvanian George
Woods, 19 in the 4th. 17s/15s: John Elliott over Hess. 13s: Rigo over Jim Elliott.
At the May Maryland/Greater D.C. tournament at Riverdale, MD, Lem Kuusk won the
Mens in 4 over Gary Akinsete, a Nigerian student at Howard University. Notable surprises
were Mort Greenbergs 23-21 in the 5th win over Larry Folk, and Carl Kronlages deuce in the
5th win over Mark Radom. Though Kuusk also took the Doubles with Bob Kaminsky (over
96

Kronlage/
Akinsete), his
biggest
triumph was
in his Singles
semi. Playing
this match
against former
Hungarian
great Tibor
Hazi, Lem
reminded
himself of a
Massachusetts
Closed final
hed had with
Don Gage
Lem Kuusk
Photo by Ray Chen
almost 10
years earlier.
Larry Folk
Photo by Ray Chen
In that match, with a sportswriter in attendance, hed won the
opening game 21-3. Then, thinking this kind of beating wasnt
good for the Sport, he let up, won the 2nd at 19, and, soon regretting the shift in momentum,
trying hard, lost the next three, -21, -21, -20! This, he vowed, would never happen again, so
he stayed up close to the table and fought for every point. After hed throttled Hazi 6, 8, 9,
Kaminsky told him years later that hed sent Tibor into retirement.
Several years ago, Paul Hudson
might have been winning matches in a
Virginia, D.C., or Maryland tourney; now
he writes from Vietnam that hes received
his USTTA Life Membership from
Membership Chair Marv Shaffer and has
been participating in tournaments over
there. A Vietnamese sports writer covering
one of them said some kind things about
Pauland so he should have. Paul lost to
Joseph C.H. Lee
Truong Cong Lam, 2-1 (23-21 in the 3rd),
(right)
after which Lam went on to win the
Photo
by
tournament, defeating Vietnams national
Mal Anderson
champion [Nguyen Hoc]. Herman
Prescott, former USTTA President and
1958 Newport News, VAs Man of the
Year, who championed his Hampton
Roads Boys Club stars to various
tournaments, would be remembered in a Memorial Dinner, and an Award given in his name.
Has anyone ever worked harder to promote a 1-star tournament than Joseph C. H.
Lee? He had articles in back-to-back issues of Topics, the first announcing his June 30-July 1
97

Chesapeake Open, the second (July-Aug., 1973, 27-28) elaborating onas this was Lees first
1-star tournamentthe learning experience, the Happiness and Headaches, he and those
who helped him had in planning and running the 23-events at the Bel Air, MD Harford
Community College. Thanks must go to supporters from the Aberdeen and Joppatowne Clubs,
and especially to the indispensable coordinator of it all, Frank Digger Odell, supervisor of
the Harford County Dept. of Parks and Recreation.
Fearful initially that (for a tournament planned for players within a 100-mile radius,
which would have included clubs in D. C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia) they werent going to
get enough entries, Lee and friends reduced the prize money from $1,000 to $600, taking care
to spread the largess through various events, including the Cs, Ds, and Womens Novice!
More hoped-for entries that wayexcept, as it turned out, some of those less talented players
would have preferred trophies to cash. First lesson learned: you cant please everyone. So,
how go about raising moneyjust in case too few players show? Print a Program and sell
adsappeal to community loyalty, give contributors as much free advertising as possible,
write articles for local newspapers (which Joe dideach week for about 8 weeks before the
tournament) and send copies of these news releases to patrons.
Help arrived: the Bata Shoe Company ($200), Equitable Trust Bank ($75), Harford
Mall ($25), Montgomery Ward ($20), Day Motors ($15), etc.over $400 in all. Also, the
Parks Dept. rounded up 17 tables from schools in the area and brought them to the College
where Joes friends Dick and Leslie Olsher, and Pak Yip set them up, built barriers, and tended
to control-desk work like writing match cards. Channel 2, WMAR aired an interview with Joe
just prior to the tournament. Thus, even though the concession stand was taken away due to
Health Department regulations, Happiness prevailed, eh?
Uh, not quite. First of all, come deadline time, 65 entries had been received. But then
an amazing 65 more were received and acceptedthose in charge, though realizing some
events should be closed, continuing to hope erroneously they could handle the overflow
crowd. But from the beginning (when some last-minute entries never got into draws) there
were mistakes galore. For example:
There were inconsistencies in the seedings from the Mens Open all the way
down to the Cs.Some of the last-minute entries accepted also affected the
previously prepared seedings. The result was chaos, since some of the players who
were previously seeded were no longer seeded in an event. Thus they became once
more eligible to enter, and to be seeded in, a lower event that they were initially found
ineligible for. This domino effect caused much confusion and time delay. Fortunately,
Yvonne Kronlage and Chris Schlotterhausen came to the rescue and straightened
things out.
Lee devotes much space to complaining about two prominent playersfound
gambling while practicing on a table. Despite a tournament rule that said No Gambling (as
differentiated from the USTTAs No Open Gambling where money is shown), one of these
players said, our president and editor does ithah, as if that were any excuse. So Joe wants
to bar the offenders from the next five Chesapeake Open tournaments. Given the fact that the
entry-deadline wasnt adhered to, this fixation on a private wager that broke a local rule
seems, with its resultant penalty, absurd. Maybe its the one clear action a very harassed Lee
can think to take.
98

As Emile Short pointed out to Joe, he should have checked with knowledgeable
people in New York on the strength of New York players who [unexpectedly] made up 25% of
the tournament entrants. Dan Dickel made a good point toothat the scheduling should have
simultaneously teamed, say, Esquires and Juniors, so that players in one event could not
possibly be in the other event, and thus the tables could have been utilized to the maximum.
Alsoand Joe, ambitious, would be the first to acknowledge all these errors (and did so in his
article, determined to learn from them)there should have been a limit on the number of
events a player could enter.
The trap here for these first-timers was that they understandably wanted their 1-star
tournament to be noticed, to be big-name important, and, then suddenly, to be making a
considerable profit, so, despite their own deadline, they couldnt resist accepting the windfall.
Results:
Mens: John
Tannehill d.
Errol Resek
whod been
down 2-0 to
Rory
Brassington.
Dave Sakai
Womens:
Yvonne
Kronlage d.
Louise Chotras,
19 in the 4th.
Mens Doubles:
Tannehill/Bernie
Bukiet d. Resek and, after his long suspension, a USTTA-reinstated Dave Sakai, 18 in the 5th
(Daves reinstatement coming on an E.C. 5-2-1 vote). Womens Doubles: Kronlage/Barbara
Kaminsky d. Chotras/Evelyn Zakarin. Mixed Doubles: Tannehill/Kaminsky d. Sakai/Debbie
Wong. Esquires: Bukiet d. Jim Verta. Seniors: Bukiet d. Herb Horton. Senior-Esquire
Doubles: Sol Schiff/Jacobs d. Verta/Horton.
As: Winston Bobby Cousins d. Roger Sverdlik,
19 in the 3rd, then Cosmo Graham (Sverdlik scored an
earlier 19 in the 3rd win over Short). A Doubles: Mike Bush/
Short d. Larry Folk/Carl Kronlage. Bs: Sverdlik d. Joe
Scheno, def. B Doubles: Carl Danner/Sverdlik d. Alan
Evanson/Y. Ko. Cs: Scheno d. Ron The Babe Luth.
Consolations: Peter Groot d. Gary Wittner. 17s: Sverdlik
d. Scheno. 17 Doubles: Danner/Graham d. Sverdlik/
Wittner.15s: Jeff Zakarin d. Evanson. 13s: Curt Kronlage
d. G. Rosenthal. (Joe would tell me later that future
Baltimore Orioles super-star Cal Ripken, Jr. and his brother
Bobby played in an early Aberdeen tourneythis one?)
Herb Vichnin (TTT, May-June, 1973, 22; 28)
describes the Apr, 14-15 Philly Clubs Two-Man Team
Alan Evenson
tourney (format: Davis Cup-style). For Saturdays
Photo by Ray Chen
99

competition, three round robin groups, #1, #2, and #3, each composed of 6 pairs, played
qualifying ties. The top two finishing teams from each group would form Sundays
Championship Group A; the next two Group B; the last two Group C.
In Saturday competition, in group #1, George Brathwaite/Alex Shiroky finished first
with a 3-1 win over the 2nd advancing pair of Bill Sharpe/Vichnin (Bill and Herb won only the
doubles, but Bill threw a 22, -26 scare into Alex).
In group #2, three teams tied with 4-1 records: Rick Seemiller/Joe Rokop d. Andy
Anvelt/Ray Mack, 3-0; Anvelt/Mack d. Joe Mimoso/Horace Roberts, 3-0; and Mimoso/
Roberts d. Seemiller/Rokop 3-1which allowed Seemiller/Rokop (4-3) and Anvelt/Mack (33) to advance to the prize-money awards in Group A, while Mimoso/Roberts (3-4) had to
drop back into Group B.
In group #3, Dave Sakai/Lem Kuusk went
undefeated. But who would advance with them was up
for grabs. Mike Bush/Scott McDowell would either
finish 5th, because of a bad tie-breaker position, or
finish 2nd, because of a good tie-breaker position. The
outcome depended on their tie with Alan/Roger
Sverdlik who (after both brothers, deuce in the 3rd, had
beaten Johnny Ou) were already a lock for Group B
(which eventually Ou/Al Allen would win). Heres how
this climactic tie went. Alan over Mike; Scott over
Roger (tie 1-1 even). Doubles: deuce in the 3rd to the
Sverdliksthey lead 2-1. Mike over Roger (tie 2-2
even). Then, ugh, a TERRIBLE last match, said
Vichnin. Alan outlasted Scott two straight, but I dont
think either of them made more than two shots in the
whole thing. What a sight. Herbie does call them as he
sees them.
Now for the Group A Sunday ties. Rokop/
Seemiller over Sharpe/Vichnin: Ricky over Herb, 21, Johnny Ou and son
Photo by Mal Anderson
10, 20 when Vichnin threw away 20-18 leads in both
deuce games. Then Joe hit through Bills blocking
defense to send his team up 2-0. But Sharpe/Vichnin took the doubles 18 in the 3rd; Bill killed
Ricky; and Herb, whod never beaten Rokop before, crushed Joe. In the Sverdliks vs.
Anvelt/Mack tie, with the score 2-2, Roger was leading Ray 20-18, then failed to return two
serves. Roger served, swung, kill-connected, but failed to take notice that Mack had gotten
his kill shot back. At his ad, Mack fended off a flurry of attacking shots, and then hit the most
unbelievable forehand you ever saw: game, match, tie!
Brathwaite/Shiroky also stopped the Sverdliks, but Alan, blocking well, had a good
win over Alex. Down, down went the Sverdliks again3-0 to Sharpe/Vichnin; and 3-0 to
Sakai/Kuusk (Lem, 20, 20 avenging his loss yesterday to Roger). Dave and Lem also blitzed
Seemiller/Rokop and Anvelt/Mack who dropped their chance for 3rd Place to Sharpe/Vichnin.
Like Brathwaite/Shiroky, Sakai/Kuusk, helped by Lems 23-21-in-the-3rd win over Sharpe,
remained undefeated. But in the final Bathwaite/Shiroky were easy winners.
To the surprise of virtually no one, says Bill Cross covering the 38th New Jersey
Closed but the 1st at the new Westfield Club (TTT, May-June, 1973, 23), Mitch Sealtiel, with
100

his strong offensive game, won his 3rd straight Mens Singles Championship and took the
Mens and Mixed Doubles as well. Results in the 16 different events (almost 100 players) as
follows: Mens: 1. Sealtiel. 2. Harvey Gutman. 3. Jerry Fleischhacker. 4. Mike Stern. In the
quarters Mike upset Al Schwartz whod been undefeated all season in the clubs very strong
A league, so club members are still waiting to see the anticipated Sealtiel-Schwartz match.
Womens: Muriel Stern over Bonnie Gutman, Harveys sister. Mens Doubles: Sealtiel/Manny
Moskowitz (38 years between Mannys first State title and this one) over Cross/Schwartz.
Mixed: Sealtiel/Stern over Gutman/Gutman.

Ed Gutman showing in 1957 the


thickness differences in rackets

Many-time New Jersey


Champion Bill Cross

From the Newark, NJ,


Mar. 24, 1957 Sunday News
Photo courtesy of Harvey Gutman

Manny Moskowitz
Photo by Mal Anderson

Other winners: As: George Hellerman over Robert


Nochenson, 18 in the 5th. A Doubles: Katz/Rappaport over Al/
Robert Nochenson. Bs: Ike Eskenazi over Halpern.
Esquires: Cross over Ed Gutman, 15 years ago Chair of the Asbury
Park U.S. Open. Seniors: Cross over Nat Stokes. Senior Doubles:
Ike
Nochenson/Stokes (72 U.S. Open A Senior Doubles Champs) over
Eskenazi
Gutman/Cross. 17s: McDowell over Stern. 15s/13s: Stern over
Nochenson. 11s: Cross-coached Brian Eisner over DeCosta.
At the June Trenton New Jersey Open. Errol Resek won the
Mens over Dave Sakai in 5, then over Rory Brassington, 18 in the
4th. Earlier, Dave had beaten Bernie Bukiet, deuce in the 4th, while
Rory had stopped hometown favorite Mitch Sealtiel, then Fuarnado
Roberts, -10, 19, 24, -23, 17. Womens went to Louise Chotras over
Kathy Kaercher. Mens Doubles to Resek/Sakai over Bukiet/Roberts.
Mixed to Sakai/Chotras over Scott McDowell/Kaercher. As: Roger
Sverdlik over Stan Smolanowicz in 5. Ray Arditi told me Stan learned
his t.t. in Philadelphia, but that his mother, a holocaust survivor,
brought young Stanley and brother Ted to the U.S. via Israel. Bs: Neil Shilkret over Eliot Katz,
23-21 in the 4th, then Barry Robbins, deuce in the 4th. Seniors: Sid Jacobs over PA #2-ranked
Senior John Kaercher.17s: McDowell over Wittner. 15s: Dave Driggers over Robert Nochenson.
N.Y.C. action can be found in the Greater New York Table Tennis League, which, as
its President Mel Eisner tells us, has been in existence for almost 40 years. Formerly it was a
101

Bankers Athletic League until of its 10-12 teams only one or two of them represented banks.
Currently, its comprised of nearly 30 teams from over 20 industrial, commercial, school, and club
organizations within the New York area. It has Divisions in which teams move up or down, uses
its own Rating System, and runs Handicap tournaments. Trophies are liberally awarded.
The 1973 Long Island Closed went to Resek over Brathwaite, after George 21, 21,
12, 16 scrambled away from a bad start in his quarters match with Eric Phillips. Two other
tough quarters saw Dave Philip down Horace Roberts, -13, 22, 19, 11, and Peter Stephens
stop Tim Boggan, 23-21 in the 4th. Womens: Louise Chotros over Evelyn Zakarin whod
escaped Asta Hiller, 19, -19, 20, 22. Mens Doubles: Brathwaite/Resek over Stephens/Boggan.
Womens Doubles: Arline Hoos/Terry Green over Chotras/Zakarin. Mixed: Resek/T. Green
over Roberts/Chotras in 5.
Louise Chotras
Photo by Mal Anderson

Steve
Berger

As: Peter Holder over Doon Wong. Bs: Al


Mitchell over Dan Green. Cs: Peter Dunn over
Benfield Munroe. Mens Consolation: Steve Berger
over Jeff Zakarin. Esquires: Sid Jacobs over Mitch
Silbert.
Seniors:
Boggan
over Henry Deutsch, -19, 24, 17, 7. Senior
Doubles: Jacobs/Maurice Kendal over Silbert/
Boggan. Boys 17: Roger over Alan Sverdlik in 5,
after Alan had eliminated Jeff Zakarin, -18, 21, 15,
19. 15s: Jeff over Carl Danner.13s: Scott Boggan
over Eric Boggan.
Reportedly 140 Long Island players entered
the Huntington Town Recreation and Parks
Tournament held at Memorial Junior High.
Huntington Township Results: Mens: Fred Danner
d. Hy Dreksler. Womens/Girls winner: Gail
Garcia. Juniors: Marc Landman d. Larry Gold.
Nassau-Suffolk Results: 17s: Roger Sverdlik d.
Jeff Zakarin in 5. 14s winner: Carl Danner. Open
Results: 16-year-old Sverdlik d. 14-year-old
Scott Preiss reunited with his former Long
Danner. Womens: Arline Hoos d. 13-year-old Gail
Island mentor Stan Wishniowski (left)
Garcia. Seniors: Sid Jacobs d. Stan Wishniowski.
Photo courtesy of Scott Preiss
102

Consolations (68 entries): Chris Schlotterhausen d. Stan Schwartz. . Mens Doubles: Danner/
Gary Wittner d. Fred Danner/Frank Milano.
Phil Schuls tells us (TTT, May-June, 1973, 24) that Tournament Director Bill
McGimpsey had meticulously planned and publicized his Apr. Syracuse Open down to the
minutest detail, and so his 1-star, with 110 players and its Saturday night party at the Hotel
Syracuse, seemed like a 3-star. Results: Mens: 1. Jim Dixon. 2. Rick Rumble (in 5 over
Sharara). 3. Adham Sharara, Canadian Womens Team Coach at Sarajevo.* 4. Emile Short.

Syracuse Open Winner Jim Dixon (right) defeating Adham Sharara in the semis.

(Short, who 3 weeks earlier had won the Monroe


Syracuse Open
County Closed over Ray Mack and Jim Shoots, had
Runner-up
Dixon down 2-0). Quebecs Sharara, whose
Rick Rumble
strength is an excellent defense punctuated by
forehand and backhand counter-drives, had upset
the #1 seed, Dave Sakai, 17 in the 5th. Womens:
Helen Weiner over Nancy Newgarden. Mens
Doubles: Sakai/Rumble over Dixon/Short, deuce in
the 3rd. Mixed: Dixon/C. Barth over Short/Weiner.
Other winners: As: 1. Rumble. 2. Sharara.
3. Frank McCann, Jr. 4. Neal Fox. A Doubles: Ron
Chapman/Bill McGimpsey over Fox/Don Coluzzi.
Bs: Chapman, a former member of the Israeli table
tennis team, over Wolfgang Daut, a German citizen
out of the Sport for a number of years and now
studying in the U.S. whod won the As at the
earlier Monroe County tournament. Cs
(70+entries): George Taplin in expedite over
Schuls. Seniors: Coluzzi over Bob Brickell. 17s: Rumble over Steve Wolf. 15s: Mike
Kashtan over Scott Plakon.
Kudos to John Barretto for building the magnificent Hampshire Hills, N.H. Racquet
and Health Club, and to Lim-Ming Chui for running a great table tennis tournament there with,
as one fellow said, world-class conditions. Results: Mens: John Tannehill over runner-up
103

Chui, 24-22 in the 5th. 3. Dave Sakai. 4. Stan Smolanowicz. Womens/Womens As: Peltz over
Dannis. Mens Doubles: Tannehill/Smolanowicz over Chui/Ming Chang, 24-22 in the 4th.
Mixed Doubles: Chui/Dannis over Peltz/Peltz. Seniors: Frank Dwelly over Benny Hull.
Other results:
As: Smolanowicz in 5
over David Chan whod
knocked out Hull, 18 in
the 5th. A Doubles:
Chang/Smolanowicz
over Bill Dean/Claude
Peltz. Bs: Ralph
Robinson in 5 over Bill
Ladd (who thought the
floor was terrific, but
complained of a little
Joe Williams
glare) then Chan. Cs:
Photo by Mal Anderson
Joe Williams over Frank
Studley, deuce in the
4th. 17s: New Hampshire Junior Champ Peltz
over Danny McNeil.
Stan Smolanowicz
At the end-of-season New England
Closed, Sakaiwho said that in his younger days he used to play a lot of pinball, to keep his
hands fastcame from 2-0 down to 23-21 in the 5th edge Chui. Nonetheless, Ming was ranked
New England #1 to Daves #2.
Sealtiel/Turnbull Win ACU-I National Intercollegiates
Ive now covered the July 1,1972-June 30, 1973 tournament seasonexcept for two
Intercollegiate Championships. The first of these is the National Intercollegiates played Apr.
7-9 in Peoria, IL; the second, the Ivy League Championships, played a few days later in New
Haven, CT as a sort of companion, or rival, tournament to the too-far-to-travel-to Nationals.
This Second Annual National Intercollegiate Championship, the results of which are
brought readers (TTT, May-June, 1973, 5) by ACU-ITTC Director Richard Gage, was held at
Bradley University, provider of physical facilities, food, lodging, and tournament
transportation for the competitors. Also, their Sports Information Department provided
excellent news coverage. Jimmy McClure warrants an appreciative nod for donating the
permanent mens singles champion revolving school trophy. And a very special thanks must
go to General Sportcraft who not only provided the tournaments Stiga tables and Halex balls
but also made the following contributions: generous financial support, individual paddles for
all the participants,individual mens and womens replica championship trophies, and the
permanent womens singles revolving championship school trophy.
As happened last year, 15 men and 15 women qualified from sectional play around the
country, and a 16th player-spot was awarded the host school. The Singles competition was
initially divided into two (Group A and Group B) round robinshopefully, as did not happen
last year, with some care as to splitting up the recognized good players. (Nope, didnt happen
this year either: the organizers just didnt carethe A Group was considerably stronger.
Crazyas if everything was important, except the play!) A crossover between the top two
104

finishers in each Group (A1 vs.


B2; B1 vs. A2) produced a semis,
and the winners played a 3 out of
5 final. There was also Doubles
play.
Results: Mens Singles.
Final: Mitch Sealtiel (Trenton
State) d. Siegfried Sporer
(Colorado), 21, 11, -15, 15.
(Group As Sealtiel and Sporer
advanced over Surasak, Denis
OConnell, Jim Dixon, and 7thplace finisher Brad Fountain, who
last year came 1st in his lopsided
weak Group.) Semis: Sealtiel d.
Rich Sinykin (Minnesota); Sporer
d. Paul Wong (Wisconsin).
(Group Bs Wong and Sinykin
advanced over Russ Finley, Greg
1973 U.S. Intercollegiate Mens Champion Mitch Sealtiel
Gingold, and Duong Van Vu.).
(right) receiving his trophy from
General Sportcraft Sales Manager Bill Mammen
Unusual happening: Greg Gingold
Photo courtesy of Bill Mammen
(University of South Florida)
was on a plane when a tire blew
out on the take off and the plane
just barely stopped at the end of
the runway. He spent the night in
St. Louis and arrived just in time
for the start of the tournament.
Womens Singles: Final:
Diane Turnbull (Wright State) d.
Lai-Sang Young (Wisconsin).
Semis: Turnbull d. Ritchie;
Young d. Shirley Woo in 5.
Unusual Happening: Mercedes
Numata (Brigham Young) had to
drop out of the tournament
because her religion prevented her
from playing on Sundays. Taking
her place was Doreen Nichols
(Arapohoe Community College),
a 40-year-old freshman with 5
1973 U.S. Intercollegiate Champion Diane Turnbull
Photo courtesy of Bill Mammen
children. Shes studying
nursing, and comes from
England.
Mens Doubles: Sealtiel/Sporer d. Surasak/OConnell. Womens Doubles: Moralis/
Woo over Young/Mercz, and over Davis/Davidson.
105

Ivy League play was in Yales well-lit and well-spacedamphitheatre of the PayneWhitney Gymnasium. Dave Pardo, the founder and outgoing President of the ILTTA, ran
the tournament; and reporting on it for Topics (May-June, 1973, 5; 28) were Fritz Phillips,
Secretary of the Yale TTA, and Steve Pollaine, Co-Captain of their team who plans to go to
Swedens Kolboda clinic this summer. Those participating besides Yale (6 players to a team)
were Brown, Columbia (whod already won the Leagues Team Championship), Harvard,
MIT, Penn, and Princeton.
Results: Singles. Columbias Sammy Lee over MITs #2 Bill Ladd, 18, 15. Semis: Lee
over Browns Ludlow Bailey, 17, 7; Ladd over Peter Wai. Quarters: S. Lee over MIT #1
Chuck Chan, New England #11, whod had to deal with comprehensives in physics the
previous week; Bailey over Columbias J. Lee; Ladd over Pardo; and Wai over MITs J. Lee
whod pulled the upset of the tournament by beating Columbia #1 Alice Green. Doubles:
Sammy Lee/Alice Green over Columbia teammates J. Lee/ Wai. Semis: Lee/Green over Ma/
Kuznetzow, also Columbia teammates; Lee/Wai over MITs Chan/J.Lee.
O.K., so its not an attention-drawing prize of three pandas that the Columbia players
will take back to their N.Y. campus, still, theyll return pleased at being able to show for their
season three Panda Cups (Team, Singles, and Doubles).
SELECTED NOTES.
*ITTF President Adham Sharara, in an interview
with Editor Larry Hodges (USA Table Tennis Magazine,
Nov.-Dec., 1999, 18), tells us that he started to play TT
in Cairo, Egypt at the Maadi TT Club, and that, after
coming to Canada, he eventually became the 1969
National Junior Champion. He coached even when he was
a junior, and became the Provincial Coach and Technical
Director of the Quebec Province in 1972. From 19721975 he represented Canada as a player in International
competition, and beginning in Sarajevo and for a long time
afterwards he was an International Coach for Canada.
From 1969-73, he attended McGill University; later, hell
complete the fifth and final year of the program and
graduate as an Electronic Engineer.

106

ITTF President Adham Sharara


Photo courtesy of Table Tennis Illustrated
From USATT Magazine, Nov/Dec, 1999, 18

Chapter Seven
1973: Summer E.C. Action. 1973: U.S./Canadian Teams in Maccabiah Games. 1973:
Reseks/Bukiet in Dominican Republic. 1973: Uzorinac/Cordas Tour the U.S. 1973: Yoshio
Fushimi Returns to Japan, Watches June Matches with Chinese. 1973: North Carolinas Kuosan Chung Plays in China.
In preparation for the 1973-74 season, the USATT E.C. met June 16-17. Bob
Kaminsky was appointed Chair of a Planning Committee. Purpose is to operate short term (1
or 2 year), intermediate term (5 to 7 year), and long term (10 to 15 year) goals for the
USTTA. Each E.C. member listed his objectivesand these were discussed, and listed in
preferred order of priority for short and long term action, then presented to Bob. Interim
Treasurer Fred Danner reported that as of May 31 our current net worth was $29,408.32. As
of this Meeting, we had a balance of roughly $29,000, but we had about 400 life
memberships for which we have a commitment to keep a reserve.
In hopes of getting an Advertising Chair, the E.C. agreed to pay him/her a 5%
commission on all new ads and renewals. Surely not much of an incentive when the E.C.
expected to increase the advertising revenues by at least $2,500 in one year. By the time Gus
Kennedy would finally take the Chair at the Nov. 21-22 Meeting, a 20% advertising finders
fee would be in effect, applied on the initial contract. (That is, if 6 issues of ads were sold to
a new advertiser, the finders fee would apply to each of the 6 ads.)
The E.C. agreed to allocate funds to send a qualified USTTA coach to visit various
localities throughout the nation. Hell address clubs and local schools with the purpose of
teaching local coaches and players the sport. The club must supply a minimum of ten
prospective coaches and 25 prospective beginning players ages 10 to 14.
To show theyre serious (and with those requirements how many will be?), a
$50 deposit will be required from the participating clubsreturnable upon
completion of the clinic. It was also agreed to purchase the Dunlop basic
training film, Table Tennis Tips.
The E.C. would budget the Intercollegiate Committee for $500
providing the Chair has some reasonable way of using the funds.
How bring in some money? (The Patrons Committee was short-lived. Also, forget the
Exhibition Committee.) Increase Junior membership from $2 to $4? Nope. Defeated in a 4-5
close vote.
The Philadelphia Club wants (though Ive forgotten why) a refund of $368.50but no
(1-4-3) chance of that. However, the Clubs bid to run the 1976 U.S. Open was approved
unanimously. This irritated Michigan TTA President George Buben no end. Heres why (TTT,
Sept.-Oct., 1973, 13; 29):
[The USTTA approved] a Tournament 2 yrs. away (U.S. Open in Philadelphia
in 1976) [actually, almost 3 yrs. away] when earlier the USTTA decided NOT to give
Detroit the 1973 [George means the 1972] U.S. Open, even though it had been
approved and sanctioned by the National Tournament Director, who at that time was
Richard Hicks. The reason? Mr. Cox, part of the USTTA in crowd, protested that,
according to the manual, the (U.S. Open) Tournament could not be approved until the
summer meeting of the USTTA and our Sanction was granted at the USOTCs in
107

December. We had already started preliminary


work when we found out that New York
wanted to bid for the [1972] U.S. Open and
our Sanction was rescinded and later naturally
was granted to Long Island.[Georges point:
Is this not unfairly discriminatory?
Subsequently, the 1973 U.S. Open was
awarded to Detroit.]
George feels that a nit-picking E.C has
been on his back at some Detroit
tournaments,* but that the violations at the
1972 U.S. Opentables too close together; an
illegal cushioned playing floor; an illegal
shortening of Doubles matches from 3 out of 5
to 2 out of 3drew complaints, yet not the
kind of chastisement the E.C. seemed to
Somethings not adding up for U.S. Open
Tournament Chair George Buben
Photo by Rufford Harrison

Gary Calkins

reserve for Buben and Detroit. It wasnt fair.


The LITTA was awarded the 1973
U.S. Open Team Championshipsno
dissenters. But the motion that the women in
their Davis-Cup play in this tournament had
to play out all 5 matches was defeated 3-5.
(However, if the Tournament Chair gave his
permission, the teams could play out the
extra matches.) The entry fee for a Mens
team is $45; for a Womens team $30. Gary Calkins, from Grand Rapids, aware that the
tournament isnt going to be in nearby Detroit, says in a Letter to Topics (Sept.-Oct., 1973,
11) that the most economical way for a group to travel East is by renting a motor home. It has
a sleeping capacity of 10, a bathroom and a shower, and food can be stored in the
refrigerator and cooked on the stove. Sound good?
Dick Miles moved 6-2 successfully that $2,000 be allocated toward the operating
expenses of the [Oklahoma City] 1974 Opento be used as follows:
1. The sponsors will guarantee that this money will be used to invite star
foreign teams to be approved by the E.C. It is understood that these teams will not be
Sweden or Japan since it is our understanding that these teams have already been
committed to appear.
2. Further, that whereas we make no guarantees to waive our percentage of TV
rights now, it is definitely understood that if this money is accepted by the U.S. Open
the USTTA will benefit to the extent of 50% of all TV fees accruing therefrom.
3. It is understood that the USTTA will have the first right to utilize the
108

services of the touring team to be invited by the $2,000 contribution. Other sponsors
may bid to the USTTA for their use.
Rufford Harrison was to write to the ITTF requesting permission (1) for two players
from Taiwan to appear at the Oregon State Fair in Salem, Oregon as guests of the Portland
Chinese Community; and (2) to sanction appearances of a team from Taiwan as sponsored
by Windsor Olsen of Seattle.

Howie Grossman,
Captain of the Canadian Maccabiah Team

U.S./Canadian Teams
in Maccabiah Games
Could we sanction
our own U.S. Team to
U.S. Maccabiah Team, L-R: Mort Steuer, Chair of the U.S. Maccabiah
the IX Maccabiah
Committee, and U.S. Team Members Leah Miss Ping Neuberger, Vic
Games? Mort Zakarin
Landau, Joe Sokoloff, Muriel Stern, and Mitch Sealtiel
didnt think so. Didnt
think Mitch Sealtiel, Joe Sokoloff, and Vic Landau strong enough to represent us in Mens
play, or Leah (Miss Ping) Neuberger and Muriel Stern strong enough to represent us in
Womens play. But what other Jewish players had he in mind? Bukiet, Miles, Howard, Raphel?
They were the only ones ahead of both Sealtiel (whose parents, Lennie and Kathy, would
accompany him to the Games) and Landau in the Ratings. Then add Lazarus and Cowan with
little difference in rating before Sokoloff. But who of these high-level players was available?
Was there to be an all-expenses-paid Tryout? And were these men who went to the Games so
inferior to others as to be an embarrassment to the U.S.? I dont have their results, but I dont
think so.
Granted the women werent too strongand yet only Alice Green and Millie Shahian
had a better rating than Muriel. As for the retired-from-tournaments Miss Pingin 69 she
was still good enough to win two golds with Irene Ogus and a bronze in singles. Of course
now in 73 she didnt have Irene who presumably was not availableand yet Ping won a silver
in Womens Doubles and a bronze in the Mixed. Other countries in the world werent in the
109

least embarrassed to send middlin players to Israel, so why should we be? What would it have
meant in terms of U.S. prestige had we won this weak tournament where in the Womens Leah
(who lost in the quarters) was seeded #1?
This was Leahs last hurrah. In a Sept. 2, 1973 letter to Sally Green Prouty, she said, I
still love to play and try to play 3 times a week, but easy natch. Why easy? Because her
doctors forbidden her to play since she has a Hiatus Herniathat is, the top part of the
stomach pushes all the food back up and she has to take anti-acid constantly.
The Canadian Team, Captained by Howie Grossman, with an assist from Joey Richman
(Table Tennis News, July, 1974, 5) didnt disgrace themselves either. Their Womens Team (Joyce
Hecht, Shirley Gero) took the silver behind West Germany. Joyce won a bronze in the Singles, and
with Shirley a bronze in Doubles. The Canadian men (Peter Gonda, Steve Feldstein) finished 7th in
the Teams, but won a medal in the Doubles. Richman complained that the Hilton Hotel wasnt a
suitable venue. Crowd control is difficult both at time of admission and during the matches.
Reseks/Bukiet in Dominican Republic
In mid-July, Errol and Jairie Resek, along with Bernie Bukiet, flew to Santo Domingo
in Errols native Dominican Republic. Jairie writes (TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1973, 32+) that they were
met at the airport by Errols brother, Albertico, who is the National [Table Tennis] Champion;
his beautiful wife, Milagros; members of the Dominican Table Tennis Association; and the
Press. Following bouquets of roses and a TV interview, their sponsor Marlboro cigarettes, as
represented by Jose Leon Jiminez who had a 51% share in how the Branch business went here,
put them up at the beautiful, luxurious Embajador Hotel. There they met the very amiable
Herman Badillo, an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the Mayor of New York. After a
12-year absence, Errol was initially reluctant to
speak Spanish, but quickly got over
that, and did just fine.
Errol and Bernies first
exhibition was in the hotel before an
audience who had never seen table
tennis like this and they were very
appreciative. The Dominican
sports writers liked what they
saw too, gave the players good
coverage, and later,when they
elected their sportsmen of the year, they
gave Errol an honorary mention. Thus he
was honored to be mentioned with the likes
of Marichal, the Alou brothers, Cedeno, etc.
Their second exhibition was
played outdoors in Cancha Eugenio Maria de
Hostos Park where Bernie hammed it up with
Errols father, Alberto, the M.C., and also
made suitable comments to as many pretty
girls in the audience as he could.
While the honored visitors were
having lunch with Errols Aunt Norma and
Jairie smiles as Bernie makes
Uncle Irdebrando, it rainedfor the first time
friends with an unidentified woman
in six months. A driving rainwith the
on the streets of Santo Domingo
Photo courtesy of Jairie Resek
following results:
110

You never saw such


activity. The children ran out, some
not even bothering to put a bathing
suit on, to splash and belly wop in the
puddles. It was refreshing just to
watch them. In other sections of the
city the poor were out in the rain too,
with everything and anything that
would hold water. Without any
substantial rainfall in six months, the
wealthier people had a low water
pressure level. The poor had no
water at all. The rain water would
have to last them until the city water
truck came around and filled their
buckets again.
With the very pleased sponsor,
Jiminez, having increased his
Jairie and Errol Resek in the Dominican Republic
original financial commitment, and
with Che Guevara
Errol having reunited with an old
school friend, Augustin, whod
become the successful President of Industrial Gas and Hardware, and who, along with Hans J.
Hieronimus, helped with expenses, the U.S. threesome couldnt have had a more contented
stay. They were wined and dined by Errols Aunt Cleopatra (Errol is Egyptian on his fathers
side) and Uncle Carmelio, a Colonel with the local police. Were entertained by Jiminezs
beautiful, talented (singer, dancer, poet) 13-year-old daughter, Maria. Met Dominican Golf
Champ Jack Corrie and his table tennis enthusiast daughter, Sylvia. Had dinner at Alberticos
house, then went to the Naco Club where they gave an outdoor exhibition and talked with
Errols friends. And, after a screening of Errol and Jairies Ping-Pong Diplomacy film, were
taken by their friend Augustin to El Mirador (the fabulous restaurant atop the tallest building
in the city).
In describing their visit to the University of Santo Domingo, Jairie had this to say:
...Students pay very little if anything to go to school here. Though it is
subsidized by the government, no police are allowed on campus. Students resolve their
own problems. The majority of them belong to the B.R.U.C. Party, a Christian
Revolutionary Block. Che Guevara, the Argentinian who fought with Fidel Castro for
Cuban independence and was killed in a guerilla skirmish in Bolivia, is their hero.
Pictures of Che are plastered all over, along with signs saying Fight against Yankee
cultural penetration and Fight without resting! [Jairie was told] only a small
portion of the students were Communists. They welcomed the Americans to visit their
country but not to tell them how to live.
Despite the extreme heat, Errol and Bernie gave an exhibition at the Club Mauricio
Baez in the poor section of the city. The spectators were so proud of Errol, they literally
111

mobbed him afterward. Though they had shacks for living quarters, they kept their premises
clean, and did not appear to be depressed. That evening Errol and Bernie gave another
exhibitionat the Santo Domingo Country Club.
Then they were off by car to mountainous Santiago. It was a two-hour trip, and on the
road, naked children were selling mangoes, pineapples, coconut water, and canquina (sugar
candy). On their arrival they were met by Errols mother, aunt, and cousins, then checked
into the Hotel Mercedes, owned by Errols cousin Lou Pou. Another friend, Marlboros
Finance manager, Julio Cross, later returned to New York with the Reseks, and, after seeing
Mort and Evelyn Zakarins robot, would decide to buy one for himself. Errol had so many
relatives that one or the other of them seemed always to be issuing invitations to lunch or
dinner.
Of course Errol and Bernie gave exhibitions in Santiago. The first was at the Roof
Garden de la Cerveceria National Dominican. The second, held at the Municipal Building (City
Hall), was bedlam: [the crowd] applauding points hysterically, yelling, screaming, stamping
feet, nudging their neighbor as though to confirm what they saw. Here point by point
descriptions of the match were broadcast by radio! The third exhibition was at the Catholic
University of Santiago. The fourth at the Santiago Country Club.
On the drive back to Santo Domingo, they stopped in La Vega to give an exhibition at
the local theater. This was the only audience that was charged admission. The money was for
a stadium to train athletes for the Latin American, Central American and Caribbean Olympics
to be held in Santo Domingo in 1974. Preparatory to ending their trip they gave another
strength-sapping exhibition in the heat, but, ah, the barbecue at Alberticos in-laws was mouthwatering.
As Jairie closes her article she particularly thanks the player Raymond Martin who
bugged Alberticoto get Errol down to the Dom. Rep. As for Bernie, Jairie says, its three
weeks since Errol and I left and hes still there.

Zlatko Cordas
From 1973 Toronto CNE Program

Uzorinac/Cordas Tour the U.S.


This summer, too, the
U.S. provided hospitality for
its esteemed visitors. My
Croatian friend and overseas
Topics correspondent, the
table tennis historian and
former Yugoslav International,
Zdenko Uzorinac,
accompanied by one of the
mainstays of the current
Yugoslav National Team,
Zlatko Cordas, were scheduled
to spend 5 weeks this summer
(June 19-July 27), mostly in
the U.S. but also for a time in
Canada. Their all-expensespaid Tour began in the San
Francisco area (after theyd
112

Zdenko Uzorinac
Photo by Don Gunn

been delayed a day because a truck had hit their incoming plane!). Coverage on the California
leg of their trip (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 18) was provided by Greg Sawin and Joel Herskovich,
son of Allan Herskovich. Allan had made the initial arrangements for the Uzorinac/Cordas
visitfirmed up, Im sure, when hed led his San Francisco group to the Sarajevo Worlds and
afterwards to his native city Zagreb, home to both Zdenko and Zlatko.
From June 21 through June 26 they visited various clubs in the Bay area. At Les
Maddens San Francisco Club Cordas gave a clinic: first going through limbering-up exercises
(which Joel said his father and some others couldnt flexibly do), then giving all participants
maybe 10 minutes of private instruction. The following night he and Zdenko played those who
tried to provide competitionRichard Terry, Mike Greene, Azmy Ibrahim, and David Chan.
At the Cupertino Club, Jim Naik beat Uzorinac. At the Marin Club, Tom Joyce took a
game from Zdenko. At the new club in San Mateos Sokol Hall (with George Medina as
organizer), Ramon Fernandez managed 17 against Cordas. After the two visitors had paid their
local dues, Allan invited them, along with the Les Maddens, Mike and Norma Green, and Greg
Sawin to stay at his summer home in Lake Tahoe. This gave Les and Greg the chance to talk
table tennis with Zlatko, who knew very little English but was helped by his interpreter,
Zdenko.
Question: How was Cordas able to score a recent victory over Kjell Johansson?
Answer: Zlatko said he had to use a lot of junk in his game in addition to keeping the ball
away from Johanssons famous, powerful forehand. Backhand to backhand, he said, he
could outplay Johansson. In favoring his backhand hes like the Russians whose styles are
oriented around the backhand because this is the way they thought they could beat the
Orientals who are generally weaker on the backhand side than shakehands players.
Regarding equipment, Cordas said the top brand balls are about the same, but when a
ball is selected for a World Championships they are made better during the time they are being

Steve Berger and Marty Reisman (right) are trying to decide if this ball has been made especially for Marty
113

promoted for the Worlds. But after the Worlds their quality goes back to where it was. When
asked what rubber was best for spinning, Zlatko said the Mark V rubber and Sriver rubber that the
top world class players use is made especially for them, and is much better than the Mark V or
Sriver that is available to everyone else. But the regular Sriver is better than the regular Mark V.
Sawin expressed surprised that Bengtsson/Johansson were able to beat Defending
Champions Jonyer/Klampar at Sarajevo. Cordas replied that Klampar had been in military
service and hadnt practiced or played in tournaments for several months.
On the evening of June 30, the Herskovich group went to Lake Tahoe where they saw
a Lawrence Welk show and Zdenko and Zlatko enjoyed playing roulette. Next night they were
back at Allans home for a farewell party.
Following that they went by car with the Herskovich family (including wife Dorothy
and other son Emanuel) to Los Angeles where they stayed at the Roosevelt Hotel in
Hollywood. At Milla Boczars Club their opponents probably included Jack Howard, Denis
OConnell, Paul Raphel, and Angelita Rosalwith the best match being the one in which
Zlatko rallied to beat Joong Gil Park handily in the 3rd. Away from the courts, the Yugoslavs
had a fun time at Disneyland. Then another fun time in Las Vegas for two days.
Next stop on their tour was San Antonio where
Sue Sargent tells us (TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1973, 16) they
were greeted at the airport by the Chamber of Commerce
Red Carpet Committee. Later, the mayor proclaimed
them Honorary Alcaldes de La Villita (mayors of San
Antonio). Following ceremonies at the Convention
Center, the San Antonio Club sponsored an Invitational
that drew, in addition to Cordas and Uzorinac,
18 top Texas players.
Competition began with 4 round robins of 5 and
produced
the
following
results:
Group I:
Cordas, 4Sue Sargent
0; Octavio
Pinnell, Jr.,
2-2; Tommy Vaello, 2-2; E. Mac Baptiste, 1-3;
Richard James, 1-3. Group II: Alex Tam, 4-0;
Cecil Kost, 3-1; Perry Schwartzberg, 2-2; J.C.
Tenay, 1-3; Rene Rodriguez, 0-4. Group III:
A.V. Hanumanth Rao, 4-0; Uzorinac, 3-1;
Johnny Tomlinson, 2-2; D.G. Van Vooren, 1-3;
Hanumanth Rao
Don Weems, 0-4. Group IV: Richard Ling, 4-0;
From the 1975 Houston U.S. Open Program
Brad Fountain, 3-1; Paul LeBlanc, 2-2; John
McAdams, 1-3; Bob ONeill, 0-4.
Cordas, Tam, Rao, and Ling didnt lose a game.
2nd round of play: Cordas d. Fountain, 2-0; Tam d. Pinnell, 2-0; Kost d. Rao, 2-0, and
Uzorinac d. current U.S. Open Class A winner Ling, -20, 20, 17.
114

Final round robin: 1. Cordas, 3-0 (d. Tam, 16, 19; d. Uzorinac, 18, 11; d. Kost, 13,
15). 2. Tam, 2-1 (d. Uzorinac, 11, 9; d. Kost, 24, 8). 3. Uzorinac, 1-2 (d. Kost, -13, 18, 13). 4.
Kost, 0-3.
By July 9-10, thanks to Charlie Disney, Cordas and Uzorinac had reached Minneapolis.
Don Larson makes the point (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 22) that bringing them to Magoos was
worth the expense because of the publicity they generated. Certainly they were kept busy
were scheduled on TV for an exhibition, on the largest radio station in the area for an
interview, gave two exhibitions in a large shopping center, and twice appeared at Magoos
Table Tennis Club for exhibitions and coaching clinics. They also played an invitational
tournament with Minnesotas top players.
After their stay in Minneapolis Id arranged for them to sightsee with me and on
occasion my wife Sally in New York City, to come out to Long Island, and to play in a
tournament in Philadelphia. Then, since they had native-born Yugoslav friends in Toronto,
especially Max Marinko and George Jovanov, they also went therewhere Zlatko stayed on.
The 1973 Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) Program tells us he conducted the Ontario
Associations Intensive training Program at the Toronto Table Tennis Centre from July 25 until
August 3rd and the Summer Junior Training Camp at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, August
7-17th.
Yoshio Fushimi Sees JapanChina Matches in Tokyo
Yoshio Fushimi, whom
readers of my Vol. I will
remember as Coleman Clarks
1930s exhibition partner,
surfaced (see TTT, July-Aug.,
1974, 3) to tell us of going to see
the final Japan-China Match in
Tokyo on June 29, 1973. Hed
returned to his hometown,
Shizuoka, Japan, and on reading
an article in his local newspaper
telling of the event, decided to go
Yoshio Fushimi, shown here as U.S. interpreter with Japans
Norio Takashima at the 1978 U.S. Open
to it. He took the famous
Shinkansen bullet train (it has a
speed of 125 miles per hour or more), which travelsthrough a scenic route of continuous
mountains, including magnificent Mount Fuji to the left, and beautiful blue and white sea
shores to the right. Hed called his niece to meet him on his arrival in Tokyo at precisely the
Number 6 door opening, and she didfor, even when the train makes a stop at a station
several hundred miles away, the door of the train will open at the painted arrow marked on the
platform.
What, all tickets sold out! But, ah, the guard was cooperative, honored Fushimis
request to speak to an official. And when Yosh pulled out (1) a letter from Mr. Marv Shaffer,
Membership Chairman of the USTTA, written with an official letter head; (2) a copy of the
recent Table Tennis Topics; (3) Victor Barnas 9x14 autographed picture with [as he says] my
name inscribed by him, and (4) Coleman Clarks book on Table Tennis, containing an early
115

days National Ranking in which my name was listed among the best 10, he became a guest
and was escorted to one of the best seats in the hall,
from where he could even take some 8mm movies.
Seven matches, beginning on June 15 in Yokohama, had already been played between
the two teams in various cities of Japanwith the Chinese men ahead 4-3, and the Chinese
women ahead 5-1 and 1 tie (the lone Japanese win, 4-3, coming just the day before in
Kawasaki). At exactly 4:00 p.m. all practice tables were taken away, and in came an all-girl
marching band from Kyoka-Gakuen school, which drew a standing ovation from the 5,000plus spectators. Typical ceremonies were observed by players and officials (Rizo Kawakami
and Xu Yinsheng). Yosh noted that none of the men wore long hair and whiskers, and so
gave an excellent appearance and a wonderful impression of clean, wholesome young
athletes.
At 5:00 p.m.
the matches
started on the
two courts, one
for the men, one
for the women.
The Japanese
men were
Tasaka,
Hasegawa, and a
young collegian,
Usugino; the
Chinese
countered with
1973 World
Champion His
En-ting, Wang
Japans Sachiko Yokota
Chinas 1973 Womens
Wen-hua, and
Photo by Mal Anderson
World Champion Hu Yu-lan
Hsu Shao-fa.
From The Table Tennis Report, July, 1972
The Japanese women were Miho Hamada and
Sachiko Yokota; the Chinese fielded the 1973 World Champion Hu Yu-lan, Chang Li, and
Huang Hsi-ping. Japans men won 5-2; Chinas women won 3-1. It was all very exciting.
Naturally, the majority of the spectators were pulling for the Japanese players, but from a
section reserved for Chinese residents and students in Tokyo, members of their families, and
the International diplomatic corps invited to the match by the Chinese team, there was loud
applause at every point the Chinese players made. However, thunderous ovations from the
entire crowd greeted every exceptional play and spectacular return impartially regardless of
which team member made it.
It all reminded Yosh of what hed seen in 1935when World Champions Victor
Barna and Sandor Glancz played to a sold-out crowd at the ballroom of the Stevens Hotel
in Chicago (a photo of which appeared on the cover of my Vol. I). And now, almost 40
years later, hed be returning home to the Statesleaving Tokyo at 4 p.m. and would be
at Chicagos OHare airport at 5:00 p.m. the same day. Then and Nowhow much the
same, how different.
116

Friendship poster
Photo by Mal Anderson

North Carolinas Kuo-san Chung Plays in China


The Aug. 19,
1973 issue of the New
York Times reports
that China invited
Taiwan to send a team
to their Aug. 25-Sept.
7Asian-African-Latin
America Friendship
Invitational in Peking,
but that Taiwan
rejected the invitation.
However, Durhams
Kuo-san Chung, in
writing up this Triple
A Invitational for
Topics (Sept.-Oct.,
Kuo-san Chung, flanked by
1973, 5; 25), tells us
Chinas
1973
World
Champion
Hsi En-ting (left), and Li Ching-kuang
that China also invited
Photo courtesy of Kuo-san Chung
Chinese residing
abroad who were originally from Taiwan, and that a group of 16 came from the U.S.,
including he and his wife who were the only USTTA members among them. They were
117

welcomed at the Peking Airport by world famous players such as Hsi En-ting, Hu Yu-lan,
Liang Ko-liang, Lin Hui-ching, and all the Chinese players who visited the USA last year. A
student band played Chinese big drums and other Chinese instruments while supporters
yelled Hwan Yn! Hwan Yn! Zo Lei Hwan Yn! (Welcome! Welcome! The warmest
welcome!).
The Times said players would be housed in the Friendship Hotelnot a single
building but a massive complex of buildings in the suburbs. Also noted: Agricultural
communes on the outskirts of Peking charged with supplying food for the tournament have
grown several kinds of vegetables never produced before in China in order to suit some of the
more exotic tastes of competitors. A staff of 150 cooks and nearly 500 servers have been
mobilized and a menu of more than 1,000 dishes is being prepared.
Chung writes that China is allowed to have two teams participate in the tournament.
One was the national team and the other was called the Chinese Compatriots From Chinas
Taiwan Province Residing in Japan and the USA. And what team was Kuo-san on? Why, the
national team of coursewith His En-ting, Liang Ko-liang, Wan Wen-jung, and Wan Chialin. Not able to make this team due to their physical condition and their bad records in the
tryout were: Hsu Shao-fa (World #9), Li Ching-kuang (World #15), and Tiao Wen-yuan
(World #22).
Chung says that prior to the tournament we practiced twice or even three times a
daysometimes with teams from other countries at their requests. Of course the Chinese
were very polite and patient in playing with players of lower caliber. (Perhaps said players
included the coconut pickers and fish divers from the newly-formed Guam-Micronesian TTA
who on being invited urged Hong Kong to quickly send them a coach whod give them a crash
course on the Game.) Kuo-san was surprised that the Chinese coaches were not as strict
with their players as hed thought theyd be. Many Chinese leaders showed up for the
opening ceremonywhich featured performers who sang and danced. Premier Chou En-lai
came to watch the tournament several times.
Of the 80 Mens Teams accepting invitations,** the four top finishers in the final round
robin were:1. China; 2. Japan; 3. The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea; and 4. The
Democratic Republic of Viet Namfollowed by 5. India (one minute we hear its T.T.F.I.
President.Ranga Ramanujan is forced to resign; next minute hes re-elected), and 6. Nigeria
(Lagos will host the next Triple A Invitational). China won all its ties, 5-0. Liang was very
sharp, playing a chop and hit combination, and Wan Wen-jung, who lost to Johansson 18 in
the 5th in Sarajevo, was probably the most impressive player; neither lost a game.
In the 64-entry Womens Teams, China opted to play World Champion Hu Yu-lan
(shed been sick, didnt play much in this event), World #10 Cheng Huai-yin (who didnt play
up to par either), Lin Tu, and the mainstay of the Team, World #4 Chang Li who its said in a
recent visit to Japan won all 10 of her matches. The North Korean team came 2nd to China,
and their standout player was Pak Yung Oks younger sister, Pak Yung Sun, destined for
greatness, who beat Japans Yokota and Hamada, but lost to Chang Li 12 and 7. (Despite this
very convincing loss, at both the 1975 and 77 Worlds, Pak would beat Chang in the final.)
Japan downed India to finish 3rd. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam was 5th, Malaysia 6th.
The great player/coach Ichiro Ogimura had to be pleased to see the Mens Singles won
by Japans World #17 Yujiro Imano over teammate World #18 Tokio Tasaka, exhausted after
knocking out Wan Wen-jung and Liang Ko-liang. Hsi En-ting who in his final with Johansson
at Sarajevo had gotten those two edge balls in the end-game 5th, was this time himself the
118

victim of Chance and bizarrely so. Against a Japanese high school boy, Hiroyuki Abe, Hsi was
down 1-0 but up 20-16 in the 2nd when Abes returns tickled the net four straight times to
deuce the game. Then with the help of an edge ball, Abe won 23-21. But Hsi ralliedwent
up 20-18 in the 5th. Then, incredibly, Abe got two net balls to deuce it, followed by two edge
balls to win it! Some on the Japanese bench were crying in happiness. This would let them
save face from being defeated 5-0 in the Team event.
Other results: Womens: Pak Yung Ok d. Chang Li, 24-22 in the 5th. Mens Doubles:
Tasaka/Imano d. Pak Kil Du/Yun Chul (DPR Korea). Womens Doubles: F. Kim Chang Am/
Pak Yung Jun d. Cha Kyung Mi/Pak Yung Ok (DPR Korea). Mixed Doubles: His En-ting/
Chang Li d. Tasaka/Tomie Edano. Boys: F. Kim Chang Am d. Somdej (Thailand). Girls: Ma
Kyin Win (Burma) d. Chang San Sun (DPR Korea).
At tournaments end there was a big banquet and pictures taken in the Great Hall of
the People of the 3,000 participants. The most distinguished guest was ITTF President Roy
Evans who sat beside Chou En-lai. Kuo-san reported that Evans and the Chinese players
offered their best wishes to the USTTAs enthusiastic president and the Associations
members.
This Invitational was in Aug., 1973, but when two months later Miss Ping wrote to
Rufford Harrison that shed gone to New York Citys McDonnell Library to see Asian table
tennis films that gave her goose bumps, it wasnt this tournament she saw, but likely two
others. One, the first (1972) Asian Union tournament that had been shot in China, then shown,
courtesy of the Chinese TTA, in June at the Yang Theatre in Hong Konga color
documentary that reflects the spirit of pure sportsmanship and the friendly relations of Asian
people. (Friendship first, Competition second, was it?with Japan winning the Mens Teams
from China, Hasegawa taking the Mens Singles and Mixed, his teammates Kohno/Inoue the
Mens Doubles, and the North Koreans the Womens Doubles, Junior Boys, and Junior Girls.)
Another film, playing to large crowds in Peking, was a Chinese government documentary
showing the activities of the Chinese Ping Pong team during its tour of the United States.
The May 4th, 1973 Washington Post said this latter film contrasts sharply with the
image of America still being presented in Chinese schools and even in adjacent theatersfor
example, in an English reader, theres Mary, a little American girl, who shivers because her
father, an unemployed coal miner, cannot get coal.The boss has too much coal. Another
text depicts Oppression of blacks, unemployment, small farmers being pushed out by large
farmers, and imperialist ambitions as being typical of American life.***
With the Ping-Pong documentary, Chinese authorities are allowing their people to see a
different side of Americachildren of different races attending school together; not a country
gripped by economic crisis, but one of well-dressed people going about their work and
play.Audiences see their sportsmen being greeted as they visit schools, factories, and tourist
attractions in Detroit, Williamsburg, Washington, New York, Memphis, San Francisco and Los
Angeles. This new friendship filmwhich some may see as excessively rosy as the older texts
were excessively bleakobviously aims toward greater understanding between the two
nations.
SELECTED NOTES.
*Ill detail the thought behind one of these nit-picking changes the E.C. forced on
George at the 1972 USOTCsone Ive already given some attention to in Vol VIwhen I
take up the 1973 USOTCs in Chapter Twelve.
119

**China, of course, was not only being friendly with the U.S. but making an all-out
effort to woo the world. For example (see TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1973, 4), whos traveling with the
17-member Chinese table tennis team to Malaysia and Thailand but Chen Juisheng, Pekings
political officer in charge of affairs with Southeast Asian nations. Malaysias Prime Minister
said hed seek to open diplomatic relations with China, and the Thais were moving in that
direction by going to Peking for the Asian-African-Latin America Invitational. Closer to home,
Jamaican TTA President Roy Hylton and Secretary Baz Freckleton, representing the invited
Jamaican team, urged the Chinese team to visit Jamaica when it tours the Caribbean later this
year.
The Chinese want to get back into the Olympic Movementwhich, according to the
Nov. 4, 1973 New York Times, they resigned from in 1958 because of continued recognition
by the I.O.C. of the Taiwan committee, over which Peking claimed jurisdiction. Now
Chinas sporting federations must gain recognition from the international federations
controlling five Olympic sports before she can form a national Olympic committee and apply
for membership in the I.O.C.
So, in addition to belonging to the ITTF, Chinas now made a move to apply for
membership in the Asian Games Federation, and the International Gymnastic Federation
both of which Taiwan belongs to
***Perhaps matchingly bleak,
especially in the eyes of western
capitalists, was a 1964 article in the
Toronto Globe and Mail USTTA
Historian Miss Ping Neuberger
submitted to Topics (Nov.-Dec., 1973,
2) concerning a famous Shanghai bar
Before the Chinese
Communist victory in 1949, no
seagoing man could get near
the legendary 120-foot bar
unless he was at least a
commodore. When the foreign
powers held concessions in the
city the bar was part of the
exclusive Shanghai club, a
favorite rendezvous of bankers,
diplomats and other high-level
Westerners.
Now the imperialists
Miss Ping
have been expelled and the
Photo by Mal Anderson
spacious four story house on
the Bund has become a social club for Chinese and foreign seamen. Here, as
everywhere in the sprawling port, the Communist rulers have banished decadence.
We shut the club at 11, said the vice director, a Mr. Ling, so that the seamen
[800 to a 1,000 in the port every day] can get back to their ships, have a good rest
and work well the next day.
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In the foyer of this club, stands a bigger-than-life statue of the Communist leader,
Mao Tse-tung, and a huge banner saying Workers of the World Uniteexactly what the
U.S. Ping-Pong Diplomacy Team would see elsewhere in China 7 years later.
Dinner was served by the bar, and selected entertainment was available. On the ground
floor seamen could read Chinese magazines and political pamphlets in several languages; in
the basement there was table tennis and a shooting gallery; upstairs a movie theater showed
Chinese films. Mr. Ling said, We know that after so many weeks at sea the men want to see
grass and flowers. So we take them to parks and gardens.
Yes, sometimes the men have too much to drink, and, though we try gentle
persuasionask them to take lessthey cant understand thisand hit our staff members.
But we just go on persuading. Sometimes they are even sick. Then we help them to bed.
Seamen of capitalistic countries often ask for feminine companionship. Mr. Ling tells
them, This is a Socialist country, so there can be nothing like that. Then we do our best to
meet their just requeststo see football matches, acrobatic performances, and so on. We lead
them toward a healthy spare-time life. Of late, seamen of Socialist countries have also
indirectly suggested feminine companionship might be a healthy alternative. They get the
same explanation, Mr. Ling added sternly, and they also get criticism.

121

Chapter Eight
1973: Season-Opening Summer Tournaments.
Before I cover the premier event of the summer season, the Canadian National
Exhibition (CNE) tournament held over Labor Day weekend at Toronto, Im going to bring
you up-to-date on the other pre-fall tournaments nation-wide.
On Aug. 4-5, the Washington State TTA, with Dr. Michael Scott as Tournament Chair,
held its Olympia Open at Seattle Universitys Archbishop Connolly Athletic Complex. While
warming-up, players could have free beer and as much of it as they wanted? No. Well, the
sponsor was the Olympia Brewing Company, and it was August. Maybe after the matches.
Tom Ruttinger,
Olympia Brewing Company
with his hard-hit,
lightning fast
drives won the
Mens ($60) from
Rob Roberts.
Third-place went
to U.S. Girls
Under 17 Champ
Judy Bochenski, 2-1, over defender Joe
Lee who was forced again and again to
retrieve deep drives that sent him 20
and 30 feet back. Judy also took the
Womens from Tyra Parkins. Open
Doubles winners were Roberts/Lee over
Lowell Lo and Yuki Yamada.
Tom Ruttinger

D-J Lee
Photo by Mal
Anderson

Other results: Class I: Yamada d. Bill Ladd. I


Doubles: Yamada/Lo d. Ladd/Ron Farrians. Class II:
Scott Johnson d. Carl Lehrhoff. II Doubles: Gordon
Favelle/Bobby Rinde d. Lew Wingert/Gene Ledbury. III:
Pak Lee d. Rinde, 19 in the 4th. III Doubles: Novice
winner Phil Lam/Alan Wong d. Sam Hanson/Roy Ogata.
Under 15: Rinde d. Chris Burton, 19 in the 4th.
Lou Bochenski tells us (TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1973, 14)
that the Oregon State Fair tournament, held Aug. 31-Sept.
1-2 in Salem, OR under the direction of Earl Adams,
produced an $1,100 profit for the Chinese community and
two fantastic matches, both involving D-J Lee. In the
semis, our current and 6-time National Champion was
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down 10-16 in the 5th to Taiwans visiting Yin-Leah Chen but rallied to pull it out, 19, 12, 13,
-16, 19. In the final, against former singles champion of The Republic of China, Sun-Wu
Wong, whod knocked out Ruttinger in the other semis, D-J trailed 5-12, but then came back
to tie it up at 14-all, then eventually, with long rallies and unbelievable shots, went on to win
it, 26-24 in the 4th. Naturally the crowd was so enthusiastic that Earl and the Chinese
Consolidated Benevolent Association were talking about next year maybe staging a $10,000
prize-money event.
Other winners: Womens R.R.: 1. Judy Bochenski. 2. Nimi Athwal. Open Doubles:
Chen/Wong d. D.J. Lee-Judy Bochenski. As (under 2000 points): Richard Liang d. Joe Woo.
A Doubles: Yamada/Lo over Bob Ho/Steve Berliner. Bs (Under 1800): Tom Joyce d. Woo
who just got by Ken Pitts, -16, 21, 14. Cs (Under 1600): Pitts d. Bruce Carlson. Ds (Under
1400): Mike Czebotar d. Roger Cook, a Captain in the Air Force National Guard stationed in
Lynnwood, WA, wholl be a member of Dr. Michael Scotts USTTA Disciplinary Committee.
The San Francisco Summer Open drew 112 entries. In Open Singles, Paul Raphel
defeated in succession: Jerry Thrasher in 5, Angelita Rosal in 5, and John Quick in the final, 30. In the semis, Quick downed Eric Thom in 5. Womens winner was Rosal over Judy
Bochenski, 19 in the 4th. Mens Doubles went to Thrasher/Quick over Raphel/Shonie Aki in 5;
Mixed to Aki/Rosal over Quick/Bochenski, deuce in the 5th. As: Mike Greene d. Jim Naik.
Bs: Conway Redding d. Chick Chui. Cs: Steve Slavich d. Gary
Myers, deuce in the 4th.
At the Sept. 15-16 Stanislaus Fall Open in Modesto, CA,
Palle Norfeldt won the Mens over Richard Terry; Claire Yonan the
Womens over Jai Howard. Open Doubles went to Jim Naik/LeRoy
Kondo over Mike Greene/Bill Garrett; Mixed to Naik/Yonan over
Greene/Howard. As: Kondo d. Greene. Bs: Andre Kohler d. Bob
Eckert. Cs: Frank Chang d. Steve Slavich. Ds: Paul Chang d.
Richard Dong. C/D Doubles: Chang/Chang d. Howard/Masaaki
Tajima. Under 17: Greg Sherman d. both Dong and Frank Chang.
Play at the Aug. 25-26 Hollywood and Sept. 1-2 Santa
Monica Opens produced a number of back-to-back double
winners. Paul Raphel won the Mens at both, both times beating Ray
Guillen after Ray at each had eliminated Eric Thom. Some surprises
in that Paul went 5 with Ray Minc, Guillen was pressed into the 5th by
Sandy
Lechtick,
Thom
had to go
5 with
Paul Raphel
Photo
by Don Gunn
Dieter
Huber,
and Ichiro Hashimoto was able to
knock out Glenn Cowan, deuce in the
5th. Womens winner at both
tournaments was Angie Rosalboth
times over her sister Monica. Bob
Bob Ashley playing earlier at the Hollywood Club with Pauline
Ashley was twice a winner in Mens
Walker (left) against Mark Adelman/Heather Angelinetta
123

Bob Mandel
From the Dec. 6-7, 1980 Pacific Northwest Program

Doublespaired with Guillen at the Hollywood Club to


beat Howie Grossman/Danny Banach; and with Joong
Gil Park at Santa Monica to beat Raphel/Banach.
Doug Hobson took both Asfirst, from Ravi
Chhabra, then from Minc. In the 17s, Dennis Barish
downed Dean Galardi, then John Nevarez. In the 13s,
it was Joe Napoles over Terry Absher.
Those players who wanted to play a lot certainly
got their moneys worth at the July 21 Irving, Texas
Invitational where every entry was assured of playing
nine singles and four doubles matchesand without a
single call for an ambulance. R.C. Watkins reports
that, because it was a one-day tournament, only 50
entries, including that of Sid Minyard whod win the
Sportsmanship Award, could be accepted, and, even
at that, play lasted until midnight. Results:
Championship Singles: 1. Brad Fountain. 2. Joe
Cummings. As: 1. Bob ONeill. 2. John McAdams.
Bs: 1. Don Weems. 2. John Tomlinson. Cs: Dan

Rodriguez. 2. Alan Puls. Ds: Stephen


Babb. 2. Bob Mandel. Championship
Irl Copley
Doubles: 1. Fountain/Richard James.
Photo by Don Tullous,
from Orbit Magazine
2.Tommy Vaello/Paul LeBlanc.
At Bartlesville, OKs Aug. 1112 tournament, Mens Singles went to
Joe Windham whose 2-1 (5-2) round
robin semis record was slightly better
than runner-up Dale Donaldsons 2-1
(4-3). Third was Dennis Crawford, 1-2
(3-5) with a win over Windham. Fourth
was Steve Hammond, 1-2 (2-4) with a
win over Crawford. As: Hammond
over Windham, 18 in the 5th. A
Doubles: Hammond/Windham over Donaldson/Perry Schwartzberg. Bs: Irl Copley d. Gary
Fagan, -17, 13, -16, 20, 22 in the semis, and Don Bassett in 5 in the final. B Doubles:
Crawford/Yuen d. Paul Hadfield/Dick Coffman. Cs: Paul Olivier d. Rudy Crawford.
Steve Strauss and John Soderberg (TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1973, 22) give us a rundown on
the Aquatennial Open, held July 28-29 at the Minneapolis Magoos Club. Mens: Final: Doug
Maday d. Stu Sinykin, 19, -19, 16, -11, 19. In the 5th, up 18-17, Doug served, pushed his
return, and Stu smacked in a backhand. Then Doug won two fantastic counter-driving
points, missed a forehand-counter, and ended the match by giving Stu a nothing ball that
looked like heavy chop and blasted the return past Stus backhand.
Charlie Smith of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, an offensive player with Sriver on his forehand
and anti-topspin on his backhand, won both the As over Steve Strauss, and the Bs over
Rakesh Gothi, a chopper from India currently going to the University of Minnesota.
However, in the Mens, Smith lost to Jerry Soderberg, who, before the match, had slyly
124

practiced blocking loops against Ed Ells (one of Minnesotas best


loopers) and then counterdrove backhands with Minnesota
Dead (who uses anti-topspin). The Dead is a.k.a. Craig
Satersmoen, our esteemed Tournament Director, and also (shhh)
Minnesotas mysterious masked man. While Jerry was losing in
the Mens to brother John, Charlie Disney was being upset in 5
by Ted Gliske.
Open Doubles saw Disney
and Jerry Logan, State Doubles
Champions nearly 10 years ago,
lose a quarters match to Jerry
Kahnke/ Pete Tellegen. In another
quarters, John Soderberg and Don
Larson, having bested Strauss/
Jerry Soderberg in 5, scored an
amazing comeback from down 2013 in the 5th (and down two more
ads) to oust last years State
Doubles Champions, Gliske and
Minnesota Dead, a.k.a.
Ray Mosio. Winners, however,
Craig Satersmoen
were Maday/Sinykin. Womens
Photo by Mal Anderson
winner was Sheila ODougherty
(who after three months of persuasion bought a track suit) over
Sheila ODougherty
Wally Beckert, former Minnesota Womens State Champion.
Sheila also won the Mixed with Strauss.
President Bill Connellys Eastern Illinois Club at Charleston held its first sanctioned
tournament August 5th on 9 Nissen tables. There were cash prizes and 24-inch trophies. A
special thanks to Jeff Smart and Andy Hopping for putting on an exhibition, and to Yoshio
Fushimi for an unsolicited contribution to our tournament. Some readers may remember
Yosh as running a Chicago club and partnering
Coleman Clark in exhibitions back in the 1930s.
Results: Mens: 1. Jim Lazarus ($80). 2. John
Soderberg ($50). 3. R. Berg. 4. Jeff Smart.
Womens: Ullrich d. M. Dahl. Open Doubles:
Lazarus/Hugh Shorey d. Mike Carter/Wayne
Wasielewski. As and Bs: Joe Bujalski ($40) d.
Robert Irvin ($30) whod risen to the top rung of
the 1972 Illinois Ladder group. Aug. and Sept.
Opens were held at the Chicago TT Club, and
though pretty much the same players played in both,
the results sometimes reversed themselves.
Aug. Results: Mens R.R. 1. Waidi Dawodu, 3-0
(d. Lazarus, 19, 14; d. Paul Pashuku, -19, 19, 6; d.
Jim Davey, 14, 18). 2. Pashuku, 2-1 (d. Lazarus, 11, 15, 18; d. Davey, 14, -23, 14). 3-4. Davey and
Jim Lazarus
Lazarus 0-2. Mens Doubles: Lazarus/Shorey d.
Photo by Mal Anderson
125

Davey/Pashuku whod escaped McEvoy/Phil Trout, 19 in the 3rd. As: Shorey d. Mike Baber, 16, 26, 15. Bs: Baber d. Trout, 14, -15, 17. Semis: Baber d. Laszlo Keves, 19 in the 3rd;
Trout d. Wasielewski, deuce in the 3rd. Cs: McEvoy d. Bill Hornyak, deuce in the 3rd in the
semis, and Wasielewski, 17 in the 3rd in the final. Seniors: Shorey d. Hornyak. Juniors:
Wilcock d. H. Klinger.
Sept. Results: Mens R.R. 1. Lazarus, 3-0 (d. Pashuku, 16, -18, 18; d. Davey, 17, -20,
19; d. Salu, 16, 12). 2. Pashuku, 2-1 (d. Davey, 17, 10; d. Salu, 10, 17). 3-4. Davey and Salu,
0-2. Mens Doubles: Pashuku/Davey d. Lazarus/Shorey, 21, 23. As: Tom Hall d. Ted Bassett.
Bs: Wasielewski d. Keves. Cs: Alex Laufer d. Miller, 23-21 in the 3rd. Seniors: Miller d.
Shorey, -19, 12, 20. Juniors: Klinger d. Kump.
At the July 28 Southside Summer Open in
Lorma Bauer
Dolton, IL (SE of Chicago), Danny Seemiller won the
Photo by Mal
rd
th
Mens. Runner-up was Dawodu. 3 : Pashuku. 4 :
Anderson
Davey. Womens: 1. Connie Evans. 2. Joyce Donner.
3. Lorma Bauer. Mens Doubles: Seemiller/Joe
Windham d. Dawodu/Salu. As: Windham d. Smart.
Bs: Tom McEvoy d. Robert Irvin who beat Norm
Schless in 5. B Doubles: Wayne Wasieleski/A.
Cieslarski d. Frank Tharaldson/Schless. Cs: Primo
Madrigal d. Irvin. Novice: Peter Chouinard d. Larry
Thoman. Seniors: Shorey d. Schless. Under 17: Greg
Jelinski d. Thoman in 5. Junior Doubles: Thoman/
Mike Finnell d. Jelinski/Steve Huber. Under 15: Andy
Hopping d. Harold Klinger.
Dan Hager of the Grand Rapids Press, in an
Aug. 5th article describing the action at Dell Sweeriss
Woodland Club, allows us to place Seemiller and
Windham there during Dells July 3-week training
campshaggy-locked Danny playing the role of
sidekick coach,* and Joe the eager-to-improve-hisgame student. Windham, a stocky, muscular varsity football and basketball player who
graduates from high school next January, said, I like physical contact, but I like table tennis
much better. Since hed spent $26.50 on a tedious, 18-hour bus ride from Kansas City, its
good that he and Danny had success at that late-July Summer Open in Dolton.
Tom McEvoy covers The Great Lakes Open, held Sept. 8 at
Sweeriss Woodland Club where Double Elimination play was the order
of the day. Mens: Sweeris over Tom Hall who came through 3 tough
matchesone with Craig Burton, and two with Mike Baber. Womens:
Joyce Donner over Liz Hornyak, Bills wife, the first time shes
participated in a tournament. As: McEvoy over Tom Hall, -7, 19, 21,
then 17, 21. Bs: Phil Trout over Burton and his anti-spin racket in two
close matches (with McEvoy losing to Burton and to Kin Luk). Cs: Bill
Hornyak over Bruce McGee. Novice: Steve Huber over Greg Jelinski
and Garrett Donner. Handicap (one game to 50): McEvoy (after being
down 6 match points) over Taylor Pancoast 56-54, and over Hall, 51-49,
Liz Hornyak
whod survived Trout, 52-50. Seniors: Hornyak over Bong Ho and
126

McGee. Under 17s: Baber


over Jelinski. Under 15:
Gordon Roedding over Eric
Lichtenheld and Torsten
Pawlowski whose father
Gunter is organizing a club in
Kalamazoo. Sweeris thinks
Roedding, 15, who helps him
part-time at his Woodland
Club, and has improved so
much in just the 10 months
hes been playing, that he
urged Gordon be named
Junior of the Month in the
Nov.-Dec. Topics.

Bill Hornyak: then and now

Duke Stogner tells us that his Aug. 4-5 Razorback


Open at North Little Rock was his biggest everwith 133
players from 15 different states. Mens was won easily by
Ohios John Tannehill, playing this summer out of Miami.
Louisianas John Quick was 2nd after 13, 19, 21 rallying past
Jerry Thrasher whod eliminated Tommy Vaello before losing
to 3rd-Place finisher Brad Fountain. Womens winner: Norma
LeBlanc over Shirley Woo. Mens Doubles: Tannehill/Steve
Hammond over Thrasher/Quick. Mixed: Fountain/Woo over
Hugh Lax/Leslie Harris. Seniors: N.Y.s Vic Meredith over
Lax. As: Vaello d. Bob ONeill in 5.
At the 2-day Gator Open, held at the University of
Florida, Bud Simrin and Steve Carlson report (TTT, Sept.Oct., 1973, 20) that, innovatively, two tournaments were
held. Heres their explanation:

Gordon Roedding
Photo by Mal Anderson

The first day all ten events were played out till the quarter-finals. To be
eligible for the Consolation Singles one need simply be eliminated from every event the
first day, regardless of what events one entered and regardless of whether one won his
first match.
[Advantages of this format:] 1. Almost everyone was present the 2nd day of the
tournament, and everyone got to play! Thus more people stuck around for the finals
[ending at a reasonable 5:00 p.m.]
2. The 2nd day we essentially had two distinct tournaments with non-overlapping
entrantsthe Consolation tournament and everything else. By scheduling alternate
tournaments we were assured of no conflicts, since no one was in both tournaments, and
there was a rest period after each match while the other tournament was being played.
127

Championship Singles went to a somewhat out-of-practice Richard McAfee. In the


quarters he was down 2-1 to Tampas Pat Patterson; and in the semis had to go 4 to beat
Orlandos Steve Rigo. Meanwhile, in the other semis, Iron Man chopper Alan Nissen was
barely able to 19-in-the-5th withstand the laser loop and Haleys Comet Kill of quickhitting Greg Gingold. In the final, Nissen, making save after save from 15 and 20 feet back
against his hard-driving opponent, even catching Big Mac reaching futilely over the table for a
shovel shot, was up 2-1 and 15-8 in the 4thwhich is not the way to treat your former
roommate and practice partner. But then what happened? Richard (coming up with some
shots Al hadnt seen in practice?) won 13 of the next 14 points, and from there went on to
easily win the 5th.
Other results: Womens: Charlestons Shelby
Jordan over Satellite Beachs Teresa Miller.
Championship Doubles: Patterson/Wayne Daunt over
University of Florida students Don Story/Bud Simrin
whod upset top seeds McAfee/Gingold, -18, 21, 20, 16, 18 in the semis. As: Patterson d. Gingold, -20, 20,
18, -13, 14. Bs: Junior winner John Elliot d. Bill
Davidson after Bill had gotten by Wendell Dillon in 5. B
Doubles: Patterson/Gibbs d. Hugh Lax/Larry Bartley.
Cs: Davidson d. Cornelius Harrison who runs, and
practices with a robot to keep in shape. Seniors: John
White** d. A.B. Armes. Consolation: Lance Rosemore
d. Peter Chouinard in 5.
Peter, as we learned from that Grand Rapids
Press reporter Hager, is a slightly-built high school
senior, a native of Montreal, Quebec who came to
Florida in the late 1950s, and is now the third best
player in the Spaceport Table Tennis Club in
Teresa Miller
Milbourne. He was at Sweeriss training camp this
Photo by Bill Collings
summer (along with 35 other hopefuls), drenched in
sweat while smacking away at ball after ball another student was continuously feeding him.
Peters aim of course is to win something more than the Consolations he just missed winning
here at this Open.
Tannehill may be based in Florida now, but he turned up at
the Aug. 11 Garden State Open to win the Open Singles over Jim
Dixon whod made a gutsy 20, -18, 19, 15, 15 semis comeback
against Alex Shiroky. Womens went to Alice Green over Hilary
Cohen. A winner: Stan Smolanowicz over Sam Balamoun whod
rallied from down 2-0 to give Peter Holder the boot. Bs: Doon
Wong d. Al Mitchell. Cs: George Hellerman d. Sid Jacobs.
Esquires: John Kilpatrick d. Manny Moskowitz. Seniors: Tim
Boggan d. Sol Schiff, -23, -18, 15, 9, 11. Under 17: Eliott Katz d.
Roger Sverdlik, -19, 22, 20, -12, 15. Under 15: Robert Nochenson
d. Mike Stern. Under 13: Stern d. Rutledge Barry who, with
fellow New Yorker Jeff Zakarin, had also gone to that July Sweeris
camp.
Doon Wong
128

George Brathwaite (left), victor in the recent Liberty Bell Open, is shown here in his deciding match
with Zlatko Cordas, winner of the Independence Open.
Photo by Mal Anderson

In covering the Philadelphia Clubs July 21-22 Independence Open, Herb Vichnin
(TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1973, 26) notes the presence of the visiting Yugoslavs Zlatko Cordas and
Zdenko Uzorinac who will shortly end their U.S. Tour. Of course Zlatko won the Mens
easilyhis backhand kill shot was harder than most forehand kill shots in the U.S.!
(Something that could be said about 100 or more world-class players?) Uzorinac, however,
lost in the quarters to Smolanowicz who, as Herbie says, just loves to blast forehands at
choppers. Exciting matches in the Mens: Dave Philip over Dave Sakai, 17 in the 4th; George
Brathwaite over Jerry Fleischacker 20, 22, 19; and especially Ricky Seemiller over a trio of
opponentsMitch Sealtiel (recently married to Joyce Mellodge); Tim Boggan in 5; and Reza
Tehrani, former Iranian
National Team member.
Semis: Cordas over
Seemiller; Brathwaite
over Smolanowicz.
Cordas, paired with
Boggan, who was
showing Zlatko and
Zdenko around New
York, also won the
Mens Doubles from
Brathwaite/Sakai.
Other results:
Womens: Debbie Wong
Mitchell Sealtiel and his wife Joyce
over Louise Chotras.
Photo by Mal Anderson
Mixed: Fleischhacker/
Chotras over Sakai/Wong. As: Vichnin over Philly Junior Mike Bush whod scored a series of
surprising upsets: over Fleischhacker, over Smolanowicz (7, -11, 22), and over Horace
Roberts (-20, 20, 16, -19, 19). In the semis, Vichnin downed George Rocker in the quarters,
and in the semis Steve Berger whod earlier knocked out Roger Sverdlik. Neil Shilkret upset
#1 seed Bill Sharpe, and Ricky Rumble had an early 19 in the 3rd win over Boggan. A Doubles:
Smolanowicz/Sam Balamoun over Bruce Plotnick/Gary Wittner. Bs: Seemiller over Sid
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Jacobs. Cs: Shilkret over Hank Coulter. Ds: Ali Oveissi over Marv Plevinsky. Seniors:
Sharpe over Boggan. Under 17s: Rumble over Sverdlik, 18 in the 3rd in the semis, and over
Seemiller 22, 21 in the final. Under 15s: Plotnick over Mike Stern. Under 13s: Stern over
Rutledge Barry. Junior Doubles: Bush/Rumble over Sverdlik/Wittner. Adult-Junior Doubles:
Vichnin/Rumble over Sakai/Bush, 19 in the 4th.
Once while Cordas and Uzorinac were giving a clinic, Carl Danner said that to
prevent players from standing [flat-footed] on their heels, Zdenko offered a solution: In
Yugoslavia, he said, when one does not play on his toes, we place a small sharp stone in the
heel of each of his shoes. That way, when he practices, he learns to instinctively stand on his
toes to avoid the pain. As readers of my Vol. III know (p. 51), the practice is not new. Manytime U.S. Junior Miss Champion Sherri Krizman said that her famous South Bend coach,
Hungarian expatriate John Varga, put tacks in her shoes to keep her on her toes.
SELECTED NOTES.
*On Aug. 8, Dell and Danny appeared on The Mike Douglas Show (and maybe now
Coach Sweeris was U. S. Team #1 Dannys sidekick?). The two demonstrated various shots,
played some class points, and of course engaged momentarily in a doubles matchDell and
Mike vs. Danny and co-host Don Meridith.
**Nashvilles John
White has been friends
with tennis star Bobby
Riggs for, as he says
(TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1973,
10), more than a
quarter-century. Both
John and Sandor
Glancz (same TTT page
as above) have stories
to tell about Riggs as a
table tennis player
(Glancz, having given
dozens of exhibitions
with him, thinks, likely
extravagantly, that, had
Bobby been so inclined,
he could have been
Bobby Riggs then and now
another Fred Perry,
Left photo courtesy of Sandor Glancz; right photo courtesy of Stan Robens
World Champion at
both sports). However, its Whites insider take on why Bobby lost his celebrated Battle of
the Sexes match with current Wimbledon Womens Singles and Doubles Champ Billie Jean
King that in 1973 would be of most interest to readers. Heres what John has to say:
He and I played a little two-handed poker for about one and one-half hours
in his room the afternoon of the big match with Billie Jean. He and his group rode in
my car to the match in the Astrodome. The reason he lost, in the opinion of many of
us, was due to improper preparation during the ten days he was in Houston prior to the
130

match. It was one continual series of various activities, morning, noon, afternoon, and
night, interviews with the press, autograph hunters, parties, etc.not a minute of
relaxation. This is the way it worked out, whether he planned it that way or not; I was
in the middle of it for the last three days, so I know whereof I speak. On the other
hand, Billie Jean went into virtual seclusion. As a result, by match time, Bobby actually
was not in anywhere near his peak condition, which would have been necessary for him
to have any chance to win, especially the way she played that night.
After reading Whites article on Riggs, a fellow writes in to Topics (Nov.-Dec., 1973,
5) that, though Riggs is a great champion and hustler, hes also a most outrageous
blackguard for intimating that because male tennis players are, as a whole, better than female
tennis players, women are innately inferior to men in this area [my italics]. Well, arent they?
Chinese men are better table tennis players than Chinese women, arent they? Guy seems to think
Riggs is saying men are better than women, periodbut hes not substantiating that point of view.
He now goes on to make the following observations, which, just considering the prize
money in sports allotted to women in 1973 as compared with what it is almost a quarter of a
century later, gives credence to what he says, and to the fact that considerable progress has
been made in the interim:
Consider the barriers placed before female athletes in this country: girls and
womens sports programs are grossly underfunded; women athletes are looked upon
by many as unfeminine; women must overcome social pressure put on them to be
unaggressive, to be losers.
A woman athlete like Billie Jean King deserves twice the respect of Bobby
Riggs in his prime.
And what would the writer think of the upcoming five-set table tennis match in
Malmo, Sweden between 56-year-old Tage Flisberg, a 20-time Swedish singles champion,
and Birgitta Radberg,
25, the best female
player in the country?
Theyll play in a TV
studiothe match being
sponsored by the
Swedish Radio and TV
(SRT) Corp. And the
prize money? Ah, the
winner will get $50
more than the loser.
Also, I call
attention to a less
publicized match in
which Billie Jean
certainly won Roger
Sverdliks respect.
Roger Sverdlik and Billie Jean King

131

Chapter Nine
1973: Mariann Domonkos/Danny Seemiller Win CNE.
Heres a quick overview of what its like at this years Toronto
CNE (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 1+). After three decades, the Ontario
Association, no doubt fed up with my criticism of the venue, had finally
vacated that sheep-and-swine ring that held so many pungent, piquant memories for me.
Following Fred Danners suggestiondid they? (I remember him talking about it to me here
last year)theyd set up maybe 15 tables out in the great, roofed-in prairie space opposite the
stalls of the penned-in cattle. The animals were unable to look disinterestedly at us because a
large wooden wall had been hammered up separating us from their, uh, visual presence.
Behind the early-morning netless tables (if you wanted to keep the nets, you had to
take them up every nightthis was a public place), portable bleachers had been set up for
players wanting to watch and spectators passing by. There were also a number of bench-seats
with backs, strategically spaced, where a limited number of people could sit more comfortably
and take in the play. The row of tables nearest the stands hadnt as good a lighting as the row
closer to the Operations Desk further behind them, so up until quarter-final time, when the
very important matches began to be played, most of the better players had been given
preferential lighting away from the bleachers, with the result that many people had to stand to
watch them.

John Tannehill (left) about to upset Zlatko Cordas to gain the Mens final
Photo by Mal Anderson

Until this situation was rectified, so that the best matches (Cordas/Tannehill, for
example) would be played under the worst lighting, it was all those early-round losers whod
be cursing and hunting around under the bleacher rows for their Halexes. Didnt the
Organizing Committee have the foresight to put up barriers? Of course they did. Spent, I
heard, an unbelievable $700 on flimsy, calf-high (if you think I exaggerate, twist that to anklehigh) cloth curtains to section-off the rather too small courts. These as often as not succeeded
in tripping as many players as balls.
Later, after the sweltering long hours of play in temperatures that got up to 100
degrees, there was the traditional Players Party (Dancing, Drinks, Light Buffet)except for
132

this one, more a Parting than a Party, money had to be refunded


the players by a surprised and somewhat embarrassed Helen
Nesukaitis when the Light Buffet consisted of nothing more than
stale pretzels and potato chips and a relish tray.
Also, though many of the trophies and awards were not going
to be presented to the winners until after all the necessary matches
had been concluded on Sunday and many of the people had
hurried off home, official CNE spokesmen wanted to show up
Saturday night to speak on what might be found written in the
Programnamely, how these Championships have become one
of the major highlights of the Exhibitions emphasis on sports. So
major, in fact, that they have attracted world wide participation
and interest accompanied by an exhilarating expansion of
international understanding and goodwill.
Exhilarating might be a bit muchbut o.k., since I know Ive
been
a mite harsh on the organizers again, and not yet very politic,
Helen Nesukaitis
may I also say that, all in all, there were some improvements this
time over last, most notably in the number of tablesmore than twice the number of previous
ones, plus half a dozen more to practice on. And though proud Canadian tempers sometimes
swarmed up like those unrelenting flies, I do believe the Operating CommitteemenI think
particularly of George Jovanov, Gabor Szucs, Laurie Charles, and John Adminiswere
extremely hard-working and conscientious in their often thankless duties.
Though rationally, as USTTA President and Editor, I think the tournament continues to
lack the professional dignity that it aspires to, and that so long as this animal venue is retained
it always will, I have to admit that for almost 10 straight years now (not to mention the times I
came here in the 1950s) Ive enjoyed myself, had an emotional attachment to this tournament.
Its a great few days for my kids too, for theyre never boredtheres lots of junior play and
always, for such innocents, the
excitement of the Midway. And
my wife and I have invariably
found the Canadians pleasant and
friendly to be with.
So, alright, on with the
play, goodwills in the
airespecially after CTTA
President Art Barrons wife,
Gladys, bought big bright
balloons for my Scott and Eric.
Junior Team Matches
Ill begin with Carl
Danners coverage of the opening
Junior Team Matches (4).
Though the composition of the
team ties remained the same
best 4 out of 7 matches: U-17

Canadian CNE Open Junior Team Winners, L-R: Scott Boggan


(U-13), Bruce Plotnick (U-15), and Rick Seemiller (U-17)
Photo by Mal Anderson

133

plays opposing U-17 and U-15; U-15 plays opposing U-17, U-15, U-13; and U-13 plays
opposing U-15, U-13this year thered be two preliminary round robins, out of each of which
two teams would advance to a cross-cross semis, with the winners then to go on to a final.
Carl says that, because of the age restrictions, some good U-17 players (Rick Rumble,
Jacques Bobet, and John Richardson, to name three) were stuck with weak teams.
On one side of the Draw, the East Coast (U-17 Rick Seemiller, U-15 Bruce Plotnick,
and U-13 Scott Boggan reached the semis by downing Alex Polisoiss Quebec I that finished
2nd. Both teams caught a break when the formidable Eddie Lo/Peter Joe combo didnt show.
On the other side of the Draw, three teams tied for 1st. New York, who might more
accurately have been called Long Island (U-17 Jeff Zakarin, U-15 Carl Danner, and U-13
Chuck Zakarin), having beaten Rumbles team 4-3 (thanks to an 18-in-the-3rd 7th match), went
on to upset the #1 seed, Ontario I (U-17 Paul Klevinas, U-15 Tim House, and U-13 Midget
Girls winner Gloria Nesukaitis). This, too, was a 4-3 tieand since Klevinass two wins were
offset by Nesukaitiss two losses, all depended on the U-15 matches. Jeff Zakarin made a
miraculous comeback from down 13-5 in the third to beat Tim House, while Tims teammate
Paul had initially been saying, Oh, why hasnt he (Tim) won yet.Im tired of sitting here.
Then Danner came through with a two-game victory over House.
However, New York was 4-0 blanked by New Jersey (U-17 Roger Sverdlik, U-15
Mike Stern, and U-13 Rutledge Barry), so unless New Jersey beat Ontario I to avoid a 3-way
tiebreaker, the Long Islanders with a 4-7 record couldnt advance. As it happened, Klevinas
and House beat an uninspired Sverdlik, Klevinas downed Stern, and House was too good
for Barry. Still, Ontario Is record was not as good as New Jerseys, so they came 2nd.
In the one criss-cross, New Jersey downed
Quebec 4-2with Polisois beating Sverdlik and Stern.
Carl points out that later, in the Juniors, Polisois will
reach the final with a big win over Klevinas. Turns out
Alex was one of the ten Canadian juniors who
recently spent a month in Mainland China training with
top Asian coaches. Now hes much improved
China made all the difference in my game, he said.
In the other
criss-cross, the
East Coast New
Yorkers downed
Ontario I, 4-3:
Seemiller lost to
Alex Polisois
Klevinas, but
Photo by Mal Anderson
beat House; an
aggressive Plotnick lost to Klevinas but beat House and
Nesukaitis; and Boggan beat Nesukaitis.
The final went to the East Coast, but they didnt coast to
Mike Stern
their 4-3 win over New Jersey. It was Seemiller over
Photo by Mal
Sverdlik and Stern; Plotnick over House and Barry (whom
Anderson
Danner says plays a look-alike, if younger version of his
[Bruces] own game. Carls later surprised that Stern will
win both the U-15s (over Brian Kid Zembik) and U-13s
134

(over Rutledge Birmingham Barry III). Cant ever count Mike out, he says. And how about
young Rutledge (nickname: Squeegee). In addition to his success in the U-13s, he made the
semis of the U-15s, and went 5 with the number 4 U.S. junior, Steve Hammond.
Carl felt that the unusual conditions, with an unusually soft brand of ball, made for
difficult adjustments by the American players who are used to much faster conditions. Said
Sverdlik, Its so weird here. Its like playing in the twilight zone!
U.S. vs. Canada International Matches
George Brathwaite, Captain and Manager of the Mens Team, gives us (2; 4) his
match-by-match Report on the U.S.s 5-4 win over Canada. Derek Wall d. Alex Shiroky, 15,
15. Alex was to concentrate on looping to Dereks forehand and middle, and when he got the
set-up, to kill. But Alex became over-anxious, rushed his shots, and defeated himself.
Tannehill d. Zoltan Pataky, 19, 9. Pataky favours his forehand sidespin and quite often gets
into situations by moving too far over to his backhand corner to play this stroke. Off his short
serves, John was to spin to the backhand and pin him down, then when Pataky moved over to
that side, switch to the deep forehand. John wasnt using his feet well, but from 19-14
down he won 7 in a row and broke Pataky. Tie tied at 1 apiece.
Errol Caetano, who, with Peter Gonda and Bill Cheng, led Ontario to a win over Quebec in
the Interprovincial Matches, d. Lim Ming Chui, -8, 12, 14. George told Chui that though he won
that 1st game, Caetano would come on stronger, and that Lim Ming would have to contain him
by getting an early lead and force him into making errors. But it was Chui, playing catch up, who
made the errors. Tannehill d. Wall, 15, 11. George urged John to just wear Wall downwhich he
did: Derek was too tired to even think, said George. Tie tied at 2 apiece.
Caetano d. Shiroky, 9, 18. Brathwaite counseled Alex to vary the serves and keep
Errol moving. (But he moves too fast?) Chui d. Pataky, 19, 13. George urged Lim Ming to
serve fast topspins deep to Patakys forehand, then block to the backhandtry to keep him off
balance. Sound advicetie tied at 3 apiece.
Caetano d. Tannehill, 19, -12, 14. George thought
st
the 1 game the decider, for, up 19-16, John allowed Errol
to rush him with his serves and lost five straight points.
Chui d. Wall 10, -18, 13.
Maybe Wall wasnt that
tired? Tie tied at 4
apiece. Shiroky d.
Pataky, -21, 18, 17.
Before this tie-deciding
match George told Alex
to forget about his losses
to Wall and Caetano.
Let Pataky have the
perfect 0-3 record. Once
Whew! After that Team tie
Errol Caetano
George was able to
George needs a beer
convince Alex not to
rush, he did just fine. So the U.S. won in 5and George was left wondering what it would be like
to go through this torture, match after match, at the World Championships. It must be more
relaxing as a player.
135

The Junior Mens tieRufford Harrison reporting (4; 21)went to Canada 5-4.
Klevinas d. Rumble, 21, 9. Paul, who lost a 21-1 game to Danny Seemiller in Sarajveo, has
developed into an excellent two-wing hitter. Difficult for Rumble to come back after that 2321 swing-game loss. Mike Veillette d. Steve Feldstein, 20, 12. Chopper Feldstein had
improved because of his recent training in China where the coaches had urged him to take the
ball early in front of the line of the bodyin order to get variation in spin. Steve, who has
good hand-speed as a pianist, uses conventional inverted rubber on one side and anti-spin on
the other. Both sides have virtually identical colors. He spins his racket between points,
often confusing his opponent and sometimes even the spectators. So of course Veillettes
game plan was to keep Steve moving, and to watch his racket closely to make sure of looping
the right ball. Mike, who shouldnt have allowed Feldstein to get set for the barrage to his
backhand, was perhaps a shade lucky to take the 1st at deuce and establish momentum for
the win. Later, in the semis of the Juniors, Mike would beat Steve againagain perhaps a
shade lucky in winning a 25-23 game.
Seemiller d. Bobet, 13, 13. Jacques, Jr., son of this years Perc McLeod Memorial
Award winner for promoting Canadian table tennis, was an Alternate for Eddie Lo, the no. 3,
who was unable to catch a plane in Vancouver when a nation-wide rail strike diverted traffic to
the air. We werent surprised that Rick had an easy time, for we didnt expect Bobet to win a
match. Rumble d. Feldstein, 16, 8. Also easy. U.S. 3Canada 1.
Klevinas d. Seemiller, 20, -19, 15. Harrison said that
Paul was much too good for Ricks still developing game.
Much too good? The U.S. was tantalizingly close to winning
that match 2-0. In another match Rufford would lament we
could have won, Bobet d.Veillette 21, -19, 19. Jacques
surprised us (and maybe Jacques, Sr., his Team Captain)
we hadnt realized he can exchange rather well. If hes the
one to open it up, he has a good chance of being the one to
win. But, said Rufford, Mike just never seemed confident,
and he didnt use his services. Yet he rather startled
Rufford when later hed win the Under 17s over Polisois
with one of the most devastating exhibitions of serving that
I have ever seen. U.S. 3Canada 3.
When Feldstein chopped down Seemiller, 15, -18,
11, and Rumble rumbled over Bobet, 15, 17, the tie was
again even: U.S. 4Canada 4.
But the clincher went to Canada: Klevinas over our
Veillette 14, 16. Harrison enjoyed his experience as Captain/
Paul Klevinas
Coach for the Juniors, but, as they say, he wasnt gonna
Photo by Mal Anderson
give up his day jobas a chemist. His other interests, at
some time or other, besides playing table tennis, are singing
in his church choir (hes a baritone), studying languages, and moving gracefully whether it be
in ballroom dancing or wei-chi.
Yvonne Kronlage, reporting on the Womens play (2; 31), begins by describing the
opening ceremonies that mirrored those of last year. She then explains that, Since we had
only two players on our team [Why was that?], Canada also decided to play only twothey
left Helen Simerl off.
136

Sue Hildebrandt (left) on her way to upsetting Violetta Nesukaitis in the Womens Team event
Photo by Mal Anderson

First Match: Sue Hildebrandt upset Violetta Nesukaitis, 20, 18. 1st-game pattern play
saw Violetta chopping and pick-hitting and Sue top-spinning with a high, spin-packed ball.
Yvonne discouraged Sue from trying to hit, cause those balls werent going in. Sue
outsteadied Violetta to take this game at deuce. In the 2nd, both players were ever cautious. In
the tied-up end-play, Violetta hit a beautiful forehand to Sues forehand only to have it
returned by a terrific top-spin that Violetta had to push back, giving Sue the chance to get in [a
high top-spin winner]. This gave Sue the momentum for the win. Yvonne was ecstatic.
Second Match: Mariann Domonkos d. Olga Soltesz, 11, -21, 10. In the 1st game, Olga
had trouble returning Marianns serves. In the 2nd, she did better, and at deuce hit in two
outstanding forehands to stay alive. But in the 3rd, Marianns terrific loop was decisive. U.S.
1-Canada 1.
Third Match: Yvonne seemed resigned to thinking that the experienced Canadians were
too strong for us in the Doublesand they 18, 16 were. Fourth Match: Violetta, 17, 10 over a
rushing Olga.
The 18-year-old Hildebrandts win over Violetta may owe something to her attendance
at Dell Sweeriss clinic this summer. That Grand Rapids Press reporter Dan Hager tells us that
Sues a year out of high school and works as a secretary for a real estate firm in Warren, MI.
Since her mom owns that firm, and wants her daughter to have more exciting experiences like
going to the Sarajevo Worlds, Sue has opportunities to improve her table tennis other
working girls dont have. In Grand Rapids, Sweeris, who quit his job as an accountant, leases
space in the Woodland Sports Complex, which also includes a roller skating rink and indoor
tennis courts, and if just going to his club gets Sue better enough for one or two points in a
match, that means her opponent wont get them, so its worth two or four to her. Case in
point: her 20, 18 win here over several-time Canadian and U.S. Champion Nesukaitis.
Jeff Smart tells us that, as the non-playing Captain of the U.S. Girls Team, he has to
report (2; 4) that Canada 3-0 blitzed us. First Match: Christine Forgo 18, 19 over Bev Hess,
nervous at representing the U.S. in front of a crowd. Analyzing where Bev went wrong, Jeff
says she showed weakness in three areas: (1) she didnt receive service aggressively
137

attempted slow loops which were set-ups for Forgo. Also, she was pushing rather than
driving against obvious top-sidespin serves. (2) against Forgos pushes, she opened too
cautiously, giving easy balls to her opponent, or she didnt follow up her opening loops with
strong drives against weakly-blocked returns. (3) shed try to play into Forgos backhand
counter and almost never came out on top.
On the plus side: she could consistently counter; and could occasionally fool her
opponent with well-mixed forehand top-side/chop-side hook services. Jeff said that when she
wasnt tight, Bevs reflexes were marvelous
and she could be more aggressive.
Second Match: Birute Plucas over
Muriel Stern, -17, 15, 18. Muriel has a very
good fast push which she uses very well to draw
errors or gain position. She also has a good 3rd
ball flat drive off a push. She needs work in the
following areas: (1) She should crouch lower
and use her legs more, especially while looping,
instead of playing upright. (2) against loops,
she needs to develop consistent blocks and
short block drives (called pushes
overseas)and she must learn a loop with an
arc to it rather than a straight line stroke. (3)
She shouldnt always return a fast serve to her
backhand back to the forehand corner (which
Birute would kill)she should vary the return.
Third Match: Plucas/Leslee Ward d.
Stern/Jean Varker, 12, 20. In the 1st game, both
Muriel and the left-handed Varker ended up
trying to push their forehands; this was very bad,
for Jean wasnt comfortable moving far to her
Muriel, crouch lower, use your legs more!
left to push. In the 2nd game, since Jeans good
Photo by Mal Anderson
serves were giving Muriel good balls to hit, Jeff
encouraged them to topspin rather than push.
In the 2nd game, the U.S. was down 20-17 triple-match-point when Varker let loose 3 good
services. Muriel backed her up, and the girls deuced it! But a missed push and then a great
loop by Plucas ended the tie.
Jeff concludes that all the Canadians showed knowledge of spin and fast serving, plus
mens style looping which none of our girls came close to imitating. The natural talent of our
girls is equal to, or better, than the Canadians, but without some coaching on advanced
techniques (e.g., service, receive-of-service loops, blocking loops) they cannot hope to keep
up with the Canadians. Jeff might also have commented, as captains and coaches ineffectually
do from time to time, on the need for improvement in Doubles play. The only article on
Doubles in Topics that comes to mind is one written by George Shone Sionidis (TTT, Mar.Apr., 1973, 5; 12) in which he explains the revolving movement of the players; urges the
backhand serve; reminds one that placing the ball in doubles is different from placing the ball in
singles; and speaks of basic tactics, such as attackers against attackers and attackers against
defenders.
138

15-year-old Mariann Domonkos (left) winning her first Canadian Open over perennial Champion Violetta Nesukaitis
Photo by Mal Anderson

Domonkos Wins Womens


In the Womens Singles, 15-year-old Mariann Domonkos, whod just returned from a
month of being coached in China, scored an upset 5-game win over 22-year-old Defending
Champion Violetta Nesukaitis. Violetta had also been traveling this summer, had gone to
Budapest, where the Hungarian coaches had advised her to switch to very thin sponge on her
backhand (in the past shed used both hard rubber and anti-spin?). But in going along with this
switch, as witness her loss to Sue Hildebrandt in the International Matches, she hadnt her
usual control.
Sue paired with Canadian International Shirley Gero to win the Womens Doubles
over, first, the Nesukaitis sisters, then Domonkos/Plucas. Violetta was able to win the Mixed
thoughwith her regular partner Caetano over Peter Gonda/Domonkos. Surprisingly,
Hildebrandt was upset in a 1st-round Womens match by Bev Hess, who in turn would be
beaten in the As by runner-up Yvonne Kronlage (after Bev had a 2-0 lead), and in the
Womens by 14-year-old Plucas, Girls Champ over Forgo. Hess, however, on her way to the
Junior final, did beat Birute.
Someone said Plucas has better reflexes and plays a more aggressive game than Junior
Miss Champion Domonkos. Mariann had earlier lost games to Millie Shahian and to Womens
A winner Flora Nesukaitis (who with her sister and Plucas had helped Ontario win the
Interprovincial title from Quebec). Also, in the Junior Miss, Mariann had dropped a game to
Muriel Stern.
In her Womens semis, Plucas so moved the somewhat slower Miss Domonkos around
that she herself had a marvelous chance to be a CNE finalist and, if you could imagine it, she
could imagine it, the new Champion.
139

Birute, hold your breath, readers,


was leading Mariann 20-16 match point
in the 5th, when, without looking as it
were, she tried to rush headstrong into
the uplifted arms of her Victory, tripped
and fell. Mariann, who has a reputation
for being the more experienced of the
twoa better strategist with a better
temperamentwon 6 straight points to
take the match. Hence it was something
of a little miracle that Domonkos was in
the final at all.
Violetta, meanwhile, after being
embarrassed by Hildebrandt, had gone
back to her old racket and had not
Birute Plucas,
given up a game on her heavy-favorite
almost a winner
way to the final. Still, it was clear, as
Photo by Thomas
the pattern of her final with Mariann
Slater
began to establish itself, that this racket
change was having an effect on Violetta. She was supposed to be floating back her returns,
varying the spin; instead, she was chopping down on the ball.
Moreover, Id never seen her so nervous before. John
Nesukaitis, Violettas father/coach, complained that she was always
looking over to him. It breaks her concentration, he said. A coach
cant win a game for you, youve got to do it yourself.
With games tied 1-1, Violettas down 15-16 in the 3rd and,
feeling the pressure, she steers one off the table. Down 16-18, she
puts Domonkoss serve into the net, then grabs the ball and, before
serving, bounces it high in disgust. She finishes the game by hitting a
shot at least 3 feet off the end of the table.
Down 2-1, she does not look like a winner. The best advice
given to her at the break is, Just remember, youre the Champion. In
the 4th, its close all the way. Mariann gets a net and an edge to make
John Nesukaitis
it 14-all. Then Violetta counters one in to go ahead. Up 16-15,
Violetta, about to chop, decides at the last second to try to roll the
ballpathetically loses the point. Dont change your mind! a voice yells out. Down 16-17,
Mariann loops in two beauties. But then Violetta takes a chance, counters a slow loopand it
seems to turn the game, for, down 18-19, Mariann serves off. Violetta misses, then, up 20-19,
she takes another chance, counters Marianns maneuvering slow loop again. Point! Match all
even.
In the 5th, from 5-all, and though Domonkos will serve into the net, she takes a 10-6
lead at the turn. Go back and chop! yells Violettas father. Distracted almost to the point of
no return (Bend your knees!), Violetta, desperate, hits in a serve, pulls up to 11-13. But then
another turning pointshe fails to return service, and for too long a moment, it seems, loses
heart. Down 11-16, Violetta swings without determination, misses, looks to her bench, shakes
her headin effect says she isnt going to win. But then, up 18-13, Mariann is again incredibly
140

careless, serves into the net. And Violetta, given psychological life, rallies to 17-19. If, just this
once, she can pull to within one point.
But now Mariann, in danger of being flustered, goes not for her Chinese fan, but her
towel. Comes back, plays a marvelously controlled point that leaves the issue no longer in
doubt. The last point is just a formality.
Mariann, on winning, smiles broadly, throws up her hands to heavenwhich is pretty
much what my NOW wife, Sally, does when she sees that photo of Mariann (a woman!) on the
cover of Topics. (Are better conditions in store for women players? she asks. Could it be
that the table tennis world is having its consciousness raised?) Mariann comes off court
crying a little, then quietly retires high into the furthermost row of the bleachers. There shes
congratulated and comfortedgiven some fruit from one of the fairgrounds stands by Adham
Sharara, whos spent a lot of time coaching and encouraging her.
As soon as shes composed, a friendly, well-meaning reporter works his way up to
interview her. What grade are you in? he begins. Is the Game mostly defensive now? he
wants to know. I noticed you were chopping out there.
Who, me? says Mariann. I hit.
Pause. Did you ever think of playing tennis? The moves, arent they similar?
Mariann says something very faint about how the strokes are different.
The questions continue for a while: What do you do when you arent playing table
tennis?Is the season almost over now?Finally, mercifully, comes the last question,
Whats your next test?
When the reporter leaves, Mariann just sits there, quiet, smiling, slowly eating the
greenest of grapes.
Mens As (Feldstein/Holder)
There wasnt any Womens As, but the Mens
As had some interesting matches leading up to Steve
Feldsteins 19 in the 5th final over Peter Holder.
Feldstein downed Roger Sverdlik 26-24 in the 4th in the
quarters, and Adham Sharara in the semis after Adham
had knocked out Bill Lesner, -22, 14, -20, 19, 17.
In my interview with Steve, I learned that in
China he was told that he was chopping too far back,
that hed been standing heavy on his feet, and that he
wasnt bending his knees. He remembered that he was
supposed to chop the ball in front of his right kneecap
and that whenever he wanted to hit the ball in he was
supposed to pivot more from the waist.
He also told me he was instructed to twirl his
bat under the tableto confuse his opponent by
Steve Feldstein
From the 1975 Commonwealth
sometimes unexpectedly serving with his antiChampionships Program
topspin or vice-versa.
Arent the two sides of your racket different
shades of red? Wouldnt it be more deceptive if they were the same color?
Well, he said with a characteristic shrug of the shoulders, a good player knows the
difference anyway. I played Cordas in the 3rd round of the Mens and he never missed a serve.
141

Anything else interesting happen in China? I asked him.


Yeah, he said. They gave me acupuncturethree needles. One at this hoku point
here [he began demonstrating] between my thumb and forefinger, one on the wrist, and one in
the crook of the arm. Before, I couldnt bend my wrist but inside of a day it was all right
again.
All right here at the CNE too, especially in that tight A final with Peter Holder.
Earlier, Holder had stopped Jim Shoots after the
The Shooter had survived Portuguese Joe Mimoso in
5. However, people were talking less about Peters advance
in the As and more about his play in the Mens. There, his
loop proving positively meteoric, hed worked his way to
the quarters and Danny Seemiller with a final, jumping
(Oh, boy!) 4-game win over 20-year-old Zoltan Pataky,
Canadas #3. Back in Budapest, Pataky had belonged to the
same Sparticus team as his well-known Junior teammates,
the 1971 World Doubles Champions Jonyer and Klampar.
Now Zollies in Vancouver, studying to be an electrical
technologist so hell be able to string up lights anywhere,
and especially over a ping-pong table.
Holder, after losing the 1st at 9 and being against the
ropes at deuce in the 2nd, seemed able to outlast Pataky by
having followed some day-to-day modification of what he
Zoltan Pataky
calls the Johnny Leach program. That is (no wonder he
beat me, the very thought of what hes been doing is
enough to beat me), hes been running 3 miles a day, skipping lots of rope (for mobility, he
says), lifting weights, playing 4-6 times a week with manager-trainer-sparring partner Lincoln
LaGuerre, and of course following a proper dieta breakfast, for example, of orange juice,
boiled eggs, and plenty of vitamin C capsules. Two days before the big tournament, Peter, like
a fighter, closes off his training and, compare Muhammad Ali, builds up his confidence
through rest and relaxation and thought. Whether he writes poetry or not, we havent as yet
heard.
Seemiller Wins Mens
Shouting Thats it! Thats it!his clenched fists raised high as point after point he
repeatedly stalked a circle away from, but then always back to, the thrust of his never-budgefrom-the-table blocking game, 19-year-old Danny Seemiller of Pittsburgh won the CNE Open
Mens Singles in 5 over an equally inspired John Tannehill of Miami and elsewhere.
Tannehill had earlier pulled the upset of the tournament by beating the #1 seed, one of
the mainstays of the Yugoslav National Team, Zlatko Cordas, who, for the last 2 and
months has been the coast-to-coast, How-do-you-like-America? guest of the U.S. and
Canadian Associations.
For a while this summer Seemiller was batting .520 in his city-county baseball league.
Hey, said a scout from the Red Sox, I want to watch the rest of your games! But he was
too late. Danny had already signed, had made a commitment to self, and would be leaving the
very next morning to go to Sweeriss clinic. Hell get a workout there, cause the 27-year-old
leads the packwhether its running or early morning warm-ups. That Grand Rapids reporter
142

who wrote about the Woodland Club says that when Dell does his high kicks, hes ahead of
the rest, his toes soaring two to three inches above the top of his head, says hes still limber
and still slender, though weight-conscious now and cutting back the three spoonfuls of sugar
in his coffee to two.
Dannys practice sure paid off, for up until his semis match with Canadas #1 player,
Errol Caetano, he hadnt lost a game. Caetano, who as I mentioned before, played high-school
basketballHe was extremely agile and flexible, said observer Cameron Scott, could jump
up and touch the rim. Recently Errol received an invitation, though not to play basketball,
from the newly formed Dennis Murphy (ABA, WHA)-backed World Professional Table Tennis
Association. They want him to participate (all expenses paid, plus $100 a week minimum) in a
$300,000 12-week tour beginning next spring in Tokyothough whether anything will come
of this proposed tour I have my doubts. Errol had just gotten back from an Ontario TTAsponsored trip to Hungary, where he and Violetta Nesukaitis were the training-camp guests of
a man named Neumann who at the Sarajevo Worlds had been impressed when Caetano had
taken a game from Yugoslav strong man Surbek. (More impressive to everyone but Neumann
had been the previous game whereready?The Dragon, to bloodthirsty cheers, had
whiptailed Errol 21-0!)
Here in Toronto, Errol, large, beautifully-colored butterfly on the back of his playing
shirt, had been down 2-1 in the Mens 3rd-round to Montreals Rod Young, and then was again
in some trouble with the ageless, affable, ever-smiling, ever-serious Houshang Bozorgzadeh,
table tennis Shah of Iran and Iowa.
Earlier, Houshang had played 4-game matches with the quick, pips-out, flat-hitting Tim
Boggan, and the very steady Bernie Bukiet. (Bernie would advance past Esquire Champ Max
Marinkowinner over Harry Deschampsto take the Senior final from Boggan.) Throughout
his match with Houshang, Bernie was complaining about his always-wet racket, said it was
impossible to keep control in the humid, 100-degree heat. The ball would pop up,
Bozorgzadeh would hit it in with his broken wing forehand, and what could Bernie do? I win
in the wintertime, he said.
Although Houshang himself wrote a lengthy write-up of the World Championships for
a large Iranian sports magazine, he said that Sweeriss analytical srticle in the last Topics was
much better than anything he had seen anywhere.
After Caetano beat Bozorgzadeh, he had to meet Seemiller. Had Errol won the 1st game
(leading 17-15, he lost it at 19), he would have beaten Danny 3-0. As it was, at the 2-1 break, Alex
Shiroky, whom Seemiller had blocked from reaching the quarters, gave Danny some good advice.
Errol, twirling his bat at the ready, had been slow-looping Danny in a successful effort
to give himself time to station himself in one of those little pockets he likes 3 feet or so back
from the table. If he could keep the ball in play to Seemillers backhand, Danny couldnt
counter hard enough or angle the ball quickly enough to the corners because he, Caetano,
would already be there in control. Alex convinced Danny that he should serve to Caetanos
backhand and begin as usual to counter the ball back to where Errol was waiting, only should
then suddenly return the ball short, and when Caetano, reaching in, popped it up, Danny
should take a chance and hit it.
This strategy works, and, as the 5th game is drawing to a close, I hear a voice say,
Theres no way for Seemiller to choke. He just stands there and blocks.
In the other half of the Draw, George The Chief Brathwaite is having an unexpected
5-game struggle with Paul Klevinas, who was quarterbacking mighty effectively out there for a
143

while. How is it possible that Paul has been playing so long and so well, and is still only 15?
Well, so the story goes, he started back when he was 9. You see this gold watch? his uncle
had said, Well, you just try and beat me. Next time anyone in the family took the time to
look, Paul had the watch.
In the 8ths, Lim Ming Chui, who in the next round would be beaten convincingly by
The Chief, and who for the last month or so had been preoccupied with the coming of his
second son, Chi-sun, finally got his head together to eliminate Jim Lazarus, who at the World
Team Tryouts last December had beaten Ming 2-0. Here in Toronto, Jim was again a 2-0
winnerexcept this time it was a 5-game match. When Chui got the idea of returning
Lazaruss serves with the wooden side of his racket, and Jim continued his too-soft strategy of
playing almost casually, passively, Ming started to hit the ball in, and afterwards Jim couldnt
get his attack going to break him up.
In this same section, Tannehill, whod been relentlessly winning a series of summer
tournaments, and Cordas, the 73 Yugoslav Closed runner-up, conqueror of Korpa and
Surbek, were stumbling a bitJohn losing a game to Rick Seemiller, and Zlatko to Rick
Rumble. When I played Rumble, said Cordas, it was so hot that sweat was getting lodged
down in between the pips on the backhand side of my racket and the ball was popping up. So
Zlatko gambled, did what hed not done before, replaced the pips with smooth sponge and
decided to play out the tournament that way.
He got by easy enough with the new rubber until he had to play Tannehill. John had
been to an Indian restaurant the night before, and now, except for some Organic Topaz
Coconut-Banana Honey, he was, as he
said, fasting, and, as he didnt say,
meditating. In addition, he was
Zlatkos not doing well.
wearing a Zuni Indian badger-claw of
Can you tell?
inlaid turquoiseguaranteed, said
Johns grrr-u friend and teacher Bert
Jacobs, to turn your enemies to
stone.
Cordas, mindlessly advancing
with a 35-point win over Rory
Brassington and no doubt innocent of
the forces working against him, had
nothing comparable to wear. Likely he
noticed only the eccentric fact that the
Tournament Chairman, one day or the
next, went after him with a color
chart, made him change the vibes of
his too peaceful light blue playing
shirt. Oh, Zlatko looked, after more
than two months and how many letters
from his wife Irena, like he just
wanted to get home. With absolutely
nothing to gain, or lose, he played as if
under the impotent fisher kings curse.
But maybe being here will help him in
144

the future? The CTTA is looking for a National Coachpreferably one who speaks English
and French, and has a Masters degree or equivalent in Physical Education. Would Cordas
possibly be interested? Would he be an acceptable candidate?
God knows the spectators did nothing to cheer Zlatko on, or break the spell. And, as
Tannehill later said to me, Its impossible to play without spectators. They give energy to the
tableand to the whole concept of the sport. I play for the spectators, for my friends.
Whenever I feel down, I think of Bert and Patty and Ron Schull praying for me.
As it happens, John finds himself down against Cordas, two games to one. At which
point the ubiquitous Shiroky, carrying a sheaf of notes hes been studying on all the good
players, comes over to John and asks him if he wants to talk. Ordinarily, said John, at that
point you wouldnt want to talk. But suddenly, instantly, I wanted to. Not for anything
Shiroky might be able to tell him, but because Alexs question had implied the necessary
strongly sympathetic attitude that could so help even the most stouthearted of men if he were
down. The trouble with Cordas, John observed, was that he had nobody to talk to. And
though Zlatko thought John must learn to kill that one ball, Tannehill finished him off, 19 and
17. Then he downed Brathwaite in straight games. Later, The Chief would reboundwould
win the Mens Doubles with Danny over Cordas/Larry Lee.
Even before the beginning, not to say the end, of his matches, Seemiller had often been
surrounded by little clusters of fun-loving well-wishers. Danny and his friend Joe Rokop had
worked out a telepathy act. You gave Danny a nameany nameand he would call Joe over
and say something to him like, Do you have it yet?You should be getting it. And then
he would snap his fingers 4 or 5 times And say again, Now you should have it. And Joe
(head sometimes buried in deep concentration) would have it90% of the time. Later,
Rufford Harrison figured out their code and eventually used it himself in complimenting Danny
on winning the Championship.
Before their final, both Danny and John granted me separate little interviews. Seemiller
talked very personably to me about the rubber on his racket. He uses a Johansson blade, but,
instead of playing with 2 millimeter Mark V soft rubber, which he says he cant play with at
all, every two weeks or so he takes the hard rubber off brand new blades and puts this onto
his racketthat is, on the one side only. The anti-topspin, he says, stays on forever.
Danny said he was worried about having to replace the lighter, smaller blade he got at
the Worlds. So far, its cracked 3 times, and though hes epoxied it back together, it could go
on him at any time and he hasnt any replacement.
John said hed made up his mind to think entirely for himself and wasnt going to listen
to anybody. Was going to concentrate on just the direction of the ball, and to think, when he
missed it, why he missed it. Compare Zen Buddhism: the art of archery.
Ive tried to learn from Bengtsson how to be a student, said John. A real student
doesnt get upset. Instead, he says, I will overcome. A student is always asking questions in
his head. This is what I try to do in Table Tennis. My opponentis he going to serve short?
Long? With what kind of spin? Am I going to receive him like last time? If I hit a ball to my
opponents backhand and it goes in for a winner, is he next time going to be psychologically
covering that spot and so leave open his middle? If these questions dont come into my head,
then my game diesbecause Im mentally dead. Also Ive learned that the body has to be
alive, has to move unconsciouslymy study of yoga has helped me there.
One writer whos important to me, John continued, is Carlos Castaneda. Hes
helped me become a better student and so a better table tennis player. After reading him, I like
145

to think of myself as a warrior, as a man


of unbending intent. A warrior never
indulges himself. He chooses a path with
True Warrior
heart, and never doubts himself. He never
John Tannehill
looks backlike Dr. Faustus, who both
Photo by Marvin New
wanted his pact with the devil and didnt.
I was beginning to get the idea
that John himself had made some sort of
pact, or wanted tothough with who or
what I wasnt sure. Kierkegaard, he
said, says the same thing. Says purity of
heart is to will one thing and then follow
that path with passion, without doubt or
remorse. Each table tennis shot has to be
a symbol of that. The high balls Cordas
gave me were mere ego shots. Youve
got to be careful of those, of playing for
the crowd. Cordas is a warrioror
maybe I should say a potential warrior.
When he started complaining in that last
game, I knew, psychologically, I had him
beaten. The true warrior never
complains.
A friend of Tannehills interrupted
our conversationor rather Johns
monologue. Seemiller says youre a
pattern player. Hes going to play against
your pattern every time.
I dont care what he does, said
John. Ill adjust. The warrior takes responsibility for each action of his life. For months now
Ive been visualizing winning the Canadians. Going out to dinner with Bert and Patty, walking
down the streets of Toronto, looking and rejoicing.
When it was time for me to leave John alone a while with his dreams, I was sure he
would win.
In the 1st game, Seemiller starts off nervously and Tannehill plays, just as I thought he
would, in a trance. That is, until, up 6-1, he serves into the net, proves hes human after all. He
wins this opener 21-12. In the 2nd, Danny, up 16-15, gets a very crucial edgefollows by
running out the game.
In the 3rd, Tannehill persists in trying to out-exchange Seemiller, but cant get through
Dannys backhand. Put it to his forehand side, shouts a rooter in the audience, one of Johns
self-appointed coaches. But putting it to the forehand is what, after a series of quick, backhand
exchanges, Danny is repeatedly doing, and catching John off balance. Still, the score is tied all
the way up.And tied at 19-all. Danny takes a wild forehand killmisses. But John has no
fancy serve for this game-point opportunity, and its 20-all21-all. Then its Seemiller hitting
in a 3rd-ball backhand, and John matching him, scoring with a quick forehand. Its a journey
down a road that can disappear at any moment. Seemiller finally wins, 25-23.
146

In the 4th, Tannehill begins


as if he were on some strange,
very private spiritual trip. Again
hes into a kind of Yaqui Indian
trance, leads 5-0. People around
me are asking, Why doesnt John
put it to Dannys forehand?
Instead, its Seemiller again who
catches John flat-footed on his
favorite angled-off shot to the
forehand. Hes playing
Seemillers game, someone says.
But John, down 17-15, gets 4 in a
rowhas found the knowledge.
Only Danny has never played
better, is physically so strong.
Now he rallies to 19-all. As
Seemiller is about to serve,
Tannehill is plagued by a flyand
must brush it away. John wins that
point 20-19. And followsas if he
were already the brujo sorceror
and not the apprenticeby
socking in Seemillers serve.
In the 5th, though, the
True Warrior
Danny Seemiller
sorceror is very much vulnerable.
Photo by Ray Chen
Danny opens with an edgeand
then gets another. Casts some
magical spell of his own, and is
soon up 6-0! But John wages war with a flurry. Gets to 7-5 where a net throws off his timing
and stops his rally. It turns the gameDanny shoots up to 13-5 and Tannehill is sprawled on
the floor.
Only then, as if each shot is a symbol of purity of heart, as if John doesnt doubt
himself, he brings the score to 14-16and people, feeling something of his warrior soul, are
divining he might win. But Seemiller, unbudgeable at the table, again catches John with his
repeated dagger-like thrusts and totters him with that sudden lunge to the forehand. John,
mortally wounded, stares for a moment, as if unbelievingas Chuang Tse-tung, himself the
greatest of warriors, finally came to do. And it was all over. Seemiller had mastered the crisis
point. No matter at 19-15 he served off. No matter he got another net. Tannehill himself could
not win another point.
Later that night, I saw John coming back from the Mercury restaurant with Bert and
Patty. He had indeed gone out and rejoicedand not looked back. I didnt say anything, but
as I came up close to John and looked at him and slowly smiled, he smiled back and put his
hand on my shoulder, and said, I met another warrior.

147

Chapter Ten
1973: Cordas/Cordas Take $5,000
Kansas City Invitational.
Thanks largely to the persistent
promotional efforts of Larry Knouft and his able
assistant Steve Finney, there were warriors
aplenty on hand for the Sept. 22-23 $5,000
Kansas City Invitational, held at the National
Armory (rents for $300 a day). After competing
at the CNE, Zlatko Cordas had flown to
Yugoslavia, and within two weeks was back in
North America, here in KC, accompanied by his
pretty wife Irena, the Yugoslav Womens
Champion.

Irena and Zlatko Cordas


Photo by Pat Crowley

Cordas Best in Womens


Irena, as expected, won the $400 1st prize in the Womens, dropping a game to runnerup Violetta Nesukaitis (Violetta, with Errol Caetano and Peter Gonda, would soon be off to
tournaments abroadin Spain, Holland, Belgium). In the one semis, Irena defeated Bev
Hess, one of a number of Floridians, including Pat Patterson, Greg Gingold, Jerry Thrasher,
and Bevs dad, Randy, whod trailer-traveled some 30 hours each way, sharing 2-hour driving
and sleeping shifts. In the other, Violetta downed Angelita Rosal, now wearing contact lenses,
but otherwise much the same as someone had described her: out-going, golden-skinned,
dark-eyed, with long black hair pulled back Chris Evert style.
The $200 Mixed Doubles went to Cordas/Cordas over Dell Sweeris/Rosal whod
upset Caetano/Nesukaitis. Pert Peggy Shaha, the Oklahoma #1, provided New Yorker Alex
Shiroky with a great deal of Mixed Doubles incentive after hed lost his 8ths match to Zlatko.
Still, I dont think Alex came on too side-by-side strong with young Peggy, especially since his
friend Bernie Bukiet described (a scruffy-looking?) Alex as a what you call ita dummy in
the fields where the birds come. He meant of course a scarecrowand in his Casey Stengellike mind, or Freudian unconscious, he also
meant Alexs backhand. Bernie says it
(scarecrow extended out?) looks like it
ought to have force but it really doesnt.
Bernie was also telling me how, in the
eyes, all the good players tried to be nice to
one another, while from the behind.
Dawidowicz (Dha-vih-DOUGH-vitch)
Kasia Dawidowicz
both father and daughter, they were here.
Coy 12-year-old Kathy (soon better known
as Kasia) beat Diana Myers in the Girls
Under 17 and 15and that must have made
the bus ride from Denver worthwhile. Kathy,
soon to leave for a 3-month stay in Poland,
148

said she liked seeing different things on her trip (from cows to court houses) and meeting all
kinds of different people. (How do I know what kind of people there are unless I meet
them? she said). Strange, though, that since $1,000 was being given out in the Womens, the
tournament was missing U.S. Team members Patty Martinez, Judy Bochenski, Sue
Hildebrandt, Alice Green, and Olga Soltesz.
Zlatko paired with Tannehill to win the Mens Doubles over CNE Champs Danny
Seemiller/George Brathwaite. In the 1st game, with Cordas/Tannehill down 17-20, Zlatko hit in
three hard, point-winning backhands that angled off out of Georges forehand reach. (It
doesnt look like Cordas has a chance to move over and hit that backhand, said George, so I
put the ball to the open space where he isntonly then it always turns out that thats exactly
where hes wanted me to put it and is suddenly there to jab it away.) After Zlatko and John
rally to win that 1st, its an easy $150 apiece.
So the Yugoslavs are doin o.k., huh? That makes $750 the couples won so farand
Zlatkos still the #1 threat in the Mens.
But a Time Out now for him while I run through the list of lesser winners: A Doubles:
Gingold/Thrasher over John McAdams/Tommy Vaello. B Singles: Patterson over John
Soderberg. B Doubles: Gingold/Patterson over Jerry Plybon/Steve Dodgen. C Singles: Pete
Tellegen over David Barnes. D Singles: Paul Dodgen over St. Charless Princess Jodi Club
contact Dennis Orne. E Singles: Don Shaffer over Bob Leatherwood. Mens Novice: Craig
Dead Satersmoen over Henry Dollinger. Womens Novice: Diana Myers over Cindy Garza.
(Diana a Novice?) Mens Consolation: Thrasher over Al Nissen. Under 17s: Bev Hess over
Phil Pinnell. Under 17 Doubles: Irl Copley/Perry Schwartzberg over Soderberg/Tellegen.
Under 15s: Schwartzberg over Soderberg. Under 15 Doubles: Dawidowicz/Schwartzberg
over Bryant/Weinglass. Under 13s: Pinnell over Dawidowicz.
The sponsors, seeing the success of their round robin matches in the lesser events,
decided that the last eight players in the Mens would play not a single elimination but a twosection round robin. They would then take the
top two players from each section, but, instead
of playing a criss-cross, theyd play a 4-man
round robin (with the one appropriate carryover) to decide the $700, $500, $300, $200
top places. This sort of danceland-marathon
was not going to be liked by many of the less
than endurance-minded players, especially in
view of the fact that there were no outside
spectators. (Knouft got the players, so why
couldnt he get any audience for them? And
the sponsors, whoever they werethey
were seeing success?)
Tannehill was just about the only
player I didnt hear complaining about the
demanding format. Of course of the final eight
playersCaetano, Lim Ming Chui, Cordas, DJ Lee, Joong Gil Park, Sweeris, Alex Tam, and
TannehillJohn, along with Caetano, was the
John Tannehill
youngest and perhaps best conditioned.
Photo by Table Tennis Unlimited
149

As I walk up to John, whos talking to some players, hes pulled out a bottle of pills
from his baga bag that looks very much like the one I keep cigars, cigarettes, a thermos of
coffee, candy, comforts in general in. Vitamin B is water soluble, hes sayingand already
Ive lost him. And so is Vitamin C. The more water you drink, the more vitamins leave your
body through your urine.
Like poison, somebody else says.
Coke, Pepsi, continues John, robs the body of its anti-urine, stress agents. When
youre under stressas you always are, playing important matchesyou need to retain as
many vitamins as you can to help you.
John looks at me, says, How are the ridges in your tongue?
Huh? His point is? Id been drinking water of course and, like any sane person, not
only an occasional coke but, the night before, some beers with Pradit and Lee. I stick out my
tongue at him.
A completely smooth tongue is best, he says, looking at mine, and smiling, shaking
his head.
Here, take one of these, he says, pulling out another bottle from his bag. Ive just
given one to David.
Sakai, suspended for 6 years from the USTTA, looks at me, nods his headTake
one, Timmy, he says. Its got 50 times the MDR of Vitamin B in it. (Someone has to
explain to me that MDR means minimum daily requirement.)
Yeah, says John, take one. This bottle has Natures Plus, Super B-50 capsules. But
soon you wont be able to buy these supplemental vitamins. The FDA has outlawed them. Big
business doesnt want people to go to health food stores. Theyd rather they go to Safeway
and end up killing themselves.
Then John reaches down, brings out a bottle of Schiff Wheat Germ Oil. Take two
tablespoons of this, he says, and after half an hour your body will really feel like jumping.
Its been proven. Russian athletes going to the Olympicsif they could lift 100 pounds, they
could lift 200 after taking this.
Whats it taste like? I ask.
Terrible, says Tannehill.
John seems to be in something of a black mood. All these daughters playing out
there, he says, and motions out onto the gym floor, have mean fathers, and all these sons
have mean mothersthats why theyre so good at table tennis. John has a mean mother?
Then he puts a hand down, comes up with a bottle of quick energy Alfalfa (Black)
Honey. The blacker it is, the better it is, he says.
A teaspoon of that, I think, and Id throw up.
Its straight from the bees, says John, untouched by factories. Take it with orange
juice before a match.
Hand down again and upwith a wonder juice. A bottle of Eden Carrot Juice from
Germany. This has lots of Vitamin A, to make you see well, he says. Its also a proteinsynthesizing agent. Protein needs a Vitamin A catalyst. A pint of this a day will cure any
disease.
Down, upNorway sardines. Steak, chicken, John is saying, have so much fat.
Besides, the animals might have been drugged.
Mentally, I jump at the sardines. Finally, something good for me I like. A few of those
on some crackers, I say, and a very cold, very dry martini, and Id
150

The worst possible thing is alcohol, says John


interrupting me. It robs the liver of Vitamin B.
Here, he says, Natures Plus. Go on, take one.
Youll play a lot better.
I think, what the hell, can one do me any harm? I take
one, swallow it down with some coke. Look, I say, I dont
play so bad now, right? Most of this is just mind over matter.
Better you eat what tastes good, what you like.
It works the other way too, says John with a
smileas if hes heard this argument before. Theres also
matter over mind.
Chui comes by, stops to tell Tannehill hes wanted
for a match, and listens for a moment to the conversation.
An almond a day will cure cancer, he says.
Oh? Whys that? I ask.
I dont know, he says, and grins.
Cordas Best in Mens
Lim Ming Chui
Photo by Mal Anderson
In the early round of
the Mens, Tannehill and
all the other top seeds come throughwith the exception of
Danny Seemiller whod just won the CNE. In the round of 32
he meets the comparatively unknown 1973 U.S. Open A
Champ, 22-year-old Richard Ling, formerly of Hong Kong and
now a Phys. Ed. major at the University of Texas in Austin.
Danny, whod come to Kansas City almost a week
before the tournament (hed given some exhibitions at a few
storesYou oughtnt to do that before an important
tournament, said Sweeris)took the 1st game, though
troubled by Lings dead block and some nothing balls hed
put into the net. Down 17-19 in the 2nd, he gave his Chinese
Richard Ling
Photo by Table Tennis Unlimited opponent two chop/sidespin serves, saw Richard miss them
both, followed by running out the game. Then in the 3rd, up
20-18, double match point, Danny got careless or nervous, failed to return serve, and, in a
surprising reversal, lost four straight points. Since Ling has been Alex Tams sparring partner
down in Texas, his game has speeded up, hes gotten much better that he ever was in Hong
Kong, and, as Seemiller is finding out, is extremely good at exchanging topspin.
In the 4th, Ling up 19-14, serves off, which prompts him to drop his racket on the table,
then, lucky, serves an edge, and wins it at 18. Match all even. In the 5th, down 9-13, Seemiller,
who looks like he just doesnt want to work hard for the points, serves off. After which he
rallies to 14-16. As the game is coming to an end, an anxious Tam is yelling, Chung Cow!
Chung Cow!which, according to Lings cousin, Kenny Cheung, means, Hurry up! Hurry
up! Hurry up with your serve!
After the match is over, Danny realizes that he just didnt loop-attack enough. Agrees
that he was very weak on service returnshould have chopped short and heavy against Lings
quick serves, instead of returning the ball long. I didnt even make $50, he says.
151

Ling, whod be running a Dec. Training Camp with Tam in San Antonio, went on to
beat Dave Sakai in the semis of the As. (Dave wasnt able to conceal the subtleties of his play
from Richard, but hed picked up for his two daughters these miniature, pips-out paddles with
the concealed compact mirrors and was planning on waiting to see how long it would take the
little girls to discover what the rackets had hidden from them.)
Lings final opponent in the As would be #1 seed Jim Lazarus whod eliminated red
comet super-looper Thrasher (Jerryd been down in the quarters 2-0 to Boggan, but came out
a winner after Tim appeared to have had either one martini or one B-50 too many). In the
$200 1st-prize final, by not trying to slug it out, by patiently relying on his backhand and
mixing chops and counters, Lazarus proved too much for Ling. Sure glad I didnt beat Chui
in Toronto, said Jim, referring to the fact that a win there would have edged him up in the
Ratings enough to force him to take the 16th-seeded spot in the Mens and knock him out of
the As.
Brathwaite, in keeping with his International Sportsman image, called to let the
sponsors know when he was arriving. But though he waited at the airport for over an hour, no
one came to pick him up. And it was a $20 cab fare just to get to the local Holiday Inn.
Every time theres a big tournament I play Brathwaite or Miles, Sweeris was
complaining. But up 2-0 and 17-14 in the 3rd against George, hed, not right away but soon, be
quite satisfied to have won in 4.
Pradit, whod been playing seriously only the last
week or so since his extended visit home to Thailand, lost
to Caetano, then spent most of his time sitting
disinterestedly outside on the floor of one of the hallways,
away from all the matches, amiably chatting with whoever
had stumbled out on losing and needed someCmon,
dont take yourself too seriouslycounseling.
Bukiet got into a thing with Tam at the start of
their 4th. Alex, who after winning the first two games had
begun to soften up a little, suddenly accused Bernie of
serving a wet ball. Bernie, very indignant, felt that the
score was 3-1 his favor and that all the discussion was
nonsense. Tam, however, was asking the umpire to reduce
the score not to 2-1 but 1-1. At which point Bernie got fed
up and quit, wouldnt even have come back, some said, if
everybody gave in and called the score 3-1. I was getting
very tired anyway, Bernie said later.
Peter Pradit
We come now to the two round robin sections. In
Photo by Mal Anderson
the one, its Caetano, Lee, Park (whos knocked out the
former bane of Asian players, Houshang Bozorgzadeh), and Sweeris. In the other, its Chui,
Cordas, Tam, and Tannehill. Each of these players has been assured $100. Trouble is, 4 of
these 8 outstanding players have been asked to work at 3 more matches as hard as they can,
but get for their pains no more moneyonly the same $100 that Bukiet got for beating me in
the Seniors, or Sakai, in a playoff for 3rd in the As, got for beating Thrasher. Which to many
an observer didnt seem right.
PARK vs. SWEERIS. Park, I heard, had not been practicing with the better younger
players in California like Raphel, Guillen, Thom, and OConnell because they dont train and
152

goof off too much. (Gil himself does exercises, and runs 4-5 miles a day.) Against Dell, Park
loses the 1st, and is 9-1 down in the 2nd. Then wins 20 of the next 26 points and turns the
match completely around so that hes the winner!
CAETANO vs. LEE. Caetano was sporting a button that said, If it isnt Butterfly, it
isnt the same, for Butterfly was helping Errol and Peter Gonda to make some progress on
the European circuitNov. 6-7, ParisNov. 14-16, BudapestNov. 24-25, Malmo.U.S.
Champ Lee, undecided about coming to Kansas City, had a 10-hour drive from his new club in
Columbus, Ohio. D-J lost both the 1st and 3rd games at deuce to Errol, and eventually the
match. Up 20-19 in the 3rd, D-J takes lots of time, then, just as hes ready to serve, Caetano
steps away. When Errol comes back, he loops Lees serve in, and then, despite some
marvelous placements by D-J, Errol goes on to win it, 24-22. Caetano said he was spinning
more. Usually Lee spins and I just stand there and block like an idiot. I see now he doesnt
like it when I spin.
CAETANO vs. SWEERIS. People were saying Caetanos game had picked up 3 points
since hed been to Hungary. But, though he won the 2nd game from 17-19 down, nothing finally
helped him against Dellnot when, at match point down, he, whimsical as a butterfly, served off.
PARK vs. LEE. Every movement of Parks is calm and sureas if no matter where DJ puts the ball, Gil can smoothly topspin it 4-5 times effortlessly back. Word is, he usually
handles about four $10-an-hour lessons a day at Milla Boczars Hollywood Clubso, though
he isnt playing much competitively, he keeps his touch. Lee, since his return from the Worlds,
has been tending to business and family, and of course isnt in his best form. Some are saying
hell never again train as rigorously as he did last February. But D-J is a fighter and, with the
moral support of his good friend and exhibition partner Richard Farrell, he manages to keep
himself in the running for more prize money. The 3rd game is the decider. Up 17-16, Lee tries
to hit in Parks serve, misses. The next serve, thoughand this shows you how charged up
and gutsy-competitive he isLee loops viciously to score a very big point. Down 19-20, the
quiet Park whiffs Lees service, demonstrably blinks.

Lee tends to business, and wins; Park tends to play, and loses

CAETANO vs. PARK. At 19-all in the all-important 3rd game, Errol serves off.
Granted hes young and strong and seems to be working on new strokes as often as he
changes his monogrammed shirts, sometimes it looks to me like he just wants, stiff arm, to
steer the ball in. Park wins, qualifies for the final round robin.
153

LEE vs. SWEERIS. At 19-all in the 3rd, though Lees loop is merely temporizing, Dell
isnt juiced up, passively blocks the ball off the table, then watches helplessly as D-J quick
flicks one in. In the 5th, with Farrell screaming his lungs out, and Sweeris again playing
passively, just trying to keep the ball in play, Lee is up 10-6 at the turn. Then Dell serves one
off and its all over. Lee joins Park in the final round robin.
In the other section, the competition is just as cutthroat.
CHUI vs. CORDAS. Ming had come to Kansas City on Thursday and had been holed
up at the small Mid-town Table Tennis Club, practicing as if his life depended on it. Maybe he
just felt guilty at leaving his wife Maria at home with the two little ones? Ordinarily its Mings
responsibility to feed newly arrived little Chi-sun (Sunny) at 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. every night
and to change his diapers at 4 a.m (a routine one wag called Cosleeptus Interruptus). So, in
the interests of family harmony, and a shot at the $700 1st-prize, Ming, blocking well, and
quick-hitting his forehand well, gave his 5-game allbut it was not good enough.
TAM vs. CORDAS. Tam, to my mind, the most life-and-death-looking intense player
at the tournament (his doctor says not to smoke but he does), has been browned by many
summer days of fishing there in Texas. But fishing, as he waits to join his friend Ling at the
University in Austin, is not his only pastime. He enjoys cricket-fighting.
This, I am told, is a very common sport in China. Each gambling man brings his
favorite cricket (they vary in size and color) to the enclosed arena where the fight is to take
place. (On any given night the cricket will have only one fight.) A board is inserted between
the two crickets on the table-like arena in which theyll
soon be going back and forth at each other. Then the
private warm-up begins. Each cricket is fed with pieces
of very hot pepper, which inflames their tempers. Each
owner or manager takes the tail feather of a horse, say,
and using it like a brush irritates the crickets antennae to
the point of madness. Then the board dividing the two
crickets is raised and both on fire, enraged at seeing the
other, rush to what is very often their mutual destruction.

Alex Tam at one of his favorite sports

Yessir, said one smiling Chinese, those goddamn crickets really go at one another
over that table. Legs, antennae, heads are quickly bitten off. Of course if you have a cricket
whos a winner, youd like to use him againbecause hes been toughened up, has acquired
confidence. Unfortunately, though, hes probably not at his full playing strengthat best is
probably limping more than a little, as if doubled over with a severe cramp. In which case,
theres nothing for you to do except use him, probably only once, as a sparring partner for
your next, perfectly healthy, ready-to-be-groomed-for-the-big-one cricket. I have it on
154

authority that the best crickets are called coffin crickets and live in or around the graveyard.
As if, in a different time and place, they were warriors of another kind.
Well, says somebody to the Texans, how did Alex do? Oh, comes the answer,
Tams crickets usually won.
And Tam with Cordas? After Zlatko serves off at 19-all in the 3rd, hes extended into
th
the 5 . Is, in fact, down 7-2 as penholder Alexs pips-out blocks and hits are proving very
effective. Cordas is going just a little wildslapping his head and spouting things out loud in
Serbo-Croatian. Im watching his wifethe money after all must be very important to them,
though perhaps not as important as it is to out of work Tam and his family who are probably
very tired of eating fish. But Irena has only this slightly ironic smile on her faceas if she
thought the idea of her breadwinner being in anguish over a silly little table game mildly
ridiculous, even amusing.
Down 5-10 at the turn, Cordas bounces the ball highand with the help of a net wins
3 points in a row. The little smile on Irenas face never changes as Zlatko catches Alex at 12all, then threatens to finish him by running the score to 16-12. A big bite he took out of Alexs
7-2 lead, huh? But Tam, though seriously wounded, instinctively fights back, gets to 14-16.
Only then, at 14-17 he serves off
and almost simultaneously pivots
round in a complete circle and comes
thumpingly down on both feet. (I
never in my life saw so many top
players serve off at crucial points.)
And now Cordas, grunting like a
wrestler or weightlifter every time he
hits the ball, tears Tam 21-15 apart.
TANNEHILL vs. CHUI.
Poor Ming. It cost him, he said later,
$400. The way I was blocking I
think Id have taken Lee easy in the
final round robin. With an
overwhelming lead over Tannehill
(21-13, 21-4, and up 10-2 in the 3rd),
Chui is the victim of very bad luck.
The one match Im gonna win, he
says, and I get a cramp. Salt
tablets. Orange juice. Black Honey.
Something. Anything. But though
Ming limps back into action, hes
finished.
TANNEHILL vs. CORDAS.
At the CNE, Cordas, because of the
heat and humidity affecting his pipsout rubber, had switched to an
inverted racket and lost to
John beat Zlatko in Toronto, but in their
Tannehill. Now, however, he had his
K.C. rematch Zlatko wins
regular pimpled sponge on his
Photo by Mal Anderson
155

attacking backhand and it made a big difference. He beat John 3-0. But of course John wasnt
at the moment reading Carlos Castaneda but Sinclair Lewis and his unimaginative, smug,
conventional businessman Babbittnot exactly competitively inspiring.
TAM vs. CHUI. After that disappointing loss to Tannehill, Chui, though hes shaken
his cramp, cant make the advancing move. Tam, on coming off the table victorious, does not
feel well. He excuses himself and goes to the bathroom. I think of Tannehills comments about
anti-urine, stress agents.
TAM vs. TANNEHILL. As play is about to start, Tam gets a cramp. Kenny Cheung
begins massaging his leg. This is a big money matchthe winner will join Cordas, Lee, and
Park in the final round robin. If Tam loses a game to me, says Bukiet, he cant beat
Tannehill. John wins the 1st rather easily, and in the 2nd, after being 15-18 down, is up game
pointonly he cant get the clincher. Match all even.
In the 3rd, John isnt moving well, isnt hitting balls hard that he should. With Tam up
11-8, theres a disputed point. John has given one of his deceptive but perfectly legal serves
where its as if, swinging his arms, hes like a father cradling his daughter in his arms, first one
way, then the other. Tam raises his hand in protest, but play continues and John wins the point.
Whereupon Tam, arguing, seems about to intimidate the umpire into giving him the point and
making the score not 11-9 but 12-8.
John looks confused and at a lossas if somethings not cricketwhen just in time
Bukiet steps onto the court and begins to explain in his broken English what has happened.
The umpire stands corrected. The score reverts to 11-8as if Tam, hand up, wasnt ready for
the serve. Bernie throws up his hands, says, I dont understand the peoplewhy they just let
this happen. John comes over, says, Thanks, Bernie, youre my only friend.
Play continues and Tannehill is soon 13-18 down. But thenamazingif you were a
gambling man, you would probably have lost your moneyfor John rallies for 6 straight
points and pulls out the game 22-20. Thanks, Bernie, for stepping in, says John at the break.
That saved the game. Im sure I can beat him now. Im steadier than he is. And hes getting
tired, hes getting crampsI saw him before, eating a hamburger at MacDonalds. And John
does beat Alex, who, looking very drawn, picks up his scattered gear, and slowly limps off
court.
Because in this upcoming last round robin theres a carry over if the opponent youd
played earlier is in the final four, Cordass win over Tannehill, and Lees win over Park both
count. But since now Gil declines to play further (mgod, though, think of Sweeris who, under
mild protest, played in a row all those 3 out of 5 Mixed and Mens Doubles as well), there are
only two matches left.
TANNEHILL vs. LEE. John does not appear to be tired at all (this morning, as I was
going into the restaurant for a ham and eggs breakfast, I saw him out running). He opens up a
7-1 lead against his former mentor. But Lee, whos again being cheered on by Farrell (D-J
really needs somebody in his corner he can trust, wholl make him work hard), with as much
pride as he can muster, fights back to 7-6. Down 14-10, he catches Tannehill at 18-all. But
then John breaks him with a cracking 3rd-ball forehand and runs out the game.
In the 2nd, its 16-all when Tannehill again scores a breakthrough and moves the score
to 20-16. Then 171819and Farrell kicks the barrierD-J has lost the game at 19. Lee
shows his weariness. He knows the effort it would cost him to give his final all. He does not
want to do it. Just does not concentrate enough, play intensely enough. Presumably he will
settle for 3rd-place: $300. Under the circumstances he cannot do any better. Hes made the
156

long drive here, has sold his equipment, has continued to play. Now the professional in him
must stand up to one more test.
CORDAS vs. LEE. Zlatkos antennae have picked up the message. Hes going in
quickly for the killis up 13-4 in the 1st. But theres something deep inside Lee that persists,
that makes him the great competitor, the great player he so often was in Sarajevo. Table Tennis
is his lifeand his soul responds to the call of that responsibility. Tired as he is, he
miraculously rallies to 16-all, then battles Cordas all the way in and wins the 1st game 21-19.
Cordas rounds the table, shaking his head, muttering to himself. I look over at Irena who is
sitting with a few other supporters. She is still looking at Zlatko with that slight, ironic smile
on her lips.
And now Lee, though he tries to give more of himself, tries to fortify himself with
Gatorade and honey (in occult study, because its the product of a mysterious process, honey
is the symbol of wisdom, of the idea that there is no higher knowledge without suffering), and
though Farrells face, trying to show encouragement, is etched in torment, there is just no way
for D-J to stop Zlatkos leaps and grunts. Its as if at the end Lee is completely crunched
downout of shape.
After their match is over, I go over to congratulate Zlatko. He and Irena have won
$1450 this weekend. One of Cordass friends, an interpreter, shakes my hand and says, as
sincerely and honestly as he can, Zlatko would like to know if you have any more of these
tournaments before the end of the year.*

SELECTED NOTES.
*In the Nov. 22, 1973 USTTA Minutes, as recorded by Lou Bochenski (TTT, Nov.Dec., 1973, 13), two Motions by Bob Kaminsky, both approved unanimously, had cast a
graveyard shadow over Knoufts Mid-town Club and this $5,000 Kansas City Invitational.
(Originally, as wed seen in Chapter Five, Knouft had referred to this tournament as the $5,000
Truman Invitationalwith a percentage of advertising sales to be donated to the Truman
Memorial. Though Knouft had postponed this tournament, he said hed already raised the
prize money for it.) Here are the Motions:
By-Law change. For any tournament over $500 the full amount of the prize
money or a performance bond must be posted with the sanctioning official prior to the
sanction. Where awards other than cash are offered, the sanctioning official may
require posting of a bond or equivalent guarantee in writing. Effective January 1,
1974.
That the president write a letter to Larry Knouft informing him that the
USTTA expects him to make good on the checks that have been issued to the USTTA
and to the players who won prize money in the Truman Invitationalpayment to be
made by January 1 or appropriate legal action will be taken.
[As of Aug. 22, 1974, despite ultra-nice letters showing the patience of Job, the
USTTA still hadnt gotten the $74 due them from Knouft. By Feb. 13, 1975 (Treasurer
Carr reported to Disciplinary Chair Scott) that, after two more bounced checks,
Knouft now owed the USTTA $174. And by Mar. 28, 1976 owed even morea total
of $240. But Larry couldnt be suspended because by this time he wasnt a USTTA
157

member. What to do with him? He cares about the Game, wants to do big things, but,
concludes Marv Shaffer who talked to Larry face-to-face, he is well-meaning but not
the kind of person who makes money.]

Rich Doza looking


for his trophies

Knouft would be beset by money problems. [Others too: two very


well-known advertisers in Topics were 4-5 months behind on their
paymentsand perhaps, because of their past contributions, thought
that eventually they just wouldnt have to pay.] At Larrys Sept. 22-23,
1973 $5,000 Kansas City Invitational, Rich Doza, manager of the
Gateway Club in St. Louis, had given Larry a $75 down payment
towards a $150 worth of trophies for Richs later St. Louis Closed.
Then when Larry needed the remaining $75 before he could send the
trophies, Rich obliged. But, after months and months of back and forth
delaying letters that brought in Disciplinary Chair Dr. Michael Scott
and his Committee, Treasurer Jack Carr, and Presidents Tim Boggan
and Charlie Disney who would succeed him, Knouft said the post office
had lost the trophies hed sent, and that a $150 money order would be
issued to Doza in lieu of the trophies. Only somehow this money order,
when finally it had been sent, had been cashed (the post office wouldnt
say by who) but not, according to a Jan. 27, 1975 letter to Disciplinary
Chair Scott, by Doza! Caseopen.

158

Chapter Eleven
1973: Fall Tournaments.
At the 37-entry Emerald Empire Open, which sounds like it should have been held in
Dublin, or at least Dublin, CA, but was actually held in Eugene, OR, Oct. 20-21, Lou
Bochenski (TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1973, 22) says the Tournament Committee allowed any player
who entered any class event to enter Open Singles for only $1. Hand-tooled leather racket
cases took the place of trophies for every event except the Open which offered some cash
prizes. Open: Tom Ruttinger d. Jeff Kurtz, 3-1. Womens: Liz Kurtz (Jeffs wife) d. Dotty
Bochenski (Lous wife). Open Doubles: Jeff Kurtz/Dave Hudson d. Ron Carver/Ed Ng.
Other winners: As: Hudson over Jim Scott. Bs:
Portlands young Bobby Rinde over Earl Adams, then in the
final over Ron Vincent. Cs: Dunbar Carpenter over Rinde.
Novice: Liz Kurtz over Bob Schuff. Open Consolation: Lou
Bochenski over Don Nash. Novice Consolation: Dotty
Bochenski over Mary Martin.
Portland hosted the Rose City Open Nov. 9-10. Results:
Open Singles: Tom Ruttinger over Joe Lee, 29-27 in the 4th.
Womens: Vancouvers Leslee Ward over Liz Kurtz. Editor Eric
Calveleys British Columbias LeTTers (Sept., 1973, 1-2) did an
Interview with Leslee after she came back from a recent training
trip to China with other Canadian players. Of course shed done
the usual drills alright, but shed had a little trouble with the
physical exercises. At the beginning I could only do one pushup but eight at the end. And have you kept doing them?
asked the Interviewer. No, said Leslee, its too hard. The
Interviewer wanted to know why the Chinese players were
better than the Canadian players. Leslee said, Their dedication
and seriousness. Also, compared to us, they were mush faster,
in much better shape. But it was everything. They were much
Bobby Rinde
steadier, had much more control, consistently hit much harder.
Photo by Greg Brendon
Open Doubles: Ruttinger/Rob Roberts over Peter Joe/
Eddie Lo, -18, 20, 14, -21, 19. As: Joe over Steve Berliner. Bs: Eddie Chin over Earl Adams.
B Doubles: Jim Tisler/Rinde over Charlie McLarty/Jim Buchanan. Cs: Peter Athwal over
Dunbar Carpenter. Seniors: Bob Ho over Art Barran. Juniors: Lo over Joe whod barely
survived Ward, deuce in the 3rd.
The San Francisco Fall Open was held the same weekend as the Portland tournament.
Results: Open Singles: 1. Ray Guillen (5-gamer in s with Palle Norfeldt). 2. Paul Raphel. 3.
Denis OConnell (tough 24, 20, 22, 15 match in s with Stig Norfeldt). 4. George Makk.
Womens: Judy Bochenski (opting to play here and not in Portland) over Angie Rosal, 19 in
the 4th. Mens Doubles: Norfeldt brothers over Raphel/OConnell, -11, 9, -17, 20, 20, then in
the final over Guillen/Eric Thom whod had to go 5 to beat Richard Terry/Jeff Mason. Mixed
Doubles: S. Norfeldt/A. Rosal over OConnell/Bochenski, 23-21 in the 5th. Seniors: Don
Ayers over Azmy Ibrahim in 5. As: S. Norfeldt over Mike Greene. Bs: John Soderberg over
John Nevarez (after being down 2-0). Cs: Bob Glenn over King Tom.
159

The Oct. 13-14 Huntington


Beach Open saw Joong Gil Park take the
Mens from Paul Raphel, 20, 18, 19, after
Paul had gone 5 in eliminating Ray Guillen
whod had tough matches with Stig
Norfeldt (-20, 15, 22, 19) and Glenn
Cowan (-20, 15, 22, 19). In best earlyround play, Jack Howard defeated Denis
OConnell in 5, after Denis had gone into
the 5th with Mark Adelman. Women:
Angie Rosal over Judy Bochenski. Mens
Doubles: Howard/Raphel over Park/Joe
Napoles in 5, then in the final over
Guillen/Shonie Aki, 26-24 in the 5th.
Mixed Doubles: S. Norfeldt/Rosal over
Palle Norfeldt/Bochenski. Seniors: Danny
Banach over Don Ayers, 23-21 in the 5th,

Huntington Beach Club

Huntington Beach Club President Tom Lovil


has eyes only for ping-pong
Photo by Pam Ramsey

and in the final over Julius Paal, 17 in the 5th.


Esquires: Gene Wilson over Paal, 17 in the 5th.
This past summer, Gene and his wife took
a months vacation in Sweden and Norwayand
of course, being an aficionado, Gene wanted to
check out, as best he could, how the Swedish
Association, the Svenska Bordtennisforbundet,
works. After talking with Executive Secretary
Borje Berggvist, heres what Gene learned (TTT,
Nov.-Dec., 1973, 40)

Danny Banach in his Long Island days

The [Swedish] government pays 75% of the expenses of their national table
tennis association. These expenses include the salaries of seven full-time employees,
rent for a suite of offices in Stockholm, printing, postage, telephone, and even the
small assistance the national organization gives to regional clubs, such as the partial
cost of tables. The remaining 25% of their income is from memberships, fees for
tournaments [12 cents per person for each event], royalties on table tennis
equipment sold in Sweden [royalty on each bat is 12 cents].
Entries for all tournaments must go to the national headquarters in Stockholm
[three weeks before the tournament] for ranking and placing.[Copies of the
complete draw] are mailed to every club represented in the tournament. The usual
160

precautions are made to avoid members of the same club meeting in the first
round.[Player] complaints are kept to a minimum when the player knows the
tournament chairman cannot make any changes. [But if, before the tournament starts, a
club representative sees a serious mistake has been made, surely some protest is
possible?]
Gene was impressed with the
amount of recognition given to
Swedish stars 21-year-old Stellan
Bengtsson and 27-year-old Kjell
Johansson (27)its similar to what
Jerry West and Joe Namath receive in
the U.S. Both Bengtsson, whos
single, and Johansson, whos married
(his wife sometimes accompanies him
on his tournament or exhibition trips)
work for Stiga and receive $48,000
each per year. They also receive from
24 cents to 36 cents royalty on bats
they have endorsed, which are sold in
Sweden. Gene thinks that club and
team matches help develop young
players, that leagues, to which all
Swedish players of any stature join,
are key to holding ones interest, and
Swedish stars Bengtsson (left) and Johannson
recommends that U.S. clubs during
are quickly recognized.
their playing season follow suit. Off
Caricature courtesy of Zdenko Uzorinac
court Stellan (who plays for the
Falkenberg Club) and Kjell (who plays for Molndal) are friends and in the summer play golf
together.
However, also in the off-season (and
surely only in the off-season), Wilson says the
Swedish National Team trains rigorously one
week each month, during which time they do
nothing else (that means no wives or
sweethearts allowed). Japans great
Champion, Ichiro Ogimura, when hed come
to Sweden as National Coach, had put
particular emphasis on physical fitness, so the
training the Swedes do is comparable to the
basic training for United States army
recruits, with an emphasis on hard running.
Wilson took in a well-attended
tournament at the little town of Rimbo, about
California TTA President Gene Wilson (left) and
50 miles northeast of Stockholm. Officials
Carl-Olaf Ostholm in Rimbo, Sweden
Bror-Eric Lundin and Carl-Olaf Ostholm
Photo courtesy of Gene Wilson
161

were helpful to Gene there, even arranging for him to play the #1 woman player at the Club,
Wanja Wannehed, 1957 Swedish Mixed Doubles Champwhom he beat. Gross income from
this Rimbo tourney was $1500$500 of that went for expenses, and another $500 for prizes
(local merchants also gave awards consisting of everything from barbecue sets to chairs).
That left a $500 profit. Of course the events were well run. Play was on fast, heavy-duty
Stiga tables, with one-inch playing surface. Every match was umpired, often by a youth, the
umpire receiving 24 cents for each match. The ump doesnt call the score, but the scorecards
being turned (and constantly being glanced at by the players) are large enough for the
spectators to see whos leading. If you werent there to catch the action, the local newspaper
provided results, as well as comments and pictures in three columns on the sports page. Says
Gene, We never have it so good in California.
At the Nov. 3-4 Long Beach Open, Dean
Galardi won his 1st Mens Singles3-0 over Ray
Guillen in the semis, and 3-0 over Ichiro Hashimoto
in the final. Womens: Pat Crowley over Bonnie
Johnson. Mens Doubles: Guillen/Joe Napoles over
Hashimoto/Sandy Lechtick. Mixed Doubles:
Guillen/Johnson over Lechtick/Crowley. As: Dan
Goodstein over Russ Thompson whod outlasted
Don Ayers, 31-29 in the 3rd.
In holding
Billie
the Caprock Open
Watkins
in Lubbock, TX,
first-time
Tournament
Director Jim
Underwood,
assisted by a host
of helpersBillie
and R.C. Watkins,
Jay and Norma
Dean Galardi
Evans, Great Plains
Photo by Raul Rodriguez
Regional Director
Sue Sargent, Cindy Cornett, and Jims wifegot the job done
without undue complaints. Mens: Joe Cummings d. John
McAdams. Womens: Sue Sargent d. Stacie Moore, 8, -21, 21, 18, 16. Championship Doubles: Cummings/John Tomlinson d. Paul Longmire/R. Reynolds.
Womens Doubles: Sargent/Moore d. B. McSpadden/L. McSpadden. Mixed Doubles: McAdams/
Moore d. Steve Dodgen/Norma Evans. Seniors: Mac Horn d. Edgar Stein, 18 in the 5th. Texas
Residents Singles: Tomlinson d. Cummings, -21, 21, 19, 16.
As: Dodgen d. Dave DeWald. Bs: J. Bell d. J. Wise. Cs: B. Cornett d. Reynolds. Ds:
Sue Sargent d. Elston. Juniors: Mike Finnell d. Gregg Gafford. A Doubles: Bell/Puls d. Stein/
Finnell, 19 in the 3rd. B Doubles: J.C. Tenay and Arthur Buster Chase (hell be playing into
the next millennium) d. Cornett and R.C. Watkins.
I assume Danny Seemiller had been on the move giving exhibitions and that his play in
the Oklahoma City Southwest Open suffered for it. Alex Tam was the Mens round-robin
162

semis winnerafter dropping a game to Joe Cummings, he


beat Seemiller, 19 in the 4th. Though John Quick defeated
Cummings for 3rd Place, Joe, winning both deuce games,
forced Danny into the 5th. Womens went to Jean Varker over
Peggy Shaha. Of course Tam/Seemiller won the Mens
Doublesover Cummings/John Tomlinson in 4, after the
Texans had just gotten by Hibbs and Central Oklahoma
winner Tommy Vaello. Tam teamed with Sue Sargent to take
the Mixed over the runner-up team of Quick/Varker, with
Seemiller/Shaha 3rd.
Other winners: As: Pat Windham over fast-improving
Perry Schwartzberg. Bs: Windham over Steve Simon. A
Doubles: Bob Mandel/Hibbs over Jones/Russ Finley. B
Doubles: Jones/Finley over French/Robert Henry. Seniors:
Robert Henry
Photo by Mal Anderson
D.G. Van Vooren over Vern Eisenhour. Senior Doubles: Van
Vooren/Rich Puls over Dave Thorsen/Paul Olivier. U-17:
Steve Hammond in 5 over Schwartzberg whod eliminated Windham. U-17 Doubles:
Schwartzberg/Simon over Hammond/Irl Copely. U-15: Schwartzberg d. Gerald Evans. U-13:
Jonathan Weinglass d. Roger Eisenhour.
In a moment, well read Vince Koloskis report on the Minneapolis Magoos season
kick-off tournament, the Sept. 29-30 Twin City Open. But first a few words on Vince himself
from Grand Rapids reporter Hager. Koloski arrived at Sweeriss July clinic in a $1 cardrove
it all the way from Minneapolis. I bought it five months ago from my brothers wife, he
explained. Its a 53 Chevythe Green Bomb players promptly called it. The door on the
drivers side is smashed in Hager tells usa matter of some inconvenience. But Vince likes
the car, says, Its only got 85,000 miles on it. Hager describes Koloski as tall and lanky,
professorial in appearance, says he dropped out of St. Thomas College after a year, now
works as a janitor and photographer. Hed come to Sweeriss clinic on a sort of learning vacation.
Now that its fall, though, hes back working as a
volunteer Twin City tournament reporter (TTT, Sept.Oct., 1973, 22). In the Mens, the first of two advanced
round robins featured Houshang Bozorgzadeh, Don
Larson, Stu Sinykin, and Pete Tellegenwith Houshang
coming 1st easily, and Pete upsetting Stu. The second
starred Doug Maday, Charlie Disney, Jerry Kahnke, and
John Soderbergwith Maday coming 1st, winning in 3
bizarrely over Soderberg (losing the 1st at 19 after leading
18-12, then winning the 2nd after trailing 11-19), and
Kahnke downing Disney who then announced his
retirement from tournament play. In the final, after going
down 2-0 to Houshang, Doug and his coach Rich Sinykin
devised the strategy of pushing to Houshangs backhand,
looping to his forehand, then killing the return to either
side, depending on which way Houshang was leaning.
When, up19-18, Maday tried to place two backhands
down the line instead of killing crosscourt, Houshang
Thats it for Charlie--hes retiring
163

went up match point, then quickly finished Doug. Mens Doubles winners were Kahnke/
Tellegen over Maday/Stu Sinykin, then Larson/Soderberg.
Class A: Gus Kennedy, on changing to anti-topspin on his backhand for greater
control, won his first As by beating Steve Strauss in the final, after Steve, on losing the 19 1st
game of his semis to Dr. Larry Markus, began to roll and slow loop until the ball came high
enough for a kill. Class B: lefty looper /hitter Kent Nobles, with good serves and a hard kill,
defeated 14-year-old Greg Mosio. Class C: Craig Dead Satersmoen, instead of playing
defensively, hit his way to victory over Canadian Ron Glaister. Class D: Iowas Jim Lynum
(who would go on to win the Dec. Sioux City Open from John Oneal) over Bob Shepherd. U17s: Tellegen over Soderberg. U-17 Womens (in lieu of a Womens event for which there was
no interest): Sheila ODougherty over Judy Heichert. U-17 Doubles: Tellegen/Soderberg. U15s: Soderberg over Reed Watson. U-13s: Swen Baker over Sheri Soderberg, the future first
and only woman to become USTTA (USATT) President, making her debut appearance in
Topics. (Heres Sheri a couple of years later being flirtatious with fellow teen John Stillions.)
Sheri Soderberg and
John Stillions

Houshang also easily won the Oct. 13


Lincoln State Open in Chicago while runner-up
Jim Lazarus fought it out with Paul Pashuku and
Jim Davey. Lazarus took the Mens Doubles with
Salu over Houshang and Mike Baber (A winner
over Paul Wong; runner-up in Bs to Wayne
Wayne and Grace (Ide) Wasielewski
Wasielewski [sic] and in Juniors to Harold
Klinger) [sic]. Joe Bujalski was the winner in Cs
(over Weller) and in Seniors (over Norm Schless). Barbara Taschner won the Womens (over
her mother, Dorothy) and with Pashuku the Mixed (over Dorothy/Mike Carter). PS. Quick
correction: ones life is at stake. Mike Baber writes in to say, I wanted to die when I read the
results of the Lincoln State Open.I lost to neither Wayne Wasielewski (B final) or Harold
Klinger (Junior final). In fact, I won both of those matches, probably by the same score. Tch,
tch, Frank Tichy. As Mike says, thats a ridiculous error. On the other hand, Doug Ballor
makes the point that at least Tichy gave Mike a tournament to play in, and he should be
commended for that.
164

Barbara Taschner

Hugh Shorey
Photo by Mal Anderson

It was Houshang again at Chicagos Nov. 17 Logan Square Open. Cull the usual
suspects and this time the runner-up was Davey, who paired with Womens winner
Barbara Taschner to also take the Mixed (from Womens runner-up Dorothy Taschner and
Hugh Shorey). It was a very good tournament for Hughhe won the As (over Karl Will),
the Seniors (over John Hinde) and the Mens Doubles with Lazarus (over Pashuku/R.
Turco). Bs went to Laszlo Keves over Wasielewski; Cs to Primo Madrigal over G.
Partipilo. Baber beat Klinger in the Juniors.
Bill Connelly of the Eastern Illinois University TTC tells us (TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1973, 25)
that he and Co-Tournament Director Jim Schnorf, after months of planning, hundreds of
letters, and lots of perspirationsay, well over 200 hours of workbrought off the 135entry Panther Open in the small town (pop. 16,000) of Charleston, IL, Nov. 10-11. They
raised $350 from local businesses and went all out trying to get players and to promote the
tournamentwrote to every single club listed in Topics, sent personal letters to top players,
and got local newspapers and radio stations to give the $500 tournament coverage, with the
result that several hundred spectators showed. Schnorf was doubtless too tired to be a
winner here, but three weeks earlier at Fort Wayne, hed won the Bs (over Max Salisbury),
the Cs (over Alan Grambo), and the Handicap (over Snyder). Perhaps its Jim whos going to
be giving exhibitions at local high schools with Connelly at $35 a pop? Bill has a vision:
Twenty schools in a week would gross $700.
Dell Sweeris and Danny Seemiller gave a clinic just before the tournament started and
drew about 20 participants. Each player was given individual attention and Dells puns kept
everyone on the ball. Tournament Referee Don Larson did a tremendous job with the
seedings and many petty arguments. Dennis Fajfar, Mike Zwilling, and Jim Bednar were
invaluable in keeping the 15-event tournament running smoothly. Play was on 10 Nissen
tables, and Bill said hed never been to a tournament with as much room between tables.
Players could lob to their hearts content (hear that, Mike Carter?).
The Mens final round robin saw Houshang Bozorgzadeh, Danny Seemiller, and Dell
Sweeris all with 2-1 records while Jim Lazarus was 0-3. In the tie-breaker, Houshang ($125)
edged Seemiller ($60) by a mere pointafter which he gleefully hopped around like a little
boy. Other Mens money winners: Sweeris ($40); Lazarus ($20); Paul Pashuku and Jerry
Thrasher ($15); and Richard Hicks (earlier winner at Fort Wayne in Singles and Doubles with
165

son Ricky) and Jim Davey ($10).


Womens went to Chicagos Barb
Taschner over Western Kentucky
University student Carol Cook. Open
Doubles was won by Lazarus/Thrasher
over Bozorgzadeh/Davey.
Sweeris has taken a cue from
Herb Vichnins series of 6 seasonal
tournaments at the Philadelphia Club,
and has instituted his own Woodland
Class A
Invitational. Players are awarded points
Winner
according to their Open Singles play in 6
Jerry
tourneys. At the end, the16 whove
Thrasher
qualified will vie for prize money in a
single elimination format; 1st round
losers are guaranteed $37.50 and the
winner $450. Dell has also incorporated
what he calls a pass to all Woodland-sponsored tournaments. Pay $60 and you can enter up
to 4 double elimination events a tournament (regular entry fee $3 an event) through 8
tournaments.
So who do you think won
the 1st of these Grand Rapids Opens?
Uh-huh, Sweeris. With Jim Davey
taking 2nd over Bill Lesner whod been
down 2-0 to Tom Hall. Tom McEvoy
said that Davey continues to impress
people with his solid attack, and doesnt
seem to get psyched as much as in the
past. Paul Pashuku finished 4th.
Womens went to Connie Sweeris over
Marywood Academy senior Maureen
Farmer, the current Grand Rapids
Womens and Girls U-17 Champ. Mens
As: Joe Bujalski in a Double
Elimination double upset of Hall. Bs:
Frank Sexton, after surprising McEvoy
in the 1st round, over Craig Burton. Cs:
Ron Eaton over Bill Hornyak. Novice:
Jim Davey
Garrett Donner over Steve Vinter.
Photo by Mal Anderson
Handicap: Mike Baber over Eaton.
Seniors: Bujalski over Bong Ho. U-17:
Baber over Greg Jelinski. U-15: Andy Hopping. U-13: Faan Yeen Liu. U-11: John Austin over
Torsten Pawlowski.
And the 2nd in the Woodland series, who won that? Uh-huh, Sweeris. With Davey again
runner-up. This time Pashuku, who had Dell down 2-1, finished 3rd over #4 finisher Bob
Hazekamp whod upset the #1 A seed Jeff Smart in the quarters. Womens went to Janice
166

Martin over Connie Sweeris. Mens As: Phil Trout


Roy Hyden
over Tom Hall, 22-20 in the 3rd and then over Mike
Photo
by Mal
Baber in the final. Womens As: Connie Evans over
Anderson
Joan Knight. Bs: Hazenkamp over Paul Lamse.
Novice: Mike Zwilling over Mark Delmar.
Handicap: Ted Bassett over Pat Cox.
Tom Hall won the Three Rivers Openin
the semis over Hornyak in 5, and then in the final
over Lyle Thiem in 4. Womens: Joyce Donner over
Amy Dickerhoff. Mens Doubles: Hall/Thiem over
Trout/Hyden. As: Hyden over Hornyak, 23-21 in
the 4th, and then in the final over Max Salisbury, 18
in the 4th. Bs: Hyden over McCann. Juniors:
Randy Webb over Jeff Shockley.
At the Nov.
17 Kentucky Closed
at Lexington, Ruben
Dreszer beat Joe
Bowsher, 19 in the
4th to win the Mens. In the semis, both the finalists came from
behindDreszer 21, -8, 18, 15, 18 over Hasse Ahman, and
Bowsher 15, -18, 18, 21, 15 over Homer Brown. Two 5gamers in the quarters, too: Dreszer over Kin Chau, and
Ahman over Sam Shannon. Womens went to Carol Cook over
Mary Troxell. Championship Doubles winners were Ahman/
Mike Wyatt over Brown/Shannon. Dont think of Shannon,
who lives in Evansville, IN, as a non-winner, however. Reporter
Al Dunning of the Evansville Press (May 29, 1974), quotes
Sam as saying he began playing at age 14 in Cleveland, and
was later the Cleveland city champion for nine years. Born in
1929, he had his first big win at
Carol Cook
the 1938 Indiana Open; later,
Photo by Mal Anderson
during his heyday 1940s, he was
the Ohio Champion. After retiring in 1952, he started playing
again a couple of years ago, and is doing pretty well. Here at
Lexington he won the As over Dreszer, and the Seniors over Ted
Friedman.
Other double winners in this Kentucky Closed: Ray Spann
(over Friedman in the Bs, and Jud Brown in the Novice); and
Augustine Choi (over Johnny Howard in Boys U-17, and over
David Ross in U-15s). U-13 winner was S. OConnell over P.
Levy. Girls U-17 went to Choi over A. Friedman who won the
U-11s over Scott.
Larry Thoman ran his first tournamentthe roughly 50Larry Thoman
entry Tennessee Closed at Nashville, Oct. 6. In his write-up (TTT,
Photo by Jeannie Kohas, from
Nov.-Dec., 1973, 24), Larry shows hes pleased that, though
July 28, 1979 Nashville Banner
167

almost $200 worth of trophies was given out, the tournament made a profit of over $100. Hes
also proud of the concession stand with its hot sandwiches, prepared mostly by his mother.
Glitches? Only a few: a mix-up of two trophy labels; a stop-play by popular demand to see the
Worlds on TV; a half-hour delay while the gym had to be cooled off; and a complication
brought about because one person had at least 5 matches to play when the tournament was in
its semifinal stages. Larry thanks all those who helpedJohn White, Robert Jordan, Everett
Henry, Bill and Lee Edwards, Allen Wright, Gerry Gividen and his wife, Karen, Sandy
Stephens, and, most of all, Tom White and Neil McClain. Play was over with by 9:30 p.m.
and, with great cooperation, tables, barriers, etc. were taken down and put away in less than
forty-five minutes.
The Mens went to Bill Edwards, a 17-year-old freshman at the University of
Tennessee at Knoxville who wants to be an architect. Bill has been the Tennessee junior
champ for the past several years, and has always had a tremendous attacking top-spin
game. But his 3-0 win in the final here over Defending Champ Clay Whitelaw can also be
attributed to a lack of practice on Clays part. Formerly U.S. #18 when he was playing with
inverted and had such an overpowering loop game, Clay had lost interest in practicing and
switched to a hard rubber defenseI guess because he thought play that way was more fun. In
the one semis, Bill defeated Jim Cambell, deuce in the 4th; and in the other, Clay defeated Lee
Edwards whod earlier rallied from down 2-0 to oust John McKenna, 19 in the 5th. Whitelaw
paired with Gividen to take the Mens Doubles from Edwards/Larry Bartley, deuce in the 5th.
Womens winner was 14-year-old Leslie Harris over Marty Williamson.
Other results: As: Cambell d. McKenna. A Doubles: Neil McLain/Hugh Lax d. Denis
Fritchie/Harris. Bs: Bob Flowers, Sr. d. Vincent Chan in 5. Cs: Willie Wells d. Bill Brunson.
Seniors: Lax d. Flowers in (do you believe it? I dont) five 19 games. Juniors: Greg Smith d.
Harris whod bested Thoman, -16, -16, 18, 20, 18.
A week after the Closed, there was another tournament in Tennessee: Hugh Babb
reports (TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1973, 26) on the Kingsport Open, held at the citys Civic Auditorium
under the direction of Kermit and Nancy Raxter. Mens final: Dr. Joe Ching, originally from
China, now from the atomic city of Oak Ridge, down 2-1 and 17-20 in the 4th, exploded for
5 gutsy points and went on to beat Tom Hall, whod earlier escaped Lee Edwards in 5. Hugh
calls 28-year-old Tom an Ironman, and one can see why. A high school algebra teacher in his
spare time, he averages running 4 miles per day, swims, works out with weights, and plays Table
Tennis 5 days each week. This Open marks his 11th straight weekend of playing in a tournament.
In the Mens, Graham Gear, a 33-year-old V-P for a sales promotion company in
Cincinnati, after getting by anti-spin demon Sol Lewis in 5, ended up losing 3rd Place to Larry
Bartley. But he did pair with Hall (theyre the Ohio State Champions) to take the
Championship Doubles over Ching and Vincent Chang. Womens went to Shelby Jordan, a
housewife and the mother of two girls, 9 and 11, over 22-year-old Melanie Spain whos a
graduate student at the University of North Carolina. Melanie averages playing about 2 hours
each day and as much as 5 or 6 hours on holidays and weekends.
Other winners: As: Lewis over Hall. Bs: Tom Kelly over James Neal. Cs: Greg Smith
over Mickey Greer, 17 in the 5th. Championship Consolation: Chan over North Carolina
District Judge Stanley Peele. Juniors: Danny Dye over Robert Benson in 5, then in the final
over Smith in 4. Seniors: Lewis over Dick Tucker, a university professor of mathematics in
Greensboro, whod rallied from down 2-0 to beat Peale. Dick really takes the Game seriously,
as you can see from a letter hell later write Dr. Michael Scott:
168

If it were not for Clyde Vincent, I would be pretty isolated from the game in
Greensboro. I keep a ping-pong table in my office at the State University. Monday
through Friday after school, Clyde and I wheel the table upstairs to the third floor into
a large corner room and play for about 2 and hours. We use your idea of using a lot
of balls at one time (we use about 7 or 8 dozen) and really get a lot of play in. I
estimate that we hit at least twice as many balls or more than when using only one ball.
So that is equivalent to about 5 or 6 hours of practice a day for five days. [Sound right,
does it? Hey, hes the math professor.]
Exactly when the Atomic City Open was held, Lee Edwards reporting for Topics (Jan.Feb, l974, 33) neglected to say. But thats o.k. because, though this was the Oak Ridge Clubs
first tournament, and though the Oak Ridge Recreation Department lent a helping hand, and
the Oak Ridge Bank donated the trophies, the tournament wasnt in the Atomic City of Oak
Ridge. Instead, says Lee, we were in a place called Oliver Springs, somewhat removed from
the gaseous diffusion plant, the reactors, the laboratories, and the signs which reminded us to
be security conscious.
The Championship Division final was a fight between the two best active players in
Tennesseeand was won by Joe Ching over Bill Edwards. Ching uses a seven-ply balsa
paddle covered with pips-out sponge, and specializes in frustrating loopers with his slow, dead
block. Though Edwards was not looping very consistently, the match went 5 games and
featured long counter-hitting rallies. Doubles, however, went to Bill and Tom Tarrant over
Tom Seay/Frank Webb, 17, -15, -18, 19, 19. Womens winner was Melanie Spain over
Charlene Jenkins. As: Jim Cambell forgot his hard rubber paddle and had to play with the
only other one he could find, some sort of dime store special. Although his opponent in the
final was Alabamas Webb, who puts the ball away like a rocket, Jim managed to chop back
the heavy ball under rather cramped conditions, and won, 24-22 in the 5th, with a puffball
pick shot.
Other winners: Bs: Larry Thoman, a talented counter-driver, over the living legend
Larry Mills. Mills of the hills, once one of the greatest wood blockers in the nation, is
renowned for his calm demeanor and classic footwork. Although he has been known to
employ such psychological tactics as eating moths and spitting the ball across the table (after
throwing it high into the air ala Hsu Shao-fa), he is usually
content to simply scream his favorite expletive Godzilla! and
drink snake juice, his favorite beverage. Cs: Bill Capshaw over
Jim Flanagan in 5. Student: Lee Edwards over Bill Edwards, 19
in the 3rd. Seniors: Mel Ketchel over Robert Jordan in 5.
Juniors: Greg Smith over Mark Gilliam.
Bard Brenner has left the West Coast and returned to
Miami Beach where (TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1973, 32-33) he describes
the Fujii Club thats about to have a Grand Reopening and also
reports on the Miami Open. Turns out that, though Fujii himself
is no longer managing the place (its open only two days a week
until owner Joe Newgarden is back in town, so that most top
players have been practicing at Robert Walkers facility), the
Club itself is ready to accommodate one and all. It has a
multicolored lighted parking lot (holds 50 cars), has airRobert Walker
169

conditioning, a walls-length bulletin board with all the local and national [table tennis] news,
and a lobby ending with rest rooms for the non-playing spectators. It also has a large lounge
areawith a soda machine, and couchesbridge tables, chess sets, and a television. Here
one sees a complete selection of table tennis equipment; and the new manager-to-be,
Richard McAfee, is soon sure to be on hand to help buyers make a choice, for the control desk
is here too.
As you head to the playing area, you pass a room with two practice tables and a Stiga
robot. Then you come to the main arena of twelve tables set in two rows that are separated
by barriers. A low-running wooden barrier rings the court complex, outside of which sit
spectators who may place drinks in holes provided at the top of this barrier. To the rear, behind
sliding doors, there are separate mens and womens locker rooms, complete with shower.
And theres also another rooma kitchen!
The
Grand
Reopening is set
Ross Brown
for Oct. 21. But
first theres the
14-event Miami
Open, put on
the weekend
before by
President Fred
Fuhrmans
Miami Club
with Phil Spool
as Tournament
Chair. Bard, Joe
Sokoloff, and
Richard McAfee
hype the
tournament by
appearing on the Sonny Hirsch radio showOne hour of prime time evening coverage
with no other guests! Mention was maybe made on air of football player, Ross Brown,
whose loop reminded Bard of Eric Thoms. Thirty years later, Ross will be the USATTs
Nominating Committee Chair.
Professional Event (some prize money): Final: Peter Pradit d. Jerry Thrasher, 3-1.
Semis: Pradit d. Richard McAfee, 3-0; Thrasher d. Greg Gingold, 19, -20, 18, -18, 20. 3rd
Place: University of South Floridas Gingold (whose game, Bard says, defies description) d.
McAfee, 19 in the 4th. Mens Championship Singles (Pros Pradit, McAfee, and Joe Sokoloff,
the Tournament Referee, didnt play): super-looper Thrasher won but was pressured by Tampa
college student Cornelius Harrison 13, 15, 19, 20 in the quarters; by Gingold 14, -25, 20, 18, 18 in the semis; and by anti-topspin defender Alan Nissen -22, 16, 21, 20 in the final, after
Al had won an expedite match from Marv Leff. Mens Championship Doubles: McAfee/
Sokoloff d. Nissen/Leff in 5 in the semis and Thrasher/Pat Patterson in 5 in the final.
Womens: Bev Hess d. Elaine Posta. Mixed Doubles: Patterson/Hess d. Randy Hess/Shellie
Gainsburg.
170

Other winners: As:


John Sholine
penholder John Sholine d. Fujiis
Photo by Ben Kosmeder
Assistant Manager-to-be John
Wimbish whod knocked out Leff
in 5 (Marv having switched from
pimpled rubber to anti-topspin).
Lenny Bass was beating Sholine
before it turned out that John
hadnt played his previously
scheduled match. So when later
the two played, Lenny couldnt
shake off his distress. Bs: B. Hess
d. Harrison, 3-0. B Doubles
(Championship players play with
Novice players and Class A players
play with Class B players):
Thrasher/Chris Marshall d.
Patterson/Brown, deuce in the 5th. Novice: George Bluhm 14, -18, 20, 22, 15 rallied to defeat
Chris Marshall. Consolation: Sam Fletcher d. Victor Fung. Wheelchair Singles: Fletcher d.
John Ebert. Seniors: Sam Hoffner d. Hal Gundersdorf, 3-0. Under 17: Hess d. Marshall, 3-1.
Under 15: Jesse Franz d. Gainsburg, 3-0.
And, yes, the new Fujiis did opento free play, free drinks, and celebratory cakes.
Heres the Clubs first weeks itinerary:
Mondaycoaching clinic for beginners and intermediates, led by Joe Sokoloff
[using, I presume, his Topics My Way articles]; Tuesdayindividual Handicap
League; WednesdayMoney Round Robin; Thursday3-Man Team League
(advanced, intermediate, and beginner on each team); FridayAdvanced Coaching for
intermediate and advanced players run by Richard McAfee; SaturdayWild Card
Night (fun nighttournament with no paddles allowed); SundayRevolving Table
League (you move up according to ability). The Center is open from 4 P.M. to
midnightseven days a week.
Is that a silent scream as
You say you want to
Fred strikes the ball?
move to Miami?
Photo by Steve Murray
Though Raleigh held both a
North Carolina Open and Closed on the
Sept. 29-30 weekend, the event winners
were sometimes different. Results: Open
Championship Singles: 1. Sol Lewis. 2.
Hou-min Chang. 3. Fred King. 4. Jim
McQueen (whod almost lost 3-0 to
Kelly). King was a triumphant triple
winner in the Closed: Mens (over Bill
Cooper); Mens Doubles with Mike
Johnson (over Steve Hitchner/Knud171

Hansen); and Mixed with Melanie Spain (over Tom Tarrant/Kim Setzer, whod beaten them in
the Open). Open Womens: Melanie Spain over Jean Postonreversed in the next days
Closed. Open Seniors: Lewis over Closed winner Dick Tucker in the semis and over
Consolation winner Manny Moskowitz in the final. U-17s and U-15s: Johnson was dominant
both days over Bill Brown. Open As: P. Neal d. Ron Luth whod eliminated J. Neal, 19 in the
3rd. Open Bs: King Stablein over Luth. Closed As/Consolations: Adams over Johnson;
Adams over Hitchner.
Outsiders, particularly a large group of Floridians, turned up at Raleigh for the Nov.
Southern Open. Results: Championship Singles: Bernie Bukiet over George Brathwaite whod
been 24-22 in the 4th pressed by Peter Stephens. Womens: Bev Hess over Shelby Jordan.
Mens Doubles: Jerry Thrasher/Bill Edwards over Hou-min Chang/Lance Rosemore in the
semis, 23-21 in the 4th, 22-20 in the 5th, and over Brathwaite/Al Nissen in the final in 5.
Mixed: Brathwaite/Hess over Doyle Dye/Jordan. As: Sol Lewis over Jim McQueen. Bs: Hess
in 5 over N. Lam whod eked out a 23-21 in the 3rd win over Dye. Cs: Ron Luth over H.
Skirm. Seniors: Bukiet over Lewis. U-17: John Elliott over Robert Nochenson. U-15: Chris
Marshall over Nochenson.*
Herb Vichnin (TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1973, 27) rings the Sept. 29-30 Liberty Bell Open at
the Philly Club, but barely announces the very dull Mens matches while giving peals of
praise to the As. Mens: George Brathwaite over Lim Ming Chui, 3-0. Semis: Brathwaite
over Errol Resek, 3-0; Chui over Bernie Bukiet, 3-0. Unusual match: Dave Sakai, after
complaining about his draw, withdrew from the event, then re-entered and lost to Horace
Roberts in 3. Womens Singles: Carol Davidson, the current Caribbean Champion, over
Debbie Wong. Mixed Doubles: Alex Shiroky/Wong over Guyanas Garth Isaacs/Davidson.
Mens Doubles: Final: Brathwaite/Resek over Dave Philip/Tim Boggan. Semis: Philip/Boggan
over Chui/Shiroky; Brathwaite/Resek over Sakai and Indian professional Monty Merchant in 5.
Jairie Resek in her Sept.-Oct., 1973 Its Whats
Happening Topics column, quotes Monty on the liberties taken
at this tourney: Never saw anything like itmore like a Fiesta
than a tournament. Two guys here playing gin for $5.00 a game.
Another drinking beer. A couple making out on the stairway.
Players swearing, kicking the table,
throwing their rackets. Everyone
enjoying themselves in their own
way (28).
As: Final: Boggan over Bill
Sharpe. Semis: Boggan over
Phillys junior sensation Mike Bush,
Monty Merchant never saw said to have improved his game with
anything like it--he had to
coaching from Smolanowicz; Sharpe
take pictures
over Vichnin. Quarters: Boggan over
Roger Sverdlik; Bush over Ricky Seemiller; Sharpe over Gary
Wittner; Vichnin over Joe Mimoso. Early-rounds: Wittner over
Richard McAfee, far from his Florida home, 22, -17, 19. Seemiller
over McAfees traveling companion Al Nissen, 21, -19, 25.
Sverdlik over #2 seed Stan Smolanowicz. Bush over #3 seed Peter
Junior Mike Bush
Holder, 17, 13, crushing him with some of the most amazing
Photo by Mal Anderson
172

shots youve ever seen. Herb describes one unbelievable point: Holder hit in two of his
sidespin forehand kills, and Bush got the second one back quite a bit high. Holder killed it
deep to Bushs backhand. Mike lunged at it near the back barrier and managed to send it up
just below the fluorescent lights. The ball came down right on Holders forehand corner,
handcuffing him and forcing him to push the ball deep to Bushs forehand. Mike, who by this
time had picked himself up off the barrier, came running across the court and put away an
amazing crosscourt forehand kill.
Bs: Bruce Plotnick over George Hellerman whod sneaked by Robert Nochenson, 19
rd
in the 3 , after Robert had upset Wittner. With Bruce up 2-0 against George, the umpire
insisted, because of all the nets, that the players change tables, which move sent Plotnick into
the 5th and his father Carl into mild conniptions. Cs: Barry Robbins over Nochenson. Ds:
Barry over Jaffar Hashim. Handicap: Plotnick over Bush (from 23-all) 50-42 (while Rory
Brassington had yelled out, Youre choking, Bush!). Seniors: Sharpe over Boggan.
Esquires: Sid Jacobs over Bob Green. Bob thinks gas rationing and perhaps even a ban on
Sunday driving after 1 p.m. might be in effect soon. He offers suggestions how to cope (TTT,
Nov.-Dec., 1973, 14). Hold only Saturday tournaments, except allow weekends for 3 or 4-star
events. Curtail events. Sanction more tournaments on the same weekend. As long as a
minimum of 300 miles (a tank of gas) between tournaments is maintained. Tournament
organizers: select sites that are easily available to public transportation.
A Doubles: McAfee/Nissen over Mimoso/Holder. Adult-Junior Doubles: Philip/
Sverdlik over Sharpe/Plotnick, 18 in the 5th. U-17s: Rick Seemiller, whose parents came from
Pittsburgh to see him play, over Wittner whod upset Bush, 18 in the 3rd, and in the final over
Sverdlik whod knocked out Plotnick, 21, 16, 14, after Bruce had squeaked by
Sam Hammond:
Arlington, VAs Alan Evenson, deuce in the
whats wrong with
3rd. Junior Doubles: Seemiller/Eric Boggan
his stomach?
(who surprised the hell out of his father by
winning about eight matches at this
tournament he wasnt supposed to) over
Sverdlik/Wittner. U-15s: Mike Stern over
Plotnick. U-13s: Stern over Rutledge
Barry.
At Philadelphias Nov. 10-11
Veterans Day Open, Brathwaite won the
Mens over Resek, 15, 21, -21, 18, after
Errol had taken out Holder in the quarters
in 5 and Chui, -16, 18, 20, 18 in the semis.
Mens Doubles went to Smolanowicz/Sam
Balamoun who beat in succession
Brathwaite/Resek, Sverdlik/Jerry
Fleischacker (whod upset Chui/Dave
Sakai, 24-22), and Sam Hammond/Mitch
Sealtiel in a straight-game final. Hammond
was bothered by a stomach-ache, and Mitch
was still recovering from injuries he and his
wife Joyce suffered when theyd been run
173

off the road by another car. Esquires:


George Rocker over Sid Jacobs. Seniors:
Sharpe over Boggan who, in losing in the
8ths of the Mens to Pete Cohen, knocked
himself out of the Final 16 Invitational
coming up in Dec.
As: Smolanowicz blasted through
Balamoun in 4. In significant matches,
Vichnin stopped Ray Maldonado, 19 in the
3rd (after being down 18-10); and Dan Green
upset Boggan, -17, 22, 19 (Tim had him 2015 match point in the 2nd, whereupon Danny
flashed in 7 big backhands). A Doubles:
Sharpe/Barry Robbins over Vichnin/Plotnick
in 5. Bs: Fleischhacker over Maldonado
Pete Cohen: in good company
whod eliminated Johnny Ou, after Johnny,
Photo by Mal
celebrating his return from a 6-month
retirement, eliminated #1 seed Green and Rutledge Barry. Young Rutledge won the Cs by
edging Robbins, deuce in the 3rd in the semis and Gordon Gregg in the final. Ds went to Ray
McDowell over Mike Zukerman. Handicap: Bruce Plotnick over Boggan. Under 17s:
Sverdlik over Jeff Zakarin. U-15s: Plotnick over Barry. Adult/Junior Doubles: Green/Gary
Wittner over Brathwaite/Scott Boggan. Junior Doubles: Wittner/Scott McDowell over the
promising team of Eric Boggan/Chuck Zakarin.
Gene Wonderlins West Jersey Club hosted the Oct. 27 Delaware Valley Closedand
Gene (TTT, Feb.-Mar., 1974, 39) took the opportunity to honor Dan Seemiller for his
participation on the U.S. Team to Sarajevo and Ray McDowell, Mal Anderson, and Herb
Vichnin for the many hours theyve given to the USTTA. The Club presented them with a
small token of appreciation, and indirectly added something more for Dan, for they awarded
as much prize money as possible, and Dan and brother Rick went home with an extra $110.
The venue was fineexcept for the lighting, which Gene says wont be a problem next year.
Results: Mens: Dan Seemiller d. Rick Seemiller whod eliminated Bill Sharpe and
Mitch Sealtiel. Womens: Debbie Wong d. Pat Bacilli. Mens Doubles: Seemillers d. Stan
Smolanowicz/Sam Balamoun. As: Balamoun d. Bruce
Plotnick whod ousted Sharpe. A Doubles: Barry Robbins/
Sharpe d. Vichnin/Plotnick. Bs: George Hellerman d. J.
Friedlin. Esquires: Kilpatrick d. Manny Moskowitz.
Seniors: Sharpe d. John Kilpatrick. U-17s: R. Seemiller d.
Plotnick. U-15s: Mike Stern d. Robert Nochenson.
Peter Groot
Hank Colker (TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1973, 37) reports on
the Cornell Open, held Oct. 20-21 in Barton Hall. Since
plenty of help was needed, a thanks to Peter Groot, Neal
Fox, Carl Danner, Cody Jones, and others. The Mens,
featuring some unbelievable kills and counters, went to Jim
Dixon over runner-up Dave Sakai, whod survived University
of Buffalos Bill Davis in 5. 3rd Place finisher Scott
McDowell was the only player to take a game from Jim.
174

Peter Stephens, objecting to the order in which the matches were to be played, defaulted and
so came 4th. Dixon/Sakai won the Doubles. Womens winner was Shazzi Felstein over Louise
Chotras. Mixed went to Sol Schiff/Pat Bacilli over Sakai/Evelyn Zakarin.
Other results: As: Gary Wittner over Fred Danner whod eliminated a tournament
hot Rutledge Barry. A Doubles: Wittner/Sverdlik over Davis/Fox. Bs: Davis over Carl
Danner. C winner: Colin Abrams. B/C Doubles: Fred Danner/Al Brandman over Kaiser/
Goldwasser. U-17s: Barry over Jeff Zakarin, Scott McDowell, and Sverdlik. U-17 Doubles:
Robert Nochenson/Eliot Katz over both Carl Danner/McDowell and Wittner/Sverdlik. Adult/
Junior Doubles: Fleischhacker/Sverdlik over Sakai/Mike Bush, 26-24 in the 3rd.
Bill Dean tells us (TTT, Nov.-Dec, 1973, 37) that at the
Waltham Club on Oct. 21 the New England Intercity League
crowned a Championthe Lynn #2 team (Lim-Ming Chui, Ralph
Robinson, and Mike Allen). In the semis they defeated Waltham
#1 (Frank Dwelly, Benny Hull, and Bill Dean). Chui, as expected,
won all 3, but it was Robinsons wins over New England #5 Hull
and in the 9th match over New Englands #4 Dean that made the
difference. In the other semis, the Defending Champion
Providence #1 team (Ed Raky, Jack Devereaux, and Irv Levine)
downed Waltham #2 (Alan Millett; the New England Junior
Champion Lew Martinello; and newly arrived Australian Ian
Staff). The 1968 U.S. Junior Champion/1971 Intercollegiate
Champion, Surasak Koakiettavecchi, gave a strong performance on a
Mike Allen
decidedly weak Northampton team. In the final, Chui again won 3
Photo by Barry Margolius
and Robinson again won 2over Devereaux and former Rhode
Island Champ Levine. For his key wins, Ralph was voted the Most Valuable Player Award.
Neal Fox covered the Oct. 6-7 Central Canadian Open, held, as it was when I first
played in it 20 years before, at the brrr, deliberately kept cold Niagara Falls Badminton Club.
Difference now is, for both men and women they had a Money event, as well as an Open Class
A (and to compensate raised the event fees to $10 and $7.50 respectivelywhich produced
fewer entries than hoped for). Mens Money event: Dan Seemiller (who, according to Jairie
Resek, will soon start teaching T.T. at Pittsburgh
City Parks 6 hours a day, 3 days a week, for 8
weeks) d. Jim Dixon, -15, 19, -15 in the quarters
(why just 2 out of 3, Jim rightfully complained); d.
Zoltan Pataky in the semis; and d. Errol Caetano
in the final. Mike Veillette had a good win over
Canadian International Peter Gonda.
Womens Money event: Violetta
Nesukaitis d. Mariann Domonkos.
Mens As (Open): Caetano d. Dixon
(whod downed Adham Sharara), d. Dave Sakai
(who beat Bill Cheng and Ricky Seemiller), and
d. Dan Seemiller in the final.
Womens As (Open): Domonkos d.
Nesukaitis. Buffalo City Champion Katie Simon,
Katie Simon
a penholder, played a good though losing match
Photo by Neal Fox
175

against Torontos Jose Tomkins. Neal says, Look for her in the future. Of course, whether
he knows it now or not, hes going to marry her.
Bs: Unseeded but top-rated Alex Polisois over Violetta Nesukaitis (who in the 1st
round beat shouldhave-been-seeded Jeff Smart, 2-1).
In the Consolations, Sharara stopped Tim House (who also lost to Fox in another
event). Whether this was a final or not, we dont know.
Juniors saw Polisois down Veillette; and Ricky Seemiller eliminate Torontos justback-from-China John Richardson. Who beat who in the final, Fox doesnt say. Neal praises
Milda Milacek and Paul Klevinas, assures us that they have to be taken seriously, but doesnt
tell us anything specific about their play, says only Klevinas was a semifinalist.
Strangely missing from this Canadian tournament was Derek Wall, whos not been
playing (nobody seems to know why). Canadian stalwarts Caetano, Gonda, Pataky, and
Nesukaitis wont be playing at the Long Island USOTCs this yearthey leave right after this
tournament for a 10-week tour of Europe.
SELECTED NOTES.
*Eric Zeigler tells us (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 39) that, during this Raleigh tournament,
he and Robert Nochenson, walking about the tournament hotel and grounds Sunday at 3:00
a.m., were suddenly startled to hear, coming from a Conference Room, the sound of pingpong balls being batted back and forth. On investigation, they found the Kingsport Table
Tennis Club. Kingsport members playing in the Raleigh tournament had rented this large
Room not only to sleep in but apparently at the moment to hold a private tournament in. They
called it the half-star Howard Johnson Open.
Of course play
was on a makeshift table
Kingsport Club hosts 1/2-star
composed of two buffet
Howard Johnson Open
tables and stretched
Photo by Eric Zeigler
across it was an equally
imaginative net. USTTA
tournament rules were
modifiedplayers played
11-point games,
alternating service, and
the Expedite Rule was
brought in after three
exchangesmostly
because, though some
members of the Club
(Orville Pop
Quisenberry, for example) slept intently during the play, people kept drifting in wanting to enter
the tournament. One late entry, Dr. Mike McIntire, wearing a new-fangled warm-up suit called
pajamas, received the nickname P-J Lee. Throughout, good feelings were in abundance and so
was the beer.If real tournaments had more of this spirit they would be much more enjoyable.
And by the way, young Zeigler, who writes well, but whos not old enough to have a car,
and who hasnt money to go to tournaments, needs a sponsor. Its probably a little late to help him
out now, butwho knows?
176

Chapter Twelve
1973: Problems at USOTCsMichigan Men, Canadian Women, Pennsylvania
Juniors Win.
As the Nov. 23-25 Farmingdale, Long Island U.S. Open Team Championships got
underwayand slipped and fell and, crazily staggered onRufford Harrison, for one, was not
happy. For how many official years had he diplomatically traveled abroad, representing the
USTTA at many a prestigious event. But here hed have to stand in an absurd line with
hundreds of others waiting an hour and a half to be registered and hand-stamped in. The
creeping thought must have come to him that, incredible as it might seem with the LITTAs
track record for holding efficient, well-run tournaments, this onewith everybody pointing to
the single registrar at the small bridge table, she who, player-entry notebook in front of her,
was good-naturedly but with foolish flippancy shuffling back and forth through pages and
pages of fading, unalphabetized namesthis one, this tournament, was going to be a
bummer.
Of course from an inside point of view there was no immediate hurry about all those
players outside getting in. What those still setting up inside needed was time. Turns out, as
Fred Danner explains, the tournament organizers were denied entry to the venue until the
morning of the tournament and then had a baseball team practicing in the middle of setting
up tables UNTIL 10:15.
Months ago, the usually affable Cobo Hall Tournament Director George Buben,
irritated at the USTTA E.C. for having overridden some of his past tournament decisions, did
not, or said he did not, want to run this years Team tournament. That was o.k., though, for
the E.C. didnt think it fair or wise for the Championships to remain forever an unpublicized
fixture in Detroit. Hence, they accepted the LITTA bid.
However, right from the start, Dave Cox, Chris Schlotterhausen, Mort Zakarin, Danny
Ganz, and Co. had trouble getting a 100% commitment from their contact man at the State
University at Farmingdale. This seemed strange becauseprevious to the opening of this
brand new campus gym venue wed be the first group outside the university to usewed run
mutually satisfactory tournaments. Now disaster fast approached, for no understanding had
been arrived at regarding: (1) the cost to the LITTA of this new hall (the LITTA wouldnt
know until the evening before play began!); (2) the independent or cooperative way to
promote the tournament (the contact man was more obstructionist than helpful; almost no
publicity was getting out); and (3) the vital setting up of the playing facilities that were being
delayed.
The LITTA wanted to award appropriate prize moneylast year Bubens Michigan
Association gave out (what should have been mentioned in Topics, but wasnt) $2400: Mens
1st $1000; Mens 2nd $500; Mens 3rd $300; Mens 4th $100; Womens 1st $400; Womens 2nd
$200. But because of this years near paralysis, the Long Island leaders were fearful of taking
a financial beating and didnt want to commit themselves to several thousands of dollars in
advance. Which left the professional-minded players in the dark. What are we playing for?
one after the other of them wanted to know. What are we playing for?
And what, it was becoming ever clearer, had the LITTA gotten itself into? Or me, as
both a part of that Association, and as the independent, but very much on-the-scene and
deeply involved USTTA President/Editor.
177

From the word Go! it was a


mess. Forty-eight tablesall with
time-scheduled matcheswere
supposed to be up and running by
Friday noon, but play didnt start
until almost two. Tournament
Chair Schlotterhausen had thought
hed worked out table spaces and
convenient pathways so that every
table would be accessible and no
player would interrupt anothers
match. His was an Age-of-Reason,
geometric Garden of the Mind. All
that was needed was Danny Ganzs
promised barriers. Home-made
onesas in a fairy tale. First there
was the cloth, and then the most
breakable of flimsy little stands and
poles. But as fast as the cloth was
applied, almost as fast would it slip
President Boggan futilely trying to tape up barriers
Photo by Eric Rosenthal
off the poles and have to be
reapplied with plastic (pop off)
clamps, scotch-tape, and, in desperation, masking tape. So in the beginning there were barriers
alright. With all of them in danger of falling down, and a number of them having actually
collapsed, the courts were being gradually draped over, diminished, and ever more difficult
to get to without interfering with other matches.
This is a Championship? yelled one exasperated player, who might also have been
looking not just at the appearance of the playing area but also of some of those in it. Though
Buben was gentlemanly, didnt come out with any spiteful, serves-you-right remarks, Alan
Nissen, I remember, was beside himself, raving after a while at me. I dont swear, he said,
but Ill say this: New York should be a mass burial groundyou should come here only if
youre dead. Table Tennis on Long Island it stinks, it rots.
Friday evening the President of the University came by, along with two N.Y.
legislators. On being introduced by a spokesman for the LITTA, they received quite a few
SSSSSSs from the audience. Thanks a lot, said the embarrassed but not too embarrassed to
retort LITTA man. But then the President went through his two-minute speech, gave his
official blessing, and the two legislators signified their approval of what they saw, and all were
applauded.
Mens Preliminary Play
Last year at centrally-located Detroit there were 108 Mens teams; this year 97a
large enough showing that suggested this huge tournament could perhaps be held somewhere
other than on the 80 tables in Cobo Hall. In Bracket I of the four-Bracket Championship
Group, the N.Y. Internationals (Fuarnado Roberts, Boggan, Brathwaite, Resek, and Bukiet
winners two years ago and 3rd last year after losing 5-4 to the winning Canadianswould
move into one of the final 8 round robin spots that would eventually decide the Champion. As
178

it happened, the team they opened against, Quebec


(Guy Germain, L. Chan, Rod Young, and Adham
Sharara), in handsome, matching jumpsuits, was
destined to come 2nd in the Bracket, and so, though
having to retain their 5-3 loss to New York, would
enter the final round robin with them. Montreals
Young (whose work as an office boy and as a parttime coach for a group of 12-15 juniors leaves him
only 3-4 days a week to practice whipping his
crosscourt backhands through) downed Boggan,
Brathwaite, and Resek.

Paul Pashuku
Photo by Mal
Anderson

Team from noon till 10 oclock at night.


One of those helping Pashuku bring off this
win for Chicago was Wayne Wasielewski (who did
not, like Pradit at the Sarajevo Worlds, want to take
off his bright yellow tracksuit pants while playing, and,
despite Tournament Referee Manny Moskowitz
saying he had to, perhaps never did). The other was
Pradits friend, Ted Bassett. Both of them knocked off
Quebecs Chan who, poor fellow, had the distinction
of finishing with an 0-10 record. Bassett I remember
giving my bearded-photo-pass to in Sarajevo (the one
I wanted to give to George Buben earlier but which he
thought it best not to take). This was intended to get
Ted safely past the machine-gun guards at the gate.
But Bassett got caught and of course me toothe
two of us then to be politely and properly chastised (I
mean, really, the President of the Association).
So thereafter Chicago didnt go on its
unimpeded way? Nope. They got killed 5-1 by
those same Newgy Robots thatd been blitzed by
the New Yorkers. Newgy who? Newgy what? Joe
Newgardens Robots. Theyd be on the market
179

Rod Young
Photo by Mal
Anderson

The Chicago team that N.Y. beat 51 also defeated Quebec. Paul Pashuku,
who was one of the final 25 men in the
U.S. World Team Tryouts last December
(he began that round robin by upsetting
Sweeris), took all 3 for his team. Pashuku
(the moustache is Albanian) improved his
game greatly while he was in the Navy,
stationed in the Philippines. He used to take
that weekend bus ride to Manila and play
with P. V. Gonzalezs Philippine World
Its Joes baby

soonwere like Stiga robots, only cheaper. (Itd be a Stiga robot you could win in a drawing
if you played in the upcoming Oklahoma City U.S. Open.) Of course these Newgy Robots
were really peopleJoe Sokoloff, Richard McAfee, and John Quick.
Then, though Pashuku again won 3 against the United Nations team (Marcy
Monasterial, Peter Holder, Joe Andrews, and Al Mitchell), that was all Chicago could do
without either Jim Davey whod defected to Iowa, or Jim Lazarus who I heard stayed home
on principle because the entry blank didnt state thered be any prize money.
This United Nations team bowed to New Yorkscored only once when Bukiet, up 1914 in the 3rd, couldnt finish off the now 50-ish but still fiercely determined Monasterial, newly
appointed Social Affairs Officer for the housing, building, and planning activities of the U.N.
(Did Pashuku ever see anything like him in the Philippines?)
But then the U.N. players put the oscillating Florida Robots out of commission.
Sokoloff, whod earlier in the Chicago tie beaten Pashuku, started Florida off well enough by
taking care of Holder, the U.N. #1; and McAfee, though losing to the one-armed Monasterial,
got by Holder too. Richard, we know, replaced Fujii as manager of the Newgarden club in
Miami, but what we didnt know was that the former Japanese World Mens Doubles
Champion would turn up here in Farmingdale. Only to be rejected by the LITTA. Sorry, but
there wasnt room in the hall for him to sell his t.t. equipmentnot with Schiff, Sweeris, D-J
Lee, and Bob Brickell already there. Had he made his $50 application earlier.
Everybodys switching to
Sakura Magic, resident Fujii coach
Sokoloff had told me. (Sakura, thats a
Al Mitchell
little town in Japan where the rubber
Photo by Mal Anderson
comes from.) It doesnt drive the ball
forward like Mark V, said Joe, as if
dictating an article for Topics. You can
hit very hard and still the ball wont go
off the end of the table. It converts all
energy into spin. Uh-huh. Somebody
should have told the U.N.s Mitchell
about all this, tried to psych him out, because he beat the whole Florida team. And, after that,
the already twice-defeated Quick wasnt quick enough to hold Holder.
Nor could the Robots stop Quebecs off
John Quick
again-on
again Germain (hadnt he given up table
Photo by
tennis for golf?). Guy won all 3 of his matches,
Marvin New
which, when coupled with Youngs 2 (Rod lost
only to Sokoloff), was enough to take the tie.
Quick couldnt win, regardless of the
coaching he got.
Slow him down! shouts Sokoloff.
I tried that, says John.
But I mean way down! says Joe.
Step in! yells McAfee. He wants Quick
to start hitting his forehand better.
But I did, says John.
Take a bigger step! says Big Mac.
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With Florida and Chicago out of Championship contention (though of course they still
had ties to play), the deciding match for 2nd place in this Bracket is between Quebec and the
U.N. But this time Mitchell loses all 3, and though Holder beats Young, Andrews cant pull an
upset, and so the tie is abruptly over. Quebec and the U.N. each have 2 losses, but the tie is
broken by Quebecs head-to-head win and they advance with N.Y.
In Bracket II, I had to take a look not only at the 3 teams in contention but also at the
New Carrolton, MD team. Why New Carrolton? Because their arrival was signaled by U.S.
Team Captain Bob Kaminsky wearing his Sarajevo Parade Dress, fez and medalsor, rather,
exchange pins from other countries. (An embarrassing Banty Rooster in Sarajevo, Buben
had called him.) He carries a piece of luggage and a light cot. Behind him are his two kids, one
of them bouncing and chasing a ball. Bringing up the rear comes full-time wife and mother,
and part-time player, Barbara, with board games for the children. The cots for a kid who gets
tiredor for Barabaraor Bob? Kaminsky opens his luggage and presto!Ganz himself with
his magic tricks couldnt have done betterit rears up, turns out to be a bridge table! The
cards are brought out, shuffled and dealt, and Larry Folk, Jim Verta, and Herb Horton are on
their waywith of course their Captain as first Declarer. I dont think this rating of Foxs is
worth spit! he roars out. For 10 yearswhatd you lead, Larry?weve never been lower
than 20th. Whos played what here? Is that from the Dummy?
Never mindenough of kibitzing New Carrollton. Of the three teams in Bracket II
contention, N.Y. #2 (Dave Philip, Horace Roberts, Rory Brassington, Sam Hammond, and Jim
Dixon) 5-0 blank Ontario I (Steve Feldstein, Milda Milacek, Alain Thomas, and Frank Watson
who at the last minute has taken the place of Paul Klevinas. Paul was kept home because his
father wanted to come and captain a team and didnt take it kindly that he wasnt given
permission to).
Georgetown (Peter Stephens, Garth Isaacs, Rick Rumble, and Colin Abrams)thats
Georgetown, Guyanaalso beat Ontario, 5-3. Stephens and Isaacs (I dont play dirty, I
heard him say to Horace Roberts. You know I dont play dirty) prove much too aggressive
for defenders Milacek and Feldstein. As for super-looper Watson, without the attacking
Klevinas, he alone is not enough to jump-start an advance.
Ah, these Canadians. Last year when it seemed like all of Ontario was vowing never to
come to Cobo Hall againin fact, to any tournament in the States, if their, as it would turn
out, winning team, scheduled to play Chicago, was irrevocably defaulted by Tournament Chair
George Buben. Theyd played this very crucial 9-match tie with the New York team (my team)
up till 1:30 or so Saturday night, and remained undefeated. But then they hadnt showed on
time first thing Sunday morningwere 15 minutes late. Maybe they were concentrating so the
night before, they hadnt heard the last-minute change in scheduling? Or werent sure theyd
heard correctly? What with the confusion, the late hour, the excitement over winning, who
could tell? Or, for the moment, care? Besides, their players were tired. And, really, shouldnt
some consideration be shown the top players, especially the leading contenders for the
Championship? Should everyone be treated the same? Who did the spectators (not that there
were any) want to pay to see? Cmon, didnt the Canadians deserve some goodwill? Dont just
leave them alone in the empty hall at 2:00 a.m. without any personal directive.
Buben, while admitting the power of the USTTA to overrule him was adamant. I, whod
been repeatedly critical of the Canadian management at the CNE Open, had to make a decision.
The E.C. had to make a decision. I appealed to the voice of reasonwhich at the deepest core of
me I knew without question I distrusted. I carried on a catechetical dialogue with myself.
181

Q. Why play maybe the best tie of the tournament between the two strongest teams at
that ridiculous hour anyway?
A. The original idea was to play it Saturday evening for the spectatorsit got off a
little late.
Q. What spectators?
A. Well, the players then. Better not to wait. So many leavesome default their ties
evenbefore the final on Sunday. Besides, the players had two tables for this New YorkCanadian tie. They neednt have drawn out the tie on just one table.
Questioner has to become Answerer. Thats right. We players could have played them
on two tables if our aim was to play so we could get to sleep, to get up to eat, to go play fast,
to go home, to go to sleep, to get up to eat, to go to work. If our aim was your aimto get
the matches finished and the tournament over with. But it isnt. Our aim is to winno, more,
much more. Our aim is to enjoy, step by step, the excitement of our win. Winning may be
everything. But so is playing, competing.
What we players are interested in is the human thing. The drama of the play. Were
interested not in rules first but in the action, the interaction of human beings. Alright, if a team
repeatedly doesnt show when it should, is repeatedly inconsiderate, then common sense tells
you to penalize them. But we Canadians arent like that, you know that.
The E.C. and I agreed we wanted to show goodwill. So we made a decision without
consulting the Chicagoans. We overruled George. My own N.Y. team, as you can imagine,
didnt like it. Chances are, however, that the Canadians wouldnt lose another match anyway,
so even if theyd had to accept the default tie against Chicago, having beaten us they would,
with our identical record, still be first. But now of course it was quite hopeless for us to win.
Roberts and Brathwaite, particularly, were very unhappy that wed had to play that very
important match last night. Now all seemed anticlimactic. There was little point in continuing.
They were ready to go home.
Nor were the Chicagoans, though they finally agreed to play Canada, pleased about the
turn of events. Said Jim Davey, Its like a guy running for a plane thats taking off according
to schedule. Hurry! Hurry! Get the control tower! Please bring it back! The plane circles,
comes back, lands to pick up this one guy. It only happens in a Cary Grant movie.
But it also happens, again, in Daveys head.
As for me, I confess Im a romantic. I want the plane to come back and pick up that
guy because its so important to him. And I want everybody to understand and accept the
importance of myor rather hishigh priority.
Of course Im also practicalsometimes. To close out
Bracket II now I have to wing back and pick up the New York
vs. Georgetown tie. To hear Rory Brassington roar is one
thing, to see him break his racket on losing to Peter Stephens
is another. Dave Philip on dropping his match to Rick Rumble
wasnt too pleased either. Miles, I hasten to say, wasnt there
umpiring like last year when Dave let fly a kick right into the
chair between Dicks legs. Fortunately, I suppose for several
concerned, these were the only matches N.Y II lost to
Georgetown.
In Bracket III, again there are but three teams in
contention.
N.Y. #1 (Jerry Fleischhacker, Vic Landau, Roger
Peter Stephens
182

Sverdlik, and Gary Wittner), got by Doon Wongs Li-Ka Club team 5-3, but lost 5-2 to
powerful Michigan (Dell Sweeris, Pete Kelly, Mike Veillette, and Danny Seemiller)with
Landau and Wittner preventing the New Yorkers from getting blitzed by downing Veillette. Of
course the tie everyone wanted to see in this Bracket was Michigan vs. Ohio. Until,
disappointingly, it was discovered D-J Lee wasnt going to be at the tournament. Why not?
Because as National Champion six times in a row now he thought it absurd to pay a tryout fee
and spend an entire weekend playing 19 matches against bimbos and 1 against Tannehill as a
requisite for being on the Ohio team. Moreover, nobody could tell him whether thered be any
prize money for this tournament, and so it just didnt make any sense for him to be so
unprofessional as to play.
Well, then, how did Ohio (John Tannehill, John Spencer, Mark Wampler, and Tom
Hall) do without D-J? Not too well. They lost to Michigan 5-2with Seemiller and Sweeris
winning two each and Veillette doing in Wampler. The two Ohio wins were from Tannehill.
Against Seemiller, John slowed the game down just right. Hed learned at the CNE that the
faster you play against Danny, the better angle on you he gets. This time Danny was a soft
touch for Johnaveraged maybe 10 points a game. And this was the more remarkable because
it was the only one of 25 matches Danny, who did not win the MVP Award, played badly
enough to lose.
John (21-3) also beats Dell (19-2). Out there
at the tableif no place elseJohn just has no
wasted motion. He concentrates so well that, as
Castanedas brujo sorcerer would say, Hes found
the spot. Dell pivots, twists and turns his body
aggressively, but sometimes seems to have lapses
where he doesnt always want to keep up the fast
paceas if, though maybe not consciously, hes
understandably thinking of other things...like being
nice to potential customers. You can imagine, year
after year, the conversations hes had or is going to
have.
Two men, maybe in their mid-50s, who have
seen him play, come over to talk with him. Theyre
looking for some friendly advice. And of course Dell
is nothing if not friendly.
May I ask you a question? says the one
guy.
Dell looks attentive.
How do you hit your backhand?
Dell shows him something, and the guy tries
it.
Dell Sweeris: plays really well
No, not like this, says Dell. Like this.
Photo by Raul Rodriquez
And he shows him.
Oh, says the guy. And he does what he was doing before.
Then the other man says to Dell, Do you start from the table and come up?
Yeah, says Dell.
Oh, says the man, thats what Ive been doing wrong.
183

Do you use your wrists at all? the first guy asks Dell.
When I loop I do. My wrist flows through the ball.
The two men look blank.
Do you use a lot of wrist on your topspin drive? asks one.
Dell says something, anything.
You dont hold your thumb up here? And the man demonstrates.
Dell is appropriately negative.
See, says the man to his friend. I didnt think I seen some guys do this. And now
that hes established some sense of his own good table tennis instincts with this professional
close-as-a-doubles-partner beside him, he begins, as it were, with this new footing, all over
again.
Bill, on your forehand, do you change your grip?
Sweeris doesnt seem to get his meaning.
I mean, do you switch your hand at all?
Dell is again appropriately negative.
Oh, says the guy, thats good. Thats my trouble. Ive been hitting the ball high.
I see, says Sweeris. Though whether he possibly does or not, I, eavesdropping with
all my might, cant tell.
In a nutshell, says the other man, give us your recipe for your forehand drive and
backhand.
Yeah, you know, in as few words as possible, says his friend.
Dell almost sighs, begins. You hit the ball at the top of the bounce.Hit the ball
solid.The stroke is like a salute.The elbow has to follow
And the wrist is cocked, says the man closest to Sweeris. Its as if hes just come in
to play doubles with him.
You have to hit the ball a little in front of your body
And the wrist is cocked, says the man again.
Whats your name? he asks Sweeris. Bill?
Dell, says Dell.
You play really well, he says.
Sweeris makes a smile.
No, thats not the end of the conversationbut itll suffice. How awful it must be for
Dell to have to go through something like this at tournament after tournament, even though he
tells Long Island reporter Steve Marcus (Newsday, Nov. 26, 1973, 73) that with his new found
table tennis career, I know I can make a lot of money. He says his booth here at the Teams
has sold a thousand dollars worth of equipment in two days, says, in its first year, his table
tennis center netted close to $22,000. So why would he want to go back to his $15,000 a
year accounting job?
The tie in Sweeriss Bracket III for 2nd Place is won by Ohio 5-4 over N.Y. #1. Landau,
who keeps insisting hes got a bad knee and is but a cripple of his former self, came through
magnificently in N.Y.s losing cause. He beat Wampler, Spencer, and (as I heard one man say,
The best American player we ever had) Tannehill. And Sverdlik did his bit by beating
Spencer. So that left Captain Fleischhacker who, though, shhh, hed lost 3 to the Li-Ka team,
naturally played himself in this tie. But, poor Jerry, it looked like he was saving all his fight for
one last off-court chair-raising argument with Roberts or somebody. Fleischhackers always
talking, said one New Yorker. He sounds like hes swallowed a radio.
184

In Bracket IV, Philadelphia might be said to have arrived by earlier thumping Georgia
when, according to a story I heard from Ray McDowell, the Southerners had thrown up their
hands in despair and said, We knew right away we couldnt win, even if we prayed.not
against a black Protestant (Bill Sharpe), a Polish Catholic (Stan Smolanowicz), an Egyptian
Gypsy (Sam Balamoun), and a Ph.D.-minded Jew (Herb Vichnin). The most formidable
Bracket contenders were Iowa-Nissen (Iranian-born Houshang Bozorgzadeh, Reza Tehrani,
and Ali Oveissi partnered by Jim Davey and Jack Howard who this year had no California
team to play with) and New England (Lim Ming Chui, Dave Sakai, and Alex Shiroky).
Shiny-headed Sharpe, whos got to
be the classiest dresser in table tennisdom,
and who, as someone said, must be in his
Jack Johnson period, beat Shiroky in the
New England tie, and almost beat Howard
in the Iowa-Nissen tie. But Philadelphia
was no more a threat to advance than the
University of Tennessee. Though Bill
Edwards and Joe Ching had a few good
moments, their team, if its to be a threat,
needs more nuclear fission or fusion or
Bill Sharpe
something.*
Photo by Mal Anderson
Indiana (Dick Hicks, Harry
Deschamps, Phil Trout, and Homer Brown)
had a surprise hydrogen bomb in Hicks.
Though
Indiana lost 5-3 against both Iowa and New England, Dick
himself wiped out both teams. He beat Bozorgzadeh,
Howard, and Davey; beat Chui, Sakai, and Shirokywhich
with a 16-1 record (loss only to Smolanowicz) was enough
to win him the tournaments Most Valuable Player Award.
(And if a fellow who writes in to Topics has his way, the
Most Valuable Player in Indiana, or at least in New Albany, is
bat-maker Bernie Hock. (You cant let a champion, a fine
man, and a person who has done more for table tennis than
most anyone to just fade away.)
Because the Friday night New England vs. Iowa tie
started late, it had to be interrupted around 2 a.m. and would
resume later that morning after the players had had at least a
partial nights sleep. Iowa would winwith Howard,
shotgun-blasting his backhand, taking 3, and Houshang, with
his peculiar two-fingered grip and exasperating hardbat
MVP Award Winner Richard Hicks chop/blocks, losing to Chui but adding the necessary 2 wins
Photo by Mal Anderson
over Sakai and Shiroky.
Well, said one whom Ill call the Captain of the Riot
Control Guards via walky talky Saturday morning with one of his uniformed men, I guess its
all right to let them in if the President of the Association is there. And in we all went to see
orange peels, apple cores, parts of sticky danishes, snot-dried handkerchiefs, parts of paper
185

cups, pills, ear-cleaner sticks (the better to hear the loudspeaker with?), towels, newspapers,
cigarette butts, blood-dried band-aidsand of course plenty of crushed TSP balls, strips of
sponge rubber (and, incongruously, one of those other kinds of sponge that youd find by a
bathroom sink), bits of broken bats, used-up tubes of rubber cementand so on.
I was embarrassed. I took up a big container and started picking up stuff from the
playing floor. Twenty minutes later, as I started in on a section of the stands, my boy and I
both saw how hopeless it was. Of course the same thing was going to occur on Sunday
morning. You can imagine then how enraged I was to learn a few days later that the University
was charging the LITTA $500 for clean-up. I told Chris not to pay it.
National Tournament Chair Walt Stephens comes by. He says that Friday night
Rochester 3 played Rochester 2 in the 2nd round, that Princeton 4 played Princeton 2 in the 2nd
round. I tell Walt that the Tournament Committee had tried hard to avoid things like that, and
excused myself and went over and had another cup of black coffee.
Naturally I wasnt drinking by myself for long. Conditions like these I wouldnt
approve for a 1-star said a guy Id never seen before. Then soon it was the lights some were
objecting to. In some areas they werent bright enough, in others they were too bright (You
look up and you go blind!). One irate player had been so frustrated that he finally stopped
play and said to his opponent whos just served and smacked in the return, Dont you ever
throw the ball up high like that again!
But, alright, practically any tournament you go to where theyre hundreds of people
youre going to get complaints. Cant you shorten some of those articles you write in
Topics? a guy says to me. Man, you cant get through them. What the hell did it matter
how long they were if ones aim was to get through them?
Canadians Win Womens
The Topics
coverage for the Womens,
which might have pleased
the above reader, consisted
only of the results of the
various teams and a photo
of the winners. Carl Danner
tells us that the $100 1st
prize in the Womens As
went to undefeated (7-0)
Quebec (Mariann
Domonkos, Shirley Gero,
and Christine Forgo, with
Adham Sharara as their
Winning Womens Team at the 1973 USOTCs, L-R: Shirley Gero,
Captain). The $50 runnerCoach Adham Sharara, Christine Forgo, and Mariann Domonkos
up spot went to Maryland
Photo by Mal Anderson
(6-1). In the Womens Bs,
a Penn-Jersey team (7-0) defeated runner-up Cortland State (6-1). Tournament Chair Chris
Schlotterhausen not only apologized for the playing conditions, but regretted that spectator
admissions had not materialized. Although to almost everyone it was a deplorable tournament
on every front, Harry Liedtke, whod been away from the scene for a while, found reason to
186

be optimistic. He thought that if the USTTA bought barriers that could be used in major
events, it could get sponsors to buy advertising space on them. Two or three years ago, he
said, many more players were wearing street clothes, and that most of the women were playing
like beginners; now the quality of play had greatly improved so that not even women chiseled
any more and practically everyone could hit a backhand. It was just a question of time, said
Harry, with this depth, these many people coming out to play seriously, before table tennis
would grow and grow in the U.S.
Pennsylvania Juniors Best
There was no
story on the Junior
Championship either, but
Fred Danner compiled for
Topics a list of the
winners in the various
Groups (and the A
players records), and
there was a photo of the
winning A team,
Pennsylvania I (7-0)
Winning Junior Team at the 1973 USOTCs, L-R: Bruce Plotnick,
Ricky Seemiller (20-0),
Mike Bush, Ricky Seemiller, and Tom Van Zandt
Bruce Plotnick (12-3),
Photo by Mal Anderson
Mike Bush (12-4), and
Tom Van Zandt (0-2). The A runner-up was Quebec I (6-1)Alex Polisois (17-2), Pierre
Normandin (13-3), and Jacques Bobet (11-5). Minnesota came 3rd, led by Pete Tellegen (165). Quebec II (7-0) took the Bs from runner-up Raggety Ann (5-2) and Maryland (5-2). Cs
went to Baltimore-Kennedy (7-0) over Brandywine (6-1).
There were 24 teams in the Juniors as compared to 33 last year. Perhaps this was
because, with the tournament held on the East Coast, it was difficult for players to territorially
find a satisfactory Junior team, and also because a number of good juniors preferred to play on
Mens teams for the stiffer competition AND the opportunity, they thought, of winning more
rating points. However, with Neal Foxs help, Carl Danner made a study of the Junior play and
concluded: When the average gain of a player in the juniors was compared to the average
junior players gain who was in the mens division, there was no substantial difference between
the two categoriesnot, at least, for those with a rating of 1650 or above. The Quebec and
Ontario juniors may have wished theyd have played in the Mens, though it was highly
unlikely they could have made the final 8-team round robin.
Michigan Men Win in Final Round Robin Play
Eighth Place finisher was Georgetown (0-7). In their tie against the N.Y. Internationals,
Rumble, whod been up 18-14 in the 3rd against Brathwaite, lost a mind-wracking, racketthrowing point on an edge. Quebec was 7th. Ohio 6thwith all eyes on Tannehill. N.Y.s
Bukiet, shot up with cortisone from Dr. Andreas Gal, beat John, and so helped us to win our
Ohio tie 5-1. It would have been a good day for Bernie (6-1) if somebody hadnt stolen his
USA playing shirts and Sarajevo Worlds tracksuit with all the international pins hed acquired.
Iowas Bozorgzadeh said Tannehill was such a nice boy. Once when Houshang called the score
187

wrong in Johns favor, John corrected him; another time when


Houshang served into the net, John saw he really wasnt ready and so
didnt count it.
Though Sunday morning default time had been 8:30, likely
because of the Saturday night party even some of the contending
teams didnt arrive until 9:00 or so. Oh! Id better say a word or two
about the Party. Cox, Schlotterhausen, and Zakarin are drowning their
sorrows, smiling at the people Ganz has got to sit around with masks
on. The masks are like balloons and are blowing up in their faces. Sort
Dave Cox: its
of like Dave flaring up earlier at something Id said and/or done thatd
laughable, huh?
prompted him to suggest I take over running the tournament. The
highlight of the eveningif Ganz will forgive meis when all is darkened, so that nobody can
see anybody else, and we watch Canadians Errol Caetano and Violetta Nesukaitis in Prudential
of Americas 16mm super-instructional color film. For 24 minutes the camera moves from a
curtained-off plain room where Errol and Violetta are demonstrating basic strokes to the
exciting colorful play on the courts of the noisy Sarajvo Worlds.
At the final-day on these Farmingdale courts, N.Y. II will finish 5th, having come up
just short in their tie with Iowa. Houshang, whos continually been criticizing the tournament
conditions, even suggesting (playfully?) that someone ought to pull a fuse or two and, lights
out, cancel the tournament, is not happy. Not when hes in the process of losing to Horace
Roberts and all the barriers come tumbling down, and people are dashing across to other
courts, and the Tournament Referee still hasnt come around to insist that all the dust under
the table thats making the ball heavy has got to be swept up. And of course hes anything but
calm after Howard has lost to Dixon; and Tehrani to Dixon and Philip.
Still, with the tie 4-4, does he
have to worry? Tehrani has got
Roberts 11-2 in the deciding 3rd. But
then, oh, oh, its 13-11. Then 15-11
when suddenly Horace gets a severe
cramp. Hes stretched out and
worked on and given consolation
and advice by teammates and
opponents alike. No, technically, a
time out is not permitted. But these
Championships, everyone agrees, are
not like the World Championships.
So Roberts comes back game, all
Reza Tehrani
taped up. But Tehrani wins and Iowa
remains undefeated.
The N.Y. II-Michigan tie is
an eye-catcher. Seemiller, who, as
his groupies know, does leg exercises (picture him doing squat thrusts, for example), is just
too young and strong for Brassington, Dixon, and Hammond. Rory was complaining about the
indoor track floorsaid it was the worst possible kind for table tennis because you sink into it,
said it made Seemillers anti-topspin bounce even more weird. Dixon, though, looked for a
moment like he was gonna do it to Danny. Down 8-11 in the 3rd, he served off. But then,
188

strangely, this seemed to give him added incentive for, in a


flurry, he moved ahead 15-14. Only to lose 7 of the next 8
points.
Although the disdainful-looking Hammond couldnt
bring down Seemiller, he did do a job on Sweeris. (Somebody
was telling me that it wasnt any sneer on Sams face but a
grimace. He couldnt stomach it all, was a sick manas hed
been two weeks earlier in that Veterans Day Philly tournament.
Still, hopping the ball backhand or forehand with a little rabbit
turn of his wrist, he had the audience flipping. And when hed
soccer-like catch the ball with his feet, or bullet in a backhand,
he may even have had the very experienced Sweeris psyched a
little. But neither Dixon nor Brassington could get deep enough
into the Dell. I overhit, said Rory. I got carried away.
And maybe some other people did too. For who comes
up to me, looking like he wants somethinga pass to get a
friend in and out of the hall?but Ted Bassett. Turns out hes
lost his wallet, has remarked about it to several young people
who were sitting beside him. And, sure enough, they find it
for him. Teds very relievedeven if $30 is missing. I go to
somebody who knows these young people and within a minute
the money is returned.
Rory Brassington
Finishing 4th is the New England team. They lost to
Photo by Mal Anderson
Michigan, 5-2, when Seemiller and Sweeris proved
unstoppable. Against our N. Y. Internationals they did better. Brathwaite begins by losing to
Sakais soft block, then drops another match to Chui (when in the last game, following a
disputed score where I as umpire ruled against him,
George lost again at deuce). Roberts (the word is that
Robbies vulnerable in the middle and that his
opponent ought to hit him there) is beaten by Shiroky,
all wired, swinging away like a madman between
points with his phantom strokes. Then Alex almost
does it again. Hes swirled away the 1st game from
Resek and, despite my frantic cries of encouragement,
has Errol down in the 2nd before collapsing at 24-all
by first serving off, then whiffing Errols serve. In the
3rd, Reseks down 0-4, is up 15-11, is down 16-19.
But then, as Im yelling, Fight, Errol! Fight, Errol!
Get im, Errol! he deuces it up, then wins 24-22.
His match over, Shiroky tells Sakai that,
When youve got a guy like Boggan, youve just got
to root louder. Now George beats Alex, and
Fuarnado (who has this habit of measuring the net
when hes in a tough spot) downs Sakai and Chui.
After which, we team members come back smiling to
Big Mamas holdin fast to Fuarnado
our Big Mama (a.k.a. Jean Denton).
Photo by Mal Anderson
189

Time now for Captains to begin submitting their names for the Most Valuable Player
Award? With most of the strongest teams still to play 3 or 4 ties! One LITTA committeeman
infuriates me by saying that, regardless of what anyone might do from here on out, maybe
even determine the Championship itself, hes going to vote for Hicks right away.
And now the Tournament Committee wants my
Mike
Internationals Team to play Michigan. And just like last
Veillette
year we dont want to play this climactic tie early; we
dont think its fair were asked to do it again this year.
But we know the Committees in a bind, has to move the
play forward to get the tournament finished, so we agree,
though we cant have the table with the best lighting since
its occupied. Brathwaite begins the tie with Veillette
and promptly finds Mike inspired. Ive never seen him
play better. Hes really spinning the ball, and if George
loops too softly, Mike hits it away hard. In the 3rd,
Veillette is up 20-15 match point, but The Chief continues
to raise our hopes, draws to 20-18. Then he serves off!
Its a calamitous loss for us. For nobody, given that
psychic wound, can beat Seemiller or Sweeris.
Now the Tournament Committee and Michigan
want the N.Y. Internationals to play Iowa-Nissen. But of
course this isnt to our likingwe want Michigan to play
Iowa-Nissen. For if Michigan plays them (while Bozorgzadeh and Howard are stronger than
they will be two hours hence) and beats them, we, after getting by N.Y. II, will be playing a
tired Iowa for a possible 3-way tie. Sweeris, of course, doesnt trust the New Yorkers. If by
some chance his Michigan team loses to Iowa, and the Internationals, down after losing to
Michigan, drop their tie to N.Y. #2, then N.Y., being out of it, would most assuredly not, for
the pure sport of it, play hard against Iowa. Whereas if now they lost to Iowa, Sweeris
wouldnt have to worry about them. And if they beat Iowa, Michigan would then be watching
the Internationals play N.Y. #2 with great interest, for (unless there was collusion), they might
lose. And if they won, and if Michigan lost to Iowa in their final tie (and with Houshang and
Howard tired, how likely was that?), they might still win in a three-way tie.
Roberts, though, was Tiger! Tiger! burning bright. He absolutely refused this
arrangement. And while the Tournament Committee and the Michigan team and I were arguing
and trying to come to a decision one way or the other, Roberts and Brathwaite had started
their matches with N.Y. #II! This so aroused Pete Kelly of the Michigan team that he
demanded the matches be stopped. I knew, though, that if I tried to stop my teammates from
playing wed have the Riot Control Guards in here. Besides, though I felt sympathy for the
hard-working tournament officials, I didnt think the sequence of the matches had been played
fairly and that though part of this was caused by force of circumstance, well, I thought, let the
rest of it be too. My main aim was to complete the tournament without any disaster befalling
us. The Michigan team, I thought, was psychologically better equipped to lose the argument.
And, sure enough, they rose to the occasion, saved what might have been a really bad
scene. Said Kelly, Were going to go ahead and play this match with Iowa but under protest.
In my opinion, Roberts has hijacked the tournament. And Cox, too, was mad. Youve
brought this on, he told me. Youve fostered the top players egos. And now you know the
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risk youre taking, dont you? The risk is you lose Chris and me.
Whose side was I on? Everybody seemed to have a point. What Kelly said was true
that Roberts was dictating the emotional ambiance at the end of this tournament. Why then did
I let him get away with it? Was I a psychic outlaw? Instinctively, unconsciously, did I take the
position of that (respected? loveable?) guy in the Cary Grant moviehoped that everyone
would accommodate him?
I remembered how at the
U.S. World Team Tryouts last
December, in the closing moments
of a ceremony there, we had
planned to ask for a minute of
silence in memory of two-time
U.S. Open Champion Bernice
Chotras. And how everybody had
agreed it would be a fine thing to
do. And how, when it came right
down to it, everybody had
forgotten. Everybody, that is,
except Roberts, who whispered to
me just in time so that it could be
done. It was Roberts who
reminded me of age-old ritual, of
civilized behavior, of one persons
Bernice Chotras
Fuarnado Roberts
humanity for another.

Winning Mens Team at the 1973 USOTCs, L-R: Dell Sweeris, Danny Seemiller,
Honorary Captain George Buben, Pete Kelly, and Mike Veillette
Photo by Mal Anderson

Michigan, in winning the Championship (and $600), had no real trouble with Iowa.
Sweeris and Seemiller again picked up their 5 matches. The Internationals beat New York II.
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Resek defeated Dixon in 3, then, after losing the 1st game, 21-4, to Sam Hammond, came back
to beat him in 3. Roberts and Brathwaite also took down SamGeorge winning deuce in the
3rd. And Robbie also stopped Dixon. Only Brassington, with his brilliant badminton returns,
scored wins.
Rory and George got into a chiseling game that seemed to have lasted 40 minutes.
Whats going on here? said a spectator. Why arent they in expedite? Have they agreed not
to use a time clock? Bukiet, looking very blank, answered the man matter-of-factly, If they
dont want it, then its no rule. If they dont want the law, then theres no law. Well, said
the spectator, maybe it dont make no difference to them, but other people want to go home.
So why dont they? Manny Moskowitz finally came over and called the Rule (doubtless
following Rules Chair Mal Andersons technique of watching the servers side of the table and
counting only when sure the return is good; Eleven warns the server he has to try to put the
next one away).
At the end, Iowa-Nissen and the Internationals are playing for 2nd Place money
though what that is exactly ($300) neither the players nor the spectators seem to know. They
aint playin for nothin says a guy. They spent all the money on umpires. No, says his
friend, sharing the joke, they spent it on the Program.
Resek is out there losing deuce in the 3rd to Howard, but then he gets by Houshang.
Roberts is going strongbeats Tehrani, and is in the process of downing Howard. With
Bukiet waiting for Tehrani, its becoming clear the Internationals will take 2nd. Some LITTA
people, the rumor runs crazily around, are suggesting that maybe it wouldnt be a bad idea to
forget about giving prize money to the players and write out a check to Chris and Daveat
least, say, for the $200 the LITTA made on the tournament, this after considering all the hard
work theyd put in and all the abuse theyd taken. (It used to be fun, Chris was saying.
Now what am I doing it all for?)
Yeah, says a wise guy. That check for Chris and Davemake it just enough to get
them out of town.
Soon almost everyone has stumbled out of the hall and in a minute all will be dark
inside. Well, Tim, a disembodied voice says to me, its better than not having the tournament
at all.
Is it? I say.
SELECTED NOTES.
*After hed read my Topics write-up of this tournament, Lee Edwards, playing out of
Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, felt depressed and degraded, but also
challenged, by my distasteful remarks about his team. He responded (Topics, Jan.-Feb.,
1974, 33) by saying that his University of Tennessee players had undergone an experimental
operation to become cybernetic organisms, cyborgs, and had been plugged into the gaseous
diffusion plant in Oak Ridge. Thus in the past five weeks we have each hit 10 [to the power
of 7]consecutive forehands without a miss, and plan to switch to backhands sometime in
April. Lee confides that hes been working on a new revolutionary shot called the atom
smash. But even this, he says, is not nearly as good as Allen Wrights quark shot, which is
to be our cyborgs secret weapon at the 1974 Nationals in Oklahoma City. So, fair warning,
Edwards was saying to me and everyone else, we have definitely become a threat.

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Chapter Thirteen
1973: President Boggan and his E.C.a
Potpourri of Thoughts/Decisions. 1973: WorldClass Play.
At its Nov. 21-22, 1973 Meeting, the E.C.
quickly took up George Bubens query (TTT,
Sept.-Oct., 1973, 13) as to What happened to the
membership money that was sent in to Marv
Shaffer from the 1972 USOTCs? Problem was,
as Shaffer makes clear, he filed a complete and
correct Report to the USTTA Treasurer in Dec.,
1972, but didnt realize something was wrong
until August of 1973. Checks had not cleared
through the bank. Our Treasurer, Dell Sweeris,
had never received the deposit receipts from our
USATT Membership Chair Marv Shaffer
bank to balance with the amount I said had been
depositedand he didnt let me know. So Marv
took appropriate actionurged all those in question to check their records to see if their
cancelled checks had ever come through, and, if not, asked them to issue a duplicate check
for the same amount and send it to me.
Responses are also forthcoming to two other questions raised by George. Marv says
hes well aware which clubs are entitled to a 15% refund for selling a new membership, and
that all those who havent deducted this money in advance, will be paid come the Christmas
vacation when he has time to do it. As for George wanting an explanation as to where the
funds came from to finance our [Sarajevo] Team, the Nov. 21 E.C. Minutes gives him the
answer:
Motion by Kaminsky: That whereas it was our intent in the general meeting
in Chicago to transfer funds from the general fund to the international team fund, and
whereas our attempt was not reflected in the minutes, we now consider that money to
have been transferred. Under the bylaw as presently stated, the action of the E.C. in
Chicago to transfer general funds to the international team fund was legal; however,
this was not recorded in the minutes because of a misunderstanding by the recording
secretary of the meeting, Mal Anderson. Prior to the World Championships sufficient
funds were raised but their receipt was delayed until after the Teams return from
Sarajevo. No general funds were used for the last World Championships. Passed 3-01.
We see (TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1973, 30) that approximately 615 persons, clubs and
businesses contributed to Dick Lesners $3,000 fund-raising drive for the 1973 Team to the
Sarajevo Worlds (this money was raised through the sale of Team-fund stickers sent to all
USTTA members). About 50 contributors were listed in Topics as giving $5 or more, and
about 20 (those contributing $10 or more) were prize-winning recipients from the following
donors: Nissen, Indian Industries, and Detroiter (tables); General Sportcraft (Stellan
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Bengtsson rackets); Butterfly (deluxe bags); Dell Sweeriss Woodland


Club (a clinic). We also see (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 12) that Mort Zakarin
conducted a fund-raising drive. He asked people for tax-free donations of
$50 or more, and if they obliged they received a plaque in appreciation.
All told, 58 persons, clubs, and businesses, each contributing $25 or
more, were listed in Topics in response to Morts appeal. One reader,
Pittsburghs Terry Lee, found it disgusting that none of the Team
members had the courtesy to express [in Topics] a simple thank you.
USTTA Treasurer Jack Carr, who through the years had generously
given over $2,000 in royalties from his Advanced Table Tennis to the
USTTA, reported that, as of Oct. 31, 1973, the Association had Assets of
$36,641.29 (including almost $20,000 in cash), and Accounts Payable of
$425. The Senior International Team Fund had a balance of $492.22; the
Mort Zakarin
Junior International Team Fund a balance of $4,265.98.
The E.C. took up Motions concerning Juniors. Fred Danner wanted the age limits for
Juniors raised from Under 17 to Under 18. This failed for lack of a second, but was deferred
to a future date. Fred argues (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 10) that players should not be
prevented from playing junior matches before they graduate from high school. Otherwise,
they go into a limbo status at a time when other interests such as girls, cars, etc. are at a
maximum. Consequently, we lose most good young players from 18 to 21 unless they find
competition in the college area or unless they are good enough to be a top national mens
player.Those not going to college are likely to become table tennis dropouts.
However, Freds argument for the age change was later rejected because (1) the lack
of standardization with Canada; (2) the widespread holding of class A, B, C, etc. [events]
would rescue those in limbo-land; and (3) the school play could be independent of age limit
as long as the players were bona fide students.
Also decided later: that juniors will now NOT be permitted to play with top national
players in A Doubles even if their combined team rating is low enough to be eligible.
Reason: a top player cant play in A anything. But, so whatfor a top player can play in an
Adult-Junior event.
A proposal to raise the Junior Membership fee from $2 to $5 (effective July 1, 1974)
passed 5-2 (after a proposal at the Summer Meeting to raise it from $2 to $4 had failed). This
time Danners argument prevailed. Any junior who travels to tournaments can surely afford the
increase. If a junior doesnt want to pay $5, let him pay $1/tournament & not get Topics. We
dont want to make some poor kid a USTTA member for $2 [and have the Association lose $2
on the deal because the cost for a Junior membership with Topics is $4].
A Motion as to whether Juniors ought to be allowed to vote in USTTA elections failed
5-1. The E.C. unanimously agreed, however, that Juniors could buy Life Memberships.
Fred now has a budget of $1500 (as opposed to $100 last year) for Junior
Development. He tells us (TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 10) that this money will be spent for the
most part in setting up the national framework for junior expansion; the incorporation &
granting of tax exempt status to the National Junior Table Tennis Foundation; further work on
writing a junior table tennis handbook; more recruiting of workers at the state & local level;
developing of school instructional tapes or movies to help local junior leadership; etc.
Warren Rasmussen, Chair of the Library and Film Committee, spoke of wanting to
form a USTTA Library and Resource Center. He also wrote an article for Topics (Nov.-Dec.,
194

1973, 20) outlining his thoughts. He wants $500 to get him started, for he needs to collect
reference materials, historical data and documents, and written and audio-visual materials that
can be made available for the purpose of improving peoples knowledge and awareness of all
aspects of table tennis. He feels such a Library/Resource Center would help USTTA
promotional work, and would be useful for Coaching and Junior Development. Hed be glad
to hear that at this Meeting the E.C. authorized $200 toward the purchase of a high speed
sequence camera motor drive attachment to be used for sequence action shots of tournament
play that presumably will eventually find their way into this Library.

From Martin Sklorzs 1973 Table Tennis: cover photo; text from page 103 (translated from the German by Jack Carrington)

195

Warren urges USTTA members to make a movie of their play (a 50-foot reel), then send it
to his Resource Center. Your game will be analyzed by Surasak Koakiettaveechai, former Thailand
Champion, and [for a cost of $3] you will receive a written analysis of your play, including various
exercises to practice that should help you quickly to improve. Warren, with the aid of a good
lawyer, his local Congressman, and supporting letters from prominent people in the table tennis
world, helped the 25-year-old Surasak, reportedly the 1967 Southeast Asian Games Doubles
Champ with Thai teammate Peter Pradit, get Labor Certification status from the U.S. Immigration
Office that would allow him to stay in the country as a table tennis coach.
Of course Topics continues publishing reviews of books and/or addresses of how you
might acquire themStjepan Kljuics book on Surbek, The Will to Win, and Zdenko
Uzorinacs From London to Sarajevo. Rufford Harrison shares page space in Topics with
Rasmussen as he comments on Chester Barness Modern Table Tennis Tactics. Its a horror,
says rough Ruff, strewn with unintelligible directives (This gives the ball more time to move
around of the spin) and ridiculous inaccuracies (Swedens Bjorne Mellstrom is called Stellan
Bengtsson; Chinas Chang Shih-lin is called Chuang Tse-tung).
Earlier, Rufford (see TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1973, 16), as if aware of Rasmussens plea for
translators of foreign books and articles, had reviewed Martin Sklorzs Table Tennisfrom
Beginner to Expert (in German)which he calls The Best Book In Years. Sklorz, says
Rufford, organized the original technical work on the yellow ball and on the effect of bounce
on ball speed. You see a photo of a t.t. ball being squashed, and are privy to such facts as the
ball is in contact with the racket only for about a 1/1000 of a sec.during which time it
travels less than 1 cm. (about 1/3 in.). Rufford refers elsewhere to Sklorzs 1973 Table Tennis
(English translation by Englands Jack Carrington)says the ball speed in a kill can go up to
106 mph; the deformation of the ball on pimpled rubber in a kill up to 20%; and the speed of
rotation of a loop up to 3000 rpm. As ITTF Equipment Chair, Rufford was interested in an
experiment to see if, after 13-14 hours of racket-and-table-rub play, the weight of a table
tennis ball changed. Result: Initial weight, 2.60 grams; Final weight, 2.60 grams.
There was much talk at this E.C. Meeting of possible Fee changes. The E.C. decided
not to increase the club membership fee from $10 to $15 per year (3-2); and not to raise the
sanction fee for closed tournaments from $20 to $35 (5-2). But the Committee did decide: (1)
To reduce the sanction fee of 3 star tournaments from 20% to 10% (4-1-1); (2) To raise the
sanction fee for one star tournaments from $35 to $50 (5-2); (3) To let the sanction fee for
two star tournaments stay at $50, but require $300 in prize money (6-0); (4) To limit the
entry fee for any event in the U.S. Open to no more than $15 (6-1); (5) To reduce the U.S.
Open sanction fees from 25% to 20% of entry fees (6-1); (6) To define the apportionment of
[senior and junior ITF] funds collected for the sanctioning of closed, 1-star and 2-star tournaments
[seniors get $8 of closed, juniors $2; seniors get $15 of 1 and 2-star tourneys, juniors $5] (5-1); and
(7) To implement new sanction fees for Invitational tournaments according to the prize money
offeredthese fees, the result of being modified at the June 22-23, 1974 E.C. meeting, to be as
follows: $300 or less ($50); $300.01 to $1,000 ($75); $1000.01 to $3,500 (5% of value; $75
minimum); $3,500.01 to $5,000 (4% of value; $175 minimum); $5,000.01 to $10,000 (3% of
value; $200 minimum); $10,000.01 and up (2% of value; $300 minimum).
USTTA Coaching Chair Jeff Smart was given the o.k. to conduct a national coaching
seminar at the U.S. Open. Jeff (see TTT, July-Aug., 1973, 6) has been allocated $5,000
(through May of 74) to pay Certified Coaches (theyll have passed the USTTAs Written
Umpires Exam)* to teach clinics organized for schools by USTTA affiliated clubs.
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Connections with Phys. Ed. teachers are of course very important, and to this end exhibitions
should prove initially helpful. Jeff has worked out allocation money to Regions based on the
number of clubs in each Region. Hes also established pay schedules depending on ones
coaching statusa Regional Coach can make up to $200 a week; a National Coach up to
$350 a week. Associate Coaches, Instructors, even potential Instructors (like parents of
students) are to be encouraged. Want to be Certified? Contact your Regional Coach. Jeff lists
them and their addresses (TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1973, 16)Bill McGimpsey, Sol Lewis, Randy
Hess, Bill Lesner, Larry Kesler, Bill Guilfoil, Jeff Kurtz, and Les Sayre. Clubs, please hire
coaches, conduct clinics, and advertise them with beautiful posters available from Randy Hess.
Smart, as Id mentioned in Vol. VI, had gone to the Kolboda
School in Sweden, and had perhaps first become seriously interested
in coaching while there. Now Kaj Wessberg, manager and owner of
Kolbodabaden in Sweden, and Thomas Stenberg, a trainer there,
and the official coach of the Swedish junior national team, were
talking of possibly opening a 30-50 table camp in the U.S. to which
they would bring some very good Swedish players. They want to
know the chances of this project being successful and, if so, they ask
for help in finding a suitable location. For whatever reason, perhaps the USTTAs failure to be
encouraging enough, Kolboda would never pursue establishing a School in the U.S. However,
this summer Johan Messa will again head the summer clinic at Kolboda and asks all interested
U.S. players to send a $50 deposit to liaison Rufford Harrison.

Are Bill Lesner (left) and Jeff Smart practicing for their Air Force Exhibition Tour?
Lesner photo by Mal Anderson; Smart photo by Stewart Ansteth

I might mention here that Smart (see TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 8), because he was the
USTTA Coaching Chair, was asked by the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, U.S.A.F.E., to give a
tour of Air bases with a partner of his choiceand he accepted, taking along his regular
exhibition partner Bill Lesner (who, because the gig was from Nov. 16-29) had to give up his
197

spot on the winning Michigan Mens USOTC team. Jeff said that their escort liaison, Bob
Segien, a civilian Recreation Facilities supervisor, made all lodging, eating, and travel plans
for us while in England.Traveling in his small stationwagon Volksvagen, we covered about
500 miles of English countryside and 5 bases.
Jeff says he and Bill ran the gamut of instructional shots, and every variant
entertainment ploy they could think of, including playing with all different kinds of objects to
accompanying jokes. (For example, as Bill plays with a hand mirror, sans handle, he might say,
Note how these chops reflect spin). Later, an American spectator, Tom Welton, wrote into
Topics saying that he very much enjoyed watching his friends, two top Juniors from England,
Paul Day and John Kitchener, become part of Jeff and Bills act. We had around 100 base
personnel watching and not a soul moved for the 2 and1/2 hours the show went on. Yes, it
was that good.
The second half of their tour found them initially in Ramstein, Germany where a brief
power failure occurred during an exhibition and they actually had some great volleys in near
total darkness. They were surprised to hear from a Major Jenkie, the son of a Pontiac player
whod known Bill since he was a child. He met them, took them to his home for a
Thanksgiving turkey dinner, and arranged some sightseeing even while they went to several
bases giving exhibitions. A gas shortage in Germany gave them a Sunday off and they played
squash for the first time. They
were going to go on to Turkey,
but the coup detat in Greece
had resulted in a ban on all
aircraft landing in Athens, a
crucial refueling stop on the flight
to Turkey. So they changed
plans and came home. Of course
the first thing Jeff did was hop in
his car and hurry to his fiance,
Yvonne Krombezs houseto
surprise her with an 11:30 p.m.
appearance.
USATT Coaching Chair Jeff Smart and perhaps his
Continuing with mundane
most encouraging pupil, Yvonne Krombez
E.C. matters, I, as President, was
Photo by Mal Anderson
to write a letter to Windsor Olson
explaining the position of the USTTA on the activities of
A Windsor Olson
the
National Table Tennis League [Olson wants his players
league logo
to compete against the Taiwanesewhich was an ITTF nono]. I repeated my hard-line approach (too hard?) that USTTA
members who play on or against teams representing the National
Table Tennis League face immediate suspension. After Rufford
Harrison did not get ITTF approval for such play, I issued a public
warning in Topics to the Northwest players and any others involved.
They knew I was serious because last yearsee Vol. VI, Chapter Twelve, 375on hearing
that Olson wanted to bill his 3-man Seattle-based team as the U.S. vs. the Republic of China
in a world championship match, I, acting for the E.C., warned, then suspended players who
participated in this charade.
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After Id issued this new warning, Spokanes Peter Lau objected to my intended
action, offered an excellent rebuttal (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 19) that Ill highlight as follows:
Why is it that players of a territory not possessing a governing Association
or whose association is not a member of the ITTF be deprived of the right to compete
with others belonging to the ITTF? The Republic of Chinacould not now join the
ITTF due to the presence of the Peoples Republic of China. However, the Taiwanese
players themselves, as individuals, have done absolutely nothing to deserve such a
discrimination.
I do not ask the USTTA to challenge the ITTF. I just think that [as a
national organization in this leading country of the democratic world] it should not
enthusiastically support this [unscrupulous] law.
Article 3.2 of the ITTF handbook does not specify what disciplinary action
need be imposed on this type of offender. In fact, we have reason to believe that, based
on conscientiousness, righteousness, or whatever, the Executive Committee of the
ITTF would hesitate to take any such action. I am positive that many players in Hong
Kong, including some who played in the Worlds, have played various Taiwanese
players many times before, yet I cannot recall any disciplinary action being taken on
them.
I agree that if no action were taken against these offenders, the ITTF might
be enraged. To get around the possible risk, however, the USTTA could take the
following precautionary moves: 1) Declare that those matches do not have the official
approval of the USTTA. 2) Acknowledge to the public that these players are assuming
their own individual risk and that they should be responsible for any incurred
consequences. But the USTTA should not take any disciplinary action unless the
matter has been taken up by the ITTF.
So what followed? The Northwest players did
play in these Olson-sponsored U.S.-Taiwan matches.
Longtime CA player and well-known falconer Henry
Tyler Swain said he was fortunate to be able to film
the play. The USTTA Disciplinary Committee then
took the offenders actions under advisement, and the
E.C. at their May, 1974 Meeting responded as
follows:
Motion by Bochenski: The Executive
Committee does not approve of the misleading
Henry Tyler Swain
advertising of the United States Professional
Photo by Mary McIlwain
Champion Sockeyes or the World Champion
Professional Chinese team. However, we do feel that
we should make very effort to encourage Rob Roberts, Tom Ruttinger and Joe Lee to
join with the USTTA in promotion of table tennis in the Northwest. We hereby
encourage them to run USTTA sanctioned tournaments in their new club in Seattle,
and to take out individual memberships in the USTTA and to participate in USTTA
sanctioned tournaments. Passed unanimously. [Apparently, if we encouraged these
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Northwest players to take out memberships and participate in USTTA tournaments,


these 2nd-time suspensions were lifted. Actually, it seems they never were officially
suspended, for Dr. Michael Scott II, USTTA Disciplinary Chair, said, that, though
President Boggan had called him wanting their suspension, there was never any followup request in writing to take disciplinary action.]
As President/Editor I allowed Mike Greene to advertise his World Championship films
without taking out a paid-for ad, allowed Jack McLarty, Don Gunn, Don Larson, Jeff Smart,
Dell Sweeris, and, doubtless, others to say, very briefly, something in their articles that could
be of material benefit to them or to a friend. Of course these were all twined in with what they
had written for no pay for the magazine, so I didnt worry about them getting any advantage.
In my judgment, what theyd given freely in return to the Sport over the years, what theyd
done for the common good, compensated for what in several instances was just a line or two.
But I was taken to task by a couple of readers (see TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1973, 18-19), in
particular by one who had a sneaking suspicion he was making mountains out of a molehill,
whod objected to the special attention these contributors had been given. And yet the
satisfaction this fellow had gotten from my printing elsewhere his lengthy articles, including
those promoting his tournaments both before and after theyd been held (with many diary-like
entries as to what hed done), might have been equal to, or worth more to him in vanity
payment, or psychic payment, than the relatively few dollars were worth to the others.
Further E.C. Meeting items of interest included:
Neal Fox, as if he hadnt enough to do with his Ratings (and calling to task Southern
Tournament Directors and their Regional Director for being lax in getting tournament results
to him), was named Intercollegiate Chair.
Remuneration was given to Fox, Ron Shirley, and Lou Bochenski for their hard work
in submitting rating proposals.
President Boggans Topics honorarium will become $500 an issue beginning with the
40-page Nov.-Dec., 1973 one. (At a Jan., 1974 Meeting at Magoos, USTTA Executive VicePresident Charlie Disney, who gets no pay at all, said he didnt feel jealous because Tim is
doing little jobs here and there, expecting no pay.)
All rules regarding the USOTCs will be deleted and a chair appointed to study a new
approach.
Mort Zakarin will pursue the possibility of a weeks coaching of juniors at Mt. Airy
Lodge, culminating in a Mt. Airy Biennial Junior Invitational tournament.
Since interest was shown in forming a new Regional tournament district made up of
Washington/Oregon, National Tournament Chair Walt Stephens will follow up. Hell request a
nomination for Regional Director from the Pacific Northwest District Affiliation Chair Jeff
Kurtz.
Magoos Vince Koloski sums up the advantages of Club Affiliation and USTTA
Membershipsomething those who read his articles in the July-Aug. Topics already know, but
maybe dont proselytize to non-members and should.
Dick Miles is to be sent to Las Vegas, all expenses paid, to investigate and coordinate
any possibility that the USTTA might host the 1979 World Championships. Doug Stewart, in a
rather long article (TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1973, 6), goes over all that the host country must to do to
run a Worlds, and concludes he cant see much of a problem if the U.S. wants to do it.
Rufford Harrison is stunned by such glibness (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 2). Easy to conduct a
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Worlds for the public? When has anyone ever run a large tournament for them? Easy to get
umpires? No. Easy to get the daily Results out quickly? Certainly not. And all the necessary
volunteer workerswhere get them from?
Bob Kaminsky, wholl be allowed $50 to design a new USTTA pin, will also have
the o.k. to give D-J Lee $150 toward his expenses to play in the Oklahoma City Open. Then,
something new: Bob will be authorized to spend up to $6500 for transportation in lieu of
allotted prize money to bring foreign table tennis teams to the 1974 U.S. Open. Teams
receiving Priority are: 1. USSR (3 men, two women). 2. South Korea (2 women, 3 men if
funds permit). 3. Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia or Hungary (3 men). Its assumed the
following teams will be sponsored: 1. SwedenSportscraft (President: Kenneth Edelson)). 2.
Yugoslavia or HungaryButterfly (Kimihiko Tamasu/Bowie Martin). 3. JapaneseBenihana
(Rocky Aoki).
Kaminsky had been friendly with the
Russians in Sarajevo, and when he sent an
invitation to the U.S. Open to both the
Russian Table Tennis Federation and future
President Leonid Brezhnev, then the General
Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party,
suggesting another Ping-Pong Diplomacy,
the Federation was interested. But, as it
turned out, despite his efforts with Senator
Hatfield and others, Bob learned privately
that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had
rejected any such rapprochement. Later, when
Bob queried him about what had happened
regarding this opportunity, Kissinger had
replied, I dont remember.
This money the USTTA is paying to
bring world-class players here sets Fuarnado
Roberts off, and he thinks it outrageous that
theres little or nothing for our U.S. Team
U.S. Team Captain Bob Kaminsky (in suit) with
players, either in the way of expenses or prize members of the Russian Team at Sarajevo, L-R:
money. He goes so far as to say, It would
Yury Sergeevitch Gazarian, Mens Team Coach;
Arkady Starozhilets, Head Coach and Captain of
appear as if Dal Joon Lee were cunningly
the Womens Team; and Sarkis Sarkhayan.
stripped of his crown, and an opportunity for
Photo by Mal Anderson
an all-time record of seven straight wins. This
could be considered incahootism. Really? D-J already has the all-time record. Who, other
than Robbie could believe this accusation? Or, check that, I dont think Robbie himself
believes itnot with his qualifications (would appearcould be considered). However, his
rhetorical flight hits if not the bulls-eye at least the target when he says, There is a rumor from
reliable sources going around that U.S. players might be placed in the same penniless position
for the coming world championship as they were [before] in 1971.
And something else new other than that $150 to D-J (who didnt show for the U.S.
Team ties): at the June E.C. Meeting, Danny Seemiller in consideration of his dedication and
constantly improving standard, was awarded $1,000 to assist him in traveling to European
tournaments during the coming year on the condition that he stay at least two months.
201

Later (TTT, JulyAug., 1974, 16), Fuarnado


repeats his charge that theres
a conspiracy against D-J. The
Ratings that come out after
the Oklahoma City Open
dont include Lees. D-J,
says Robbie, the Nixon
Administration had a
plumbers unit, placing certain
people on the enemy
list.How could Fox have
the nerve to drop D-J out of
the Ratings? Was he ordered
by the higher-ups to do so?
D-J, Robbie says, can now
be considered the Mohammed
One as experienced as Danny Seemiller has to be leery of the
Ali of table tennis.
sometimes deceptive Fuarnado Roberts
Naturally, theres a
Photo by Lyle Thiem
combative response or two.
Sam Steiner (TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1974, 15) is about fed up
Sam
with Fuarnados paranoid ravings, his cheap shots
Steiner
at the USTTA E.C. Are all those who thought it a good
Photo by
Mal
thing to bring the foreign players to the Oklahoma City
Anderson
Open out to lay D-J low? And so what if D-Js not
played enough to satisfy Foxs Rating participation
requirements? Roberts might as well protest the
absence of John Tannehill, Dick Miles, Bobby Riggs, or
Linda Lovelace. Sam says, If I were Neal, whos doing
a a fantastic job with the Ratings, Id be quite
insulted by the inference of orders from above, and
being compared to the White House plumbers.
USTTA Ranking Chair Dieter Huber
responds (TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1974, 12): Ive been
reading Fuarnado Roberts articles in TOPICS with
amazement, amusement, and sometimes with disbelief! Dieters indignant over Robbies
comparison of the Rating or Ranking Committee with the Nixon Administrations plumbers
unit. He says, Why cant Roberts just simply ask.Why was D-J left off the Rating List?
without going into accusations, insinuations, inferences, and insult?
Fox himself will later reply matter-of-factly to Roberts:
With the number of rated players over 3,000 it is necessary (if just from an
economical standpoint) to remove inactive players from Topics listings. D. J. Lee was
removed on the basis of the first set of requirements (6 significant matches in the previous 6
months). He had only one at the time of the Topics deadline.D. J. did not lose his rating,
he simply lost the right to be listed in Topics until he became active again.
202

World-Class Play
Meanwhile, as the year was coming to an end, lets take a look at what had been going
on, or what would be going on, with players abroad, some of whom wed be seeing at our
upcoming U.S. Opens. The 16th European Junior Championships (TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1973, 4)
was held in August in Piraeus, a harbor of Athens. It drew 26 countries with the following
Results. BOYS TEAM: 1. Sweden. 2. USSR. 3. Germany. 4. Czechoslovakia. GIRLS TEAM:
1. USSR. 2. Romania (defeated England 3-0). 3. Hungary (defeated England 3-0). 4.
Yugoslavia. BOYS SINGLES: 1. Ulf Thorsell, Sweden, 2-1 over runner-up Des Douglas,
England. 3. Peter Stellwag, Germany. 4. Bagrat Burnazian, USSR. GIRLS SINGLES. 1. Hana
Riedlova, Czechoslovakia, World #20, 23-21, 23-21, over Ilie, Romania. 3. Tatiana Ferdman,
USSR. 4. Elmira Antonian, USSR, World #15. Riedlova is described as a very good offensive
player with strong spins and kill shots. Ilie has a fantastic defensegood enough to have
beaten Riedlova in the 1972 final.
BOYS DOUBLES. 1. Thorsell/Hafer, Sweden, over Burnazian/Baranov, USSR, 2-1.
GIRLS DOUBLES. Ilie/Lupu, Romania, over Ferdman/Antonian, USSR. Lupu is said to be
the great hope of the Romanians for the next Worlds and plays a marvelous offensive game.
But neither of these promising Girls Doubles winners will ever have a world ranking. MIXED
DOUBLES. Thorsell/Ann-Christin Hellman, Sweden, vs. Douglas/Linda Howard, England
Ive differing accounts as to who won. Douglas was said to look dispirited after his loss in the
Boys final, but Howard was reported to have played great.
Cosmo Graham (TTT, Nov.-Dec, 1973, 5) covers the Sussex Open, held in Hastings;
play is in a theatre, 6 tables are placed where there are normally seats, and seats [are placed]
on stage. Ian Horsham, Essex county player and ex-England junior, just back from China
and Japan, wins his opening matches but then loses to Tony Clayton, the English #5. Mike
Johns (a consistent looper with some strange serves) and Stuart Gibbs (wholl hit anything)
play into the end-game 3rd. Mike groans when his lob hits the lights. But Gibbs misses a
hangar and that costs him the match, 20-22.
Canadas Errol Caetano progresses to the 4th round, but, as he seems to be playing
on talent and instinct, cant put any pressure on Englands #6 Brian Burn. Errols teammate
Peter Gonda wins the 1st from Peter Taylor, Trevors brother,
one of the laziest players on the circuit, but loses the next
two. Belgiums Norby Van de Walle, who, as weve seen in
earlier volumes, learned and honed his game in the U.S., won
two hard-fought games over Henry Buist, a bearded Reisman
with his pimpled-rubber bat. In the 8ths, top seed Nicky Jarvis
went down to Jimmy Walker. Mike Johns, in a yellow shirt,
orange shorts, and grey socks, spends his time looping against
Van de Walle. He occasionally drops or kills. Wins two
straight. Johns reaches the final, but loses to Alan Hydes.
The Womens final goes to Jill Hammersley over
Karenza Mathews. Earlier, Jill downed Judy Williams, whod
Englands
squeaked by Shelagh Hession [England #4] in a long expedite
Alan
match, saving the second at deuce on an edge. Earlier,
Hydes
Karenza stopped Violetta Nesukaitis, 21-19, 23-21.
In Mens Doubles, Caetano/Gonda score a nice win
over Jarvis/Walker, but then lose in 3 to Hydes/Burn, survivors
203

from 16-19 down in the 3rd to Gibbs/Bobby Stevens. Hydes/Burn go on to win the Doubles
over Belgiums #1/#2 Schalley/Van de Walle whod knocked out the strong team of Clayton/
Laurie Landry. Hydes completes his hat trick by partnering Englands #5 Howard to a win in
the Mixed.
In describing Hungarys 6-1 rout of England in a European League Match played to an
audience of 600 or so in Coventry, Phil Reid (TTT, Nov.-Dec., 1973, 4) gives us his impression
of the Hungariansthough Tibor Klampar was doing National Service in Budapest and
Istvan Jonyer was unwell and would appear in the doubles only. Which meant maybe
England had a chance for an upset? Afraid not. Janos Borzei opened against Englands #3
Jarvis, and as the Englishmans game is loop, loop, hit, with very much more loop than hit, if
the loop stops working hes in trouble. Though he won the 1st, Nicky couldnt get enough balls
through this World #14 defender.
Now it was England #4 Douglas vs. Gabor Gergely wholl have to wait till 75 for his
world rankingby then itll be #12. Hes pretty good now though, for, as it turns out, hes
already champion of Budapest, having beaten both Klampar and Jonyer on the way to taking
the title. Sporting long hair and a big moustache, this 20-year-old looks quite unlike any
other Hungarian player I have ever seen. He plays differently too:
His
forehand drive is
performed with a
rather peculiar
straight-wrist
action but it is
mighty effective.
Where he collects
most of his points
is with his sudden
ferocious
forehand kills. He
will suddenly
Hungarys Gabor Gergelys
unleash a fierce,
unstoppable drive
unstoppable drive
which he can produce from any part of the table and, more disconcerting, can dispatch
it wherever he wishes into the opponents court. Mostly these drives went speedily
down the opponents backhand court when for all the world it looked certain to be
going down the other side.
What perhaps impresses one most is his complete unflappability.No matter
how bad a shot he has just made, he never showed any sign of emotion other than
complete contentment in all he did.His anticipation is a strong point, but to go with
it he has the most quicksilver footwork one could wish to see. With quick, sharp,
nimble steps he moves into position quickly so that he can take the ball wherever it
suits his game best.
Strange to say, perhaps, but Gergely lost that 1st game to Douglas 21-13, for Des was
unleashing powerful drives to all corners of the court and his close-to-the-table game was
204

Karenza Mathews
From the 1971 Commonwealth
Championships Program

Hungarys Beatrix Kishazi

impressive indeed. But then Hungarian coach Zoltan Berczik spoke to his star, and Gergely,
with sweeping drivesthat frequently wrong-footed Douglas (whos slow of foot), rallied
to win the next two.
Englands Karenza Mathews, playing the 3rd match, had no chance against Europe #1
Beatrix Kishazi who, apart from having a superb defense, is able to come in with the telling
hit from time to time. Next, Mens Doubles, and I would not think Jonyer an easy player to
partner, if only because of the room he needs to make his sweeping loops. The Hungarians
won, 19, 19, but Jonyer was often lethargic, not up to scratch. Englands only win was in the
5th-match Mixed. The European Youth Champions, Douglas/Howardto 18-in-the-3rd
thunderous applausedowned Jonyer partnered by World #14 Judit Magos, a big blonde
penholder. Howard could not contest against Kishazi. And Borzsei, showing much
enthusiasm for attacking, finished Douglas in 3.
North Carolinas Kuo-San Chung has the Topics by-line (Jan.-Feb., 1974, 2) for the
Oct. 16-29 Chinese Nationals. Held in Wu-han, a city in Hu-nan province, it is the biggest
national tournament in China since the liberation. Although some players were only 14 or
even 11 years old, they fought with steel will against adult players. Thinking clearly of
playing table tennis for the revolution, they have been training very hard and making rapid
improvement.
Mens Singles went to Li Chen-shi, the young soldier playing in his 1st Nationals. He
blocked very fast and hard on his backhand side, and hit fiercely with his forehand. He beat Li
Ching-kuang, World #4 after Nagoya; Hsu Shao-fa, currently World #9; Chou Lan-sun, a
member of Chinas 1965 World Champion Mens Team; and TiaoWen-yuan, the Defending
National Champion. Womens went to double-wing looper Huang Hsi-ping over last years
Nationals newcomer, 21-year-old Yu Chin-chia whod upset the current World Champion Hu
Yu-lan. Twelve out of the thirty-two women seededdidnt survive their preliminary round
robin. Mens Doubles winners: Liang Ko-liang/Li Chou-min. Womens Doubles: Hu Yu-lan/
Liu Hsin-yan. Mixed: Li Chen-shi/Wu Shih-pao.
205

Zdenko Uzorinac (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 3) reports on the wintry European


tournaments. At the Nov. 14-16 Hungarian International in Budapest, Stellan Bengtsson and
Kjell Johansson won the Teams and the Doubles, and Kjell beat Stellan in the Mens final.
Englands steady, cool defender, Jill Hammersley, won her first big Openover the USSRs
Elmira Antonian whod outlasted Czech World runner-up Alicia Grofova. Hungarys Henriette
Lotaller, World #23 by 75, had a good tournamentwinning both the Womens Doubles with
Magos (over Kishazi/Hammersley) and the Mixed with Gergely (over Borzsei/Kishazi).
The Scandinavian Open, which the Swedish call familiarly Lilla VMlittle World
Championships, was held Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at Baltiska Hall in the port city of Malmo, Sweden.
Mens Team winners were the Hungarians who shut out the Chinese in the semis, and the
Czechs in the final. Womens Team winners were the Swedes who edged the Chinese 3-2.
Mens Singles: the award, presented by King Gustav XVI himself, went to Dragutin Surbek in
5 over Gergely. In an all-China final, Womens Singles went to Yu Chin-chia over Liu Hsinyen. Other winners: Mens Doubles: Bengtsson/Johansson over Surbek/Anton Stipancic.
Womens Doubles: Hammersley/Kishazi over Grofova/Riedlova. Mixed: Lu Yuan-sheng/Liu
Hsin-yen over Czech #1 Milan Orlowski/Grofova.
The Chinese also attended the Jan. 21-23 Romanian Open at Ploesti. Winners: Mens
Team: Japan over China, 3-2, whod escaped the USSR (Stanislav Gomozkov, Anatoly
Strokatov, Sarkis Sarkhoyan), 3-2. Womens Team: Romania (Maria Alexandru, Carmen
Crisan) over USSR, 3-0, after the Russians had eliminated China 3-1. (The 34-year-old
Alexandru didnt lose a game.) Mens Singles: Yujiro Imano, winner of the Afro, Asian, Latin
America tournament held in Beijing, over Strokatov. Womens Singles: the Sarajevo World
Womens Doubles Champs were the finalists with Japans Miho Hamada blanking Alexandru.
Mens Doubles: Japans Shigeo Ito/Imano over Chinas Li De Jan/Laio Fu Man. Womens
Doubles: Hamada/Alexandru over Antonian/Zoya Rudnova. Mixed: Gomozkov/Rudnova over
Sarkhoyan/Antonian in 5.
At the Czech Open, Jan. 27-29 in Prague, Yugoslavias Surbek and Stipancic won the
Mens Teams over the top Russians, 3-2with Gomozkov, despite being down 4 match
points, squeaking by Surbek in the 3rd, and also downing Stipancic. Womens Teams: Japan
over the Czechs in the semis, and the Russians in the final, both 3-2.
Tibor Klampar, now just a soldier in an international tournament after a long
absence, was asked by the Yugoslav journalist Stjepan Kljuic, How, being a sportsman with
so little muscle, could he so strongly smash the ball? Klampar answered, It is all my
happiness in table tennis that the strength of a Jonyer is not solely enough for victory.
Nevertheless, it was Jonyer who won the Mens Singles over Klampar here. In the Womens,
Magos looped through Alexandru. Mens Doubles: Surbek/Stipancic over Gomozkov/
Sarkhoyan. Womens Doubles: Hamada/Kishazi over Alexandru/Grofova in 5. Mixed:
Gomozkov/Rudnova over Sarkhoyan/Antonian.
Ive no write-up of the English Closed, but apparently 27-year-old Chester Barnes,
unranked last year, beat 29-year-old Denis Neale in the final, and so has been reinstated into
the English rankings as #1. Jill Hammersley, 22, continues as #1 among the women. Well first
see her at our 1976 U.S. Open, an historic one to be sure.
SELECTED NOTES.
*Mal Anderson, in an Apr. 30, 2006 e-mail told me why, as USTTA Rules Chair back
in 1973, he thought it imperative that captains and coaches be required to pass the Umpires
206

exam. At Sarajevo, hed watched the 5-game match between Englands Jill Hammersley and
South Koreas Park Mi Ra, in which after losing the first two games Hammersley had rallied to
take a 17-10 lead in the 5th. At which point, said Mal, Jills long retrieve went around the net,
not over, making it 18-10. But none of the officials knew that the rule states over or around
the net, so they ruled against her. Of course, there was an argument, but Jill and her coach
gave way, making the score 17-11.
Some of us [from the U.S.] were yelling at the English coach, who yelled back, Shut
up! We did, and watched as Jill led 20-18 (meaning shed actually won 21-17), but lost, 2220. That English coach should have been sent home instead of Trevor Taylor. [But surely its
the unqualified officials here who have to bear the blame. Did Mal think Hammersley and the
English coach didnt know the rule? Or the South Koreans, though quite possibly dissembling,
didnt know the rule? That doesnt seem possible. Perhaps, with Jill leading, her coach thought
it best not to distract her by arguing further? I assume Mal wants to alert captains and coaches
to the rules so they wont be taken advantage of. Here it doesnt seem to me to be a question
of the coach not knowing such a common rule (surely hes seen Jonyer and Klampar play their
wind-around-the-net shots) but rather making the wrong decision not to insist the rule be
enforced.]

207

Chapter Fourteen
1973-74: Winter TournamentsPart I ( Seemiller/Mary Ann Burdick Win $1,000
Rockford Invitational).
In mid-February, 1974, the Bochenski family opened their table tennis center on the 4th
floor of the Elks Temple building in downtown Portland, OR. The main room, Lou tells us
(TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 30), has 36-foot high ceilings, immense pillars upon a marble stage,
and beautiful, fancy carvings. No wonder Jim Scott called it a palacethe Paddle Palace.

The place is huge12,000 square feet. Fourteen Brinktun tables are arranged in two
parallel rows, divided by netting. To the sides there are leatherette seats and in one set-off
section a pro shop and control desk. Three lounge areas offer relaxation and entertainment:
one has a color TV; another, game and snack machines; another provides a quiet area for chess
or cards. The foyer is used as a smoking room. There is also a Sitco Robot room. Such an
inexpensive, recycling robotmanufactured locally by Gus and Steve Berliners Simplicity
Tool Companyis of invaluable help in coaching, and also for an individual who wants to
work on developing his/her strokes.
Three rest rooms are available for use (cost to put them into operation and for the
necessary electrical work: $2,000). Lou plans on having two dressing rooms, but right now
208

theyre used for storage and for workas witness their mimeograph machine (every
tournament participant will get a copy of the results of every match played) and a large heat
press thats used to laminate newspaper and magazine articles, as well as to help make
plaques. As the Club is on the 4th floor, there are three stairways and, according to a fire
marshall, the largest fire escape in Portland, as well as an elevator used chiefly for freight.
A steam heat system for this 4th floor is costing the building owner almost $5,000.
One can imagine how many volunteers it took to get this Palace in shape. Lou tries to name
them allfrom Don Nash, one of the 7 members of the Advisory Board, who did the steeplejack
work of climbing a 32-foot extension ladder to Fred Schaefer who spent a day on the floors with
a power scrubber. As for the lights, When youre standing on the top of a 15-foot scaffolding,
[holding]a 17-foot pole with a suction cup at the end of it replacing a globe, and you lack the
reflexes of a table tennis champion, globes sometimes slip. EXPLOSION! But better bulbs fall
than humans. Lous wife, Dotty, made drapes for the twelve huge windows. Fourteen upper
windows will be draped when we can figure out a way to get up that high.
Paddle Palace members will have their
names listed, in color according to sex
and age, on a magnetic rating board. Of
course leagues and tournaments will
reflect their ever-changing status. The
Portlanders are nothing if not optimistic.
Theyre ready to challenge the Magoos
Club, the Woodland Club, or any other
club to a competition in promotion.
Who will have the most active weekly
members by May 1, 1975? Topics prints a
letter from Jim DeMet who thinks so
highly of Lous promotional efforts that
after attending the first tournament at the
Palacethe Oregon Openhe will
continue to make the 800-mile jaunt from
Salt Lake City to Portland every time a
tournament is held there.
Results of that Mar. 8-10 Oregon Open:
Lou Bochenski and his magnetic Rating Board
Open Singles: Ron Carver over Vo Qui
Han, then over Judy Bochenski, both 18 in
the 5th. Womens (sans Bochenski): Lori Mason over Liz Kurtz. Open Doubles: Jeff Kurtz/
Dave Hudson over Chris Depee/Ed Ng. As: Charlie McLarty over Hudson, 31-29 in the 3rd!
(Charlies artist dad, Jack, made a table tennis player painting and sign for the front door of
the Palace). Bs: DeMet over Bochenski after Lou had knocked out Dunbar Carpenter, deuce
in the 3rd. Cs: Carpenter over Lee Olson. Ds: Kevin Young over Bill Mason. Es: Charlie
Schmiel (Palace bulletin board-maker) over Rick Pepperworth. Fs: Ted Miller over Jim
Kalvelage, 25-23 in the 3rd. Unrated: Mike LaMear over Miller.
Seniors: Dr. Bob Ho over Tore Frederickson (Bob, being a surgeon, knows the
importance of a good scrubbinghence his contribution to getting the Palace in shape: a
magnificent job of scrubbing woodwork). Under 17: Mike Bochenski over Bobby Rinde.
Under 15: Rinde over Scott Lipscomb who outlasted John Frederickson, 23-21 in the 3rd.
209

It may be, by this time, that, as the 1974 U.S. Open Program will later point out, the
San Francisco Club had abandoned its nomadic life (caused by dependency on city recreation
facilities) and located and leased a 2nd-floor loft containing an abandoned uniform
manufacturing business. Six weeks and many hours of labor later they had a fine club, 44 x
68 with a dark-stained wood floor, no pillars, 12 foot ceiling, 200 foot-candles of light
throughout the room and dark walls for good background. Other reasons for the 5-table
Clubs popularity: its open weekday evenings and weekend afternoons, and had nominal
charges$6 per month for members, or $1.50 per evening for non-mambers (43).
At the Feb. 9-10 San Francisco Winter Open, Kevin Wong won the Mens over Vance
Gillette. As: Jim Naik over Gillette. Bs: Gillette over Bob Glenn. Cs: Henry Fung over L.
Hung, 19 in the 3rd. Ds: D. Lau d. J. Kinder. Seniors: Azmy Ibrahim d. Allan Herskovich. U17s: Fung d. Chick Chui.
A unique Junior-Senior Closed was held at the
Hollywood Club as the year ended. Winners: Under 17: Dean
Galardi over Dennis Barish, 23-21 in the 3rd. Under 15:
Barish over Galardi, 19 in the 3rd. Under 13: Keith Huber
over Don Schultz, 19 in the 3rd. Under 11: Schultz over
Reagan Tom. Since Reagan will win the U-11s in both the
local Jan. 26 Chinese New Years Closed and the Feb. 3 Red
Dragon tournaments, hell represent the New Chinatown of
Los Angeles at the U.S. Open in Oklahoma City. Girls
Under 17: Georgette Rideg over runner-up Cindy Galardi,
Brenda Galardi, and Julie Tom. Girls Under 13: Kathleen
Ambers over Rideg. Under 17 Doubles: Galardi/Barish over
Boatman/Greenblatt. Under 17 Junior Mixed Doubles:
Barish/Rideg over Steve Schultz/Ambers.
Reagan Tom wins two Under 11s
Photo by Ray Fields

Julius Paal celebrating his 60th birthday


Photo by Ray Fields

Esquires and Seniors:


Julius Paal over Danny Banach.
Senior Consolation: Leon Ruderman
(wholl one far-off day be a World
Veterans Over 70 Doubles finalist)
over Kittel. Junior-Senior Doubles:
Barish/Russ Thompson over Paal/
Helman. Parent-Child and FatherSon Doubles: Livingstons over the
Hubers. Draw Doubles: Nick
Mintsiveris/Jones over Dieter
Huber/Tom.
The Jan. 11-13 Winter Open at the Hollywood Club saw Joong Gil Park take the
Mens final from Jack Howard whod earlier been extended, 23-21 in the 4th, by Howie
Grossman. (Cor Du Buy has just announced that a Jack Howard autographed racket is
available in the U.S.A.) Womens went to Angelita Rosal over Heather Angelinetta who just
edged Angies sister Monica 26-24 in the 3rd. Angie, a high school senior, reportedly would
drop out of school, perhaps already had, to train and practice for the 1974 U.S. Open. Mens
210

Doubles: Howard/Eric Thom over Ray Guillen/17Hollywood Club


year-old John Nevarez. Mixed: Guillen/Rosal over
Winter Open
Grossman/Angelinetta. Seniors: Gene Wilson over
Senior Champion
Julius Paal. U-17: Chris Rosal over Nevarez in 5.
Gene Wilson
U-15: Rosal over Dennis Barish, def. Under 13:
Keith Huber over Georgette Rideg. U-11: Don
Schultz over Rideg.
As: David Chiu over Dan Goodstein, -20,
19, 19, and in the final over Harold Kopper, his
penhold grip, and his wooden paddle that, as one
opponent put it, has absolutely no friction and
reverses every heavy push or topspin. A Doubles:
Goodstein/Joe Sanchez over Dieter Huber/Barish.
Bs: Kenny Pitts over Aggi Birnbaum, deuce in the
3rd in the semis, and over Nevarez in the final. B
Doubles: Ron Whitlock/Huber over Nevarez/Pitts. Cs: Birnbaum over T. Stephens. Ds: Mike
Blaustein over K. Quan, deuce in the 4th. C/D Doubles: Rich Livingston/Richard Valentine
over Chris Rosal/Pat Crowley.

Classic Players, L-R: Bill Hodge, Joong Gil Park, Val Tirman, Heather Angelinetta, Pancho Gonzales,
Howie Grossman, Neil Smyth, and John Tannehill
Caesars Palace photo

Paul
Therrio and
Heather
Angelinetta/
Howie
Grossman
(TTT, Jan.Feb., 1974, 27)
report on the
Paul Therrio
Dec. 15, 1973 Great Caesars Palace Table Tennis Classic, held in the
Circus Maximus showroom. When in Rome, do as the Romans do; when at Caesars decree as
the Caesarians do. Thus, says Therrio, at this gladiatorial combat, under the watchful eye of
211

the famous Lictor, Dick Evans (wholl turn thumbs up or thumbs down on a net or edge ball), the
contestants stride into the Arena.The noble praetorian of the Palace Guard, Bill Hodge (that
is, he works at Caesarsthough perhaps not as a bodyguard, at least not an official one). The
Dominion of Canada representative, Howie Grossman (well, he was from there). The
remarkable Heather Angelinetta from the Island stronghold of Britain (she, whod played at the
Vegas Flamingo in 1967, knew what was expected of hershe wore an English flag on her jump
suit). The Province of Ohios youthful wizard, John Tannehill. And finally, from far off Cathay
[China, South Koreawhats the difference?], at the personal invitation of that noble Roman,
Marco Polo, came forth the prince of the Asiatic Provinces, Joong Gil Park.
Beautiful. But the bottom line is: would casino patrons watch these players? Yes, said
Heather and Howie; indeed, approximately 1,000 spectators were held spellbound by this
entertaining pilot event. Among them old Joe Louis, Pancho Gonzales, and Johnny Weismuller, the
real Tarzan, who, if not yelling lustily was applauding much as he had been 40 years earlier when
he saw Coleman Clark win his 1932 Parker Brothers American Ping-Pong Association National
Championship. And certainly there was never a doubt about the imprimatur for these exhibitions.
Caesars President Bill Weinberger gave a welcoming address, and Caesars Controller/Treasurer
Neil Smyth, whod arranged the event, introduced the players.
Though the audience liked Hodges loop drives, defender Grossmans returns and
picks, Angelinettas spunk in going 18 in the 3rd with her opponent (more her partner, John),
the match everybody wanted to see, including about 25 fans whod come up from L.A., was
Park vs. Tannehill. And the players didnt disappointPark won a close 3-game match. The
crowd also enjoyed two doubles matches. After play was over, Caesars management presented
each player with a commemorative Silver Tray.
Of course this Classic would bring out casual players in the Vegas
Fred
area whod like to play at the local club. Surprisingly who should turn up but
Berchin
a former East Coast circuit player, Freddie Berchin, now married (remarried?) and a dealer in Vegas. He hadnt thought to even inquire if there
was a t.t. club in town. Also in Vegas this weekend was former Arizona State
Champion Norm Schwartz and Minnesota Table Tennis Hall of Famer Eddie
Kantar, both of whom were playing in a National Championship Bridge
tournament. Tannehill stayed on after this Saturday show, and the following
Monday, during the half-time of the University of Nevada-Washington State
basketball game, he played an exhibition with Las Vegas TTA President
Hodge.
Ray
Johnson covers
the Jan. 19-20
Irving, TX
Open (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 34),
played at R.C and Billie Watkins
Senter Park Rec Club in the heart of
the METROPLEX, which is local
terminology for the sprawling DallasFt. Worth area. Championship
Perry Schwartzberg
Singles went to 14-year-old Perry
From 1975 U.S. Open Program
Schwartzberg over Bob ONeill, 21,
212

-21, 18, -19, 17 in the semis, and over Brad Fountain in 4 in the
final. Womens winner: Shirley Woo over Cindy Garza.
Championship Doubles: Schwartzberg/Don Weems over Vaello/S.
Simon in 5. Womens Doubles to Woo-E. Appelgate. Mixed to
Fountain/Woo over Weems/A. Ramsey.
As: Schwartzberg over Doug Hibbs. A Doubles: Grady
Gordon/D.G. Van Vooren over James Guthrie/Ray Johnson. Bs:
Bartlesvilles Dale Donaldson over Charles Butler, -21, -21, 19, 17,
19. Consolation: Larry Puls over his dad, Richard, in 5. Seniors:
Gordon over Van Vooren, 25-23 in the 4th. Senior Doubles:
Gordon/Van Vooren over C. Griffin/Evans. Under 15s: Donaldson
over Puls in 5. Under 13s: Tim Parker.
Results of the Oklahoma City Feb. 2-3 Sooner Open:
Mens: Wiriya Tjakra over Steve Hammond. Womens: Sue Sargent
over Dee Tripp whod eliminated Cindy Garza. Mens Doubles:
Shirley Woo
Gary Fagan/Tommy Vaello over Russ Finley/Vern Eisenhour. As:
th
Fagan over Johnny Owen, 19 in the 5 in the semis, and over
Butler, 18 in the 5th in the final. A Doubles: Butler/Ray Bennett over Weinglass/Evans. Bs:
Winner? Jim Hammond or Bennett, a projectionist who runs the commercials at WKY-TV in
Oklahoma City. Seniors: Eisenhour over Lou Coates. U-17s: Irl Copley over Mike Finnell.
Oklahoma Closed State Champions:
Mens: Steve Hammond over runner-up Russ
Finley. 3. Gary Fagan (quarters winner, -7, -29,
11, 9, 16 over Vern Eisenhour). 4. Irl Copley
Steve Hammond
Photo by
(quarters winner over Wiriya Tjakra, 18 in the
Johnny Melton
5th). Mens Doubles: Finley/B. Jones over Steve
Hammond/Fagan. Womens: ? (The Oklahomans
arent always careful in submitting their results.)
Mixed: Dennis Crawford/Peggy Shaha over Evans/
Hogue. As: Dale Donaldson over Charles Butler,
19 in the 5th. Bs: Jim Hammond over T. Enzlin.
Novice: Mark Stoolz over John Chang. Seniors:
Enzlin over Lou Coates. U-17s: Jim Short over
Donaldson. U15s: Short over Shaha. U-13s: Stoolz over Cortez.
Vince Koloski (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 40) surprises us
with news that at Magoos Dec. 8-9 10,000 Lakes Open,
Winnipeg Junior Brian Zembik won the Championship Singles
($35)which, if I dare say so, calls into question Magoos
Manager Don Larsons proud rejection of the cluster theory
that to produce top quality players you must have top quality
players at your club. Minnesota still has a long way to go to
produce top quality men playersthough with last summers
idealistic 3-month strenuous training and practice sessions at
Magoos their young players, dressed in all-for-one; one-for-all
matching jumpsuits, are improving.
Brian Zembik
213

Zembiks (Show me the money?) game is built on speed, a very steady backhand
counter, and the ability to loop any type of spin with his forehand. He was able to take the
offense virtually anytime he chose and so forced his [unnamed] opponents to deal with his spin
and speed. Womens went toOh, sorry!Vince says, The decline of Womens Table
Tennis in Minnesota reached a new low with the failure to get enough entries to hold even a
single Womens class. In the Open Doubles, sponge junk-ballers Sinykin/Steve Strauss
defeated anti-top junkers Larry Kesler/Ken Kuntsmann.
Other results: As: South Dakotas Kesler was the winner when
runner-up Zembiks lack of a good kill allowed Larry, a chopper who didnt
lose a game throughout the event, to outsteady him. Bs: Iowas lefty looper/
hitter Greg Redmond over Minnesotas most erratic player, 14-year-old
Greg Mosio, 19 in the 4th. Cs: Al Schmitt over hard rubber counter-driver
Denis Atchison. Ds: Craig Minnesota Dead Satersmoen over anti-spin
chopper John Baker. Es: Kevin Hammer over Josh Kaplan. Hard Rubber:
sponger Jerry Kahnke over sponger Pete Tellegen. Esquires: Al Faulkner
over Chester Halpern. Seniors: Baker over Halpern. U-17s: Minnesotas
ever-changing Mens #2 John Soderberg over Mens #3 Tellegen, Topics
Jan.-Feb., 1974 Junior of the Month, therein described as Minnesota Mens
#2. U-15s: Soderberg over Zembik. U-13s: John Stillions over Tom
Greg Redmond
Soderberg. Father-Son Doubles: Ray/Greg Mosio over Cliff/Don Larson.
Don (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 35) alerts us to an important Jan. 22, 1974 Meeting at
Magoosso important that 125 people showed. Club members had to decide whether, after
fighting with the landlord for the last two years, theyd stay at our present location and live out
the seven-year lease, or move out, possibly to buy or build a new club on a
first-class basis. That is, one with 20-25 tables, showers, locker rooms,
Brandon
sauna, etc., and the opportunity for Manager Don Larson, who enjoys his
Olson
work but must be frustrated at times, to make a good living off the
game. Membership rates would be about $30-$50 per year. Charlie
Disney, who would act as President of the reorganization efforts, said, We
have a number of investors, their money totaling about $70,000, and we
would expect to assume a mortgage of about $80,000 after down
payments. Time will tell if they move to a new site.
Adjacent to this article is one by Leighton Johnson on Magoos
Feb. 26-27 Winter Carnival Open. The Mens Open final featured the
hard, quick forehand and 3rd-ball attack of John [Soderberg] against
the blocking, quick-hitting backhand style of Stu [Sinykin]. John
wonhis first Mens tournamentin 4. Stu, however, had earlier
defeated Minnesotas #1 Doug Maday, 19 in the 5th, while John had
prevailed over Pete Tellegen in 5. Womens went tono one. Mens
Doubles winners were Maday/Stu Sinykin over John Soderberg/Gus
Kennedy, 19 in the 3rd. Mixed winners (for the 5th time in a row!):
Steve Strauss/Sheila ODougherty over Stu Sinykin/Judy Heichert
Other winners: As: Ken Kuntsmann over Al Schmitt. Bs: Greg
Chapman over Kent Nobles in 5. Cs: Nicky Steblay over Leighton
Johnson, 24-22 in the 4th. Brazilian Teams: Tellegen, Satersmoen, and
Brandon Olson, destined to be the best player ever to come out of
214

Magoos, over Stu Sinykin, Johnson, and Don Bratt. (The highlight of this obviously handicap
event was 6-year-old Brandons defeat of Sinykin, now said to be Minnesota Mens #2.)
Esquires: Al Faulkner over Leo Bernat. Seniors: Bratt over Bob Kinsey. Father-Son Doubles:
Cliff/Don Larson over Ray/Greg Mosio. Under 17 A: Tellegen over Soderberg. Under 17 B:
Clark Brown over Dan Moran. Under 15: John Soderberg over Greg Mosio. Under 13: Tom
Soderberg over his sister Sheri, 19, 22.
Results of the Wisconsin Closed played at Waukesha, Feb. 9-10. Championship
Singles: Pak Lam over Tony Poulos, deuce in the 3rd, and over runner-up Tin Gun Yung. Good
earlier matches: Lam over Norb Falkenstein, 22-20 in the 3rd; Poulos over John Pfalz, 23-21 in
the 3rd. Womens: Cheryl Cronk over Mary Lewandowski. Mens Doubles: Yung/Paul Wong
over Russ Sorenson/Plath. Semis: Yung/Wong over Falkenstein/Pfalz, 18 in the 3rd; Sorenson/
Plath over Poulos/Geoff Graham, 19 in the 3rd. Mixed Doubles: Poulos/L. Chan over Wong/
Lewandowski.
Seemiller/Burdick Win Rockford $1,000 Invitational
It was bedtime10-year-old Eric had left off watching TV and wanted me to keep him
company until, like his older brother, Scott, before him, he fell off to sleep. What did you do
today?that had been his of late almost ritual question. And of course I told him the things
he half expected to hear, and how this afternoon Id borrowed enough money for the long
weekend that was fast coming upon usbeginning with our flight to Chicago in the morning.
Then it was, Tell me about the tournamentas if long after outside night had fallen he had
no interest in any dark reality but wanted only the expectation of some clearly unformed
dream.
Unknown to us, as the evening turned into morning, there was a power failuresnow
and an icy wind had weighed down the lines. Sally and I woke to a bedside alarm, as though
on the face of it nothing had happened, and, as she would be keeping the car, the three of us,
Scott would not be making this trip, mechanically made ready to leave for the airport. The
frost was difficult to get off the car windowsit was even on the inside. Near LaGuardia,
missing the turn off the Parkway and backing up, trying to recover from my mistake, I almost
had an accident. But we were luckythen, and only minutes later. The plane for which we
thought we were an hour and a half early had been delayed. Fortunately we were traveling
light, and, bags in handlittle Eric straggling along, always too far behind mewe hurried
aboard.
A 15-minute wait on getting off the plane at OHare and we were on a bus to the Jan.
5-6 $1,000 Rockford, IL Invitational, the kind of tournament I most wanted to support. Some
90 minutes later we were dropped off at an unscheduled crossroads opposite the Clock Tower
Inn where wed be staying with most of the other players. Whereupon, with all the afternoon
at our disposal, what did Eric and I do? Had a drink (Very dry martini for me, coke for the
boy, please), ate lunch, played cards, went to the pool, had a drink. No, I couldnt bring
myself to turn up the spilled hourglass of my how long ago emptied out curiosity, call a cab,
and visit with my son Rockfords (famous, was it?) Time Museum. I say this as if with lazy
regretbut the historical fact is Im not very different from most tournament-hardened table
tennis players: with few exceptions were all at least somewhat like that idiot savant of a chess
master in Nabokovs The Defense, for whom life was an abstraction. Year after year, visiting
the cities of the world, he saw only the block from his hotel to the nearby tournament chess
club.
215

However, as Eric and I moved into the dimly-lit dining room by the bar for lunch, I
was stopped by a wall of old-time photos and what used to be the name of the restaurant,
Henricisafter the Henricis of the Chicago Rialto and Nora Bayes day. This, I thought,
conveniently interesting. After being seated, our orders taken, we were just starting on our
soup when suddenly from behind me I heard this familiar voice mimic my 10-year-old:
Bernie, it said in a heavy come-on of an accent, dont bugga me! I turned around in
surprise to see the smiling face of Bernie Bukiet. Last Id heard, hed gone to Georgia with
Miles to give an exhibition. Bernie! I said, Howd you get out here?
Over a German beer or two, Bernie tells us how hes been living in Miami for a couple
of weeks. That first night at Fujiis, says Bernie, peoples faces didnt show that Bernie was
so welcome. So he didnt play table tennis that evening. (Ive forgottenit was either that
night or another he went with Joe Sokoloff to the dog races.) But next day at the club
somebody wanted to play him for $1. And of course Bernie won. Then another guy wanted to
play him for $1. And of course Bernie won. And soon there was a long line of people wanting
to play him. Naturally, he says, after I find these customers I make new friends.
Naturally Bernie played some with Laci Bellak, and banker Bob Walker. And also Peter
Pradit who spotted Bernie 3 a gameand lost set after set. Oh, those quick stops and starts in
Peters little sports car. Dont go so fast before we play! said Bernie to him one evening. You
want me to get hurt? But Pradit just accelerated in and out the more. Peter finally beat Bernie in an
even-up $5 match arranged by Sam Fletcher, whos a pretty fast man around town himself on wheels.
One of Bernies steadiest customers? Richard McAfee. Usually, I tell the person, what
kind he is, when I play him for a couple of dollars. McAfee is the nicest guy I ever met in table
tennis. At the time of Bernies visit, but no longer, Big Mac was manager of FujiisFujiis,
that name, too, is gone; owner Joe Newgarden has replaced it with Newgys. Quite possibly
Bukiet will return to Miami to coach Joes daughter Nancy. Ive played all over the world in
different clubs, says Bernie, and Newgarden has one of the best set of courts Ive ever
seen. Words from our 3-time National ChampionI write them here for Bernie, for readers,
this early-January afternoon at what was once called Henricis (John Barrymore, reads the
photo caption. He used to come in his slippers between the acts).
That evening, Paul Erickson, President of the Rockford TTC and the hard-working
man most responsible for promoting the tournament, had arranged for Dell and Connie
Sweeris to give an exhibition at the Cherry Vale shopping center, and of course hype the
weekend tournament. Posters and fliers were much in evidence, emphasizing the portable TV
door prize at the tournament, and Saturday/Sunday tickets were being sold here and at other
outlets. Shoppers could walk out of storesMarshall Field, Brentanos, Florsheimto look
down from two levels onto the carpeted sunken stage of the mall where, just in case, Dell and
Connie couldnt make it, Erickson and, it may be, his helpmates Henry Gallenz, Erwin Conrad,
Ivar Dahlgren, and others in jumpsuits from the local Rockford Club had set up a table and
were enthusiastically trying it out before the TV camera.
The Sweerises had arrived and were ready. They handed the microphone and some
scribbled-out sheets of a format to me, and, as they came down the ramp, I began: Good
evening ladies and gentlemen. We are pleased to present. Then went on: Dell and Connie
in their exhibition wish to do three things: (1) entertain you; (2) introduce you to the sport of
table tennis; and (3) give you in the audience a chance to challenge them.They are now
warming up in a typical practice routine. They will try to hit 50 balls in a row without missing.
As you can see, they are not now trying to defeat each other.
216

It went
very well. Next
morning, Connie
was quoted in the
Star as saying,
This is the first
chance Ive had
to play with Dell
in months. I can
beat him in
exhibitions but
never in
Rockford Open Womens
tournaments. I
Connie
Winner
Mary Ann Burdick
play
faster
but
I
Sweeris
Photo by Mal Anderson
cant hit the ball
as hard as he can. As some of us were reading the article over breakfast (Connie there in the
world of print was exclaiming for all to see, Ive come to Rockford to win and to have fun),
Dell came by carrying a tray. Connie suddenly wasnt feeling very well and would have to
withdraw from the tournament. As it happened, she spent the next two days entirely in bed,
recuperatinguntil, back home, she could once again interrupt her chores and answer the
phone with a brave, cheerful-sounding Sweeriss Boarding House.
In Connies absence, the $100 Womens Singles winner was 16-year-old Mary Ann
Burdick of Cincinnati. She earned her money with round robin wins over runner-up Barbara
Taschner in 5; Sheila ODougherty; and her weekend roommate Nancy Newgarden. Also, in
the Womens As, Mary Ann, as it were, 3-0 blew out the 18 candles on Barbaras birthday
cake before Miss Taschner could so much as breathe a sigh. Burdick picked up her third
trophy when she continued playing her fearless, aggressive game to win the Mixed Doubles
with Tim Boggan, deuce in the 5th, over Houshang Bozorgzadeh/Taschner. The Seniors also
went to Bogganover Joe Bujalski.
Houshang, who of course has been representing Iran at world-class tournaments for
two decades, was hoping that the USTTA would hold the 1979 World Championships. You
must do it for the history of table tennis in America, said Houshang, well aware that when, in
76, we celebrate our bicentennial, it will mark 50 years of World Championships with never a
one in the United States.
As Houshang and I are talking, who abruptly appears, having driven up in a hearse that
he uses for a car, but Coach Schleff, looking as hearty and enthusiastic as ever. Coach lays
claim to being the longest, if not the oldest, active U.S. player in the game today. I been
playing since 1920, he says. Today he is wearing a big, orange, Support Your Policeman
badge. Which prompts talk among us of badges and buttons, which allows Coach to offhandedly mention that he is the World Hobby King.
The World what? I say.
The World Hobby King. He couldnt be more matter of fact.
Turns out the King collects things. You know, he says, old magazines,
paperweights, old table tennis rackets, been tryin to get a complete collection of Topics,
blotters, barbed wire
Barbed wire? I say.
217

Yessir, he says. Barbed wire is big-time collecting if you come from the West.
Theres 1900 different kinds of barbed wiremostly from 1850-1916. You cut it in 1-foot
lengths and then you sit around courthouses and buy and sell and trade it.
Thats amazing, I say.
Oh, thats nothing, says Coach. Anything you name I
collect. Wooden nickels, old sheet music, old license plates,
playing cardssome 150 years old. You didnt know, did you,
Ive 15,000 different playing cards backsSpanish bulls, South
African birds, kangaroos from Down Under.
I listened, fascinated, scribbling as much as I could in my
notebook.
Old match coversboth the boxes and the folding kind.
How many of these do you think I have? Ive got 200,000 of
them. Post cards? Ive got 100,000. I used to travel all overbuy
at antique stores. Write to people all over the world. Ive got a
pencil collection, a button collection, all kinds of badges. Ive got
bottle openers, can openers, stamps
Coach suddenly grabs me by the shoulder. You know the
first stamps I collected? They were from the 1893 Worlds Fair in
Chicago. From the Columbia Exposition1-10 cent stamps.
Coach Schleff
Bought em for $.50. Today theyre worth $1,000. Ive got key
chains, different kinds of tobacco and cigarettes. I got stuff the
Smithsonian Institute never heard about. Theyve got a doll collection? Well, Ive got one too.
Anything that you can see, I collect. Except of course automobiles. Size, you know.
Ive got Worlds Fair tickets, train tickets as far back as 1876, street car trans
My god, Coach, howd you get into saving all these things?
Why, he says, I started out in 1916, when I was 6 years old. I started out with shoe
boxes and more shoe boxes, then cartons, and big baskets. Now Ive got an 8-room house and
5 garages full.
I suddenly saw my houseand old Topics lying everywhere.
Of course, said the King, to call any one of these collections a hobby, youve got to
make a minimum requirement. Beer cans, for instance. There used to be thousands of different
brands. Ive got maybe 400. But thats enough to make it a hobby. I mean, since Im the World
Hobby King, I make the rules. Coach laughed, and I looked over to Houshang. But he wasnt
there.
You know what else I got? You remember that fire in 1944 in the Barnum and Bailey
Circus where 400 and some people burned to death? Well, there were two flags inside that
didnt burn. Yep, Ive got those two flagsboth of them. Say, listen, if I had time, I could tell
you lots of things I got. In Brementhats the 3rd largest city in Germanywhen the
American forces went in to occupy it in WWII, the mayor shot and killed his wife and
daughter who were sitting on a couch in his office. Then he shot and killed himself. Well, up
on the wall was a huge swastika flag. You know what? Ive got that flag and Ive put it on
display.
Coach didnt show any signs of stopping, but I had to beg offsaid I wanted to watch
my boy play some matches. Coach understood, and as we shook hands in parting he said, Id
like to leave my hobbies to posterity. You cant let history go to waste.
218

I went over and watched Eric play.


Maybe over the years Ive put too much pressure
on himso now hes a 10-year-old with
problems? Maybe not. Maybe hes just a 10-yearold who most of the time does the very best he
can, and who yet wants to do betterlike me.
And who, when he cant do better, gets out of
line and acts up a littlelike me. Anyway,
though he would beat Cedar Rapids young John
Stillions in the Mens, he would not beat him
John Stillions
later, where I felt it counted more, in the finals of
Photo by Mal Anderson
the Under 11S. Little 9-year-old Stillions
literally came out running for this match, and with his well-formed strokes and his head very
together, clearly deserved to win. I want to give a nod, too, to Peter Gallenz who, with his fine
forehand, played John a deuce game.
My Eric made the semis of the Under 15s, but, as expected, lost decisively to the
eventual winner, John Soderberg who went on to beat his brother Jeff in straight games. Jeff,
who does a lot of skatinghes an 8th-grader who plays 10th-grade hockeywas on mighty
thin ice in the semis against Ben Kunin before winning deuce in the 3rd.
I saw John after hed won the 15s practicing with this
silly-looking derby hat on and wondered where he got it and
why he was wearing it. I used to wear it with a daddy-suit, he
said. When I looked puzzled, he went on. You know, the suit
your parents used to think it was nice to wear with a fake tie to
church on Sunday. Ever since Ive gotten bigger I wear it only
for table tennisits brought me luck. What John wears back
home to hustle the local pinball machines I didnt think to ask,
cause apparently its not going to bother him. A quarter can
last you all night, he told me, if you can find an easy machine.
Its fun to rack up free games and then at the end maybe sell
them to somebody else and maybe make a little profit.
John, who in the Under 17s finished second to heavy
favorite Rick Seemiller, is also, figuratively speaking, often
caught wearing a couple of other hats. I love to study dead
John Soderberg
people, he said to me. I go to funeral homes a lot. The
Photo by Ken Lowden
undertakers have different tricks they use. Maybe they tilt up the
deceaseds right shoulder so it doesnt look like hes in a box.
They put blocks under the corpses elbows so a Bible or whatever favorite thing is wanted can
be propped up on the chest. They sew lips shut, and eyes. If a guys been strangled or
suffocated, they change the lighting, put a pink light on the victim so the blue doesnt show.
How do you know all this? I asked him.
Oh, Ive read about it in booksThe American Way of Death, The Loved Oneand
Ive personally checked it out. Fifteen-year-old John is himself writing a story. Nothing so
sarcastic though as Nancy Mitford or Evelyn Waugh. Its called The Man With ESP. About
this guy who gets in a motorcycle accident and finds he has ESP. He goes to Vegas where he
gets in a crooked card game. I havent finished it yet, but hes going to die.
219

In the semis of the 17s, John beat Kalamazoos Mike


Baber in 3. In the other semis, Seemiller took care of Pete
Tellegen. Pete, though troubled by Ricks spin, was pleased he
could get his serves back and force him to deuce that 1st game.
As the new President of the Minnesota State High School
League (its in its third year now), Pete was explaining to me
how every Saturday 20 or so teams play round robin matches
Pete Tellegen
(4 boys on a team) at Magoos. The entry fee is $60 a year for
Photo by Eric
Rosenthal
each team, and some high schools have appropriated $75 a
year for paid coaches, such as Pete.
Some other winners: Mens Doubles: Seemiller/
Sweeris, who 19, 23, -18, 15, 8 might have lost 3-zip,
over Bozorgzadeh/Bukiet whod had to work hard to
vanquish Paul Raphel/Rick Seemiller, 22, -14, -20, 21, 16.
Class A: Final Round Robin: 1. Pat Cox, 3-0. 2. Mike
Baber, 2-1. 3. Pak Lam, 1-2. 4. Charlie Disney, 0-3. (Will
unretired Charlie retire again? Nahat least not now. He
won the 3rd and 4th games at deuce to go 5 with Cox.)
Prelims, Group A: 1-2. Disney, 2-0. 1-2. Cox, 2-0. 3. Steve Strauss, 1-2. 4. Paul Wong, 0-3
(went 18 in the 5th with Disney; 18 in the 5th with Cox; and deuce
in the 4th with Strauss). Qualifiers: Baber and Pak Lam who edged
out Rich Sinykin in 5.
Class B: Final: Magoos Stu Sinykin, playing aggressively,
prevailed over T. G. Young whod squeaked by Heng-chi Chang,
deuce in the 3rd. Class C: Final: John Soderberg won in 5 from
Tellegen whod stopped Jerry Soderberg, 23-21 in the 3rd. Class
D: Final: Al Schmitt over Don Kindstrand. The Minnesotans, I
heard, carried home 10 trophies in all. Novice: Greg Redmond
over Schmitt (from down 2-1 and 21-all in the 4th). Consolation:
Wayne Wasielewski over Gordon Roedding who escaped S.
Keltner, 24-22 in the 3rd.
The 128-entry Mens used a variant of Sweeriss 4-A
approach. First the players were sifted into 16 seeded round robin
groupswith the winners going into single elimination to
determine the 8 to play in the Championship and the 8 to play in
Stu Sinykin
the As. In each case, those 8 would then be divided into two
Photo by Mal Anderson
round robin groups of fourwith the top two from each group
playing a final round robin.
Championship: Final Round Robin: 1. Dan Seemiller, 3-0. 2. Bernie Bukiet, 2-1 (beat
Sweeris in 5 after losing the first two). 3-4. Dell Sweeris. 3-4. Houshang Bozorgzadeh (went 5
with Seemiller). Prelims, Group A: 1-2. Seemiller, 2-0. 1-2. Bozorgzadeh, 2-0. 3. Paul Raphel
(went 5 with Houshang). 4. Tim Boggan. Prelims, Group B: 1-2. Bukiet, 2-0. 1-2. Sweeris, 20. 3-4. Jerry Thrasher (went deuce in the 4th with Sweeris). 3-4. Rick Seemiller.
As it happened, through to the final Championship 8 there werent any upsetsthough
Sweeris, whod been making the draws, running match after match from the tournament desk,
and worrying about caring for an ailing wife, walked into a stinger in the person of penholder
220

blocker/hitter Paul Wong of the University of


Wisconsins School of Pharmacy at Madison.
Paul Wong
The turning point came on a disputed point at
5-all in the 5th. Question was, Was Wong
wrong? Did Sweeriss return hit the side or
was it good? Pauls friends smiled and yelled,
No good! Others didnt see it that way. Still
others werent sure. Sweeris wasnt sure?
Regardless, he gave Paul the pointthen ran
9 in a row and so made the score so lop-sided
that at the end nobody was upset.
Also, I got quite a start when a young
player with SVERIGE written on his shirt
came out to play me, for the only time Id
seen that name before was on the backs of
Bengtsson, Johansson, and the rest of the Swedish National Team. This player, though, was
going to Sweden as an exchange student, and I guess was practicing to fit right in.
The best match in the Group A Prelims was between Bozorgzadeh and young actor/
mimic Raphel. Sometimes its hard to say whos the more playful of the two. Prior to his
match with Paul, Houshang had been amusing Eric and some other kids in a way Id not seen
before. Hed taken a little celluloid part of a broken ball, cut it into an even smaller piece with
his teeth, and then, pressing it down on a table top with his thumb, had made it JUMP!like a
Mexican jumping beantwo feet up into his outstretched hand. Again and again the little
broken pieces hopped until they were worn out. Somebody was saying that the very
experienced Bozorgzadeh could give 17-year-old Raphel 8but that was before Paul had him
10-6 down in the 5th.
What, you may ask, besides chopping
Paul
steadily
on the backhand and whipping that ZorroRaphel
like loop through on the forehand is quirky
Californias Raphel doing in the Midwest? Hes on a
little theater gig? Nope. Hes come to Sweeriss
Grand Rapids club and hopes to make living
expenses in four successive weekend tournaments.
Im not sure his mother was taking him seriously
to her this move to play so far from home might
smack of something like a pipe dream. But
eventually Paul convinced her that up in Michigan
was the table tennis place to be. So she bought him
a one-way ticket on a jetand sent him smoking
off. Now he complains he wont be able to hear any
music for 5 weeks and laments that he had concert
tickets back in L.A. for Emerson, Lake, and Palmer,
and The Moody Blues.
Rest assured, though, hes in good hands.
Danny Seemiller and Paul are working themselves into shape to lay off looking at those picture
magazines all day (Nah, said Danny, not even the Japanese ones help my game much). The
221

two of them are about ready to leave


Sweeriss Boarding House and are going
to share a hotel roomfor maybe $3.80
a day. (It wont be bigbut itll be
clean and nice.) Theyre going to get
along very well, tooas long as Paul
doesnt begin beating Danny. Here in
Rockford, Danny took Paul 3-0, the last
two from 19-all, once on a net, and once
on an edge. O I am fortunes fool!
Paul might have declaimed.
As for Sweeris, in the final 4man round robin he never did play
Bozorgzadeh. Why not? Becausewell,
what was the sense? He was hitting the
ball so wellhad beaten Bernie 9 and 7
and seemed such a lock for the finals
that he himself must have believed that it
was only the big one with Seemiller that
counted. Only of course it was 3 out of
5 Dell and Bernie were playing. Actually
Bernie was pleased that he could twirl
Dark-browed Bernie Bukiet
this new racket he had (his old Ehrlich
bat had a piece cut out of the handle to give him a more comfortable grip, but it forced him to
play with the same side all the time), so there must have been something else bothering him.
Ah, under the cloak of hiscall it what you willDracula act, he complained now about the
sunlight coming in over the table, and so got Igor, the super, to pull down the shades.
After whichsurprise!Bernie eased the stake out of his heart and flapped out
backhands and forehands just long enough to apparently hypnotize Sweeris into deathly
submission. Dell had been looping in beautifully, but then Bernie moved closer to the table and
Dell couldnt make himself hit the ball and instead looped off the table. Whereupon Bernie
took a rest, retired to his coffin as it were, until, as if such wins could go on for centuries, it
was time to wake up to his next victim. Which, as it happened, was Bozorgzadeh. Houshang
had just finished going 5 with Seemiller and couldnt conjure up Bukiets castle-in-the-storm
recuperative powers. His confidence punctured by the fatigue he didnt see in the face of his
heavy-browed, grim-looking opponent, he sank down straight away.
Meanwhile, since Sweeris couldnt beat Seemiller (I always try the weirdest serves I
can think of in practice, said Danny. Some of them I can use later in a game), that left only
Bernie to try to stoptoo latethe stretched-out dawn of our strong young superstar. Since
Bernie couldnt read the anti-topspin side of Dannys spinning racket, there wasnt much he
could do but lose 3-0. If he didnt have the anti-spin, said Bernie, he wouldnt be nearly this
good, you understand? Its easy to make errors off it. His style-game is like a penholders. And
with this spin he know exactly what hes doing.
So is there anything left for Seemiller to learn and practice? Earlier, the irrepressible
Houshang had been showing Danny, Paul, and me some Creative Drama exercises, a number
of which hed no doubt seen coaches from other countries use. The most interesting one
222

involved a Marcel Marceau-like


pantomime of one player (Danny) trying
to copy another (Houshang). Before
they even got to the table to face each
other in the alter-ego mirror of the
playing court, they began practicing
the left-handed Seemiller trying to do the
right-handed Houshangs every inverse
move. Of course the idea was to try to
understand and anticipate your
opponents, or, more deeply, your own
actions.
Then it was my turn and Pauls.
In the beginning, the movements had to
be rather predictablehands out and
around clockwise, simulated bird flights,
Houshang Bozorgzadeh
knee-bends, bicycle-pedaling, and so on.
Photo by Mal Anderson
One could see in an instant that the
exercises were designed to appeal to the imaginationto take the drudgery out of mere
mechanical practice. Some clubs, said Houshang, put 5-6 mirrors up, like in a ballet school,
and have their players work out privately or in pairs.
We looked ridiculous? No doubt. But we gave it a trysidestepping here, there,
swinging a little wildly this way and that, trying to keep up with the imaginary little ball
hurtling through space we insisted was real. Not only our dancing master, Bozorgzadeh, but
even the most self-conscious of those who were slowly drawn into the inner circle of this
impromptu clinic could grasp the possibilities of the pantomime. Table Tennis, said
Houshang as time ran out and the lesson came to an end, is the best game to see yourself.

223

Chapter Fifteen
1973-74: Winter TournamentsPart II.
Dell Sweeriss Furniture City Open, held Dec. 8, was the first of four monthly winter
tournaments his Woodland Club, or Table Tennis Promotions, Inc., would be holding, all
leading, for the Pro Singles players, to the Woodland Cup Invitational final. Tom McEvoy, in
covering the action (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 38), reminds us, first, that Sweeris had won the first
two of this 6-tournament series, then says that Dell, participating as the resident pro, has
declared himself ineligible for prize money in the [remaining] preliminary tournaments. Since
the four Pro Championship finalists all get cash awards, Dell decided that the winner of the
losing quarterfinalists would be allowed to join him and the others in what would now be a 5man final round robin. Sweeris, Mike Veillette, Paul Pashuku, and Bill Lesner, whod beaten
Jim Davey in 4, advanced to the round robin final. And the 5th player wasthe best of the
quarterfinalists, Davey, whose loss to Lesner did not carry over to the ending round robin.
Veillette, as it turned out, was 1-3 in final
playbut his single win cost Davey 1st place.
Thats rightJim, the losing quarterfinalist,
would have won the entire tournament if it
werent for his loss to Veillette. Davey had his
impossible dream come true: for the first time
ever, he beat Sweerisand three straight at
that! Amazingly, Lesner also beat Sweeris in
straight games. The end is near, said McEvoy
the world must be coming to a cataclysmic
climax.
Jim Davey
Although Davey lost to Pashuku, he got
Photo by Mal
sweet revenge by blanking Lesner, so, were he
Anderson
to down Veillette, hed have a 3-1 record, as Bill
wouldbut Davey, because of his head-to-head
win, would be the Champ. Only, Mike beat Jim,
20, -22, 12, 17. Thus Jim fell to 2-2, tying him with
Sweeris and Pashuku, but allowing him to come 2nd,
Dell 3rd, and Paul 4th on tie-breaking points.
Other results: Womens: Maureen Farmer over
Joan Knight. Womens As: Joyce Donner over Kay
Edgerton. Mens As: Mike Baber over Imants Karklis.
Bs: Pat Cox over Bong Ho. Cs: Bill Hornyak over
Greg Jelinski. Ds: Rick Vanderlind over Gary Calkins,
Mike
a Michigan State graduate with a major in psychology.
Baber
Consolation: Ho over Phil Trout, and over Coach Jeff
Smart whos decided to put out a booklet on Practice
Methods and Drills with the intent of offering so many
variations on strokes, footwork, control and touch,
serve and serve return as to make practice anything but
boring. U-17s: Jelinski over Mark Delmar. U-15s:
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Delmar over Gordon Roedding. U-13s: Torsten Pawlowski over Andy Kuleso. Under 11s:
Pawlowski over John Austin.
Tom McEvoy, whos covering all the Woodland tournaments, including the Woodland
Cup final, says that at Dells Jan. 12th Michigan Open (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 40) the Pro
Championship final round robin consisted of not 5 but 4 players: Sweeris, Danny Seemiller,
Paul Raphel, and Jerry Thrasher who, despite being two games down and at deuce in the 3rd,
had upset Lesner in the quarters. Seemiller was the winner, 3-0, over runner-up Sweeris,
Raphel was 3rd, Thrasher 4th. Womens and Womens As went to Connie Evans over Joan
Kohn.
Other winners: As: Baber over Smart, and
in the final over Bob Hazekamp whod edged
Frank Sexton in two 19 games. A Doubles:
Hazekamp/Cox over Baber/Sexton. Bs: Tom Hall
over Ralph Stadelman, -25, 19, 19. Cs: Jim Bruno
over Gunter Pawlowski. C Doubles: Taylor
Pancoast/Gary Whiddon over Jim DeMet/Ed
Hogshead. Ds: Roedding over Dale Zwyghuizen.
Handicap: Thrasher ($20) over Veillette. Seniors:
Ho over Max Salisbury. Boys U-17s: Jelinski over
Doug Wilcock. Girls U-17s: Evans over Faan
Yeen Liu and Cathy Payotelis. U-13s: Faan Hoan
Liu over Mark Kohn. U-11s: John Huizinga over
Austin.
At the Feb. 9th Winter Wonderland Open
Faan Hoan and Faan Yeen Liu
Photo by Mal Anderson
(TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 39), Dell was back
allowing a Pro Championship final round robin
of 5which was understandable since this 1-star featured Sweeris, Seemiller, Pradit, Bukiet,
and Raphel! Would you believe one of these didnt advance? Sweeris made it (though, up 2-1,
he was 19-all in the 4th with Hazekamp). Pradit went down (Unbelievable!)to the
relatively unknown Sexton, 3-0 (losing a big 21-23 2nd game). The final went to Seemiller (40) over Sweeris (3-1). Raphel, who lost 19 in the 4th to Dell, and who was 1-1 and leading
Danny in the 3rd before losing it, 22-20, and then the match, finished 3rd. Bukiet, whod flown
up from Miami with Pradit and Nancy Newgarden, was 4th. Sexton 5th. Womens: Farmer over
Newgarden (Maureens one of the most underrated women players in the country, says
McEvoy).
Other results: Womens As: Amy Hopping over
Jane Rechsteiner. Mens As: Baber over Sexton in 3,
then over Hazekamp, 22, -18, 14, after Bob had
eliminated a ghost-like name from the past,
Krizmanthats Dave Krizman, the 1952 U.S.
Open U-15 Champ. A Doubles (Championship
players pair with weaker players): Sexton/Baber over
Hazekamp/McEvoy. Bs: Karklis over Ho whod
Amy Hopping
Photo by Mal Anderson
ousted Bujalski, 19 in the 3rd. Handicap: Johnson
($20) over Eric Lichtenheld. Seniors: Bujalski over
Ho, 19, -19, 19. U-17s: Jelinski over an over-confident Baber, 19 in the 3rd. U-15s: Andy
225

Hopping over Roedding. U-13s: Faan Hoan Liu over Steve Caflin. U-11s: Caflin over
Huizinga.
The Mar. 2, 1974 Western Michigan Open was the 6th and final tournament enabling
the top 16 Pro Singles point-getters to qualify for the Woodland Cup Invitational. Again
there were 5 players in the final round robinSweeris, Raphel, Veillette, Lesner, and
Bozorgzadeh. Raphel struggled in his opening match with Karklis. Imants won the 1st, was
leading all the way in the 2nd only to lose it at the 21-19 end, then dropped the 3rd 25-23,
before bowing out 21-17. Veillette in his opener had to go 5 with Cox; then against Joe
Windham was forced into 3 deuce games, all of which Mike won. Lesner was 1-1 and at deuce
in the 3rd with Dale Thelan whod upset Hazekamp.
Raphel, despite losing (from two games
up) 18 in the 5th against Lesner, went on to win
this Pro event by playing the best table tennis
of his career. After knocking off Sweeris in 4
(first time Dell ever lost to Paul), and then
Veillette, conqueror of Lesner 18 in the 5th, he
met Bozorgzadeh whod gone through 3
opponents without losing a game. But Paul beat
Houshang (18, 19, 19) to win via a head-to-head
tie-breaker. Womens went to Evans over Farmer
(who in the Pro event had gone into the 5th with
Sexton!). Womens As was won by Michelle
McKinstry over Cathy Payotelis.
Mens As: Windham over McEvoy,
Sexton, Hazekamp, and in the final Stadelman
whod stopped Krizman and Ted Bassett. Bs:
Michelle KcKinstry
McEvoy over Farmer (whod upset Lazslo
and her #1 fan
Keves), then Ho, and in the final Karklis whod
Photo by Mal Anderson
bested Bujalski. Cs: Hornyak, after being match
point down to Larry Ryel, over Farmer. C
Doubles: Stillions/Greg Redman. Ds: Mike Sullivan over Pancoast, after Taylor had downed
Tom McKinstry, 19 in the 3rd. Novice: Faan Hoan Liu over Kohn. Seniors: Bujalski over Ryel.
U-17s: Baber over Veillette. U-15s: Roedding over Andy Hopping. 13s: John Stillions over
Faan Hoan Liu, 21, -15, 14. U-11s: Stillions over Ben Huizinga.
Meanwhile, the annual Michigan State Championships were being held, Feb. 23-24, at
Detroits Cobo Hall. George Buben (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 41) says that, despite the gasoline
shortage, 150 players attended. With 40 events being held, it seemed as if almost everyone
had a chance to win a trophy. To no ones surprise, Sweeris, steadier than he has been and
hitting the ball with much more authority, took the Mens without the loss of a game.
Lesner, helped by a 5-game win over Veillette, was the runner-up. Mike was 3rd; Pete Kelly 4th.
Womens went to Sue Hildebrandt over Janice Martin, 18 in the 4th. Mens Doubles: Sweeris/
Hazekamp over Chuck Burns/George Payotelis. Womens Doubles: McKinstry/Farmer over
Payotelis/Karin Parvin. Mixed: Sweeris/Farmer (wheres Connie?) over Smart/Hildebrandt, 19
in the 5th.
Mens As: Hopping over Hazekamp. Womens As: Joan Kohn over Parvin. A Doubles:
Phil Trout/McEvoy over Larry Wood/Craig Burton. Bs: Karklis over McEvoy, 18, -22, 21,
226

17, and over Buben in the final, 19 in the 4th. Esquires:


Burns over Fred Coryell in 5, then over Bill Rapp who got
by Laurie Ault, 26-24 in the 4th. Seniors (18 entries): Burns
Mark
over Rapp. Senior Doubles: Ho/Coryell over Jim Rushford/
Wampler
Buben. Mens Open Wheelchair: Stef Florescu over Bob
Photo by
Beatty. Womens Open Wheelchair: Angie Corrieri over Jean
David
Levingston
Kish. Boys U-17: Baber over Jelinski. Boys U-15: Hopping
over Kurt Lloyd. Boys U-13: Claflin over Mike Shapiro in 5.
Girls U-17: Farmer over Yvonne Krombez. Girls U-15:
Payotelis over Parvin.
The Ohio Open was held in Cleveland, Feb. 16. In
the Mens, Mark Wampler was lucky to advance out of the 3
out of 5 quarters with a 24-22 win in the 5th over John
Temple. He then won the tournament when in a 2 out of 3
round robin semis he beat both Joe Rokop and Rick
Seemiller in 3, after Rick had rallied to down Tom Hall in 5.
Joe came 2nd with a 3-game win over Rick, and a 13, 19, 16
near loss to 4th place finisher Graham Gear. Womens winner
was Diane Turnbull over Mary Ann Burdick. (Laurie Miller,
last years U.S. Open Girls U-17 As Champ, didnt enter this
tournament; perhaps never would another. Though she was the only girl player in her 6-team
suburban Cleveland High School T.T. League, she had an undefeated season. Now, however,
shes given up table tennis for tennismore opportunities for girl friends?and is into
practicing 5-6 days a week.). Open Doubles went to Seemiller/Rokop over Wampler/John
Spencer. Mixed to Seemiller/Burdick over Wampler/Turnbull. Seniors: Jim Richling over Lou
Radzeli, 18 in the 4th. Esquires to Radzeli, 2-1 (5-2)
over Walt Bubley, 2-1 (4-3), Ed Bacon, 1-2 (3-4),
and Bob Allen 1-2 (2-5).
Dean Norman, in writing me on Aug. 9, 2005
about his table tennis background,* said he was
playing quite a bit at the E. 152nd St. Cleveland club
in the early 70s. Although he played Radzeli some
close games, Louie, he said, could always take the
offense by hitting to my backhand whenever I was
getting too hot with the forehand. Dean was
therefore amazed that Walt Bubley could sometimes
beat Louie. Walter played a herky-jerky game of
angled pushes and chops and wild drives. It would
throw Louie off his rhythm and he would make errors
which hed never do in a smooth game.
Other Ohio Open results: As: Bhushan over
Mike Joelson, then over Radzeli, both in 5. A
Doubles: Bhushan/Glen Marhefka (all that notetaking at Sweeriss clinics was paying off for 26-yearold Glen) over Spencer/Morgan whod knocked out
Debbie and Mike Connelly
Wampler/Kessler, deuce in the 3rd. Bs: Mike
Photo by Mal Anderson
227

Connelly over
Burdick. (Mike
and his wife,
Debbie, with a
follow-up by
Carnegie-Mellon
University Prof.
J. F. Nagle, have
very specific
articles in Topics
(Sept.-Oct.,
1973, 26 and
Jan.-Feb, 1974,
24) on their
Pittsburgh Clubs
Rating System,
one feature of
which they say would
Jeff Williams ... reaching up
help USTTA Ratings
Photos by Mal Anderson
Chair Neal Fox
improve on his System.
And Neal may well have taken the suggestion to heart, for, admirably, he always listened
carefully to an idea one might present, would think about it, and if he couldnt find any
argument against it, would agree with you.
More results: Consolation: Bhushan d. Mike Dempsey. (Mike and other wheelchair
competitors would surely be interested to knowsee TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 25that
Californian H. R. Sawyer has not only developed a tennis but now a table tennis ball retrieval
system.) Young Adults: Rokop over Seemiller, def. Boys U-17: Seemiller over Dempsey,
whod escaped Dave Degenhart, 21, 23, -18, 21. Girls U-17: Burdick over Sandra Hensley.
Boys U-15: Jeff Williams (from down 2-0) over Lowry.
At the Fort Wayne Tech Open, Paul Raphel won the Mens ($50) by upsetting Danny
Seemiller ($35) in 5. Richard Hicks was 3rd; Leroy Bontrager 4th. Womens winner was Connie
Evans over Carol Cook. Mens Doubles went to Richard and son Ricky Hicks over Bontrager/
Sam Snyder. Handicap: Seemiller ($35) over Mike Baber ($15). As: Snyder over Tom Hall.
Bs: Baber over Laszlo Keves. Cs: Al Grambo over Bob Bucknell. Seniors: Harry
Deschamps over Max Salisbury in 5. U-17s: Baber over Doug Wilcock. U-15s: Wilcock over
Randy Webb.
The Indiana Open, played Jan. 5-6 at Greenfield, saw Hicks win the Mens over
runner-up Deschamps. Lyle Thiem edged out Jerry Glass, deuce in the 4th, to finish 3rd.
Turnbull was the Womens winner over runner-up Hensley. Sally Webster came 3rd with an 18,
20 win over Cindy Marcum who 30 years later would chair the USATT Disciplinary
Committee. Mens Doubles went to Richard/Ricky Hicks (after being down 2-0) over Thiem/
Glass in the semis, and over Grambo/Roy Hyden in 5 in the final. Mixed to Richard and wife
Norma Hicks over Theim/Turnbull whod outlasted Degenhart/Hensley, deuce in the 3rd.
Other winners: As: Tom Hall over Thiem, 19 in the 4th. Bs: Hyden over John Dichiaro
in 5, then over Terry Miller. Consolations: Jerry Button over Jack Pangburn. Seniors:
228

Deschamps over Bob Miller. U-17: Kevin Legge over Degenhart whod eliminated Hicks in 5.
U-17 Doubles: Degenhart/Legge over Hicks/Pangburn, 19 in the 3rd. U-15: Hicks over Brad
Smith, 19 in the 5th, then over Kris Pangburn. U-13: Hicks over runner-up Webster. 3rd went
to Tim Yates over Tony Marcum, 19, 17.
Hugh Babb (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 37) reports on the Volunteer Open, held Mar. 8-10
at Kingsport, TN under the direction of Orval Quisenberry. There I was, says volunteer
Hugh, in almost total darkness, in the back of a closed U-Haul trailer in between 2 Nissens,
breaking the law and risking my neck to prevent scars and scratches on those sacred green
tables that had now to be returned. Norman Gray and Kermit Baxter had already taken their
turns on those other trips. What, I began to think at age 45 plus, was I doing? Wonder if that
trailer clamp is holding? Did I make that last insurance payment? It sure would be messy if
Quisenberry lets this thing jack-knife and a big truck sandwiches me between the
Nissens.UGH! Quizy just hit one of those holes without a bottom or at least thats the way
it felt and the Nissens rattled and tried to roll. Like my thoughts that kept bouncing back to
our tournament.
Championship Singles: Bill Edwards, whod gone 4 with Emory Universitys Alan Sverdlik
in the semis, met cagey Sol Lewis in the final, after Sol had barely edged Lance Rosemore, deuce
in the 5th. Their match was a real contrast in styles. Bill would hitand Sol would chop, place, and
chop some more. In fact, Sol would put the anti-spin chop to a few balls from about 15 feet back at
ankle level[then fiendishly watch them] skim the net with so much crazy english, or lack of it.
But Bill just kept pulling the trigger and rifling the ball for a straight-set win. Championship
Doubles: Gary
Ervin/Vincent
Chan over
James/Peter
Neal. Womens
went to
Nashvilles
Melanie Spain
over Raleighs
Jean Posten.
Mixed winners
were Rosemore/
Spain over
Tom/Jean
Poston.
Tom Poston
Jean Poston
Other results: As: Ervin over Danny Hill. (The most intense match? Gene Stevens over
James Neal, 29-27 in the 3rd.) A Doubles: Gary and Jim Ervin over Mark Gilliam/Allen Wright.
Bs: Atlantas Ron Sanders over Durhams Bill Brown. Rons on the tall side with plenty of
reach and likes to come thru with that forehand topspin sweep. Cs: Quisenberry over Bob
Watkins. Consolation: Lee Edwards (exploding some Atom Smash shots) over Watkins.
Seniors: Lewis over USTTA Disciplinary Committeeman Dick Tucker. Juniors: Gilliam over
runner-up Bill Brown and Larry Thoman.
The 2nd Louisiana Open, held in Feb. at Baton Rouges Downtown Rec Center, had a
nice Program printed by Hal Herrington, and words of thanks for Tournament Directors Ray
229

Kelly, Charles Klestadt, and Baton Rouge Club President Tom Baudry who did the write-up
on the tournament (TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1974, 22). Also praised were Desk Control workers,
Little Rocks Barbara Coffman and Baton Rouges Rosemary Kelly. Indias Monty Merchant
gave a great exhibition with Cecil Kost not only for players and spectators but also for a local
TV sports show.
Results: Championship Mens: Kost over Doug Hibbs. 3rd Place: Dick Coffman over
Bob Applegate whod eliminated R. Hoff, 21, -20, -16, 17, 20. Womens: Arrin Applegate
over Melinda Varner. Mens Doubles: Kost/Glenn Piper over Monty Merchant/Alan Long.
Mixed Doubles: Gay/Arrin Applegate over Ricky Bello/Varner. As: Armando Herrera over
Piper, 19 in the 5th. Bs: B. Appelgate over Gay. Seniors: Reggie Barrus over Edgar Barrios.
U-17s: John Gresham over J. Keith Friley.
Before Bard
Brenner, having moved
from California back to
Florida, tells us (TTT, Jan.Feb., 1974, 37) about the
Dec. 15-16 Florida Team
Championships, held at
what was then called Fujiis
club in Miami, I want to
briefly summarize his
Week with the Pros
article (TTT, Jan.-Feb.,
1974, 28+). Recently Bard
attended the Worlds First
Professional Sports
Administration School,
sponsored by Marvin
Milkes & Associates, held
at the International Hotel in
Bard Brenner
Palm Springs, CA. Prelude to their Sunday Welcome Cocktail
Photo by Don Gunn
Party? A reading of Joseph Dursos The All-American Dollar.
The Big Business of Sports
Weeks Highlights (Bard, much interested, is conscientious, his notes are very
extensive; I can only give small snippets of them here). Monday: Mike OHara, President of
the International Track Association (Promotion tricks included bringing track indoors to get
crowd closer to action, using ladies to attract attention; and paying athletes living
expenses). Then Dodgers Red Patterson on Public Relations and Publicity (use celebrities
in special competitions; radio and TV coverage is more important than newspaper stories; best
to write your own copy). Then Walter Nash on Tickets (Tickets are moneytreat them as
such. Tickets must generate cash flow for operations and payroll). And then Tom Arthur on
Concessions (dear to Bards heart, or stomach, cause he used to sell pepsi, hot dogs,
cotton candy in the Orange Bowl). Tips: slower-paced sports generate better concession
revenue; hot dogs [sell] better than hamburgers; average sale per person: $1.
Tuesday: Barry Mendelson (he handles Jerry West) on Endorsements (Highly
successful endorsements are more in clothes than equipment; athletes are better than actors for
230

commercials; team owners do not have control over their athletes outside endorsements).
Wednesday: Herb Elk on the Duties of the Traveling Secretary (Tip: book more travel space
than you need). Then Dick Walsh, former General Manager of the Dodgers, on Sports
Administration (talked for four hours: Observe people, pick their brains, find strengths and
weaknesses; Make your word good, always; Look for young people with ability; Dont
hire yes men; There is no great time in sports, take what you can when you can!).
Thursday: Jim Kittilsby on Role of the Athletic Director (The primary function of a
sports executive is to sell; Program advertising is a great source of revenue; Make
concessionaires take ad in program). Then Don Fraser on Boxing Promotion (Big
problemonly two stars,,,if one doesnt show; sport generally cant absorb losses; Many
boxers turning to other sports). Then Dr. John Perry of the Los Angeles Rams on The Team
Physician (Must have written contracts with doctors, players will sue both team and
doctor). Then Tom Liegler of the Anaheim Convention Center on Arena Management
(Top manager must bethe planner, organizer, director and controller. Seven percent are
leaders, others are followers.Stadiums built since 1955 are all losing money.Ten football
games generate more revenue than eighty baseball games). Then Dennis Murphy on The
Foundation of a New League (The American Public understands only one thing and that is
to win; and, get this, Bards fallen out of his chair cause the guy says, Table Tennis is one of
the next professional sports; guys newest venture is the WPTTA, the World Professional
Table Tennis Association; they supposedly have $300,000 lined up for a tour that could even
be more significant for our sport than the Chinese tour).
Friday: The Girl in Sports (Start at bottom and can work your way into executive
office. Minor league is good experience). Then Sports Promotion (Youre in show
business; dont be conservative in sports.Create good relationship with the fans, create
hysteria). Then, to wrap up the week: Stacey Sullivan of the Chargers on Sports and the
Law (Must have accountants and lawyers for books and contracts; Total income of all NFL
teams doesnt equal that of a single department store in Seattle; Threat of litigation is always
presentdont keep notes of meetings that can be used against you in court; Integrity is the
most important word in sports).
Armed with his diploma, Brad says hes ready to hold a Sports Administration
convention in a Miami Beach hotel for E.C. members and others. How about it, USTTA?
While the Association s considering, well go back now to Fujiis, where, said Bard,
teams began in prelim groupswith the winners advancing into Division I, the runner-ups into
Division II, and the 3rd place finishers into Division III. A tie (best 3 out of 5 matches, 2 out of
3 games) required each of two singles players to play at least one singles match and one
doubles match. Results: Division I: 1. Order of Siwon: Jerry Thrasher (4-0), Wayne Daunt (51), John Wimbish (4-3). Wayne won the MVP award with his critical win (from 10-18 down in
the 3rd) over Greg Gingold. 2. University of South Florida: Gingold (4-1), Pat Patterson (3-2),
Bev Hess (1-1). (Bev also came 1st in Womens playover Nancy Newgarden.) 3. Promotions
Number One: Bard Brenner (4-0), Alan Nissen (4-3), Joe Sokoloff (1-2). 4. Fujiis Number
One: Richard McAfee (4-2), Randy Hess (3-5), Joe Newgarden (1-0). 5. Underdogs: Marv
Leff (2-1), Chuck Michell (2-1).
Division II: 1. Budweiser: John Elliott (7-1), Ross Brown (3-3). (John also came 1st in
U-17sover Hess.) 2. Nationwide Studios: Chris Marshall (7-2), Nancy Newgarden (2-8).
(Chris also came 1st in the U-15sover Jesse Franz.) Division III: 1. Rockets: George Bluhm
(4-3), Bob Walker (3-4). 2. Rocking Ships: Howard Tabb (5-3), Franz (2-3).
231

Herb Vichnin learned something from the complaints at his Jan. 12th Quaker City
Open. Way too many (unexpected?) entries for just a single days play. So why accept them
all? Could he do otherwise without any warning? Even with players dropping out of the
doubles events left and right, the tournament wasnt over until 2 a.m. O.K., says Herbie, next
tourney were gonna have two back-to-back one-day tournaments. Well select events for each
days play, let the participants know ahead of time so, if they like, they can choose to play only
on Saturday or only on Sunday.

Debbie Wong showing off her exhibition skills


Photos by Mal Anderson

Results: Mens: Final: Alex Shiroky over Lim Ming Chui, 16, -21, -18, 12, 20. Semis:
Shiroky over Bernie Bukiet, 20, 18; Chui over Errol Resek, -8, 23, 19 (after being down 5-15
in the 3rd!). Womens: Alice Green over Debbie Wong. Mens Doubles: Fuarnado Roberts/Tim
Boggan over Chui/Dave Sakai. Mens As: Sam Balamoun over Boggan. Womens As: Xuan
Ferguson over Evelyn Zakarin. A Doubles: Stan Smolanowicz/Balamoun over Sharpe/Barry
Robbins. Bs: Joe Andrews over Rutledge Barry. Cs: Joe Scheno over Barry. Ds: Scheno
over Matt Dixon. Handicap: Bill Sharpe over Bob Saperstein.
Other winners: Esquires: Marcy Monasterial over George Rocker. Seniors: Boggan
over Sharpe. Adult/Junior Doubles: Tim/Eric Boggan over Sharpe/Scott Boggan. U-17s:
Roger Sverdlik over Bruce Plotnick. (Other good U-17 matches: Barry over Eliot Katz; Mike
Bush over Barry, 19 in the 3rd; Plotnick over Jeff Zakarin.) U-15s: Mike Stern over Robert
Nochenson. (Upset: Eric Boggan over Barry.) U-13s: Barry over Debbie Wong, then over
Stern, both in 3. Junior Doubles: Scott Boggan/Bush over Katz/Gary Wittner.
232

Carl Danner (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 40) praises Philadelphia Tournaments for being
well run, but objects that they always have the highest entry fees in the Eastern region.
Apparently their club needs these extra revenues just to survive financially. They have to pay
a high rent, so they need support from the traveling players to keep up their seven-day-aweek clubmight even have to close it otherwise. But Carl says he doesnt want to pay such
absurd fees to help subsidize their local club. Only in the Feb. Two-Man tournament did he
feel he got his moneys worth. Hes entering the upcoming Easterns in Philadelphia, but will
play only in two Junior eventsthose required for my Junior ranking. Just these two
eventsU-17s, U-15swill cost him $11.50.
Mal Anderson (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 40) reports on the Feb. 2-3 Philly 2-Man Team
Tournament. A Group winners were Danny Seemiller/Paul Raphel ($93.75 each) over runnerups (with a 5-2 round robin record) Lim Ming Chui/Dave Sakai in a 5-match tie. Seemiller
opened with a 10, 20 win over Sakai. But Chui countered by beating Raphel, -19. 9, 7!
Chuis sidespin pushes to Raphels backhand completely handcuffed Paul. Doubles went to
Sakai/Chui to give them a 2-1 lead. Seemiller balanced, beat Chui, but with 21, -11, 18
difficulty. The last two points of this match were fantasticwith drives and counterdrives,
kills and counterkills. Raphel then finished Sakai, 11, 18, for the win.
Third Place
(also with a 52 record):
Shiroky and
Chris Yuen, a
newcomer
from
Singapore,
who lost to
Seemiller only
when Dan put
Chris Yuen
away 2 great
Photo by Raul
points from
Rodriguez
19-all in the
third. Chris
did beat Sakai
though.
Dave Sakai
Photo by Mal Anderson
During one
point, Yuen
lobbed several times from the barrier, then killed one from
back there, whereupon Sakai blocked the kill but was
himself in turn forced back to the barrier, from where he
killed it, only to have Yuen block it, at which point Sakai
flew in, killed it while running past the tableonly to watch helplessly as Yuen blocked it back
to win the point!
Fourth Place (also with a 5-2 record): Resek and Brathwaite, whose 3-0 loss to Chui/Sakai
hurt them in the matches won/lost tie-breaker. Sakai, playing better than Mal had ever seen him
play before, downed Resek. B Group winners: Rick Seemiller/Mike Connelly over the Iranian team
of Ali Oveissi/Reza Tehrani, and the U.N. team of Joe Andrews/Marcy Monasterial.
233

Results of the Jan. 19


Jeff Steif
Westfield Open: Open
Singles: Sakai over Dave
Philip in 4. Semis: Sakai
over Peter Holder, 17, -19,
21, 7; Philip over Boggan
(after losing the first two
games, 19, 25). Sakai hasnt
much of a kill shot, but his
up-close-to-the-table
backhand exchange is strong,
and his forehand loop, though of medium speed, is steadily effective. Womens: Muriel Stern
over Pat Baccili. As: Mike Bush over T. Chan. Bs: Rutledge Barry over George Holz. Cs:
Jeff Steif over Robert Nochenson. Westfield Closed: Mark Sherman over Art Carlson.
Esquires: John Kilpatrick over Monasterial whod ousted Rocker deuce in the 3rd. Seniors:
Boggan over Sol Schiff whod eliminated Monasterial, deuce in the 3rd. U-17s: Jeff Zakarin
over Scott McDowell. U-15s: Barry over Nochenson. U-13s: Barry over Eric, then Scott
Boggan.
The Northeastern Open, held Mar. 2-3 at the Gatsbyish-like Hampshire Hills Racquet
and Health Club (a country club setting, said Jairie Resek), was the result of a lot of hard
and sometimes frustrating work by Lim Ming Chui and Dave Sakai. Ming conducts a weekly
table tennis class here (or at least he did)and what a beautiful place to hold, what the
Association doesnt as yet have, a U.S. Closed. There were two huge playing areas, a
swimming pool and snack shop for the participants, and a large glass-enclosed cocktail lounge
and restaurant overlooking the playing area for the spectators. Their whirlpool soothed many
a tired muscle, said Jairie. But I have to add that at the center of Danny Seemillers psyche
there was some tumult, some depression.
Mens winner Seemiller, who back in the 8ths had been 16-19 down in the 5th to
Singapores Chris Yuen, was more than a little concerned about the prize money, or expense
money, call it what you will, he thought hed been promised for lugging those heavy,
equipment-filled trunks round an airport or two. Trouble wasafter all those You are
coming, arent you? telephone callsafter How many free entries did you say you gave
out?after Say that again, whose hotel bills are to be paid?there wasnt much money left,
even for winners.
How Danny won that vital end-game 5th against Chris even he doesnt know. Hed
been missing one after the other of Chriss servesand, at 19-16, Chris was serving. But win
it Danny did. Then stopped Rory Brassington in 4. Then Errol Resek, whod survived both
Surasak Koakiettaveechai (Errol was down 1-0 and 15-5 in the 2nd before winning 25 of the
next 28 points). Then Alex Shiroky, deuce in the 5th. And then finally Lim Ming Chui whod
knocked off Peter Pradit in straight games.
Jairie, in her Mar.-Apr., 1974 Topics column, spoke of how Peter works ten hours a
day, six days a week, sometimes seven. That doesnt leave him much time for anything else.
Lack of practice and physical training like in any other sport [shows], [and lack of] money and
gasoline, sidelined his number two lovecar racing (48). However, Peter did partner his
former Thai teammate, Surasak, to a win in the Mens Doublesover George Brathwaite/
Shiroky. Jairie adds that Surasak, just out of college with a degree in Business Administration,
234

lives in Worcester, MA and works


for the Olympic Trophy
Manufacturing Co. Womens winner
was Shazzi Felstein over Louise
Chotras. Mixed went to Seemiller/
Helen Weiner over Sakai/Chotras.
Other results: Handicap: Jim
Shoots over R. Kulkarni. Novice:
Paul Dise over Warren Rasmussen.
Consolation: Rasmussen over Ron
Tiekert. Seniors: Boggan over
Schiff. As: Surasak (after being
down 2-0) over Boggan. A Doubles:
Jerry Thrasher/Boggan over Chuck
Chan/Bill Ladd. Bs: Lew Martinello
over Dave Shapiro. B Doubles:
Shapiro/Dave Pardo over Chan/
Dave Shapiro
Photo by Mal Anderson
Ladd. Cs: Pardo over Rutledge
Barry. Martinello, who says he
forgot to enter the Cs, also won the Ds over Pardo. This 16-year-old Massachusetts Junior
Champion claims he holds the racket wrong. He uses the same side for forehand and backhand
but changes his grip. Its the way I started off, he says. I cant changeI dont want to lose
to anyone I shouldnt.
What does Martinello do when he isnt playing table
Lew
tennis? Works on cars. Began by repairing everybodys miniMartinello
bike in his neighborhood. Graduated to sports cars. Now
maybe he gets to drive a Corvette round the oval track of
where-his-heads-at on a test-run. Says an American
Motors car is good, but GMs are lousyparts are all put
into very-hard-to-get-at places. Says GMs are called Giant
Mouses. Says mechanics where he works call GMs Mark
of Excellence the Mark of Insolence.
Under 13s:
1. Rutledge Barry.
2. Eric
Boggan.
3. Scott
Rutledge Barry
Boggan.
Photo
by Mal Anderson
Twelveyear-old Rutledge (Squeegee) also had wins
here over Thrasher and Jerry Fleischhacker.
He had their number, as we say, at least
today. And, as Rutledge says, his favorite
subject at his Town School in Manhattan is
Math. I like figuring things out, he says
with numbers anywayand admits to going
235

through about 30 puzzle books. He complains that No one doing an article about me ever
mentions my table tennis play.
Later, driving home from this tournament, Id occasion to remember an incident for
years to come. The one-car group of five my sons and I were riding in had met up with
another to stop at a decent restaurant. Most of us ordered steaks. As usual, I was into dining,
would start with a shrimp cocktail. But I was irritated when, for the price I was paying, I got
only 3 not very big shrimp. I asked to see the manager. Id no intention of refusing to pay, I
just wanted to protest. She was in the kitchen. I could see her through the windowed door
leading there being briefedcould see the set of her face.
When she came up to me she wasnt at all nice, took a very hard line. So I used a bad
word to try to shock her into understanding that I really did protest, and for dramatic effect I
threw a shrimp back behind me into the wall.O.K., I was asked to leave. No problem, I went
graciously, applauded by a bearded guy at a nearby table. Scott loyally came with me, but Eric
announced he was staying to eat his steak. It was one of those times I loved them both for
their independence. After waiting outside with Scott until the others joined us, I asked the
driver if he couldnt please stop at a fast-food takeoutand, pitying me,
he agreed.
Under 17s:
Gary Wittner over
Roger Sverdlik. Semis:
Wittner over Mike
Bush, 19, -18, 19;
Sverdlik over Barry, 16,
-17, 19 (Squeegee misserved to end the
match). Winner Wittner,
it turned out, was quite
an athleteBabe Ruth
Baseball; Track; Police
Boys Club All-Star
Basketball. And of
course he had this
hobby of
collectingthings. A 3foot iguana, for
Gary
Wittner
instancename of
Roger. I had him for 7
years, Gary said with a smile long before I knew
Roger. I really loved that iguana. Hes also had tortoises,
chameleons, and snakes. But the iguana was his favorite.
He would only move for familiars, never for strangers.
Theyre not that dumb. After all, in 7 years even an iguanas
Roger Sverdlik
bound to understand something. He died in a hospital.
Photo by Tom Slater
And what does runner-up Sverdlik do in his spare
time? Plays at being a magician. Call him the young Scarne of the table tennis world. His left
236

Dean Norman, c. 1972

hand holds a card. His right hand comes up for a


moment, masks it. Hand comes away. Presto!
The original card has been replaced by another.
Oh, I say, thats just like on The
Magician.
Thats a terrible show, says Roger.
People think its trick photography. It only gives
a bad impression of magic.
Turns out as we talk some more that
Roger has no use for marked cards. I have 10
trick decks, he says. Some are really good.
Ingenious even. But I like the natural slight of
hand.
Ah, illusions. How familiar in the end they
become to so many, and yet how difficult in the
beginning they are to see through.

SELECTED NOTES
*Dean, whos originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, retells a story Bernie Stoll told him
when Bernie was a Ph. D. candidate in Speech Pathology at the University of Iowa in Iowa
City. It has to do with stutterers at a speech clinic:
[An] effective treatment for stutterers was to get them to stop being shy
about speaking to strangers, and go out and deliberately stutter. In fact, to gain control
over the habit, they would over stutter. If they began to bounce on a word, they were
supposed to keep bouncing more than necessary. Just ignore the uncomfortable looks
from the strangerskeep stuttering at them until it doesnt bother you anymore. Get
over being self-conscious about stuttering. In this way they could release tension, gain
control over the habit, and eventually stutter much lesseven though they would
probably never completely stop stuttering to some degree. The patients at the clinic
would be sent out to conduct interviews on the street. Stop strangers and say, Im
taking a p-p-public opinion p-p-poll. W-w-w-would you answer a f-f-few q-qquestions?
One day the last ping-pong ball in the game room was broken, so someone had
to go out and buy more. What an opportunity for a stutterer! They sent a person to a
drug store that they knew did not sell any ping-pong balls. The stutterer would ask for
some p-p-ping-p-p-pong b-b-b-b-balls. The clerk would say they didnt sell any. Then
the stutterer would have to continue the conversation by asking w-w-where c-c-ccould he b-b-buy p-p-p-ping p-p-pwell, you get the idea. Ping-pong balls was an
excellent phrase for some long rallies of stuttering.
The trip to the drug store for ping-pong balls was a regular thing for a
succession of patients who came to the clinic for a week of therapy. Then one day the
clerk said, How many do you want? They had gotten so many requests for ping-pong
balls the store decided to stock them. As he gave the balls to the customer the clerk
said, Do you mind if I ask a personal question? Why is it that everybody who plays
ping-pong stutters?
237

Chapter Sixteen
1974: Sweeris/Green Win Easterns. 1974: Mt. Airy, PA Junior Clinic/Team Trials.
1974: U.S. Juniors Play in England and Germany. 1974: Englands Middlesex Open/Norwich
Union International. 1974: Play Among Indians, Japanese, South Koreans.
The $1,000 Mar. 15-17, 1974 Eastern Open was sponsored by the Philadelphia TTC;
23 events were held on 25 Indian tables at the University of Pennsylvanias Hutchinson Gym.
Tournament Referee Rufford Harrison wrote a covering article (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 45) in
which he tried to appease both Eastern Open Tournament Chairman Herb Vichnin, who
thought the tournament was great, and Eastern Open player Rory Brassington, who thought
the tournament was lousy.
On the plus side, Rufford said hed never known a tournament anywhere that held
closer to the schedule. He was pleased that he could go and eat without permission,
confident that I wouldnt be defaulted. Herbs scheduling secret? Allow twice as long as
youll need for every match. Herb allowed 30 min. for 2/3 and 60 min. for 3/5. And he had
eight spare tables in case anything did run late. However, Rory rightly questioned why, in a
prestigious tournament like the Easterns, any match from the round of 64 should be 2/3? And,
added Rufford, when we pay $7.50 for entry into the Class A, and when an 11-year-old
pays $5.00 to play in the junior doubles (and his partner antes up another five) we think we
have a right to expect 3/5 [and maybe, especially for juniors, lower entry fees?].
Food prices were high? Hah, where else could you get the quality sandwiches Herbs
mother-in-law provided? The Saturday night party at the Ben Franklin Hotel had good food
too, and great value for that $3.00 price tag. BUT, said Rufford, the music was too loud
(even teen-agers told me that).
Little complaint about the 24 tables arranged efficiently, in two lines with an aisle
between that gave easy access to all of them. However, there werent any barriers between
the tables which were a shade too close, and those barriers behind the tables were drab
things, made for the most part of unpainted hardboard, some broken, not all the same height
and with no attempt made to put those of the same height together. Some were burlap, some
unsegregated. As for the lighting in the gym, it wasnt so good. But the floor was great;
theres nothing quite like an old gym floor for table tennis.
There were no bleachers for the arena table. And since there was no check-room
[though how many would have used it, or, if using it, taken full advantage of it?], the at first
neatly-arranged chairs were soon full of an unsightly mixture of towels, clothes, bags,
equipment, paper, all the paraphernalia of a small tournament. Though there were but a
handful of spectators, could we expect more if they knew beforehand they were going to see
this?
Rufford concludes that perhaps we need management clinicsto get professional
promoters, people who know how to manage the clubs resources in order to bring in more
people and more money. Put a call in for Bard Brenner?
In a moment, Ill bring you my Interview with Mens winner Dell Sweerisbut, first,
here are the tournament Results.
Mens: Dell Sweeris d. Danny Seemiller, -14, 17, 19, 19. Semis: Sweeris d. Jim Dixon,
19, 21, -19, 6; Seemiller d. Houshang Bozorgzadeh, 12, -11, 13, 15. Notable Matches:
Sweeris d. Errol Resek, 18, -13, 20, 14; Seemiller d. David Philip, -23, 14, 11, 19;
238

Bozorgzadeh d. Fuarnado
Roberts, -17, 20, 13, 11.
Womens: Alice Green d.
Sue Hildebrandt, 13, 16,
12. Semis: Green d.
Muriel Stern, 10, 20, -19,
9; Hildebrandt d. Debra
Wong, 18, 9, 13. Mens
Doubles: Resek/Sam
Hammond d. Sweeris/Bill
Lesner, -10, 19, -14, 13,
14. Womens Doubles:
Hildebrandt/Mary Ann
Burdick d. Stern/Pat
Baccili, 13, 14, -22, 14.
Mixed Doubles:
Rufford Harrison
Rufford Harrison
Seemiller/Hildebrandt d.
Photo by Mal Anderson
Photo by Mal Anderson
Bernie Bukiet/Yvonne
Kronlage, 14, -15, 19, 18.
Mens As: Dave Sakai d. Tim Boggan, 16, -16, 17. I dont know if Referee Harrison
was keeping a Ruff eye on Dave, but, as a Ph. D. chemist, he certainly would have done a Dr.
Jekyll double take were he to have read a line or two from a little Profile on Sakai that Ray
Arditi sent me. Bet you didnt know, said Ray, that Dave probably threw away what could
have been a brilliant career in Chemistry. Can you visualize a Dr. Sakai in the lab coat in a
chem lab? Well, I can.
Womens As: Kronlage d. Xuan Ferguson, -14, -17, 18,
17, 18. A Doubles: Stan Smolanowicz/Sam Balamoun d. Bill
Sharpe/Mike Bush, -16, 22, -17, 19, 19. Bs: Jim Shoots d. John
Kilpatrick, 19, 20, 18. B Doubles: Lew Martinello/Mike Allen d.
Barry Robbins/Bruce Plotnick, 16, -23, 15, -15, 21. Cs: Ralph
Robinson d. Ali Oveissi, -16, 18, 16, 13. Mens Consolation:
Scott McDowell d. Hank McCoullum, 18, -14, 18. Womens
Consolation: Kronlage d. Nancy Newgarden 12, 9, after Nancy
had uspet Louise Chotras, 20, -12, 17. Esquires: Frank Dwelly d.
Benny Hull, 21, 15. Seniors: Boggan d. Bukiet, 21, -13, 17, then
Sharpe, -22, 18, -8, 13, 14. Senior Doubles: Sharpe/George
Rocker d. Boggan/ Sid Jacobs, 9, -14, 20.
Boys U-17: Rick Seemiller (just a few days shy of his
th
16 birthday) d. Rick Rumble, 21, 19, -13, -16, 18. Girls U-17:
Stern d. Wong, 23, -18, -20, 19, 16, after Debbie had d. Burdick,
19, 25. Boys U-17A: Rutledge Barry d. Mike Dempsey, 19, -17,
19, 22, then Andy Hopping, 12, 30, 17. Boys U-15: Plotnick d.
Yvonne Kronlage
Barry, -15, 17, 17, 15, after Rutledge had d. Mike Stern, -20, 19,
Photo by Mal Anderson
18. Boys U-13: Stern d. Barry, 13, 15, 10. Boys U-11: Eric
Boggan d. Jeff Williams. Adult/Junior Doubles: Dan/Rick
Seemiller d. Vichnin/Rumble, 10, -19, 19, -10, 17.
239

Now for my
interview with
Dell.
INTERVIEWER.
Dell, I know of
course over the last
decade youve won
many Eastern Open
Singles and
Doubles
events.[Though]
we havent seen
you on the U.S.
Team for a few
years, [did you]
think you had a
chance to win the
Dell Sweeris (right) on his way to defeating
Easterns again this
U.S. Champion D-J Lee in the 1972 USOTCs
year? At the 1972
Photo by Mal Anderson
USOTCs you beat
[D.J.] Lee, so obviously there wasnt anyone in the tournament (unless Sam Hammond?) you
felt you couldnt beat. Were you maybe worried more about Seemiller here than Lee? You
hadnt been doing too well against Danny recently, had you?
SWEERIS. Well, Dan and I must have talked almost every day since the U.S. Team
Championships last November about playing in this final. So Ive thought about winning the
Easterns for a long time. Its true, though, that Dannys had four straight convincing wins
over methough last year Id beaten him three straight before the U.S. Open. Actually, my
practice program has been very poor of late. Some days would go by where Id be working
12-15 hours at my Woodland Club or be off giving exhibitions some place.
Before the tournament, when Id found out my draw, I knew my match with Resek
was the key. He always plays me well and I knew if I could beat him I could see my way clear
to D-J in the semis. Then, when I heard that Lee was withdrawingironically for the same
reasons I myself was troubled about, not enough practice and too much businessI knew I
had a really good chance. I told myself I had to do three things: (1) get plenty of practice and
rest; (2) forget about selling equipment all day; (3) convince myself that, in the long run, it
would be more profitable for me to playand play wellthan to sell equipment.
I had a little hassle for a while, though, when my baggage didnt show up here in Philly.
Of course I had shoes in stock, so that was no problem. And you can believe I always carry my
paddle with me everywhere I go. But I had to borrow a uniformSeemillers shorts and Joe
Windhams shirtto play Resek. Only after Id finished my match with Errol did my luggage
show up.
INTERVIEWER: This key match with Resekhowd it go?
SWEERIS: Well, at first I found myself pressing to loop hardwhich is the way I beat
Errol the three most recent times weve played. So maybe because of this, maybe not, Id split
the first two games with him. And then we got into a little problem.
240

I was up 19-14 in the third, and then, just as Id won the


next point, a ball bounced in the backcourt and the umpire called
a let. Only, as it turned out, even the umpire wasnt sure hed
called the let before the point had ended. So I said to Errol, Take
it over. And the next thing I knew Resek had won six straight
and was 20-19 ahead of me. Errol then had me back deep in the
court, where I was lobbing four or five, then he followed up by
dropping one to mid-court, whereupon I came running in on a
line, driving a chop from the floor in my clumsy manner, which
Resek then skyed. This point made a big difference, for I went on
to win the game.
In the 4th, we had another occurrence. I was up 10-8 and
served. But because I suddenly thought the ball was cracked I
caught Errols return and tested the ball to see if it was o.k. It
Errol Resek
wasnt cracked, and we went on to play the pointwhich I won.
Photo by Mal Anderson
Now with the score 11-8, people on Reseks bench started saying
Errol should have won the last point because Id caught the ball.
Remembering what had happened in the third game, I didnt back down and ran the game out.
INTERVIEWER. How about your semis match with Jim Dixonwhat was that like?
SWEERIS. I was forced to play him without a warm-up. Id read the Program
schedule when I should have read the draw sheet schedule. I lost a good lead in the first at the
end, but with the score 20-19 my favor I looped Jims serve and the ball caught the edge of the
table, and so luckily I took the game. In the second, Jim had the lead at the end, but I deuced it
and won. So I was up 2-0 when both games could have gone either way. Jim suddenly got
very aggressive and accurate midway through the third, and though I was leading something
like 14-11, he beat me good.
At the break, I went to the weight room with Lesner, as Id done before when Id
played Resek, to quietly discuss strategy.
On returning upstairs I was jokingly told
that Dixon was being coached by Lim
Ming Chui, Brassington, and some other
player whose combined record against
me was 0-20 or something. Had they
mentioned Sam Hammond, who I lost
badly to at the last USOTCs, I would
have shuddered. I went on to win the
fourth game 21-6.
INTERVIEWER. And now you
had to play Seemiller whos been spending
more and more time in Grand Rapids as a
kind of protg of yours.
SWEERIS. Yes. You know I can
beat Dan. But most people here seemed
to be thinking: (a) Are they going to play
Mens 1972 CNE Final: Bernhardt in an
an exhibition and split the prize money
Exhibition squat vs. Haslam
ala Haslam and Bernhardt at the Toronto
Photo by Mal Anderson
241

Photo by Mal Anderson

Photo by Raul Rodriguez

Whos Danny? Whos Ricky? Any differences?

CNE a couple of years ago? (b) How can Dan lose? (c) Is 3-1 enough odds? The one sole
thought I had was that I didnt want him to beat me bad.
INTERVIEWER. How well you must know Dannys game. Is it possible you suddenly
noticed any weaknesses in his play that youd not seen before?
SWEERIS. I watched Dan and his brother Rick, who as you know plays much the same
styleand their opponents reminded me of some of the ways to beat Dan. I am sometimes able to
do these things, although never with ease and always with great pressure from Dan.
After the first game, everyone knew it was going to be a real (that is, not an exhibition)
match, and I felt I was strong enough,
capable enough, to win. Dan had
complained earlier of being tired, and I felt
he erred in playing in (a) Adult-Junior
Doubles and (b) Mixed Doubles when there
was no prize money for these events. I was
leading 2-1 in games, and in the fourth I got
the big lead I wanted. But then I lost it.
Then rebounded again, only to see Dan tie it
up at 17-all. At 18-17 mine, I served and Dan
pushed and I looped two and suddenly Dan,
having returned my fast loop into the net,
found a water spot on his paddle and
protested. My thoughts were in this order: (1)
Is there water on the ball?No. (2) Should
there be a let? (3) The water came from his
sweat. (4) No let should be allowed. The point
was not taken over and I won 21-19.
INTERVIEWER. So I guess youre
pretty pleased with yourself?
SWEERIS. Well, of course Im very
glad to have won. But D-Js withdrawal,
despite his presence at the tournament,
D-J Lee, U.S. #1--can
definitely took some luster off the title. Im
he keep up the pace?
242

still wondering if I could have beaten even an out-of-shape D-J. He was kidding me a little at
his equipment stand early into the tournament. He said hed heard I could play penholder and
wondered if Id like to play him. For a small wager, he said, hed play shakehands if Id play
penholder.
I said I wasnt interested in that. But I would like to try something else, I told him.
Whats that? he said.
Well, I said. Ill play shakehands if you play penholder.
He couldnt think of a comeback to that.
INTERVIEWER. So you think Lee should have played even if he didnt feel he was up
to it?
SWEERIS. With all due respect to D-J, whos unquestionably a great Championhis
performance at the Sarajevo Worlds was outstanding, all gutsI dont agree with him
dropping out of this tournament. I wish he would either retire as a Champion we can all
continue to admire or else come back into the arena with the rest of us.
Mt. Airy Junior
Clinic/Team Trials
Errol
Resek reports
(TTT, Mar.-Apr.,
1974, 44) that,
thanks to Mort
Zakarin, during the
Mar. 24-31 week
following the
Mort Zakarin
Easterns, 22 of the best U.S. juniors were able to train for, then try to
Photo by Mal Anderson
round robin qualify for, the 5 places on the U.S. Team Captained by
Dell Sweeris that would compete at an international (all boys) Junior
Championship in Flensberg, West Germany. Special thanks are due to owner Emil Wagner
and Manager Ron Logan for sponsoring these 18 boys and 4 girls (Bev Hess, Muriel Stern,
Jean Varker, and Debbie Wong) at their beautiful Mt. Airy Lodge
resort in the Pennsylvania Poconos.
Mort made the connections, but Bong Mo Lee and Errol
acted as coaches/trainers. We began [Monday morning] with
running and circuit training before breakfast, said Errol.
Afterwards, we did warm-up exercises and practiced strokes and
strategy. At twelve we stopped for lunch. Around two oclock, we
started playing round robin matches. By Friday, all 18 boys had
played everyone else, and the results of these matches gave Bong
Mo and Errol the seedings for the three final round robin groups.
The top three finishers from each group would form a 9-player
round robin, out of which would come the top 5 that would
constitute the Team.
First, here are the 9 (in alphabetical order) who, though
generally praised by Errol, did not make the final round robin and
Coach Resek
so warrant a tip or two from him. Mike Baber: Needs to improve
Photo by Mal Anderson
243

his forehanddoesnt bring his elbow updoesnt


follow through. Mike Bush: Stands at the table too
flatfollow through on the forehand too long. Likes
to back up and chopa dangerous strategy. Ought to
be more serious. Carl Danner: tends to favor his
backhand too much. Ought to run. Mike Dempsey:
Has to work on his forehand topspin and deep
backhand blocks. But, ah, Errol said that Mike was
very popular with the guests, press, and female
employees. John Elliott: Gets disappointed very
easilywhich deteriorates his game. Has to learn to
have more confidence. Hits forehand too flat. Scott
McDowell: tends to jump around from the push to kill
the forehand and is very erratic doing it. Should learn to
move around and spin the ball. Lack of steadiness
makes him afraid to play long points? Pete Tellegen:
Scott McDowell
physically seems a little weak; needs to add power to
Photo by Mal Anderson
his game. Mike Veillette: Very impressivebut
could work on placing the ball rather than trying to finish the point. Pat Windham: Should
work on all his strokes and on return of service.
Next, here are the 4 (in alphabetical order) who did not
make the final 5. Perry Schwartzberg (a very misleading 0-8):
Very calm and cool on the table.Should work on his forehand
loop or topspin. Only fourteen, he could be one of our best.
(Lost close matches to the top players: 23-21 in the 3rd to
Barish; 17 in the 3rd to Galardi; 19 in the 3rd to Rumble; 23-21 in
the 3rd to Rick Seemiller; two deuce games to Sverdlik; 19 in the
3rd to Wittner. Wow! Bruce Plotnick (1-7): Favors the push too
much. Ought to use the forehand more. (Lost to Galardi 23-21
in the 3rd.) Gary Wittner (3-5): Needs more confidence to be
consistent. Should try to anticipate the ball betterhits on the
run a lot. (Lost 19 in the 3rd to Barish.) Jeff Zakarin (4-4):
needs more power in his forehand kill shot. (Lost in 3 to
Barish, Galardi, and Seemiller.)
Bruce Plotnick-taking the coaching to heart

Here are the 5 top


finishers who comprise the
Team. 5th Place: Roger
Sverdlik (5-3): One of the
smartest juniors at the
tablewith an excellent
sense of humor. Good
defense. Returns spin very
well. Needs a stronger

L-R: Roger, Angie Rosal,


and Dean Galardi
Photo by Mal Anderson

244

loop and kill. 4th Place: Rick Seemiller (5-3): Good forehand loop and hard forehand kill.
Angles the corner well. Needs to use anti better. Misses too many forehand loops. 3rd
Place: Rick Rumble (6-2/0-4lost two straight to both Barish and Galardi): Very strong
forehand topspin. Should work on his backhand hitting and block and on receiving serve.
Should learn to topspin the serve instead of pushing it. 2nd Place: Dean Galardi (6-2/3-2
lost to Barish 23-21 in the 3rd, lost to Wittner). Very smart playertends to reach instead
of move. Doesnt play hard every point. Tends to back up a lot. Could be one of our finest
players. 1st Place: Dennis Barish (6-2/4-1lost to Seemiller and Sverdlik): Best hitter.
Has to work on his pushing and on receiving short, under-spin serves. Tries to roll every
serve.
U.S. Juniors Score in Germany
Roger Sverdlik tells us (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 44) that when the U.S. Junior Team
arrived in London at 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, no one was at the airport to meet
them, nor was any message left for them. They piled into two taxis, and on their own they
tried to find a hotel. After taxi fares had eaten up about of their budget, they finally found
accommodations at the 4th hotel they tried. Here there were literally holes in the walls, but it
was cheap.
Dell made some phone calls, said Roger, and found out we wouldnt be able to
practice until Monday. Once informed of the hotel we were supposed to be staying at, Dell
was told that if we didnt claim the rooms until Sunday they might not be there for us. But we
stayed put for the night, saw the Robert Redford movie The Sting, and next morning we
were able to move into the hotel the English had reserved for us. After getting settled, we
went sightseeingto Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard, to Westminster
Abbey, to Scotland Yard, and to St. James Park where those whom Roger didnt want to walk
with amused themselves by shooting rubber bands at birds.
Sverdliks account, suggesting that the English TTA was at fault in not meeting the
U.S. Team, I have to correct, or rather Derek Tremayne, General Secretary of the ETTA, has
to (TTT, May-June, 1974, 43):
The English Table Tennis Association telephoned Rufford Harrison a week
before the visitand it was agreed that the Association would regrettably be unable to
meet the U.S. team at the airport. However, the arrangement agreed upon was that
Dell Sweeris should collect an envelope at the Pan-Am desk containing all detailsthis
was eventually returned to us marked Not collected. [Dell inquired at the Pan Am
desk about a messagebut was told there was none?] As a standby arrangement, the
home telephone number of our Administrative Secretary, Albert Shipley, was given [to
Dell? Earlier by Harrison?], but owing to Dells unfamiliarity with our telephone
system contact was not made until the team had booked themselves into a hotel after
much unnecessary trouble. [Why, if after theyd booked a hotel, Dell was able to make
calls, why couldnt he have made those same calls from the airport? Didnt have
coins?] Had Dell persevered with the telephoning of Albert Shipley, seeking the advice
of a telephone operator, a lot of time, money, and effort would have been saved.
But, o.k., the important thing was that our U.S. Team had made contact with the
ETTA, and that the itinerary scheduled for them could be followed. On Monday, they
245

traveled south of London to play a combined team from Sussex and Essex that included the
#6, #10, #11, and #15 juniors in England. Roger said, We all played horriblyexcept for
Rumble who scored our two winsbut if we had had more rest and some practice we could
have beat them. Tuesday they played a somewhat weak team from Surreyand downed
them 8-3 with Seemiller winning all three of his matches. Wednesday they went north of
London and played a round robin with the following teams: Berkshire 1 and 2 (both rather
weak); Middlesex (very strongwith the #3 and #4 juniors in England); Sweden (with
maybe the #16 through #20 [junior] players in Sweden), and Germany (also very strong
with the #3, #4, and #7 [junior] players in Germany). The current European Junior Rankings
had Russias Burnazian 1st, followed by two Germans, both of whom wed see later in the
States, Stellwag and Huging. Stellwag was ranked #12 among the German Menled by (1)
World #20 Lieck, (2) World #19 Scholer, and (3) Leiss whod won the Jan. German Nationals
from Schoeler. The best women in Deutschland were (1) World #25 Hendriksen, (2) Kneip,
and (3) World #30 Scholer (formerly Englands Di Rowe).
In these practice matches, the U.S. players beat
the Berkshire teams and Sweden, and though they were
Germanys Peter Stellwag
blanked by Middlesex and Germany, they were often
competitive with them: Germany #3 defeated Galardi in
3, but 19, -19, 20 barely squeaked by Sverdlik; Germany
#7 and England #3 defeated Rumble in 3; and Germany
#4 defeated Seemiller, 19, -19, 18. This German #4
(named Nolting?), a 14-year-old, with great
footwork, a good backhand exchange, and fine forehand
spin, defeated both the #3 and #4 English juniors.
Everyone on our Team was very impressed with his
game, and it may be that hell become one of the best
players in the world. [This player is Hajo Nolten who in
1976 would be Germanys #1 Junior. But in the next
half-dozen years he didnt develop further, would be
consistently ranked around Mens #7 in Germany.]
Roger said that this Nolten was really nice, rooted for
usbut that players from other teams scarcely seemed
to notice us.
On Thursday, the Team arrived in Flensburg,
Germany (via Hamburg), where, said Roger, Hans Rabe,
the Tournament Director and Chair of the sponsoring Gruen-Weiss 62 Club, met us, and
continued to be of invaluable assistance to us.
On Good Friday, the Singles was played at this Easter Festival. Barish and Galardi
lost to the eventual semifinalists. Rumble was beaten by a Swede in a close match. Seemiller
and Sverdlik in advancing picked up a little prize of an Imperial racket (with Super Sriver
sponge) and eventually had to play each other in the quarters. Rick won, 22 and 17, then
went on to an easy victory in his semis. In the final, Rick fell in straight games to the steady
#1 seed, the #1 Danish junior, Jacobsona chopper, with sponge on the forehand and hard
rubber on the backhand.
The Team event was held on Saturday/Sunday. Since the U.S. Team was neither
seeded nor placed it wasnt surprising that they were put into a preliminary group with the
246

defending champion and #1 seed, The Funen Club from Denmark. Whereuponit must have
come as a surprise to manythe U.S. won 5-1. And we didnt play Barish or Galardi. Rumble
won 1, lost 1 (to Singles winner Jacobson); Seemiller stopped their #2 and #3, and Sverdlik
defeated their #1 (Jacobson, whose game resembles Canadian chopper Steve Feldsteins) and
also their #3.
After that, getting to the final was easy. In the semis the U.S. trounced Sweden 5-0
with Barish destroying their #1. That brought us to Funen again (for two teams had advanced
from each preliminary group, and this Danish team had swept aside all further opposition). No
5-1 result this time, though; the tie couldnt have been closer. 1st match: Funen # 2 over
Rumble, 17 in the 3rd; 2nd match: Seemiller over Funen #3; 3rd match: Jacobson over Sverdlik,
18 in the 3rd; 4th match: Seemiller over Funen #2. (Tie tied 2-2.) Now: Jacobson over Rumble;
Sverdlik over Funen #3; Jacobson over Seemiller; Sverdlik over Funen #2. (Tie tied at 4-4.)
Now: Rumble over Funen #3 (after being up 1-0 and 19-16 in the 2nd, only to lose 5 straight
points).
Roger was quick to say as he ended
Italys Stefano Bosi
his article that None of the better European
juniors were here in Flensburg, but, still, the
U.S. did come 1st out of 40 teams. And he
had high praise for Captain/Coach Sweeris.
Rufford Harrison would later offer kudos
quoting Rabe: Your [U.S.] team was
extremely well received here and was always
very sporting and fair. Rabe indicated that a
U.S. Team would be very welcome if they
wanted to come back next year to defend
their title. Meanwhile, its not enough for
Italians to hear at home about their #1-ranked
Mens player Stefano Bosi (who would beat D-J Lee, Dan Seemiller and Peter Pradit at the
75 Calcutta Worlds). Three boysfrom Modena, Torino, and Naples (how they would have
liked to play at Flensburg)were writing in to Topics, wanting subscriptions to the magazine.
I also heard from Portage, MIs Shalom Lampelle that 145 youngsters competed in the
U-12 and U-14 Israeli Championships. And that the Boggan, er Bogan, brothers did well.
Joseph, my namesake, was runner-up in the U-12s (to B. Paz) and Josephs brother, Jacob,
was runner-up in the U-14s (to M. Michel). No, though my grandfather, before the
Depression, owned a department store in Springfield, Ohio that he called Bogans, these
young Israelis were no relation to me.
Englands Middlesex Open
Sverdliks fellow Long Islander, Cosmo Graham, now studying in England, writes up
the Middlesex Open (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 2), and one soon sees that the English juniors
from the past have moved on to challenge for the titles. The Womens final went to an
athletic-looking Jill Hammersley in sober blue shirt and shortsover Lesley Radford in a
bright red dress that maybe half-blinded Karenza Mathews in the semis. Radfords high loops
and hard-hit follows allowed her to take a game from heavily-favored Jill, Europe #6. Ladies
Doubles, which resulted in a mass migration to the bar, was won by Mathews/Linda Howard
over Hammersley/Susan Henderson.
247

The Mens final is between the good and bad boys of English table tennisNicky
Jarvis and Trevor Taylor. True to form, Taylor, unhappy with the floor and therefore his
footing, spits to show he needs to get a grip. Flair he hasloop-killing, or blocking with
feigned boredombut Jarvis is persistent, wins the (why not 3/5?) match, 2-1.
Jarvis had been challenged a bit by slim, bespectacled Middlesex Junior Mark Mitchell
(perhaps hed played against our U.S. Juniors in England?). Then, in the semis, Nicky met Connie
Warren, with whom hed win the Mens Doubles. Connie, in his 30s, shows signs of a prosperous
life appearing in his middle. He has short black, Roman-cut hair and sharply chiseled features.[Is]
volatile, tempestuous, and temperamental. Hes gotten to Jarvis by knocking off, first, Ian
Horshama good looper with a strong, straight-out jab backhandthen Don Parker who, at
England #14, had upset Denis Neale, World #16. Word was going round that Denis had been out
drinking rather heavily the night before (With Nick Hammersley, 9 pints he had) and was suffering
the after effects. On dropping the first to Parker, Denis walks round the table, says, Excuse me,
Im just going to throw my guts out, and goes off. Doesnt help though. On eliminating Parker,
Warren shakes hands, turns to Parkers supporters, gives them a V sign and stalks off.
In their semis match, Jarvis, not surprisingly, starts looping. Warren squats like a
caveman, holds his bat like a club and
blocks most of the loops back. Only
thing is, every time he goes for a kill
he misses. Jarvis wins in straight
games.
The other semis had Taylor up
against Des Douglas who, with Taylor
running all over the court trying to hit
in forehands, easily won the 1st. But
Taylor wised up, started using his
backhand, and his touch and table
game so improved that he took the
next two. In the quarters Des had
Nicky Jarvis
downed Richard Yule, a quick
Photo by Mal
counter-driver who can hit. Earlier,
Anderson
Mike Johns, dressed in fire enginered, and sporting a Zapata moustache and Cheshire accent, had stopped England-ranked
(senior and junior) Paul Day. Mikes extremely good grasp of serve and return accounted for
his victory. It didnt seem Yule would beat Johns because at one point he was yelling in
despair, I cant get his bloody serves back! But how explain Mikes loss in the 2nd game after
being up 20-16 match point, or his final 9-points-straight collapse after leading 17-12 in the 3rd?
Norwich Union International
Phil Reid, in talking about the English Open, or rather the Norwich Union International
as its called now (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 3+), probably wasnt at all surprised that, as in the
three previous years when the tournament was plagued with a power strike, a railway strike,
and a postal strike, this year there was also a little problem. The Brighton Corn Exchange,
where the tournament matches were to take place, was being used for voting in a General
Election. But, never mind, play would be at the Metropole Exhibition Halls before the finals
thatd be staged back at the usual Dome venue.
248

In talking about an early tie in the Mens Teams, Phil touts Englands Mark Mitchell
for his great play against the Czech World #6 Milan Orlowski. Mitchell has consistency,
speed, and a good table tennis brain. All he lacks now appears to be the power to finish a
rally. England Is first opponent was Hungary (winner of the European League over Sweden),
who was not fielding here in Brighton its top players: Jonyer (Europe #3 and the $400 1stPlace winner among top Europeans at the Feb. 10-12 round robin Invitational in Trollhatten,
Sweden), Klampar (Europe #6), Gergely (Europe #8), or Borzsei (Europe #13). Buthad
they brought another smooth Matyas Beleznai (Hungary #9)who backhanded through Jarvis
and eked out a 28-26 win in the 3rd over NealeEngland I would not have advanced.
Sweden II (Ingemar Wikstrom and Bo Persson) blanked Canada, but the experience
the Canadian team is getting in Europe will hold them in good stead later. Nigeria beat
Belgium 3-1with Norby Van de Walle taking his only singles. He still looks a fine player
with a sound defence and a good kill. In one of the rare shows of excitement prior to the
semis, Des Douglas almost produced a shocker against Stellan Bengtsson, still regarded by
many people as the best player in the world. The Swede said the hall was windy, the floor
slippery and uneven, but he fought back from a seemingly hopeless position. Since John
McDonnell, Public Relations Manager for the sponsoring Norwich Union Insurance Group,
says that Norwich gives awards to the English man and woman who deliver the best
performances at this International, perhaps Des is the man?
In the one semis, Bengtsson, Europe #1, had another trialnearly lost to the burly
Czech Jaroslav Kunz (Europe #11, and runner-up to Orlowski in the Welsh Open)but he and
Sweden went on to a decisive win. In the other semis, Yugoslavia eliminated England I
though Neale got the better of both Surbek (World #4 but Europe #5) and Stipancic (World #
5 but Europe #7) in the deciding 3rd. Racing around to take everything with his forehand,
Surbek is an inspiring sight, but obviously the longer the match goes on, the more difficult it is
for him to keep up the pace. Jarvis, however, couldnt give Neale any support. Stipancic, in
particular, cruelly exposed Jarviss weak backhand. In the final, Sweden continued its 3-0
blitz.
In early Womens Team play, Belgium beat Canada, 3-2: Violetta Nesukaitis won her
two singles, but Christine Forgo was too inexperienced to help. England I (Hammersley, Linda
Howard) downed New Zealand, but raise a glass to Anne Stonestreet who upset Howard.
Reid was delighted to see his own England III Leicestershire county team (Anita Stevenson,
Karen Rogers) beat Scotland I, 3-0.
Not much action in the Womens Teams until the semis. There, though World # 19
Hammersley won both her singles against Birgitta Radberg (Europe # 7, World #9) and AnnChristin Hellman (Europe #10), England, coming close to winning the doubles two straight,
lost 3-2 to Sweden. In the other semis, Eleanora Vlaicov became ill, so Rumania was
compelled to concede to Czechoslovakia. The final saw the Swedes blitz the Czechs.
There was some notable early-round action in Mens Singles. Dorin Giurgiuca, the lefthanded Romanian whod won the Mens here 10 years ago, has acquired an unorthodox
defence and now plays every ball with his backhandthat is, until hed suddenly unleash a
lightning forehand drive.Poor Mark Mitchell never knew what was happening. Jim Langan,
the happy-go-lucky Irish star, did in both Englands Tony Clayton and Don Parker whod
brought the crowd to its feet with a three straight win over the Yugoslavian penholder
Karakasevic (Europe #16). Canadas Errol Caetano beat Essex player David Brown before
losing in 4 to Romanias Teodor Gheorghe, but Errols teammate Alex Polisois went down
249

right away to Scotlands Fraser. Belgian Van de Walles immaculate defence was too much
for the #1 English junior David Alderson, but then Norby was beaten by Englands
courageous fighter Andy Barden. Englands Chester Barnes lost to Scotlands Yule.
In the one semis,
Bengtsson easily beat
Orlowski whod knocked
out Stipancic. In the
other, Kjell Johansson,
after nearly dropping
three straight to Kunz in
the quarters, found
Kjell Johansson
himself 2-0 down to
Photo by Mal
Denis Neale who it was
Anderson
said eliminated Wikstrom
after the Swede had
forced Surbek into the 5th. (Huh? Hed apparently beaten Surbek.) But then Denis couldnt
withstand Kjells rally. The way Johansson can work his way out of trouble is quite remarkable
what a devastating forehand he has! Bengtsson had won this tournament the last two years running,
but, just as Johansson had beaten him the previous week in the final of the Munich West German
Open, so Kjell beat him again heresolidifying the more his award from Swedish journalists as
Swedens #1 Sportsman for 1973. Not surprisingly, Johansson and Bengtsson were in the
Doubles final toobut this time both Swedes wonfrom Surbek/Stipancic, winners at Munich.
In early rounds in the Womens, Canadas Nesukaitis could not compete with
Hammersley. But the 19, 18, -17, 18, 17 match Hellman won from Alicia Grofova, Europe
#2, was excitingly contested. (Grofova, though finishing 6th at the Trollhatten Invitational, was
the only one there to defeat the winner, Russias European Champion Zoya Rudnova.) After
watching Hammersleys 9, 11, 13 semis against Hellman (that win and her Team plays gotta
give her the Norwich award), Reid said, I had never seen Jill hit so well and so confidently.
Meanwhile, Romanias Maria Alexandru, Europe #3 who can also hit powerfully, was
advancing over Swedens Radberg. Hammersley and Alexandru then from the mid-game 1st
played an expedited 5-game final. Although Jill had beaten Maria, shed never won a 5-gamer
from herand at plays end she still hadnt. Nevertheless, Jill thought her best chance for
victory lay in getting their match into Expedite. Alexandru, playing with Grofova, also won the
Womens Doublesfrom the #2 Czech Miroslova Ziskova-Polackova and the Swede Radberg
who, partnered by Persson, took the Mixed.
Indias Success in Nepal Invitational
Bomi Amalsadvala tells us (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 7) that, at the Feb. Khatmandu,
Nepal Democracy Day Invitational, played with Chinese Double Happiness balls and tables,
Indias #1 Niraj Bajaj paired with current National Champion Manjit Dua to win the Mens
Doubles. Although the two (both of whom well see play at this years U.S. Open) had earned
a bronze in Doubles at the 1973 Afro-Asian-Latin American Championships in Peking, their
victory here had to be somewhat surprising, for lefty looper Dua and the right-handed Bajaj
with an uncanny sense of anticipation and placement, defeated two Japanese pairs and a
Chinese pair. Naturally this drew thunderous applause from the huge crowds which daily
thronged the Covered Hall of Dasarath Stadium.
250

In the quarters they beat J.


Kasai, the Singles winner here, who
was partnered by the Japanese
University Champion, H.
Yamashita. In the semis, they
eliminated the strong Chinese pair of
Li-Chu-Min, a left-hand spin-attack
player, and Wang Chiu, a right-hand
penholder defensive player, in a
grueling five-setter. Then in the
final, they upset Japans Norio
Takashima, the Worlds best
defensive player, and his partner T.
Maeda, 21, 21, 11.
Nor was the Doubles the only
Indias Manjit Dua receiving the Nepal Democracy Day
event India did well in at this
Invitational Doubles Trophy from King Birendra. Behind
tournamenta sort of warm-up for
him is his partner Niraj Bajaj
them for the 1975 World
Championships. In the Teams, they scored a Silver, downing Japan 5-3 as follows: Dua d.
Takashima, 20, -13, 18; G. Jagannath, Mens runner-up to Dua in this years Indian Nationals,
d. Kasai, 18, 13; Bajaj d. Yamashita; Kasai d. Dua, 9, 19; Bajaj d. Takashima, 9, 17; Yamashita
d. Jagannath, 18, 12; Kasai d. Bajaj, 16, -16, 10; Dua d. Yamashita, 18, -20, 12. Before they
were stopped by China, the Indians defeated Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, and Burma, and
compiled an overall strong individual record (Bajaj, 10-3; Dua, 9-4; Jagannath, 5-2; and K.
Jayant, 1-1).
In the Mens Singles, however, no Indian player made the quartersthough Jagannath
lost a deuce in the 5th killer to Yamashita.
As for the Indian women, they finished 3rd in the Teams behind China and runner-up
Japan. In the Womens Singles, Veenu Bhushan, Indian Junior Girls Champ, debuting for India
in place of Shailaja Salokhe who couldnt make the trip because of an
attack of blisters in her right hand, lost early, while Indian National
Champion Rupa Banerjee was beaten in the quarters in 4 by Japans
Shimamato. Winner was Japans Tomie Edano, World #18. Edano/
Shimamato won the Womens Doubles. Chinas unranked Wang
Chuan/Hsu-Chien the Mixed. Since Ive indicated here the present
Indian National Champions, I dont want to leave out the Junior Boys
titleholder, Arun Kumar, especially since hell later be living and
playing table tennis in the States.
Table Tennis in Japan/Korea
A Topics Korean correspondent in the U.S. Peace Corps, Stan
Wolf, says (TTT, Mar.-Apr, 1974, 6) that ping-pong in Japan has
lately taken a back seat to tennis, golf and baseball. Perhaps thats
why the current Japanese National Champions are tried and true
familiar names? Mens, Nobuhiko Hasegawa (who defeated in this
order: Abe, Furukawa in 5, and in the final Inoue whod eliminated
251

B.J. Arun Kumar

Takashima in 5 in the quarters and Kohno in 5 in the semis). Womens, Yukie Ohzeki, World
#6 (who defeated in this order: Hamada in 5, Yokota in 5, and in the final Abe whod
eliminated Konno). The majority of ping-pong parlors in Japan, says Wolf, are located in
bowling alleys, and are not what we would call class A. You must go with a friend or you are
going to be out of luck if you are looking for competition. In fact, Japan is almost the opposite
of Korea when it comes to ping-pong. And yet promising French Juniors, Christian Martin
and Philip Molodzoff, ranked among the top French men led by Secretin (World #8) and
Birocheau, are taking a cue from Bengtsson and Bo Perssontheyre going to Japan to train.
Wolf, however, insists that South Korea is the Ping-Pong Paddlers Paradise. He claims
that in Seoul alone there are 800 ping-pong parlors, and maybe 2,000 in the country. Outside
of Seoul (where play is more expensive), a twosome can expect to pay a total of $.25 for 30
minutes, $.40 for an hour. One hour daily instruction every day for one month costs $15 to
$20. Of course some places to play are good, some not so goodmany are extremely
narrow and have only four or five tables. But South Korea, Stan goes on to say, undoubtedly
has the worlds largest public place to play. The Kyung Puk Ping Pong Parlor in Dae Gu (a
city with perhaps a million inhabitants) has 52 tables (4 floors of 13 tables each).
Ping-Pong, were told, holds its own against other sports in the school system. The
average ping-pong paddling schoolboy or girl spends 4 or 5 hours daily practicing, not to
mention 6 hrs. on the weekends. Thats the average boy or girl? Or the average boy or girl
looking to make the Korean National Team? All National Team members work in banks in
Seoul. They practice daily for 4 or 5 hours in the morning, and then go to work or maybe to
a tournament.
Half the women players in Korea use the penholder grip, half the shakehands, whereas
the men are 80% penholders. The current Mens Singles Champion is Kim Eun Tae (who was
#1 on the Sarajevo Team but has no World ranking); the current Womens Singles and Doubles
Champion is Lee Aileesa (World #2). Chung Hyun Sook, winner of the West German Open,
and World #8 is the South Korean #2. Insook Na, #5, is about to come to the U.S. and will
become our great Champion. Stan says, Korea is very friendly toward foreign players.
Everyone, he says, should visit Seouls National Womens Ping-Pong Club, headed by Mrs.
Kim Kook Bae. Know where it is? Next to the Sam Seong Ping Pong Gym, which any taxi
driver knows. So well see you there, o.k.?

252

Chapter Seventeen
1974: USTTA Election of Officers. 1974: Sandor Glancz Dies. 1974: High School
and Intercollegiate Play.
Sooner or later, but often, Boggan, as a player, as an official, will be in some far-flung
place abroad. Right now though, hes running at home for re-election, unopposed, as USTTA
President. His Campaign Statement approach is again rhetorical. He wants the membership to
help him surround himself with the best managerial and promotional peoplethe best
professional peopleavailable. He urges everyone to have vision, to have hope. He speaks
analogically, quoting a sonnet by 19th century English poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti:
THE CHOICE
Think thou and act; tomorrow thou shalt die.
Outstretched in the suns warmth upon the shore,
Thou sayst: Mans measured path is all gone oer:
Up all his years, steeply, with strain and sigh,
Man clomb until he touched the truth; and I,
Even I, am he who it was destined for.
How should this be? Art thou then so much more
Than they who sowed, that thou shouldst reap thereby?
Nay, come up hither. From this wave-washed mound
Unto the furthest flood-brim look with me;
Then reach on with thy thought till it be drowned.
Miles and miles distant though the last line be,
And though thy soul sail leagues and leagues beyond
Still, leagues beyond those leagues, there is more sea.

President Boggan
Drawing by
Helen Weiner

There are two candidates for Executive Vice-President (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 18):
Charlie Disney (whom President Boggan appointed Executive Vice-President last year when
Cyril Lederman resigned) and John Read. In his Campaign
Statement, Disney talks of his dozen years in Minneapolis
Table Tennis as promoter and leader. He started the famous
Magoos Club and organized the $8,000 Minnesota Classic at
Daytons downtown department store[where] we had 4,000
spectators a day. Magoos, he says, has now over 300
members, and over 100 USTTA members.
Charlie points out that in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis
and St. Paul, we have just finished a 24-team Boys High
School League for the 3rd straight successful season; and
were about to promote for the 5th consecutive season a State
Junior Tournament wherein 150-200 boys and girls will
Charlie competewhich is about how many play at our club each
Disney
Saturday. Charlie emphasizes hes traveled round the country
253

and continues to be active in spreading my promotional concepts to


different areaschief of which is the delegation of authority.
Endorsed by Boggan, hes proud of the fact that hes worked hard to
instill in others a professional attitude toward the sport.
Read suggests a number of areas in which the USTTA is not
progressing, but might if the Membership takes advantage of his 30
years of experience as high-level official and successful U.S. Team
Captain. Commercial sponsorship is one thing we need; and John looks
to establish a USTTA Manufacturers Committee that would do the
following: encourage manufacturers to promote commercially
operated clubs, supply top players with endorsements and
sponsorships to European tours; sponsor top foreign coaches to hold
clinics in the U.S., and establish a full time paid Executive Secretary
position.
John would review and reorganize our entire tournament
structure (especially the U.S. Open Team Championships) towards the
end of having more efficient well-planned spectator events. Getting
more publicity is keysay, by involving businessmen such as the
Jaycees, which John himself was instrumental in doing in obtaining
John Read
Photo by Mal Anderson
financial sponsorship for the first ever 1973 World Team Tryouts.
There are three candidates for VicePresident (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 19+): Mal
Anderson, Bard Brenner, and Tom McEvoy. In
Mal Anderson
his Campaign Statement, Anderson stresses his
(left)
past contributions: innumerable Topics photos;
Photo courtesy
hundreds of hours of hard work in revising the
of Mal Anderson
USTTA Rules Manual (to be called the USTTA
Long Island
Handbook), and his understanding of what
Columnist
tournament sponsors need, gleaned from his
Danny Ganz
experience as Eastern Tournament Director.
(below)
He also emphasizes a Vice-Presidents
obligation, as he sees it, not to be Boggans
Yes man, and to curb Tims Presidential
excessesspending too much USTTA money
needlessly, for example. Mal wants especially
to put a stop to Tims abuse of power in
having the last word in criticizing peoples articles in Topics; if
elected, hell propose legislation that will allow critical articles in
Topics only if the person or organization criticized is allowed to
reply in the same issue immediately following the critical
article.Im sure Tim will object to this on the (nominal) grounds
that contacting the criticized party and waiting for him to write a
reply would take too long. My answer to this is Id rather be fair and one issue later, than unfair and
immediate! If you agree with this, vote for me! Whether Long Islands Topics columnist Danny
Ganz will vote for Mal or not one cant say, but he does agree with Tim: When it comes to
being critical, you print it now, not a month from now when Old News is No News.
254

USTTA Bylaws say that no candidate may read


anyone elses statement until he has submitted his own. Mal
wonders that, since statements are being sent directly to
Topics, if Tim will observe this Bylaw.
Brenner begins by giving us his personal background;
his graduate study in mathematics, engineering, and
computer science; his business management and real estate
studies; his sports positions; and his table tennis
accomplishments as both player in and director of major
tournaments (like the 1973 Pacific Coast Open). As an
official, he feels his most significant accomplishment is in
progress nowthe generation of business plans for growth
of the USTTA
Bard
Brenner
Endorsed by Boggan, Bard wants the U.S. to be
exposed to world-class professional players (like those
coming to our 1974 U.S. Open) and then to see the U.S. itself move toward becoming a
world power in table tennis. Also, [echoing what Fred Danner had said earlier] Bard wants
the top players and officials to be able to make careers out of the sport. USTTA Management
must be organized into a business-oriented groupto open up commercial careers in
center franchising, exhibition, coaching, and administration. Indeed, there should be a
periodic USTTA Convention for idea exchange and training of local promoters. Finally, the
incentive approach should be continued. Never before could a player make more promoting the
USTTA than now. If a weak player raises $10,000 from a national advertiser he gets $2,000
himself. D. J. Lee never got that much for winning a money tournament.
McEvoy takes a light approach: If we can have a bearded President, why not a Wood
Bat for Vice President? Notice I said Wood Bat, not Wood Head. (Tom of course plays with
just plain wood; theres no covering on his racket.) His qualifications? Hes been a local officer
of his Grand Rapids Club; a Vice-President of the Michigan TTA; is currently the Midwest
Regional Tournament Director, and has helped to organize and promote many tournaments,
as well as having served as tournament chairman or referee on numerous occasions.
For the remaining E.C. position of Recording Secretary (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 17) there
are two candidates: Lou Bochenski, endorsed by Boggan, and Joe Sokoloff. Incumbent Bochenski
has his friend Don Nash present a Campaign Statement on his behalf. Don says that Lou couldnt
continue to devote so much time to the promotion of table tennis and still find time to carry on his
business, so he sold his business, his home, and his car, and invested in a table tennis center here in
Portland, Oregon. This of course, reflecting Lous tireless efforts to promote the sport, is the 14table Paddle Palace. There is no doubting Lous ability, his willingness to
work, and his dedication to table tennis. Vote for him.
Sokoloff stresses the coaching clinics (one recently with
Florida partner Bob Katz in the Bahamas for the Government there)
and exhibitions (one recently at a Self Help Drug Clinic, and an
upcoming one at an underprivileged boys camp by one of the Miami
Dolphin football playersLarry Little). Joe, who as a top player
knows the needs of the players, feels its important that Table Tennis
be the medium through which good will and brotherhood can
prevailand hes doing his part to lift the stature of the Sport.
Joe Sokoloff
255

Sandor Glancz Dies


One who might have run for USTTA E.C. office
and been elected, had he been so inclined, was the
very popular Hungarian-born Sandor Glancz, 1933
World Doubles Champion with Victor Barna and
longtime friend and associate of Laszlo Bellak. No
one has ever received an obituary in any USTTA
(USATT) magazine to match the one that Sandor
received (four full tabloid pages, with many
photosTTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 4-7). In my
previous volumes Ive written quite a bit about
Sandor, so Ill confine myself here to some brief
but telling excerpts from those In Memoriam
tributes I, as Editor, had solicited.
From Dr. Andreas Gal, who saw his teammate
Sandor (pronounced by the Hungarians
Sandor Glancz, c. 1974
Shahndor), collapse from a massive heart attack
while playing a NYTT League match at Reismans.
Andreas heard him say his last words: Im sorry, I cannot continue. Some exit line from life,
huh? Well, not only Dr. Gal, who immediately tried vainly to resuscitate Sandor, but all of us
are sorry he couldnt continue. Heres a long ago moment Andreas remembers from his high
school days in Budapest:
One dayI remember it vividlyI was practicing with my classmate who played
with a rubber-covered paddle, which at that time was a rarity (I played with a sandpaper
surface), and suddenly as he was trying to return a short ball he fell against the table and then
to the floor. He got up quickly and I saw he was bleeding from his face. But this injury was
nothing when hed realized hed broken his invaluable racket. He cried loudly and a few
players gathered around thinking that he was seriously hurt. It soon became evident, though,
that the only damage was to the broken racket and so they quickly dissipated. Just a slender,
tall fellow stayed with him wiping his bloody face. Before this man left, he said softly to my
classmate. Dont be sad, youll have another rubber paddle. About two weeks later, the
proprietor of the Ping-Pong salon handed over a little package to my classmate: Sandor
Glancz left this for you. It was a brand new rubber paddle. [Later, Sandors friend Reba
Monness said that Sandor once remarked, Giving of yourself is the most important thing in
life.]
From Reba Monness (1950 U.S. Womens Champion) whod talked with Sandor on
the telephone that very afternoon [before his death] when he seemed full of good cheer and
jokes, and who, via communication with Reisman, learned that Sandor, on being rushed to
the hospital, was DOA.
Sandor received the Purple Heart and two battle stars from the United States
Government.[While he was in the Army he wrote Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt.[Not]
being a U.S. citizen, [he] was concerned about where hed be if he were captured by the
enemy. Within ten days following his letter to Eleanor Roosevelt, Sandor got his
citizenship.
256

In 1961 he had a heart attackwas hospitalized for 6 weeks. His


electrocardiograph showed heart damage; but after six months he was declared physically
fit.His sisters and his friends frequently scolded Sandor for playing table tennis in the past
years. He really played to winstrenuouslyright up to his death. But Sandor would reply
that they did not know what kind of heart trouble he had, that it was only a warning to be
careful about stress, and that whenever he played he felt very well.
Sandor loved peoplehis incessant relating of jokes was meant to lift up their
spirits.[Sandors youngest sister, Iby] has been a nun for 32 years.My sister is a nun, he
would say. One day a priest asked Sister to go to the movies. In the dark there the priest
asked if he could hold her hand. She said it was all rightas long as he did not get in the
habit.
From Sally Boggan:
Just before a party, he {Sandor, a perennial bachelor] would make a special point
of complimenting the women on their special-occasion clothes. Once hed remarked that hed
noticed how much wives suffer when their husbands play. You listened politely and laughed at
his jokes (even when youd already read them in Readers Digest) because he was a man you
wouldnt think of being rude to.
In return for a couple of tickets to see the Chinese at Nassau Coliseum he brought
special ball-point pens for Eric and me that wrote 4 different colors. I still use mine. Jairie
Resek wears a pair of leather gloves hed brought her back
from a trip to Italy. Thoughtful gifts. So like his style.
From Ruth Aarons:
The call came from a good and thoughtful member
of my long ago table tennis past, Sol Schiff.Sandor and I,
and my brother who died in 1966, enjoyed a constant, joyful
and adventurous sequence of years in the glow of our youth.
LaterSandor returned from his military service in the South
Pacific and joined me at the drop of a table tennis ball in India,
where I was playing table tennis for our troops.
Years skidded by and occasionally, whenever Sandor
and I saw each other, it was as though the last time had been
the day before.
Strangely, my business log sheet of Thursday last, the
day of his death, I had noted to call him. I intended to ask him
to be my house guest for a reunion in my new Beverly Hills
home.
Now there will be no reunion.
From Sol Schiff:
He [Sandor] was the first foreign player I ever
played against and the one player who greatly impressed
everyone with his perfect appearance and sportsmanship on and
off the table. He was a good and gentle person and will be
missed by everyone who knew him.
257

Ruth Aarons, 1979

From Sandors lifelong friend Laci Bellak who, quickly coming up from Miami,
identified his body at the morgue, and wept at the funeral service when the Rabbi gave the
eulogy:
Dear Sandor!
Remember a few years ago in 1926 when we practiced T.T. and after playing all
evening you said, The last 10 sets and thats all!
How about our La Boheme life in Paris! T.T. and girls. Food was a little scarce but
who cared?Barna played on the Paris team and was in his prime, but you beat him 3
straight!
How about when we lived in Berlin! The little girl you taught T.T. to kept on telling
you that one day she would be a great actress and you told her, Stop dreaming and practice
your forehand. Well, she turned out to be Lily Palmer.
We were close to each other for 45 years, and you took part of my life with you.
From Tibor Hazi:
Sandor was a great friend and also doubles partner of mine and my wifes. We won
many important international championships together. He was a great promoter of table tennis
with his excellent skill at the table and with his ability to arrange exhibitions and tours. He
helped greatly to popularize the game in the States.
From Rutledge Barry:
The first time I visited the New York Table Tennis Club at 73rd Street with my father
during the spring vacation of 1972, I metSandor Glancz. He offered to play with me.
Over the next almost two years Sandor was usually at the club on my Friday nights
there. He was a man who always had a good word for everyone, a smile, a joke, and usually
the easiest of riddles.
The man had been a great champion, yet he always had time to teach and give
advice even to a young newcomer.
I shall miss him very much.
From Terry Lewis who little did I imagine as I went to the courts last Thursday night
that the evening was to be filled with tragedy:
I think I knew Sandor well for more than 15 years.His name and skill were
spoken of with such admiration.I can never remember hearing him say an unkind word
about anyone. He was an inspiration to all who knew him well.
From Tim Boggan:
Its a little thing I myself have in my head about Sandor.It has to do with those
huge, combination sandwiches he used to pull out of his bag for me at tournaments. Perhaps
he did the same for othersI dont know. Invariably, though, hed offer me one after Id just
eaten something, so that it was the last thing I wanted or needed, especially with one match
after another coming up.
However, I could never refuse him. I visualized him carefully putting the thing
togetherneeding for himself no nourishment of the body but of the soul. So I always took a
few enthusiastic bites, then carefully preserved the rest in its original tin foil with a promise to
finish it directly after my next match.
258

Hours, in some cases days later, after Id come home from a tournament, there, buried
deep in my bag with maybe some dirty laundry, were the remains of Sandors sandwich.
And yet somehowI can hardly explain itthat I thought forgotten sandwich,
recalled here, makes me deep down understand more about this where-everything-is-soiled
world. I realize a little how important it was for Sandor, as well as for many other men, to be
manneredto be polite, kind, pleasant. With something bordering on illumination, I recognize
that Sandors gift of himself was real. And I know that, while it is more blessed to give than to
receive, it is still very blessed to receiveespecially the bread made from the body and blood
of another.
From Lou Pagliaro:
The death of Sandor Glancz came as a shock to me. We toured many countries
together and soon became very close friends.What annoys meand I know that Sandor,
too, would share my views, is the fact that table tennis is still not a popular sport, as is boxing,
baseball, football, and basketball. These sports and their star athletes make news headlines
every day. Yet when a man like Sandor Glancz dies, it is not recognized by the public.
Sandor probably was the
best advocate of table
tennis around, and at the
age of 66 still played
regularly.[We] have lost
perhaps the greatest
pioneer of our sport.
From Herwald Lawrence:
I hope that some day in
Table Tennis, as in other
sports, a Hall of Fame
will be established. If so,
Sandors name will be
among the first to be
chosen for his honourable
record.

World Champions Ruth Aarons and Sandor Glancz,


1930s and 40s professional exhibition team

Hall of Fame? Perhaps


one day there will be
oneand Sandor
enshrined there.

High School and Intercollegiate Play


Urged on by E.C. member and Junior Development Chair Fred Danner, more High
School and Intercollegiate League articles are appearing in Topics. Fred starts off the year with
his Junior Development Report (Jan.-Feb., 1974, 13). Hes hopeful that the lawyer (provided
by Dr. Warren Rasmussen) now working on getting the National Education Foundation started
will succeed (where others have not), for as soon as the IRS can provide the Foundation with
259

a tax-exempt status, fund raising can be made far simpler. Rasmussen wants all school clubs
to become USTTA affiliated clubs. Its a good deal: pay $10 and up to 40 members can play in
Closed tournaments without being USTTA members and without paying a permit fee.
Meanwhile, Fred urges every junior table tennis player in the USTTA who is at least
15 years old [to] write personal letters to prospective colleges expressing their interest, along
with a request for college registrars to explain in detail what their college is doing about a
table tennis program. The idea is to try to set up scholarships for table tennis and to establish
solid well-funded intercollegiate activities.
How go about doing this? One approach that might be tried is to issue an alumni
challenge and send one of our better USTTA players who graduated from the college (or his
son or daughter) to offer a FREE ping-pong table as a gift to the university IF ANY
STUDENT FROM THE SCHOOL CAN DEFEAT SAID PLAYER IN A MATCH ON
CAMPUS. If this is done right, such a program could be a stimulus to college recruiting of
table tennis juniors, which of course is what we want so we can push for scholarships.
So how, according to Topics letters and articles, are some of the Junior State
Chairmen and others interested in High School play doing?
Alabama: David Oberman, President of the Mt. Brook, AL High School Club has 12
high schools participating in a tournament once a week for 12 weeks. At first we were
laughed at but now we are respected. The school gives letters, as well as uniforms in school
colors to the top players. He wants the USTTA to send info and plenty of films to improve
our game. Robert Hicks, Sec./Treas. of the Hamilton Club, after receiving back issues of
Topics, is interested in forming a High School League.
Arizona: Martin Gerst of Phoenix and Junior Chair Dean Davee are planning to start a
high school league and run an Apollo Open School Team Championship. Cortez High in
Phoenix has a varsity t.t. club.
Delaware: Rufford Harrison brought a junior team to the USOTCs. Sal Fertitta plans
an 8-team high school winter league.
Florida: Anyone who wishes to hold a junior clinic, contact Randy Hess (1300 Plum
Ave., Merritt Island, FL 32952) for helpful posters. Randy held a 5-day clinic over Christmas
vacation (though not on Christmas Day). His two-week preparatory work included: having
poster work done ($300), placing them at 9 locations other than schools, giving the County 12
posters that would go to Rec centers, taking posters to 44 County Public Schools, sending
Announcements to every radio station in the County, and getting a nice article in a local paper.
The Cocoa school then provided a beautiful Cafeteria with room for 8 tables.
So, with all in readiness, how many showed? Little more than a handful. Damned
discouraging for hard-worker Hess. Problem is, concludes Randy, the school officials themselves
have to be convinced of the advantages of the Sport. So, maybe, he says, we can offer them a free
one-day, get-acquainted seminar and/or offer a free clinic to P.E. Instructors, along with a pilot program.
Illinois: After two players from Eastern Illinois University gave an exhibition at a
Pittsfield, IL school, a fellow writes in to Topics that you now have to get to school 45
minutes early if you want to play. The excited students are going to buy a good table, start a
league, play in upcoming tournaments, maybe affiliate their club, and want to know if theyll
be any coaching clinics within two hundred miles and how much itll cost to attend them.
Kentucky: Ted Friedman and the Lexington-Metro Parks and Recreation Department
have introduced junior t.t. as part of the physical education program for fifth and sixth grades
in the Ashland Elementary School.
260

Louisiana: Tom Baudry is giving several exhibitions at junior and senior high schools
in the Baton Rouge areas.
Massachusetts: Dr. Warren Rasmussen is putting on programs for the local schools
and will combine use of USTTA films with this work as soon as we can get copies of the oneof-a-kind films in the library. Rasmussen writes (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 20) that Surasak will
hold an Apr. 15-19 Junior clinic at the Hampshire County Table Tennis Club in Northampton,
MA. Cost for 5-day clinic: $25. Cost for motel lodging $5 a night. Warren says that the first
Junior Table Tennis League in Massachusetts was initiated by Ralph Naylor of the Bay State
Club in Springfield. Three age groups: Under 18, Under 15, and Under 13. Rasmussen and his
Committee hope to get sponsorship to send the finalists in the three [junior] age groups from
the Massachusetts Closed to the Oklahoma City Nationals. A raffle is already being run. If
you contribute $25 to this cause, youll get your name listed in Topics. Warren and his friends
expect that a good bit of local publicity for the Sport can be generated by this trip (maybe it
can even be filmed).
Minnesota: Rich Sinykin emphasizes that the
USTTA can form the greatest junior table tennis
activity in the world but as long as the school
administration refuses to recognize it officially it
cannot reach the desired goals. Therefore, we must
work INSIDE THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. Currently
League President Pete Tellegens high school matches
(about 24 teams in the varsity group) are being
played at Magoos. Unfortunately, says Fred,
Minnesota will not be able to host a National High
School Tournament in 1974. They have to work out
many local problems and do not have the necessary
manpower or facilities for this activity.
Sinykin, however, (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, is
clearly proud of his States t.t. accomplishments
(1) Girls interscholastic table tennis/badminton
matches, (2) Magoos State High School Team
Tournament, and (3) a State High School Singles
Tournament.
Sinykins proud that Minneapolis has the
Rich Sinykin
first official table tennis league in the USA. By
official I mean that this two-sport combination
(table tennis/badminton) is officially accepted as an interscholastic letter sport by the State
High School Association. This means that for about a 2-month stretch beginning Jan. 28th the
girls play within the [5 suburban Minneapolis] high schools and not at a table tennis club.
Each school has a paid coach. There are 9 girls on a t.t. team and 9 on a badminton team3
for singles, 6 for doubles, in each sport. Practices are held 5 days a week for 2 and hours a
day! St. Anthonys Highs Lyla Arnsdorf, Stephanie Subek and Lisa Hoff compiled
outstanding table tennis records, and Rich says (Im afraid too optimistically) that Minnesota
gained over 100 girls in its table tennis program, and that the USA should be hearing a great
deal about these [3 St. Anthony] players in the future. How enthusiastic Rich is: Minnesota
t.t. will be thriving in the years to comeextreme growth is inevitable!
261

Sinykin also speaks of the two-month Magoo High School League and its two
divisionsthe strong AA (headed by John Soderberg (41-0), Pete Tellegen (38-1), and Steve
Steblay (37-2), and the weak A (headed by Clarke Brown (28-0), and Dan Moran (28-0). The
AA Statistician is Leighton Johnson; the A Statistician, Mike London. At the State High
School Team Tournament, held at Magoos Mar. 16-17, the AA winner was Orono High
(Steve Steblay and his brother Nick, Scott Colesworthy, John Weims)over Alexander
Ramsey (Tellegans team) whod knocked out St. Thomas Academy (Soderbergs team),
Champions in 72 and 73 and heretofore undefeated. The A winner was Alexander Ramsey
over St. Paul Sibley.
The 160-entry State High School Singles Tournament, held at Alexander Ramsey High
in St. Paul, Mar. 30, got a boost from several sources: school coach Larry Steinberg; the
Jaycees who worked at publicity and planning; Charlie Disney who helped with exhibitions and
coaching; and Don Larson, Magoos pro, who directed the tournament.
Missouri: Larry Knouft and, as Barry Garron tells us (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 15),
Kansas City School District Harvey Greer have a co-ed 9-team, 7-week school league going in
Kansas City, MO with 5 boys and 3 girls on each team. I presume Larrys Club is the venue
he recently put on a tournament there, and had the Club not been available for that
tournament, the organizers would have been forced to rent school facilities for $15 to $20 an
hour.
The Kansas City, MO Junior Newsletter, Table Talk (Apr.-May, 1974), tells us that
Knouft and Steve Finney have, from their own pockets and with their own time, helped the
juniors to help themselves. How? The juniors fund-raisesell Worlds Finest Chocolates
door to door. Not only do the top three sellers get prizes, but 10% of the money any junior
brings in from his candy sales is given back to him. The sales bring in money enough to buy
Kansas City Team uniforms for meets with schools from Oklahoma and Kansas. Teams are
recruited from Larry and Steves Saturday afternoon Junior Development Program. The two
most helpful recruiters receive an expense-paid trip to Oklahoma City for a tournament. On
Saturdays, fundamentals and physical conditioning are stressed, and a modified minitournament is held, the winner of which gets a coke or a candy bar.
New York: Ira Feldman, President of Brooklyns Poly Prep (TTT, July-Aug., 1974,
12), said his team won matches against Fort Hamilton High, Berkeley Institute, East N.Y.
Tech, and Greater N.Y. Academy, and wished there were more teams to play against. Worse, at
Manhattans Brandeis High, faculty advisor William Ma could arrange only a match with
Columbia University. East N.Y. Techs Dick Eliot unsuccessfully tries year after year to
interest the Public Schools Athletic League. He and school advisors need USTTA helpwhich
so far is not forthcoming from Danner, Boggan, and others.
Long Island League play: Eight to ten teams of 8 or more players will compete in
Nassau [County] while Suffolk has 9-11 teams with a minimum of 4 players per school.
Marshall Weiner (TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 14) writes that these Leagues originally got started
through the Thanksgiving, 1972 efforts of a Mrs. Lynn Unger, a math teacher at South Side
High in Rockville Centre. Early team involvement featured South Side (Alan Sverdlik, Roger
Sverdlik, and Peter Dunn), Hewlett (Jeff Zakarin, Dave Margolin), Roslyn (Gary Adelman),
Bellmore-Kennedy (Victor Poretz), Lawrence, Long Beach, Lindenhurst, and Careywith
Bellmore-Kennedy the surprising winner. When the following year, Unger stepped down,
Weiner, with a big assistance from Mike Margolin, a senior from Hewlett High, took over.
Marshalls Bellmore Kennedy High School players wear Team t-shirts in the school colors,
262

green and white that read Kennedy Table Tennis across the chest. Marshall confesses that
most Team members wear their t-shirt under a regular shirt and carry their paddles hidden
in their back pockets. Otherwise they get a lot of comments about those faggy shirts, mainly
because people havent accepted table tennis as a sport yet. Still, since the Team has a
football player and two wrestlers among them, the kidding is mild: Do you wear helmets for
a match? or How do you warm up, run around the table?
One current format used by the League pits Visitors D, C, B, A against Homies Y, Z,
W, X respectively, then a Doubles, then D, C, B, A against Z, Y. X, Wwith A and W the best
players, B and X 2nd best, C and Y 3rd best, and D and Z 4th best for a total of 9 matches
involving 4 players per team. Since there are at least 8 players on a team, the format is
repeated with 4 new players on each teammaking the complete team tie 18 matches.
Winners the one that scores 10 matches. If a team wins early, all 18 matches must be played,
but now substitutes are possible. If theres a 9-9 tie, the team that won more single games is
the winner.
Ohio: At least two Cincinnati High School TeamsWestern Hills and New
Morningfought it out, with Western Hills coming out ahead 3-2 and receiving individual
medals for their win. Meanwhile, at the University of Akron, (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 38),
James Weyrick, Editor of the campus newspaper, has printed at least six stories on the
Universitys table tennis team and their star players, James Stein and Richard Nelson. Breaking
news has it, though, that the table tennis team existed only in Weyricks newspaper. The
articles were written by Mr. Stein and Mr. Nelson, neither of whom plays any sport. Its much
easier to write articles, said Mr. Nelson.
Oklahoma: Collegiate Baseball (Apr. 12, 1974) says that Normans University of
Oklahoma freshman Kelly Snider was hitting .435 and had made no errors in 117 chances. It
sounds funny, he says, but Ping-Pong has helped make my hands quick. You get to playing
Ping-Pong and youve gotta react quickly.
Washington: Scott Levitin (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 15), a 16-year-old student at a
Bellevue (Seattle suburb), describes his experience forming a High School League. He used
this format: Homies #6, #5, #4, #3, #2, #1 vs. #5, #6, #3, #4, #1, #2 respectively; then 6
matches more, pitting directly opposite positions (#6 vs. #6#1 vs. #1) against one another,
then a Doubles, then finishing up with #3 vs. #3, #2 vs. #2, and finally in the 16th match #1 vs.
#1. No league tie (2/3 games) ever took more than 2 hours to play. Scott started with 12
possible teams and ended up with 6, plus one community college playing just for the
competition.
He ran into obstacles:
The primary one (which I incidentally think is valid) is that all the schools
require every club or team to have an advisor or coach; the usual requirement is that
that person be a certified teacher. Some schools restrict this person to members of only
that schools faculty. There were 3-4 teams in the fall season that dropped out for the
sole reason that they could not come up with a coach or an advisor. (The person
doesnt even have to know anything about table tennis!) Other problems encountered
were transportation to and from schools, lack of equipment (although this occurred at
only a small percent of schools), lack of space to play (fall seems to be the best season
however), low (usually meaning rock bottom) priority for table tennis by
administrators, and, finally, lack of MONEY for practically anything.
263

Scott will attend a meeting of the high school principals in


our district and will discuss with them the prospect (and the goal)
of a table tennis coach on the district pay schedulewhich would
guarantee a coach for all 4 high schools in the district. Scott says,
with Seattle TT League President Michael Scotts help, hes
planning an individual tournament at Seattle University. He praises
the professional help Tom Ruttinger, Joe Lee, and Rob Roberts
have offered to give his League players, and agrees with Spokanes
Peter Lau that the USTTA ought not to be rushing into penalizing
these premier Northwest players for playing against the Taiwanese.
He also thinks highly of Carl Lehrhoff whom the League has hired
as their coach. He wants 300 copies of the Laws of Table Tennis,
and urges that some type of Table Tennis Coaching Seminar be put
Seattle TT League President
on by a nationally qualified coach for, say, all the existing advisors
Dr. Michael Scott, II
and coaches the T.T. league has in its schools now.
Photo courtesy of
Tyra Parkins
Which leads me to speak again of Coaching Chair Jeff
Smarts plea (TTT, Jan.-Feb. and Mar.-Apr., 1974, 8) that USTTA
clubs open their facilities to youngsters for one week sessions, either during your local
schools spring break or possibly this summer. If clubs do this, says Jeff, the USTTA will fund
a coach, and hopefully the club will advertise and promote his visit, and a good many boys and
girls will participate. Also, the same coach can hold more than one camp, provided he doesnt
coach the same people. Only 25 participants (20 players plus 5 prospective
instructors)are required to get the funding. So far, though, despite the fact that Topics
keeps getting requests for coaching, club leaders seem reluctant to get behind this offeronly
$300 of the $5,000 available has been spent!
Meanwhile, Jeff continues to do his allin the Jan.-Feb., 1974 issue of Topics, he
contributes 1-2-3-4 Coaching articles. In How To Run A Coaching Camp, he explains, for
example, his technique of Rotation: The coach stays at the end table, eventually spending
time with each person as the group rotates past. Its important to learn a players goals and
help him to see his problems via the coachs imitation of his game, or through tapes, or class
comments. In How To Coach Players, Jeff says to develop analogies: when you go to stroke
your backhand, he says to a player, think of pulling a sword out of its sheath. The idea is to
get a picture in your mind of what the shot should look like.
In How To Prepare For A Training Camp, he stresses physical
preparation. First the warm-up exercises, then five stages of readiness, all
involving running; theres body building with push-ups, sit-ups, weightlifting, knee-hops, squat thrusts, toe raises, etc.; there are footwork drills,
reflex training, shadow-play simulationsand, if all of this doesnt do you
in, theres kill practice. In Want To Make Practicing Fun Again?
appropriately the last of these articlesJeff lists every practice technique
known to man, hoping the variety will have you light-heartedly, nimbly,
dancing all around your side of the court, shadow-scoring at will.

Jeff Smart: wants to


make practicing Fun!
264

Chapter Eighteen
1974: Canadian Championships/Pre-U.S. Open Tournaments. 1974: Dave Philip/
Janice Martin Take U.S. Intercollegiates. 1974: MIT Wins Ivy League Intercollegiates.
Tournaments continue to proliferate across the width and breadth of North America.
Ill begin with back-to-back Apr.-May Opens at Milla Boczars Hollywood Club. Heres the
first: Open Singles: Joong Gil Park over Ray Guillen, 11, 18, 11, after Ray had gotten by
Erwin Klein in 4 and then Howie Grossman whod actually 18, 21, -13, 22 outscored him.
Eric Thom seemed as if he could give Glenn Cowan 10, then took a game from Park. Mens
Doubles winners? Howie andheres a name from the pastex-New Yorker Freddie Berchin,
who in the semis stopped Guillen/Shonie Aki in 4 close games, then in the final Tommy
Vaello/Sandy Lechtick (deuce-in-the-4th advancers over Ichiro Hashimoto/Russ Thompson).
Womens went to Angelita Rosal, 21, 15, 20 over Heather
Angelinetta whod knocked out Angies sister Monica. In a later
Woman of the Month interview with Pat Crowley (TTT, JulyAug., 1974, 4), we hear Monicas been playing a lot of
tennisand exercisinglike jumping rope. She says, I should
run more but Im lazy. She also says that, since Angie works a
lot harder than I do, she deserves to be good. And Monica
deserveswhat?both a foxy boyfriend and her loss to
Heather? But, heyyy, Monica does win the Mixedwith Aki
thanks to a 19-in-the-4th win over Angie/Vaello.
Other
results:
Monica Rosal
Mens
Photo by Don Gunn
As:
Suwanvanichkij over Dan Goodstein, 18, 21, 18, then over Tom Joyce in the
final. Womens As: Kathleen Ambers
over Cheryl Albright. A Doubles:
Joyce/Kohler over Jim DeMet/Kelly.
Bs: Lechtick over Kelly. B Doubles:
Suwanvanichkij/Henry Fung over
Lechtick/Conway Redding. Cs:
Masaaki Tajima over Kelly. C Doubles:
Rich Livingston/Rich Valentine over
Mike Carr/Bob Reising. Draw
Doubles: Guillen/Huber over Jerry
Mike Chapman
Georgette Rideg
LaLande/Wong. Boys U-17: Chris
Photo by Ray Fields
Photo by Don Gunn
Rosal over Fung, 23-21 in the 4th and
22-20 in the 5th. Girls U-17: Georgette Rideg over Ambers. U-15s: Rosal over Fung in 5. U13: Joe Napoles over Chapman. U-11: Chapman over Reagan Tom, -19, -15, 12, 20, 18.
At Millas May Open, Guillen won the Mens from Grossman; and paired with him to
take the Doubles from Thompson/Dennis Barish. Dennis, our U.S. U-15 Champion, has been
265

picked to go to Japan under the (meals/lodging)


sponsorship of the Tamasu Butterfly Co. Hell
train for a month with Shigeo Ito, 1969 World
Champion and Captain of the Senshu University
Team. Dick Miles has started a fund-raising
campaign for Dennisurges everyone to give $1
or more if you can spare it. Later, Dick will have
the donors names published in Topics. Womens
winner was Heather, again over Monica. Julius
Paal was best in Seniors, 13, -26, 21, 17; Danny
Banach runner-up. Senior Doubles went to Paal/
Bob Ashley over Banach/Thompson.
Other winners: As: Goodstein over Ken
U.S. Open Under 15 Boys Champion
Pitts. A Doubles: Pitts/Letchtick over Fung/John
Dennis Barish
Nevarez. Bs: Joe Sanchez over Pitts. B Doubles:
Photo by Mal Anderson
Fung/Ron Whitlock over Barish/Sanchez. Cs:
Yeung over Carr. C Doubles: LaLande/Richard Banagas over Crowley/Monica Rosal, 21, -23,
20, then over Carr/Kent Lofthouse. As USTTA Womens Chair, privy to the USTTAs award
of $1,000 to Dan Seemiller for overseas play, Pats concerned about what might be given to an
outstanding woman playerit shouldnt be only Seemiller who gets the International
experience, right?
Chris Depee (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 31) reports on the
Apr. 7-8 Oregon Closed, held Apr. 7-8 at the Paddle Palace
in Portland. About a year ago, says Chris, Ron Carver
(whod been a so-so Class A player) bought a Stiga robot
and has been practicing with it for at least an hour every day.
As a result he is very steady, and this steadiness, combined
with his quickness and tenacity, enabled him to beat 3 former
Oregon champions: Vo Qui Han, Jeff Kurtz, and, finally, Judy
Bochenski. Ron was able to down Han, 18 in the 5th,
primarily because he could block Hans fast left-handed
loop. Then, since Carvers been beating Kurtz in the Oregon
Ron Carver
League, it wasnt a surprise that Ron won 3-zip over Jeff,
who was playing tight and not moving well.
Meanwhile, Judy, Oregons champion for the last two years, after being up 2-0, was
suddenly having trouble with former University of Oregon star Ed Ng. Ed, nervous and playing
terribly, discovered it was his grip that was giving him his problems. So then, with some beautiful
loops that had Judy going the wrong way and a few off-the-bounce backhand kills that were hard
to believe, he won the 3rd, 21-10. And the 4th too, 21-19 on a spectacular backhand counter. But
the 5th was all Judys. In the final, Chris expected that Judy, up 2-1, would win because of her
ability to attack first and because her backhand was steadier and slightly stronger. But Ron got
her out of position with a very good forehand loop and consistently managed to out-hit her on the
backhand. It was a victory hed worked hard for and certainly deserved.
Other results: Open Doubles: Kurtz/Dave Hudson over Bochenski and Dr. Bob Ho, an
osteopathic surgeon who about this time was beginning to focus on non-surgical methods to
relieve chronic pain. Womens: Liz Kurtz over Lori Mason. Mixed Doubles: Kurtz/Kurtz over
266

Judy/Lou Bochenski, 19 in the 3rd. As:


Hudson over Victor Chan. Bs: Bob
Farwell over Earl Adams. B Doubles:
Dave Davallou/Rinde over Mike
Bochenski/Don Nash. Cs: Mike
Bochenski over Bill Vasquez. Seniors:
Ho over Adams. U-17s: Mike
Bochenski over Bobby Rinde. U-15s:
David James over Terry Miller.
Three Vancouver, British
Eddie Lo
Columbia tournaments in a row
Photo by Mal Anderson
(Canadas Table Tennis News, July,
1974, 15) saw Zoltan Pataky repeatedly challenge for the Mens title. At the Feb. 2-3 Winter
Festival of Sports, Zollie, after being down to Peter Joe in the deciding 3rd, pulled that out,
then finished off Phil Cheng to reach the final. On the other side of the draw, Eddy Lo defeated
Gerry Hamer (who, against Eric Calveley, had come from 12-20 behind to take the 1st, 27-25,
then had finally won out 19 in the 3rd). In the semis, Eddy, conquering his usual terror of Paul
Albrechts chop, crashed his way bravely through a close third game. The beginning of the
final saw Pataky loop and Lo block, but by Zollies climactic title-winning deuce in the 4th
finish, Eddy had punched, slammed, and banged into, and almost through, Zoltans shrewd
and spinny offence. Zoltan, behind in the stretch, dug deep to find backspinseemingly
topspinserves that Eddy guided painstakingly into the base of the net.
Other winners: Mens Doubles: Lo/Joe over Pataky/Calveley. Womens: Leslee Ward over
Merle Bagoo-Weekes, 21, -20, 9, 18. Mixed Doubles: Pataky/Bagoo-Weekes over Calveley and
Powell River School Instructor Joan Hurwood. As: Frank Karika over H. Woo. A Doubles: Roland
Bourassa/D. Heath over S. Griffith/Roger Woo. Bs: Woo over S. Griffey. Cons.: Art Ngai over
Heath. Seniors: Ngai over Karika. Jr. Men: Lo over Joe. Jr. Women: Ward over Pat Agon.
A turn of phrase here and there in this unsigned Winter Festival article suggests it was
written by Eric Calveley, the Editor of the BC publication, LeTTers. Heres a mutually
admiring, bantering exchange Editor Boggan had earlier with Editor Calveley and his wife
Beth (LeTTers, Nov., 1973, reprinted in TTT, Jan.-Feb., 1974, 20):
Strip Ts
Letter to the [LeTTers] Editor:
In playing the mad March Hare here and there in a
losing turtle race through the July [1973] CTTA News and its Provincial [BC]
Supplement, I noticed, first, the BCTTA flower design (which I couldnt resist snipping
and sniffing for my own pressed-into-place scrapbook use in TTT (Table Tennis
Topics) and, second, the announcement and follow-up explanation of your recent
publication LeTTerswherein the imaginative use of those (table tennis) Ts, not to
say the first thought-up Freudian Playball (rejected because rendered impotent
without that hard core test of a centerfold?) caught my peeping tim of an I.
How about us getting together, huh? Ill show you one of my Ts if youll show
me one of yours.
Tim Boggan, Editor, USTTA Topics
267

Dear Tim,
Greetings from
LeTTers and from all those
BCTTA members who
have shared the cup with
you.
Although we have
not had the sensation of
meeting you we feel we
know you through Topics
from which we read a
chapter every night seated
around the fire sipping our
Ovaltine before going to
bed.
Being a very
Beth and Eric Calveley (with Nimi Athwal in the middle?)
provincial association we
were concerned about the
effect of your letter on those innocent old ladies and 18-year-old girls who form part of
our membership. We finally decided to print your letter, unaltered, as a form of
censorship.
We would like to say, See you, Tim, but the chances are not very high.
Maybe, one day, when the government finds the courage to abolish that vast wasteland
described as Central North America you will drop in to one of our tournaments, or we
to one of yours.
Eric and Beth Calveley
Editors, LeTTers.
At Vancouvers 14th annual Chinatown Open, Pataky took his 3rd straight Mens
Championship at this tournamentbeating Lo easily in the final, after Eddy had a tough 24-22
in the 4th counter-driving win over Phil Cheng. Mens Doubles went to Pataky/Calveley over
Walter Dub/John Grgec (23-21-in-the-3rd advancers over Lo/Joe), who then in the final
stubbornly stayed alive, winning the 3rd game at 21, the 4th at 23, before succumbing in 5.
Womens: Ward over Bagoo-Weekes. As (60 entries): Alan Bajkov over Bourassa who
survived Paul Lee, 19 in the 3rd. A Doubles: Bourassa/George Stefanissin over Dr.
Athwal/Onkar Athwal. Novice: Tom Eng over Nimi Athwal. Seniors: Ngai over Karika.
Jr. Boys (Joe and Lo didnt enter): Roger Woo over Jeff Woo. Jr. Girls: Athwal over Pat
Agon in 5.
At the Mar. 30-31 B.C. Open, Lo won the Mens from Pataky, 3-0, after Zollie had
been extended, 19, 18, by 13-year-old Peter Joe, playing at his home-venue, the Britannia
Secondary School. Nor did Mens Doubles go to Pataky/Calveley, but to the impressive
youngsters who in the Jr. Boys played perhaps the tournaments most exciting finalwith Lo
rallying to defeat Joe, -18, 19, 20. Womens winner was 16-year-old Pat Agon who 19, 19
upset Ward. Leslee, however, evened things up with a 19, 20 win over Pat in the Jr. Girls.
Mixed Doubles: Pataky/Ward over Calveley/Bagoo-Weekes. As: Lowell Lo over Danny Ho.
Bs: Kwong Mak over Hiroshi Takaki, 19, 20. Seniors: Karika over Ngai.
268

In the July, 1974 issue of the Canadian


Table Tennis News, Caveley reports on the
Canadian Junior Championships, held in
Vancouver over Easter weekend. First the Team
events: Girls: Winner: Central Region (Violetta
Nesukaitis, Plucas, Hsu)over Eastern Region
(Domonkos, Forgo, Spratt) and Western Region
(Ward, Agon, Nimi Athwal). Boys: Winner:
Central Region (Klevinas, Feldstein, Zembik,
Shanahan)over Eastern Region (Polisois,
Normandin, Bobet) and Western (Lo, Joe, Woo).
Now a commentary from Calveley on the
Individual events. The Boys U-17 pre-lim round
robins saw Vancouvers Jeff Woo beat Paul
Klevinas in a great display of pluck and
Peter Joe
underdoggedness. True, Klevinas tried to blast
his way to victory, and, true, Jeff blew an 18-12 lead in the 3rd, and needed the help of the net
and edge to win, but, still, win he did. Meanwhile, in his pre-lims, Peter Joe, trim and
tenacious, upset Steve Feldstein.
In follow-up knockout play, Peter advanced to the semis with another win over
Klevinasblocking him out with breathtaking speed, then countering with his personal brand
of snaking, sliding cross-court fast
loops. Then, after Feldstein, behind 1-0
and at deuce in the 2nd, had survived Alex
Polisois, Peter reduced Steve to badtempered misery as he sliced his way
through that previously impervious
defence with arrogant ease. Joining Joe
in the U-17 final was Eddie Lo, whod
knocked off Peter Shanahan and Zembik,
and was now too 13, 14 good for Joe.
Reporter Calveley was hard on
the girls who, pouting and petulant,
slack-mouthed and sulky, spoiled what
was otherwise good-hearted
competition; they were all unworthy, or
nearly allthough not of course you,
Mariann, the only brave. For Domonkos,
after an easy win over Christine Forgo,
though uninspired and playing poorly,
yet managed to win the Girls [U-17]
event by sheer, mere hanging-in there.
After Birute Plucas had eliminated Leslee
Ward, 24, 13 in the semis, Mariann was
at a very precarious 23-all in the 3rd with
Mariann Domonkos
her before pulling it out.
Photo by Raul Rodriguez
269

Other Individual Results: Boys U-17 Doubles: Klevinas/Shanahan over Feldstein/


Zembik -12, 23, 19 in the semis, and over Lo/Joe 19, -9, 21 in the final. Girls U-17 Doubles:
Domonkos/Forgo over Violetta Nesukaitis/Plucas, -16, 19, 13. Mixed Doubles: Domonkos/
Polisois over Hsu/Shanahan, 18, 21. Boys U-15: Lo d. Pierre Normandin whod eked out a
18, 19, 20 win over Joe. Girls U-15: Plucas 14, 9 over Forgo, after Christine had eliminated
Nimi Athwal, 18 in the 3rd. Boys U-13: Roger Woo 12, 19 over Lebrecke whod outlasted
Bosaria, -29, 14, 19. Girls U-13: Athwal over Gloria Nesukaitis, 9, -17, 21.
Claveley says, It was the boys who showed all the speed, strength, and skill, displayed
all the courage and self-discipline, made all the magic. Lo of course, though not always
assured and not having his greatest tournament, was still dazzling and aggressive in
winning the U-17s and U-15s. Claveley thought the immaculate Polisois especially
impressive: he was beaten and bat-throwing only against Feldstein, otherwise poised and
rapier-sharp, awesome in his [5, 11] match with Eddie Lo. Normandin, Eric thought quiet
but inventive, having beaten Joe once and almost twice, losing to him deuce in the 3rd. As for
Shanahan, he was foul-mouthed and noisy, but wonderfully cavalier, bravely swinging out at
everything and everyone.
BCTTA President Don Gentry, it was clear, had no such romantic appraisals. He
didnt like the players vocalizing Thats it! or, worse, shouting expressions he dare not
put into print; also paddles [were] banged on the table, and some loser was actually
crying. Abiding by his name, this Don wanted to gentrify what went on out there on court.
Table tennis and acting didnt mix, he said. Actingis that what these intense players
were doing?
The Canadian National Championships, which, from their once stationary position at
the CNE where they were overshadowed by the Open, have been moving around Canada for
four years now. And talk about being on the move, CTTA Executive Director Jose Tomkins
tells us (TTT, July-Aug., 1974, 19) that, prior to these May 17-20, 1974 Nationals at
Whitehorse in the Yukon, she and Birute Plucas, accompanied by Jim Noble, the Director of
Recreation for the Yukon Territory, went on an exhibition tour.
They traveled 1250 miles in three days, 40 of these on paved roads, and had only two
flat tires, which Birute helped to fix. Exhibition sites Dawson, Mayo, and Faro up in the
Yukon nowadays all have airports, but apparently Jose and Birute traveled by car (400 miles
per day? at what speed?), since Jose was pleased to say there was a more impressive picture
postcard view at every turn in the road. No wonder, though, they got to Dawson too late for
the schoolchildren, and so gave an exhibition for only Mr. Noble and the school principal. It
sounds like a ridiculous promotional tripthough highlighted by lots of sunny weather and
great scenery.
The venue for these Canadian National Championships was the Jim Light Memorial
Arena at Whitehorse. Ironically, it was the light that wasnt up to standardthough everything
else was fine. There were attractively set-up courts and a brand new table in each. Klondike
Broadcasting had a comprehensive reporting booth next to the Control Desk. Nutritious meals
could be had at the YWCA next to the Arena; a Y dance was held there on Saturday night; and
a Closing Banquet on Monday where Dave Stockdale, the Yukon TTA President, played the
genial host and witty M.C. Also, if one was willing to take chances, a dip in the Hot Springs
outside Whitewater, at Takhini, was possible. Ontario Executive Director Ken Kerr chanced
the trip but couldnt get back in time for his quarters match with Paul Klevinas, winner of the
Mar. Golden Boy Open at Winnipeg, and was defaulted.
270

The Opening Ceremonies began with


Teams marching in to the accompaniment of
an award-winning High School Band, followed
by welcoming speeches from the Mayor and
others. Mens and Womens Provincial Team
Matches then started the competitive play. In
the Mens, Ontario (Captained by George
Jovanovwith Errol Caetano, Peter Gonda,
Larry Lee, Bill Cheng) was too 5-0 strong for
British Columbia in the round robin semis,
and too 5-2 strong for Quebec in the final
(Rod Young had two good wins for the
losersover Gonda and Lee). Manitobas
Brian Zembik had an upset win over Ontarios
Lee, and, says Jose, Brian has the potential
for more glory if he puts his mind to it andis
able to accept the offer from Ontario to live,
go to school and train in Toronto for a year.
Though 4th-Place finisher Manitoba lost its
Brian Zembik
semis to Quebec, Charles Chow (whod
scored wins over B.C.s Lo and Joe) downed
Rod Young, and Zembik had another good winover Guy
Germain. Alberta, led by Francois DAuriac, finished 5th.
In the Womens, favored Ontario (Captained by John
Nesukaitiswith Violetta and Flora Nesukaitis, Birute
Plucas, and Gloria Hsu) wasnt overly challenged. They
disposed of B.C., 5-2, in the semis (with Ward and BagooWeekes defeating Plucas who, after giving six exhibitions in
the Whitehorse schools, had something of a fan base among
the relatively few spectators). Then they downed Quebec,
5-3, in the final (Domonkos had a win over Plucas, and
both Mariann and Christine Forgo beat Flora Nesukaitis).
Quebec was too 5-2 experienced for 4th-Place finisher
Prince Edward Island (though Janice and Glenda
MacWilliam downed Elaine Spratt). Against B.C., Quebec
was 3-3 tied before Domonkos got the better of BagooWeekes, and Forgo won the key match from Ward, 25-23
and 22-20. New Brunswick finished 5th, beating out
Manitoba, despite Janice Watsons good play.
Mens Singles matches of note: semifinalist Alex Polisois
came out of the Gonda/Steve Feldstein quarter; Germain
Guy Germain
outlasted Lo in 5, then extended Klevinas to 28-26 in the
Photo by Mal Anderson
4th; and likeable Alan Heap, after eliminating Rod Young
th
in 4, forced Lee into the 5 . For #1 seed Errol Caetano, who successfully defended his
Championship, play was something of a lark. In their match for the title, neither Caetano nor
Klevinas, straight-set semis winner over Larry Lee, could settle down to be serious [Errol
271

won the 1st game at 3], and for the final of the National Championship it was a disappointing
display. In the Mens Doubles, Caetano/Gonda, down 2-1 to Lee/Klevinas, came back for the
win.
One has to say that at the moment two women players in Canada stand out among the
rest. In the semis here, Violetta Nesukaitis blitzed Plucas, and Domonkos blitzed Violettas
sister Flora. In the final, Violetta, down 2-1, won a 5-gamer from Mariann, thus accumulating
her 9th Singles title in the last 10 years. As expected, Violetta also took the Mixed with triplecrown winner Caetano; they blanked Polisois/Domonkos.
Other results: Mens Consolation: Calveley over Southern Alberta Institute of
Technologys Walter Schoenberger, star of the German/Canadian Clubs Calgary Kickers,
winners of the Feb. Alberta Team Championships over Edmonton. Womens Consolation: Simi
Athwal over Albertas #1 Judy Mack. Seniors: John Nesukaitis over Frank Karika.
The Alberta Open (Table Tennis News, July, 1974, 13), inaugurated in 1938, was
played at Calgary and, surely with some thanks due Alberta Director and President of the
ATTA Peter Palfenier, drew 100 players. Mens went to Calgarys Francois DAuriac over
Edmontons Kam Kong; the Womens to Judy Mack over Li Chu-Kong. Mens Doubles: Kam
Kong/Hong Mar over Bob Pfob/DAuriac. Womens Doubles: Judy/Linda Mack over Marilyn
Palfenier/Renata Hirth. Mixed Doubles: Walter Schoenberger (Dec., 73 Calgary Open Singles
and Doubles Champ)/Palfenier over Sam Bhandari/Hirth. Seniors was taken by Frank Hodl
over Edmontons Hong Mar, 11-time Alberta Open Champ. Richard Mah won the U-17s/U15s over U-13 winner Ben Mah.
Thanks to coaching and encouragement by CTTA Vice-President Art Werier,
Manitobas Brian Zembik and Janice Watson dominated the events at the Saskatchewan Open.
Saskatoons Aron Bakshi was runner-up in Mens Singles, and Reginas Gaylene Galenzoski,
Gold winner in Singles at the Saskatchewan Winter Games, was the Womens runner-up.
Coming down now into the U.S., Ill give you the Results of the New Mexico Open,
played at Albuquerque, May 4: Championship Singles: Tommy Vaello over Jerry Plybon,
whod 13, -12, 19, 19, 13 escaped Al Everett, whod
escaped K. Treece, 23-21 in the 5th. Championship
Doubles: Treece/Paul Longmire over Bill Guerin/John
Harrington whod ousted Vaello/B. Davis in 5. Speak
to these organizers, Pat Crowley: why no events for
Women? As: Mac Horn over Bob Leatherwood. A
Doubles: Treece/Edgar Stein over Guerin/Harrington.
Bs: A. Archibong over Meredith Elston, 23-21 in the
3rd, then over R. Milbert, -16, 14, 21, 19. B Doubles:
Davis/Jim DeMet over Randy Nedrow/E. Sandoval,
deuce in the 4th. Cs: Al Martz over Davis, 17 in the
5th. Seniors: Horn over Stein, -13, 20, 20, 12. U-17s:
Nedrow over N. Christensen in 5.
At the Apr. 20-21 San Antonio Texas Closed,
Hanumanth Rao took the Mens Singles without
dropping a game. Bob ONeill came 2nd; Joe
Cummings 3rd, and John Tomlinson 4th. Best earlyround match: Richard James over Paul LeBlanc, 19 in
Cindy Garza
the 5th. Mens Doubles: Don Weems/Perry
Photo by Don Gunn
272

Schwartzberg over Rao/E. Mac Baptiste, 18 in the 5th. Womens Singles: Cindy Garza over
Ann Ramsey. Womens Doubles: Ramsey/Haddix over Moore/Norma LeBlanc, 25-23 in the
3rd. Mixed Doubles: Weems/LeBlanc over ONeill/Ramsey.
Other winners: As: Kevin Bell over Steve Simon, 19 in the 4th. A Doubles: Bell/
Baptiste over Smith/Melamed. Bs: Trung Kim Sang over J.C. Tenay whod stopped Arthur
Buster Chase. Cs: Fred Haase over Randy Gay in 5. Junior Novice: Paul Castillo over
Darrell Eichman whod prevailed over Martin Acala-21, 25, 15. Seniors: Jeff Wise over Jack
Buddy Melamed, advancer over Charles Hodgins, 19 in the 3rd. Juniors: Simon over Larry
Melamed.
At the Iowa Open, Cedar Rapids Greg Redmond won the Mens from Murray Kutler
whod knocked out Jim Lynum in 5, then Tom Walsh 19 in the 4th. Mens Doubles went to
Redmond/Walsh over Howard Lambert and Dick Butler who with his wife Sue for the next 20
years will become well known for their table tennis work, particularly with Juniors, including
of course their famous sons Scott and Jim, the two of them future National Doubles
Champions, and Jim, now three years old, a future 3-time U.S. Singles Champion and 2-time
Olympian. Womens winner was Kathy Moeller over E. Risch.
Other results: As: Lionel Harris over Lynum who
got by C. Dicky, 20, 22. Bs: J. Gustafson over S. Petersen.
Novice: Leroy Petersen over R. Kindschuh. Seniors: K.
Risch over Victor Engleman. Boys U-17s: Redmond over
Todd Petersen. Girls U-17: Denise Herman over Jackie
Spalding. U-15s: Kutler over Stillions. U-13s: T. Petersen
over Stillions. U-11s: Doyle Risch over Daylin Risch.
The Mar. 24 18-team Minnesota Team Tournament
at Magoos was won by Rich Sinykin (12-1), Steve Steblay
(who with four upsets raised his rating 100 points), and
Daylin Risch
Photo by Don
defender Rakesh Gothi. Runner-ups were Charlie Disney
Gunn
(12-1his only loss was to Sinykin), Jerry Soderberg, and
lefty Ed Ells, a psychologist at the Minneapolis V. A.
Hospital and a semi-professional cellist. Class B winners
Jeff Soderberg, Greg Mosio, and Nick Steblay nipped the
Wisconsin threesome of Dave Sinha, Alan Michael, and Tom Runningwith Greg beating
Tom in the 9th match.
Steve Strauss, covering the May 18-19 Minnesota Open at Magoos (TTT, July-Aug.,
1974), praised new Tournament Director Steve Steblay. And he might have praised himself
too, for he and Rich Sinykin defended well enough to take the Mens Doubles (deemed the
State Championship) from the runner-up pair, Disney/John Soderberg. In the one half of the
Mens draw, Doug Maday reached the 4-player final by downing Stu Sinykin, Disney, and John
Soderberg who likewise advanced, though with a carry-over loss to Doug. In the other half,
Rich Sinykin, after finishing the first game in a chair against Larry Kesler, was forced to drop
out of the tournament due to the severity of his [leg] cramps. When Strauss also proved to be
so hobbled by cramps that he could hardly move, Kesler beat him and advanced to the final
round robin with a win over Pete Tellegen. Larry then distinguished himself, using his antidefense to down Soderberg with his slow rolls and kills, and proving too steady for Madays
drop-loop-kill game. Petes play was also exceptional: he too beat both Soderberg and
Madayonly to have to settle for 2nd because of his carryover loss to Larry.
273

Other winners: Womens: Sheila ODougherty. Mixed Doubles: Strauss/ODougherty


over Stu Sinykin/Judy Heichert, coming from 11-19 down in the 2nd to win two straight.
Esquires: Jerry Gavenda over Al Faulkner. Seniors: Harry Nelson over Gavenda. Father-Son
Doubles: Al and Ramsey Stivers over Art and Brandon Olson wholl win the U-11s at the
U.S. Closed event at the 1976 Philadelphia U.S. Open. As: Rakesh Gothi over Al Schmitt and
his hits and Surbek-style loops. Bs: Satersmoen was Death to ODougherty. U-17s: John
Soderberg over Tellegen playing in his last tournament as a junior, 19, 16, -18, 20, 14. U17 Doubles: John Soderberg/Tellegen over Redmond/John Stillions. U-15s: Soderberg. U13s: Stillions over Tom Soderberg, a left-handed looper and Seemiller-style blocker, and the
youngest of the Soderberg family of table tennis players.
At the S.E. Wisconsin Open, held the
weekend before the U.S. Open, Heng-Chi Chang
won the Mens over Pak Lam, and Jill Larmore
the Womens over Kim Voland. Mens Doubles
winners were Chang/Paul Wong over Lam/Tony
Poulos. Mixed went to Chang/Chang over
Poulos/Chan. As: Laszlo Keves over Mike
Menzer. Bs: Andy Chrapinski over Keves. Cs:
Geoff Graham over Mike Charney. Seniors:
George Fabian over Joe Bujalski. Boys U-17:
Graham over Ben Kunin. Girls U-17: Larmore
over Chris Kuffel. U-15: Jim Welland over John
Mike Menzer
Mead.
Photo by Mal
Anderson

1974 Intercollegiates
National Coaching Chairman Jeff Smart reports (TTT, May-June, 1974, 17) that,
thanks to Halex, Sportcraft, and Stiga, who spared no expense, this years U.S. Intercollegiate
Championships turned out to be first-rate. The Apr. 19-20 tournament, sponsored by the
Association of College Unions-International (ACU-I), was held at LaCrosses University of
Wisconsin fieldhouse. This venue offered a keep-your-footing playing floor, good lighting, and
of course great STIGA tables. Jeff had high praise for Richard S. Gage, the man who got this
annual event started, who obtained full sponsorship, and who oversaw all activities. Hes
among the most witty, good-natured, all-round great guys Ive ever met. His successor,
Reb Rebillard, is also a humorous and affable gentleman.
The 15 Regions were more fittingly represented this year than in the past because, says
Jeff, theres increased participation at the Regional level. Also, expect more strong
representation in the future, for consider the rewards for the winners: an all-expense-paid trip
to these Nationals; fabulous banquets for the competitors; gifts of paddles, traveling bags, and
shirts with appropriate name and school on them; and other extras. For both men and women,
play was divided into two round robins of 8 (the host Region gets an automatic entry).
Seedings were based on USTTA ratings (although they used old ones from Topics). When
Glenn Cowan didnt show, the draw was somewhat lop-sided.
The tournament began with double elimination Mixed Doubles matches. In the one
bracket, Janice Martin, former 15-year-old member of the U.S. Womens Team to the 1969
Munich World Championships, and MVP at the 1972 Team Championships, paired with Jeff
Smart, whod defeated Bill Lesner twice to win his Regionals, and they reached their
274

groups finals without dropping a game. In the other bracket, Doris Mercz, wife of Air Force
Champ Frank Mercz, partnered lefty looper Mike Carter and they reached their groups finals
with a win over Chicago star Barb Taschner and Pak Lam, 1971 CNE Class A Champion.
In the one final, Smart/
Ronni Klein
Martin won in 4 over Milda
Photo
by Mal Anderson
Milacek, sometimes teasingly called
Mildew or Ole Slippery Rock
(the name of his school), and Elaine
Fantaske (called affectionately
Fantastic). In the other final,
however, a play-off was necessary
when Dave Philip, whod
previously twice lost in Regional
play to last years Champion Mitch
Sealtiel but who this year had savored sweet revenge, paired with N.J.s Ronni Klein to
recover from an earlier loss by beating Carter/Mercz. However, in the play-off, Dave and
Ronni couldnt win again. So.Smashing serves and third-ball attacking, Jeff and Janice
then went on to defeat Carter/Mercz in straight games and win the National Mixed Doubles
title.
Jeff
doesnt give
coverage to the
1974 U.S. Womens Intercollegiate
Champion Janice Martin
Womens
Singleswon by
Martin over
Taschner (Martin
had eliminated
Defending
Champion Diane
Turnbull in
Regional play).
But, as if for
doing their fair
share of the
umpiring, he at
least names the
other competitors. Some may be familiar names (Pat Crowley, Shirley Woo, and Marilyn
Palfenier), and some may not (Ann Davis, Po King Woo, Cathy Nornard, Barb Buhr, Agi
Soltani, and Pat Ritchey).
Nor does Jeff understandably give coverage to every Mens Singles match, but again
he wants to include all those who were able to qualify and come to the tournament (Bill
Edwards was another no-show). So, before covering the most exciting matches, he has a word
or two for the following players: Roger Yee (plays like [Jerry] Karbulka, with super-juicy
serves and maniac kills and loops); Rich Sinykin, former anti chopper turned looper, who
defeated his brother [Stu] to qualify; Fred Finley, back for his third year and smashing loops
with his flat-hitting attack; and Tak Chan, a quick-blocking graduate student from Boston.
275

In the one bracket, Milacek, though losing game after game but not a match, advances
to the round robin semis. Although Mildas backhand chop and forehand loop are his best
shots, he has another weapon in his arsenaldemonstrated when he plays Eddie Ng,
Oregons star penholder looper/smasher. When a ball comes up high and short on Ngs
backhand side, he promptly jumps over and slap-crushes it to Mildas extreme backhand.
Eddie hit the ball with zero expectation that itd be returned, so you can imagine his surprise
when the ball passes him like a shot, hitting perfectly on his backhand corner. Yep, Milda has
a backhand counter.
The other advancer, who has a carryover loss to Milacek, is Paul Wong, 1973 Mens
U.S. Open Consolation winner. He gets to the semis via a 3-game win over Greg Gingold
whod played for the U.S. at last years first World University Championships. Pauls vicious
penholder serves and power blocking took their toll on Greg.
In the other bracket, its Smart vs. Lam. But though Pak was quick-bounce anglesmashing, Jeff looped or killed half of them, and at the end of each game, third-ball
attacking as if without a moment of worry, Smart won 19, 21. Brad Fountain, making his 3rd
appearance at these Collegiate Championships, can do everything wellloop off either side,
counter, loop loops, push, etc.except he couldnt take a game from Buffalos lefty killlooper Bill Davis. Nor, though he played well, could Brad take a game from seeded Dave
Philip, undefeated and therefore one of the two advancers from his bracket into the round
robin semis.
Fountain vs. Smart is a fun match. In the 1st, Jeff hit every Brad serve, long or short,
thus walloping his opponent 21-7. But now Fountain wised up, and began to serve fast, flat
serves every time to force a countering match. On one fierce exchange, Jeff countered so fast
and so hard that he caught Brad still following throughto which Brads only answer was a
very explicit SHIT! But Brad won that game at 19. In the 3rd, down 18-16, Jeff hits a
brilliant drop-shot that hits the net and just falls over, [so] you can imagine his exhilaration; but
then as the ball falls out of sight down to the side of the table, so does Brad, and suddenly the
ball reappears from under the post and slides across the table! Smart then drops his paddle on
the table, applauds Brads shot, and walks over to shake his hand to congratulate him on a
truly brilliant save! When Jeff loses that game, again at 19, his opportunity to reach the semis
is in jeopardy.
Davis has only one lossto Philip. Smart has two, but if he can blank
Davis.Whacking ball after ball, Jeff goes up 9-1 in the 1st, wins it 21-3! But in the 2nd Bill
gets his whip loops through Smart. Thus, though Jeff pulls out the 3rd at 19, the tie-breakers
not decided by head-to-head play but by gamesand Jeffs lost one
more than Bill.
Daviss semis match with Milacek is a 5-game beauty. Mildas
retrieves were fantastic, but so were Bills smash loops. He hit some
chops that I would never have believed he could push! Down 18-11
in the 5th, Daviss loop kills started burning through Mildas
defense. Then, at 19-all, a tremendous smash/retrieve volley
ensues. After [retrieving] about five all-out wipe-out loops, Milda
swoops a chop off the floor which hits Daviss back edge. And now a
quick last point moves Milacek into the final. There hes joined by
Philip whos straight-game gotten by Wongs spin serves and wood
returns (Paul flips the racket over on many serves).
Milda Milacek at ease
276

Milda knew he couldnt just


chop against Daves not only
overpowering but consistent spin
drives, and so he looped forehand or
backhand almost every long serve.
Trying to stay at the table and block
Philips kill-loops, Milacek repeatedly
forced errors from Dave who tried to
kill the blocks before he was set. The
match was very well contested, but the
Championship went to Dave, 19 in the
4th.
Philip, as National Champion,
was asked to go to Oklahoma City
the next weekend to give exhibitions
and generally represent the ACU-I and
the sponsoring companies. But then a
decision was made to send Dave to
the Nationals with all expenses paid
and let Janice Martin, the Womens
winner, go to Oklahoma City. Which I
suppose satisfied everyone.
Want to know (TTT, May-June,
18) what Nick Maffeis Lehman
College Bachelor of Fine Arts project
1974 U.S. Mens Intercollegiate Champion Dave Philip
is? 400 drawings of Dave Philip and
Photo by Neal Fox
Rory Brassington at NYTTC play that
Nick has organized into a very
exciting and informative animation. Recorded on tape, it plays up the beauty of the body in
action playing table tennis. Nick and three other players from Lehman participated in their
U.S. Intercollegiate Regionals, but none qualified for the Wisconsin Nationals. However, Nick
was able to get his school to finance these four to an earlier 25-team Intercollegiate
Tournament at Widner College in Chester, PA.
Nick says Lehmans two women players did better than the men. Their Singles entry,
Audrey Simpton, waited patiently for an opportunity to strike, and then her set-up kill
shotcompletely baffled her opponents before she was stopped by a Rutgers player. Better
yet, Audrey and teammate Marlene Hirschfield came 2nd overall in the Doubles. In the Singles,
Nick, with his heavy topspin play that often produced balls for him to smash, got to the
quarters. But his Doubles partner, Dan Garcia, needed, as they say, more seasoning. Anyway,
win or lose, its the reward of trips like this that helps to keep a College Club alive.
The 2nd Annual Princeton University Closed, directed by Mike Flannagan, saw Charley
Ballard not only reporting on the tournament for Topics, but winning it. In the final, umpired
by Larry Buel, looper Ballard, before rallying for the win, was down 2-0 after blowing a 2nd
game 19-13 lead. Civil Engineering student Mike Harris was the runner-uphe defeated the
3rd (Paul Borenstein), 4th (official Tournament Statistician Tom Drucker), and 5th-Place (Bill
Pao) finishers.
277

MIT Wins Ivy League Intercollegiates


With Ballard again reporting (TTT, May-June, 1974, 18), we learn the Final Standings
of the Ivy League season: 1. MIT (12-2). 2. Columbia (10-4). 3. Cornell (10-4). 4. Harvard
(9-5). 5. University of Pennsylvania (9-5). 6. Brown (3-11). 7. Princeton (3-11). 8. Yale (014).
A Universitys seasonal record is a composite of how their A and B teams did. MITs A
team went undefeated, but their B team lost to Harvard and Cornellhence, when forfeits are
included (mostly by Yale), they were 12-2. Early in the season, they had a shaky 5-4 win
against Penns A team. Penns Barry Robbins didnt lose a match all season, and in this tie he
stopped Joe Lee and the two Chans, Chuck and Dave, who also lost to Peter Dunn, Penns #2,
a chopper like Robbins.
Though Penns only A loss was to be to M.I.T, they, too, in an early tie were extended.
One of the weaker teams, Princeton, was threatening to send the tie into the 9th match, for
Paul Borenstein had battled Dunn to deuce in the 3rd before losing. Penn A went on to 5-3
down Cornell, led by Hank Colker and Alex Sze, then scored perhaps an unexpected triumph
by handing Columbia A its first loss in the history of the league. Penn heroes were Robbins
who took 3, including a victory over then undefeated Sammy Lee, and Dunn who added the
necessary 2 with a key 8th-match win over Peter Wai. However, while the Penn A Team was
doing just fine, their B team was losing every tie, and this of course dropped them in the
standings.
Cornell, with players like Dan Osborn and Kim Wang, probably had the best B team in
the leaguethey knocked off Princeton, Penn, Columbia, and M.I.T. But they had an early A
team loss to Harvard when their top players, Colker and Sze, opted to attend their ACU-I
Regionals. Harvard had a good B team, losing only to Columbia who, with Irv Kuznetzow
and Paul Greenbaum, was also strong.
Indeed, Columbia (with 2 losses) would meet M.I.T. (with two losses) for the
Championship in the climactic last week of the season. Though M.I.T.s B team won 5-1
surprisingly big, the A tie wasnt decided until the 9th match. Chuck Chan was playing
sensational table tennis for M.I.T., beating Peter Wai and clobbering Bill Ma; in fact, he
almost downed Sammy Lee who, helped by an edge ball, pulled it out at deuce in the third.
After Bill Ladd had added two more for M.I.T, Joe Lee prevailed over Columbias Ma to
clinch the Championship.

278

Chapter Nineteen
1974: Pre-U.S. Open TournamentsPart II.
The Michigan Professional Championships (for
want of a better name?) was played Apr. 27 at
Dell Sweeriss Woodland Club. Dell didnt play,
so Danny Seemiller and Paul Raphel, both now
living in Grand Rapids, advanced rather easily to
the finals. Tom McEvoy (TTT, May-June, 1974,
33) reports that Raphels snake-like loop and
excellent chops allowed him to take a 2-0 lead
over Danny who battled back to 19-all in the 4th.
At this point Danny smashed a ball to Raphels
Paul Raphel
forehand that Paul looped back beautifully;
Dannys return was too high and Paul smashed
the winner past him. Then, after an exchange of
forehands, Danny pushed one too hard as he
tried to change the pace, and it was all over. It
was the 2nd time in recent weeks Raphel had conquered Seemiller. Which means hes already
a strong contender for the U.S. Team to the Calcutta Worlds. Mens Consolation: Andy
Hopping, 18 in the 3rd, over Jeff Smart (Andys first win over his mentor). Womens Joan
Kohn over Joyce Donner.
Other results: Mens As: Smart over Bob Hazekamp (after Jeff had been down match
point in the 2nd, whereupon a beautiful spin serve allowed him to 3rd-ball in the turning-point
winner). Womens As: Donner over Amy Hopping. A Doubles: Smart/Andy Hopping over
McEvoy/Hazekamp (after being down 1-0 and
17-8 in the 2nd). Said McEvoy, Thats the biggest Kurt Lloyd
Photo by
blown match I have ever endured. Bs: Imants
Tom Slater
Karklis over Bong Ho, 25-23 in the 3rd, then over
McEvoy whod held off Andy Hopping. Cs:
Ward Wood and his anti-spin serves over Gary
Whiddon, deuce-in-the-3rd advancer over Steve
Huber. Ds: Kurt Lloyd (winning his first Grand
Rapids trophy) over Gary Calkins. Novice Men:
Greg Clark over Frank Raniville, deuce in the 3rd
(after Frank had been down 19-9!). Novice
Consolation: Kohn over Amy Hopping. Seniors:
Wood over Ho. U-17s: Mike Baber over Greg
Jelinski. U-15s: Gordon Roedding over Andy
Hopping, 22, 19. U-13s: John Huizinga over
Amy Hopping. U-11s: Huizinga over Torsten
Pawlowski.
The following week saw the $1,650
Woodland Cup climax to the 6-tournament series
at Sweeriss Club. This time Danny Seemiller
279

didnt get to play Paul Raphel, for Dell stopped Paul, 17 in the 4th in the semis, after Raphel
had been forced into the 5th by Paul Pashuku. Seemiller, meanwhile, downed quarterfinalist
Mike Veillette (19-in-the-5th escapee from Pat Cox, Pat at least the richer by $41.25 for being
one of the eight 1st-round losers). Then, in his 4-game semis, Danny knocked out Bill Lesner
whod 19-in-the-4th struggled with Connie Sweeris, then had to go 5 to eliminate Jim Davey.
The $500 1st Prize went to Danny over Dell, 15, -19, 10, 14.
For the Saturday, May 11 Coldwater, MI Open, Dell, though he didnt attend, loaned 9
Detroiter tables and his already quite depreciated second car to haul half a dozen or so players,
including Seemiller, and said tables from his Woodland Center to the Legg Junior High Gym in
Coldwater. As covering reporter Garrett Garry Donner tells us (TTT, May-June, 1974, 35),
shortly after 11:00 p.m. Friday night, the 10th, this little group was greeted not only by Garry
himself but by his familywife, brothers, mother and father (who was financially backing the
tourney). They were all, he said, descendents of those who wisely decided not to take that
fateful California trip of long ago through Donner Pass.
Of course Garry also had in mind the intrepid Woodlanders trip back to Grand
Rapidsdampened by the news that someone had accidentally taken Dells car keys to
Chicago. Never mind. Saturday night, after the tournament, with car hot-wired and a towel
for a defogger, the Seemiller party headed west, pulling its covered U-Haul full of tables.
In between the comings and goings through the severe weather that cut down
spectator attendance (since Donner was the German word for thunder, perhaps someone
should have asked for sanctions not just from the USTTA and the MTTA, but also from Thor),
there was of course the play. Garry and his wife Joyce did the Draw, using old table tennis
balls, numbered from one to thirty, shaken up and then drawn much like in bingo; and Gary
Calkins and Tom McEvoy helped run the events.
Results: Mens: Seemiller ($100) over Raphel ($40) in 4, after Paul led 1-0 and 10-2 in
the 2nd. 3rd: Grand Rapids Joe Windham ($15) whod gone 5 with Raphel. 4th: Joe Rokop
($15), after upsetting Jim Davey in 5 to make the final round robin. Womens: Barb Taschner
over Debby Connelly. Handicap: Bob Miller over Charlie Smith. Seniors: Miller over Bong
Ho. 3rd: Bill Hornyak. 4th: Bruce McGee.U-17s: Mike Baber over Kevin Legge who in the
Mens had gone deuce in the 4th with Raphel. As: Tom Hall over Jim Supensky and Legge (the
two didnt play for 2nd). A Doubles: Baber/McEvoy over Hall/Supensky. Bs: 1st: McEvoy, 2-1
(3-2). 2nd: Miller, 2-1 (2-2). 3rd: Jerry Aleknus, 2-1 (2-3). 4. Wayne Wasielewski, 0-3.
At the Detroit G.A. R. 4-team Challenge,
Danny Robbins
Grand Rapids (Raphel, Paul Lamse, and Joe
Windham) went through the semifinal round robin
undefeated. They beat Detroit (Dan Robbins,
Chuck Burns, Eddie Brennan, Earl, and Frank
Sexton), 5-1 (Brennan winning out over
Windham); beat G.A.R. (Chatterji, Huler, and
Delmar), 5-0; beat Rochester (Smart, Baber, Mike
Veillette), 5-2 (with Windham downing Veillette).
In the Detroit-Rochester tie, it was Baber over
Robbins and Brennan (19 in the 3rd); Smart over
Brennan; and Veillette over Robbins and Burns.
This Challenge also included the Kung Fu
Singleswon by Raphel over Brennan who, after
280

eliminating Defending Champ Burns, had been down 2-1 to Windham. Best quarters matches:
Veillette over Baber, -19, 17, 21, and Windham over Smart, 14, -19, 18.
The 2nd Annual Moundbuilders Open was held Apr. 6-7 in Newark, Ohio. Sylvia
DeMent praises the Newark Clubs practice of giving free food and drink Saturday
nightand over-night hospitality to the out-of-state players. She also has a good word for
the indefatigable Control Desk Director, Jennie Williams. Results: Mens: 1. Paul Raphel (who
with Joe and Pat Windham drove through bad weather all night so as to arrive by Sat.
morning). 2. Jim Supensky. 3. Joe Windham. 4. Mark Wampler. Womens Mary Ann Burdick
over Diane Turnbull. Mixed Doubles: Wampler/Kathy DeMent over Joe Rokop/Burdick.
Kathy says the Games a combination hobby and form of exercise for her. Mens Doubles:
Raphel/Joe Windham over Tannehill/John Temple whod knocked out Graham Gear/Tom Hall.
Tom was one of two players given Good Sportsmanship Awards; Cincinnatis Kevin Legge
was the other.
More results: As: Baber over, progressively, Shekar Bhushan,
Hall, and Legge. A Doubles: Hall/Lyle Thiem over Ron Schull/Art
Holloway. Bs: Temple over Legge. Cs: Final: Ron Norris over Larry
Hensley. Semis: Norris over Dave Strang; Hensley over Randy
Seemiller. Consolations: John Spencer over Holloway. Esquires:
George Sinclair over John Schnorf. Seniors: Holloway over Ron
DeMent in 5. Young Adults: Rokop over Dave Degenhart. Boys U-17:
Mike Dempsey over Pat Windham. Girls U-17: Burdick over Sandy
Hensley. Boys U-15: Greg Collins over Jeff Williams. Girls U-15/U-13:
Denise Horn over Jodee Williams. Boys U-13: Williams over Gary
Reinbold who eliminated Tim Seemiller in 5. Parent-Child Doubles:
Williams/Williams over Collins/Collins.
The Eastern Illinois University Spring Open was held Apr. 2021 on 14 tables at Charlestons 8,000-seat Lantz Sports Complex that
offered locker facilities for both men and women. Bill Connelly,
reporting on the tournament (TTT, May-June, 1974, 33), said he was
pleased to have had at one time on Saturday over 100 spectators in the
Dave Strang
Photo by Mal Anderson bleachers. Bills been bitten by the t.t. bugbeginning in June he and
Jim Bednar will manage Sweeriss Woodland Club. Tournament Umpire
Larry Chisolm, though expected, failed to show, but under Tom McEvoys direction the 14
events ran on schedule.
Results: Open Singles: Houshang
Sam Shannon
Bozorgzadeh ($80) over Paul
Photo by Mal
Raphel in 5 (after being down 2-0
Anderson
and 15-12 in the 3rd). Womens:
Burdick over Jean Varker. Open
Doubles: Bozorgzadeh/Dick
Hicks over Raphel/Joe Windham.
Handicap: Andy Chrapinski over
Mike Zwilling. Esquires: 1. Art
Fiebig. 2. Bill Hornyak. 3. Sam
Shannon, from Evansville, IN, is
in pretty good shape for a 55281

year-old. You can tell hes serioushe played 35


matches in 11 classes this tournament, and hes bought
a $700 robot to try to make himself the spitting image
of the Ohio star he was three decades ago.
As: Homer Brown over Baber, -19, 18, -10, 18,
17, and over runner-up John Messerly, -14, 20, 18, -24,
19. Connolly says Homers a real crowd pleaser. Hes
constantly yelling at himself, diving on the floor, and
running into barriers. He and Messerley had command
of the entire crowd with their long topspin volleys and
deep defense, and both were given a well-deserved
ovation. Colorful players like Homer Brown are what
makes table tennis such a great game. Bs: Joe Bujalski
over Wasielewski. B Doubles: Bujalski/Chrapinski over
McEvoy/Wasielewski. Cs: Fiebig over Keves. CCs: Ricky
Colorful Homer Brown
Hicks over Dannacher. CC Doubles: Shannon/Hicks over
Photo by Steve Kazak
H. J. Hofacker/Zwilling. U-17s: Baber over Pat Windham.
Houshang had also won the Mens at the St.
Charles, MO Great Plains Open two weeks before where runner-up Messerley had gotten the
better of Brown, and Frank Mercz was 4th. Womens: Diana Myers over Doris Mercz. Mens
Doubles: Bozorgzadeh/Richard Berg over Brown/Shannon. Womens Doubles: Mercz/Myers
over Marilyn Dahl/Gretchen Dahl. Mixed Doubles: F. Mercz/Dimercz over Brown/Myers.
Mens Consolation: David Barnes over Ken Kasten. Women Over 21: Mercz over M.A.
Parekh. Esquires: Fiebig over Shannon. Seniors: Fiebig over Hugh Lax, deuce in the 4th.
Kansas Citys Bill Guilfoil (TTT, May-June, 1974, 32) reflects on the death of Jerry
Ghahramanian (later Garmanian), former U.S. Intercollegiate Singles and (with brother George)
Doubles Champion. Bill says he first played Jerry, once U.S. #8, in a Missouri State Open. Dean
Norman recalls with great admiration Jerrys 5-game super-defensive quarters win over Bernie
Bukiet at the 1953 Kansas City Nationals. And I myself remembered Jerry in a Topics article
bordering Bills. In 1955, I saw him chasing a college girl whod wanted him into
some bushes. It was at a Columbus, Ohio tournament, where in the final I beat
Jerry after being down 2-0 and 20-18 in the 5th. Id willed, like one gone
mad, to win that match, and, body tightened, face etched in a rigor
mortis grimace, I did win itthat which then was all of life to me.
As expected, Richard Hicks won another Indiana
Closedover Harry Deschamps whod knocked out
Gordon Barclay in 5. Dave Krizman was 3rd; Dave
Shenk 4th. Womens: Sharlene Krizman Wilson,
Varga-coached to National Champion status
decades ago like Barclay and her brother Dave, over
Connie Evans. Sue Huff was 3rd; Kay Edgerton 4th.
Mens Doubles: Dick and Ricky Hicks over
Deschamps/Krizman (after being down 2-0 to
LeRoy Bontrager/Sam Snyder). Mixed Doubles:
Dick and Norma Hicks over Krizman/Wilson.
Seniors: Krizman over Deschamps.
Dick is whispering (what?) to wife Norma
282

As: Shenk over Snyder. Bs: Ray Yoder over Don Roberts in 5, then over Hornyak. B
Doubles: Mike Couch/Kreiser over OConnell/Max Salisbury. Cs: Pete Schumacher over
Chuck Paxton, deuce in the 3rd, then over Ricky Hicks. U-17s: Doug Wilcock over Hicks. U17As: Connie Evans over Chris Reynolds. U-15s: Wilcock over Hicks, -12, 19, 19, 18. U-17
Doubles: Bill Cordes/Pat Welch over Hicks/Evans.
The May 18th Tennessee Closed at Knoxville, run and reported on for Topics (JulyAug., 1974, 22; 29) by Lee Edwards, was surely in part a disaster. Lee and helpers couldnt
use the court theyd reserved because of a Volleyball match, then had to chase off hordes of
nomadic basketball players who constantly invaded the borders of our playing area.
The Team event went to Music Citys Larry Bartley, Bill Edwards, and John White
and for their winning efforts they received one of those beautiful inlaid wood trophies
donated by the Bartley Table Tennis Co. Bill, who got to keep this trophy, lost only to Joe
Ching who, fending off all noisy distractions by wearing earplugs, didnt lose a match. But
while Joe was playing a deuce game against Bill, the lights went out, and took five minutes to
warm up again. Bartley also lost to Ching and to Larry Thoman. Later, Larry will tell reporter
David Climer, They refer to me as a hitter, Im not really that good on defense because I
dont concentrate on it. But then if you play offense well enough, you dont have to worry
about defense. White lost to Jim Cambell and defaulted to Thoman and Womens winner Julie
Baker. The University of Tennessee teamChing, Lee Edwards (I played miserably), John
Mackenna, and Allen Wrightcame 2nd. Middle Tennessee State UniversityCambell, Neal
McLain, and Bill Brunsonplaced 3rd. And KnoxvilleSteve Clambrone, C.E. Clifford,
Lamar Orr, and Norman Smithfinished 4th. Thomans Nashville teammates put in a nonappearance, so he picked up two girls (so to speak), Julie Baker and Claudia Pilkington, and
played with them (so to speak).
No team from Alabama enteredbut there was action in Mobile. Virendra Mulraj
Monty Merchant, whod been a mainstay of the Indian National Team at the Worlds, the
Asian Games, and the Commonwealth Championships (though just before the 1969 Worlds
hed been suspended for playing professional matches in Japan, then was reinstated for the 71
Worlds), had come to the U.S., looking to find a table tennis life. Hed had a sensational 1972
season in India, during which hed won the Chatrapati-Shivaji Award, the highest award given
to a sportsman in Bombay (see Bomi Amalsadwalas Profile of Merchant in TTT, May-June,
1973, 59).
What specifically was Monty doing in Mobile? Giving exhibitions with none other than
Fujii. As Monty himself reports in Topics (Mar.-Apr., 1974, 43), they were hyping a local car
sale promotion. Treadwell Ford had put up $1,000 in cash, which would go to anyone from
the Mobile area who could beat either player. Monty said, There was a crowd of nearly 400
and about 50 of these people challenged us. One dollar was charged as a Challenge Fee and
the amount collected was donated to the Salvation Army. Dealers take note: Treadwell sold
35 cars during the two days of exhibitions. Monty advises President Nixon to encourage PingPong Diplomacy with the Arabs. Then there wouldnt be any gas shortage and we could sell
more cars. Especially if Monty and Fujii were around to entertain prospective buyers.
The Florida Closedno, it wasnt held at Miami, or Orlando, but at the little town of
Merritt Island. (Thats near the John F. Kennedy Space Center where in fact this Closed
weekend Bard Brenner, Lenny Bass and his pregnant wife, Laci Bellaks niece, would visit.)
Randy Hess was providing a few hundred green ones and so had enticed the States best
players to come. Covering reporter Brenner (TTT, July-Aug., 1974, 28) gave a nod of thanks
283

to Control Desk workers Don Lehman, Max Miller, and Joyce Lehman, and to Donna and
Lori Hess for their behind-the-scenes kitchen work (play wasnt in the school gym but in the
cafeteria!). Bard also noted that at the tournament party there was an unusual speaker
discussing, Self-Hypnosis and Sports.
Joe Sokoloff of course would draw Bards attention, especially as he was almost
beaten early in the Mens by U-15 winner Chris Marshall. Joe had been in the Bahamas (TTT,
Mar.-Apr., 1974, 42) giving a series of five 90-minute clinics and exhibitions with Florida
partner Bob Katz, and also enjoying a vacation at the very relaxing Nassau Beach Hotel.
There were outdoor barbecues for the guests, with the native dancers and performers putting
on fantastic shows for everyone. In between exhibitions, the two went shopping for straw
goods, perfumes, and liquor, and also attended the local night clubs where their driver got
them front seats by the stage. Ah, the table tennis worldwhere its always possible to mix
business with pleasure.
Two who, unlike Sokoloff, couldnt survive
early-round Mens play were Richard McAfee, victim
Steve Rigo
of Marv Leffs tough pimpled/anti defense; and Jerry
Thrasher, smacked down in the 5th by wild man
Brenner. Others advancing to the quarters along with
favorite Peter Pradit, were Steve Rigo, Sokoloff over
defender turned hitter Alan Nissen, Greg Gingold
over John Wimbish, and Pat Patterson over Olga
Soltesz. Somewhere along the way, Bernie Bukiet
went into one of his piques (apparently over the airconditioning), refused to play at the designated time,
and was defaulted. Mens money winners turned out
to be Pradit, the Champion, over, first, Leff, then
runner-up Sokoloff. 3rd-Place finisher was Rigo over
Brenner and then I presume Patterson, for Pat had somehow survived Gingold, winning 8
straight points from 20-14 down in the 5th! (This, says Bard, zinging it to his friend, after Greg,
in the Team event, had cost his team the Championship by losing to Wayne Daunt from 18-10
up in the last game.)
Other results: Womens: Soltesz over Marty Pragercoached* Bev Hess (after Bev was up 2-0 and at deuce in
the 4th). Mens Doubles: Sokoloff/McAfee. Mixed
Doubles: Rigo/Soltesz. As: Alan Nissenno longer
paranoid about his grip (hed once gone so far as to put
guide marks on his hand, which of course only invited
more taunts of Get a grip, Al). He won by hitting
through Wimbish, Leff, and Patterson. Seniors: Herrara
(former Champion of Cuba) with I presume a default win
over Bukiet. Bernie had gotten to the final over Bob
Walker whod taken out Sam Hoffner, the only man, says
Bard, who used to make ME pick up HIS kill shot (rather
than vice versa).** Table tennis is thriving in Miami20
of its players are going to the Nationals. In addition to
Newgys Club, it sports Walkers Table Tennis facility
Alan Nissen
284

(equipped with air-conditioning, shower and water cooler)thats where Sokoloff is, shh,
secretly training for Oklahoma City.
Time for another Joseph C.H. Lee tournament, and, as he did for his June 30-July 1,
1973 Chesapeake Open, so he did again for his Apr. 6-7, 1974 Chesapeake Spring Open. Did
what? Described at lengthgreat lengthin two issues of Topics (Jan.-Feb., 1974, 44, and
May-June, 1974, 36) his meticulous preparations that made for such time-consuming,
wearying, worrying work. Much of the burden fell on Joe, but fortunately he had some
helpers: Dick Olsher, John Goshorn, John Kocon, Heber Jones, Pak Yip, and Charlie Futty,
plus a later assist with the tables and barriers after the tournament was over from Manny
Moskowitz, Ron Luth, Jerry Boyle, and Raul Rodriguez.
Joe, whose new Aberdeen Club was on surer footing, was rightly put out by the
USTTAs sanction application form, with its facilities information section:
Where do I get a foot-candle measurer to measure the light intensity at the
playing level? I know the correct foot-candle power should be around 50 for a
tournament. If I put down 50, who is going to check on my accuracy? Who is going to
contradict me if I put down 40 ft x 25 ft. of playing area per table? Will the regional
director be required to verify all the information before granting the sanction? How is
he going to verify it? Is he going to attend the tournament and measure the area per
table? Is he empowered to stop the event if he finds that the actual area is only 35 ft x
20 ft and the light is only 40 foot-candle power?If the sanction process gets bogged
down (dragged out) I would either become more reluctant to run more tournaments,
or try to run non-sanctioned local tournaments.Anyway, the regional directors
getting this information would be hard pressed to substantiate it. What does anyone
gain from requiring this type of information?
Just as before, the tournament was held at the Joppatowne, MD Jr.-Sr. High School
after of course the requisite permissions had been obtained. Then came the extensive donation
letters written by Joe, his many phone calls, and in-person solicitations made somewhat easier
because a number of sponsors taking Program ads were repeats from last years tournament.
How to get the tables to the High School Gym presented a problem, but not as big a one as
constructing barriers for the courts. Also, getting any kind of concession stand at the venue,
eventually even one that served only hot dogs, proved difficult. At the last minute, Joe found
out that the High School was having a gymnastics meet that wouldnt finish until late Friday
night, so the playing area couldnt be set up until Saturday morning. But the only real problem
remaining, aside from dealing with a player who was judged to have dumped matches in order to
play down, had to do with the seedings and draws, though the criticism wasnt as bad as last
time; indeed, Jairie Resek called Joe Mr. Congenial for he worked with the players to try to
satisfy them. All in all, the tournament was a great successas witness the following remarks:
From a player: One of the best tournaments Ive ever played in.From
the school principal: the best planned and executed event ever held in our school.
From the school custodian: The best behaved group ever [the Iranian player
Hadianzadeh told Joe Lee that in the U.S. many of the players, especially the juniors,
[because of their bad behavior] would not have been allowed to play in tournaments if
they were in Iran.
285

Results: Mens As:


George Brathwaite (playing with
a Nittaku blade and 2.0 mm.
Mark V rubber on both sides for
steady topspin) over runner-up
Lim Ming Chui in 3 (after losing
the 2nd from 20-16 up). 3rd Place:
Errol Resek. 4th: Rory
Brassington (who lost to Chui, 26, -19). A Doubles: Chui/Resek
($75 each) over Dave Sakai/
Brathwaite. Womens: Xuan
George Brathwaite
Ferguson ($75) over Yvonne
Photo by Mal Anderson
Kronlage. Bs: Gordon Gregg
over Sol Lewis. B Doubles: Stan Smolanowicz/Sam Balamoun. Cs: Houshang Hadianzadeh, a
Baltimore college student from Iran and recent runner-up in the Baltimore Closed to Mark Radom.
C runner-up was Dr. Ray Chen, and of course
after reading his article (TTT, July-Aug., 1974, 8)
you knew there was no danger either he or you
would cramp from nervous diarrhea or sweating,
cause you knew you should be taking salt
preparations and fluids. Moreover, after Ray 2624-in-the-3rd beat 3rd-Place finisher Abrams here,
perhaps youll want to be on the lookout for his
next article (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1975, 20B) extolling
the virtues of Vitamin C. I mean, if it works for
him, maybe you too can win deuce-in-the-3rd
matches if you take, as he does, thousands of
milligrams of these vitamins each day. C Doubles:
Jim McQueen/Tommy Tarrant. Ds: Jim Neal over
runner-up Tarrant and 3rd-Place finisher Joe Lee.
Mark and Arlene Radom
Photo by Mal Anderson

Joe Tanzer

D Doubles: Jerry Boyle/Ron Luth over


Davis/Pat Lawlor. Boys As: Bryan Due
over Alan Evenson.
At the Delaware State
Championships, Al Allen successfully
defended his Mens title over Al Flocco.
Womens went to Veda Joyner. Mens
Doubles: Ken Woods/Dick Organist.
Mixed Doubles: Allen/Joyner. As: Phil
Traynor. Bs: Ken James. Seniors: Woods.
U-17: Delaware High School League Boys
Champion Joe Tanzer. (Joe also won the

Photo by Mal
Anderson

286

Brandywine Club Singles over Walt Guyer, his winning


Doubles partner.) Jr. Mixed Doubles: Tanzer/Debbie Tice,
runner-up to Cathy Traynor, High School League Girls
Champion.
Results of the Apr. 27-28 New Jersey Closed at
Westfield: Mens: 1. Mitch Sealtiel. 2. Al Schwartz. 3. Bob
Saperstein. 4. Jerry Fleischhacker. Womens: Muriel Stern
over Pat Bacilli. Mens Doubles: Sealtiel/Manny Moskowitz
over Schwartz/Bill Cross. Mixed Doubles: Scott McDowell/
Stern over Harvey and Bonnie Gutman. As: R. Nochenson
over D. Yang. A Doubles: Yang/Bacilli. Bs: R. Graham over
Jeff Steif. Cs: S. Halpern over J. DeCandia. Esquires: John
Kilpatrick over Ed Gutman. Seniors: Kilpatrick over
Moskowitz. Boys U-17: Eliot Katz over McDowell. Girls U17: E. Schimmel over P. Toland. Boys U-15: Nochenson over
Steif. U-13: Brian Eisner over P. Bodnar.
Young Eisner, the states U-11
Champion, was Topics Junior of the Month (Mar.-Apr., 1974, 48). His
dad, Mel, writes, Brians given exhibitions in local schools and
department stores, and, in hopes of quickly improving his game, has
pestered me without end to get a robot. But, as Mel points out, t.t. isnt
Brians whole life. Hes also active in basketball, baseball, football, and,
once in a while, chess. In school hes a straight A student who loves to
argue with his teachers and fellow students. In fact, he recently told me
that no one wants to debate with him because he has too many answers.
Which makes him a smartass? You rotten kid, says
Top: Mel Eisner;
Mel proudly, youre just like
bottom: Brian Eisner
Mel photo by Harry
your father!
Frazer
With regard to the
$1500 Brooklyn College
Open, held Apr. 20-21 at
Roosevelt Hall, and
sponsored by the Greater
N.Y. TT League, Marshall
Weiner, President of the
Nassau County TT League,
objected publicly (TTT, MayJune, 1974, 41) to the poor
playing conditions:
Robert
Nochenson

The lighting was inadequate in one way or another over almost half of the
tables. The rooms were right next to the schools swimming facilities and therefore
were uncomfortably warm and humid. The only official (cord suspended) nets used
were the six or so that I was told Sol Schiff (Mr. Table Tennis?) had brought with him
to sell to the general public. Most nets were the plastic kind you can purchase in a five287

and-dime store. Also, the practice tables that were set up were Nissen, while the
tournament tables were Detroiters. [The] A, B, C, D Classes [were more than
suspect.][And also,] I had a Junior 17 match scheduled for 3:15[that] finally
played at 8:30.Thats not what I call efficiency.
Results: Mens:
Danny Seemiller
struggling: in the eighths,
17, -18, -14, 20, 10, over
Iranian star Mohammed
Vahabzadeh; in the
quarters, -25, 19, -21, 14,
15 over Shiroky (Alex
uses 1.5 Mark V on his
forehand, Fujii Jet Speed
on his backhand); in the
semis, 25, 5, -17, -10, 11,
over Sam Hammond; and in the
final, 15, 17, 23, over George Brathwaite.
Other memorable matches: Ricky Seemiller, 17
in the 5th, over Peter Pradit; Lim Ming Chui in 5 over
Dave Sakai; and Brathwaite, 24-22 in the 4th, over
Fuarnado Roberts who was playing with anti-topspin on his
backhand and pips on his forehand. Womens: Alice Green over F.
Brooklyn College Tehrani whod 20, 22 slipped by Debbie Wong. Open Doubles:
Open Winner
Brathwaite-Rick Seemiller over Danny Seemiller/Shiroky, deuce in the 3rd,
Danny Seemiller
(left) in a five-game then over Jerry Fleischhacker/Roger Sverdlik. Brooklyn Championship:
Brathwaite over Peter Holder.
quarters match
with Alex Shiroky
Mens As: Jim Dixon over Bill Sharpe whod eliminated Ricky
Photo by Raul
Seemiller, 19 in the 3rd. Womens As: Hilary Cohen over Pat Bacilli, 19,
Rodriguez
23, then over Tehrani. Bs:
Horace Roberts over Jim Shoots, 24-22 in the 3rd,
then over Mike Bush. Cs: Scott McDowell over
Eliot Katz, 19, 20, then over Carl Danner. Ds:
Jeff Steif over Dave Margolin. Esquires: Sid
Jacobs over Marcy Monasterial. Seniors: Sharpe
over Tim Boggan. U-17s: Final: Gary Wittner
over Sverdlik. Semis: Wittner over R. Seemiller,
18 in the 3rd; Sverdlik over Jeff Zakarin, deuce in
the 3rd. U-17As: Claude Peltz over Jimmy
LaFemina whod ousted Mike Lardon. Junior
Doubles: J. Zakarin/S. Boggan over Steif/R.
Nochenson. U-15s: Danner over Rutledge Barry,
after Rutledge had squeegeed by Peltz, deuce in
the 3rd. U-13s: Barry over Brian Eisner whod
Jim Dixon
edged S. Boggan, deuce in the 3rd.
Photo by Neal Fox
288

Wheelchair: Ty Kaus again took me, the Topics Editor, to task for not publishing the
Wheelchair results. There were 12 entries, and since I was at the tournament it should have
registered with me I didnt get them, and I should have inquired about them.
The N.Y. Lithuanian Athletic Club put on a May 4th tournament just for boys and girls
that was directed by 1958 Canadian Closed Champion Pranas Gvildys, assisted by his friend
Mr. Jasitis. The venue was the beautiful new Lithuanian Club on Highland Boulevard in
Brooklyn. I dont think theres a local tournament in the U.S. that can boast of a bigger U-13
Girls entry or, consequently, anything to compare with the U-13, U-15, U-17 Mixed Doubles
events. The polite, composed Gvildys kids, Paul and his sister Dana, having spent the morning
studying their dads native language, were the afternoons at first unheralded stars, along with
another brother-sister combination of fine temperament, the smooth-stroking Murillos.
Results: Boys U-17: Dave Margolin over Fred Ellman. Girls U-17: Susan Murillo over
V. Slapelyte. Boys U-15: Margolin over Eric Boggan (after the two had split earlier matches).
Girls U-15: Murillo over Dana Gvildys. Boys U-13: Paul Gvildys over E. Boggan. Girls U-13:
Gvildys over G. Vebeliunias (after both had defeated Murillo). Boys Doubles: Ellman/Lew
Lodzinski over Margolin/Zakarin. Girls Doubles: Gvildys/Beveliunias over Murillo/Margolin.
U-17 Mixed Doubles: Ellman/Jaisitis over Margolin/Margolin. U-15 Mixed Doubles: Gvildys/
Gvildys over Margolin/Margolin 23, 21 in the 3rd. U-13 Mixed Doubles: Gvildys/Gvildys over
Zakarin/Margolin.
Long Island Closed:
Mens: Errol Resek over George
Brathwaite, 19, -18, 22, 17.
Womens: Louise Chotras over
Bernadine Hinds. Mens Doubles:
Resek/Brathwaite over Dave
Philip/Tim Boggan, 16, 19, -20, 21, 16. Womens Doubles:
Chotras/Evelyn Zakarin over A.
Hoos/Terry Green. Mixed
Doubles: Roger Sverdlik/Chotras
over Resek/Terry Green, 19 in
the 4th. Mens Consolation:
Jimmy LaFemina over J. Meyer,
Louise Chotras
Dr. Mitch Silbert
22, 18. Womens Consolation:
Photo by Mal Anderson
Zakarin over S. Garnier. Esquires: Sid Jacobs over
Louie Blejer, 19, 19. Seniors: Boggan over Jacobs. Senior Doubles: Boggan/Mort Zakarin
over Jacobs/Maurice Kendal. The strong Senior player, Dr. Mitchell Silbert, had to miss this
Closed because he was recovering from a heart attack.
As: Sverdlik over Winston Bobby Cousins, 17, -18, -16, 21, 14, then over Cornel
Gavris, -13, 19, 19, 20. Bs: Gavris over Lincoln LaGuerre. Cs: George Stone over Dave
Margolin, 18 in the 3rd. A Doubles: Gary Wittner/Jacobs over Ali Oveissi***/Jeff Zakarin. B
Doubles: Wittner/Chotras over Anthony Gegelys/Jaffar Hashim. Parent-Child Doubles: Tim/
Eric Boggan over Fred/Carl Danner. 3rd: Mort/Jeff Zakarin. 4th: Bob/Mike Lardon. Boys U-17:
Sverdlik over Wittner, then over Jeff Zakarin, both in 5. Junior Doubles: Sverdlik/E. Boggan
over Wittner/Scott Boggan. U-15: Carl Danner over E.Boggan. U-13: E. Boggan over S.
Boggan.
289

Results of the 70entry Massachusetts Closed: Mens: Lim Ming Chui over exThailand Champ Surasak Koakietaveechai, 3-0 (despite the Thais 3rd-game rally from 19-16
down to go ad up). Mens Doubles: Surasak/Bill Dean over Chui/Ralph Robinson. Warren
Rasmussen (TTT, May-June, 1974, 14) points out that this summer, prior to the CNE
tournament in Toronto, Surasak, Massachusetts Jr. Development Coach, who follows the
Japanese system originated by Ogimura, will run two training campsthe first for beginner to
intermediate players; the second for advanced players. Cost: $25 for Juniors and $50 for adults
[$50 to attend both camps]. A limited number of lodgings will be available with local players.A
local motel has agreed to make beds available for $5 per night for a dormitory style arrangement of
5 per room. The rooms are nice and the motel features both a pool and a sauna. Fees have been
kept low thanks to the local VFW troop #8006 who donated space for these camps.
Other Closed results: As: Robinson over Lou
Benny Hull
Martinello. A Doubles: Dave Cohen/Martinello over
Bill Dean/Dean Chickering. Bs: George Lapierre over
Chickering in 5. Cs: Marty Chan over Danny McNeil.
Seniors: Benny Hull over Frank Dwelly, def. U-17s:
Martinello over McNeil. U-15s: Paul Matteson over
Eugene Fong, 20, 19, then over Shaun Herbert in 5. U13s: Ed Erwin over 10-year-old Glenn Rubeck,
coached by ex-Thailand Champ Surasak
Koakietaveechai, whod eliminated 12-year-old Bill
Swicegood. Junior Doubles: Martinello/Dick Parsons
over McNeil/Dennis Lamenti.
Anita Morta (Canadian TT News, July, 1974,
14) fills us in, not too happily, on the Apr. 6-7 Eastern
Canada Open, held just outside Toronto at
Etobicokes West Humber Collegiate Institute. Thanks
to John Nesukaitis and George Jovanov the tables got
to the venue, and thanks to Control Desk workers
Helen Nesukaitis, her daughters Violetta and Flora,
and George Pardon, the 130-entry tournament at least
started with some semblance of control. George
(Joerg), making his first appearance in this History,
immigrated to Canada in 1962 from Germany where
hed played rec-level t.t. in school leagues. Hes now
living and working in Toronto, teaching both autobody
repair and table tennis at Parkview Secondary School.
Currently, hes the Ontario Junior Development Chair,
and, as well see, hell gradually assume more and more
official responsibilitieswill soon take up his new duties
as the Ontario TTA Vice-President under President Roy
Powell.
Reporter Morta says the Control Desk had a
Top: Ontario TTA President Roy Powell busy time keeping the tournament goingso much
and wife Rosemary; bottom: Vice Presi- so that she had to add, I hope all those people who
dent George Pardon and wife Danielle
came to play and watch for the first time were not
From CTTA Table Tennis News, July, 1974
290

disillusioned, because as the tournament wore on it looked like a threepenny bazaar rather than
a table tennis tournament. The players themselves were at fault. They had absolute disregard
for the games going on. They dashed between tables, and didnt care what they looked like or
how they were dressed. And some of them and their four-letter wordshardly music to the
ear. As for the umpiringputrid, said one out-of-towner.
Results: Mens As: Final: Errol Caetano over Paul Klevinas, -20, 14, 16, 18. Semis:
Caetano over Rod Young, advancer over Alex Polisois; Klevinas, 24-22 in the 4th, over 16year-old John Richardson whod knocked out Adham Sharara, Technical Director of the
Quebec Federation. Mens Doubles: Caetano/Klevinas over Modris Zulps/Ron Chapman.
Womens As: Violetta Nesukaitis over Helen Simerl. Mixed Doubles: Caetano/V. Nesukaitis
over Klevinas/Birute Plucas.
Mens Bs: V. Nesukaitis over
Victor Skujins. Womens Bs: Geeta
OGale, who plays for Canada Life in
the local 15-team Insurance League,
over Christine Tomkins. Cs: Al
Romanosky over Francis Therrien. Ds:
Hugh Kelly over George Bonight.
Seniors: Zulps over Max Marinko. U17 Boys: Richardson over Pierre
Normandin, winner of the Denise
Hunnius Trophy for Most Improved
Junior of the Year. U-17/U-15 Girls:
Most Improved Junior Pierre Normandin receives the Birute Plucas over Gloria Nesukaitis.
Boys U-15: Evart Lindquist over Claude
Denise Hunnius Trophy from Chandra Madhosingh
From CTTA Table Tennis News, July, 1974
Lamoreux.
The Oshawa, Ontario Open was
promoted in celebration of Oshawas 50th Anniversary. Winners were:
Mens: Caetano over Jim Dixon. Womens: Violetta Nesukaitis over
Mariann Domonkos. Mens Doubles: Caetano/Sharara over Dixon and
Steve Feldstein who won the John Adminis Trophy as Most
Outstanding Junior of the Year. Womens Doubles: Violetta and Flora
Nesukaitis over Domonkos/Plucas. Mixed Doubles: Caetano/V.
Nesukaitis over Sharara/Domonkos. Mens Bs: Bill Soros over Carl
Mascheski, 24-22 in the 3rd. Womens Bs: Diane OHara over Susan
Tomkins. Seniors: W. Scholich over Ken Kerr. Boys U-17: Feldstein
over Richardson. Girls U-17: Plucas over Christine Forgo.
At the St. Johns Newfoundland Open, Dave Sparks won the
Mens from Bruce Burton, one day to be Canadian TTA President and
ITTF Vice-President for North America. Valerie Haynes defeated
Steve Feldstein, 1974
Yvonne Stanley to take the Womens title. Mens Doubles went to
John Adminis Trophy
Sparkes and Eric Davis over Newfoundland TTA Vice President Derek
Winner
Sullivan and Secretary-Treasurer Ron Francis.
Canadian T.T. News Editor Jose Tomkins (July, 1974, 11) reports on the Third Annual
Atlantic Championships, held May 4-5 in the Dalhousie University Gym at Halifax, Nova
Scotia. There were 96 competitors in the various eventsall very capably run off by Ron
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Cooper, with help from Mr/Mrs. Dirk Wolters, Mo Mohammed, and Pam Cooper. Coverage
of the tournament was provided by C.B.C. TV.
Team Results: Mens: 1. (Defending Champion) Nova Scotia. 2. New Brunswick.
Womens: (Defending Champion) 1. Prince Edward Island. 2. Newfoundland. Team Trophies
were donated by Canada Permanent Trust.
Individual Results: Mens Singles: S. Pun Chew (Nfld.) over Edmund Lo (N.S.), 23-21
th
in the 5 . Womens Singles: Janice MacWilliam (P.E.I.) over the promising Kelly Crockett
(P.E.I.), then over her sister Glenda MacWilliam (P.E.I.). Mens Doubles: Wade Gregory
(P.E.I.)/Rick Moore (N.B.) over S. Pun Chew/Bruce Burton (Nfld.). Upset: J. MacPherson/J.
McKnight (N.B.), though outscored, over Neville Brabrook/S. Peers (N.S.), 20, -13, 19.
Womens Doubles: Ingrid Martenyi/Wendy Toon (N.B.) over G./J. MacWilliam (P.E.I.). Mixed
Doubles: Moore/Toon (N.B.) over Gregory/G. MacWilliam (P.E.I).
Long-legged leprechaun Bill McGimpsey ran his
third Syracuse Open the week before the Nationals
Bill McGimpsey
at the local YMCA. (Limited number of rooms
available hereand at the YWCA a block away
for $6 a night. Official Syracuse Hotel also only a
block from the tournament site). Helping Bill
effectively behind the desk were, among others, Phil
Schuls, McGimpseys TV exhibition partner; and
John Medal, cardboard barrier-maker
extraordinaire. On the plus side, the seedings were
well done; on the negative side, the main gym
needed more light.
In the Team final, Jim Dixon/Dave Sakai
downed the Quebec pair of Guy Germain/Ron
Chapman. In 1970, Ron had left Montreal for London
where he had the coincidence of playing with another
Ron Chapman on the Wandsworth team in a Surrey
League. After 6 months, Ron moved on to Israel
where he worked on a kibbutzplayed in the Happael
Games, and also metSara Engelsberg[whom] he married in Canada in June, 1972.
Now the 27-year-old Chapman, who lost in 4 to Jim Dixon in the Mens, is on a health
kick. Having gained weight, hed set out to lose 25 pounds, then decided he might as well
combine dieting with the fun of table tennis, so now he was following Kenneth Coopers
Aerobics. One had to be careful of sporadic exercisecouldnt go into oxygen debt. So the
idea was to increase your pulmonary-cardio output. The lungs and heart would have to learn
how to supply your tissues and muscles with oxygen. Swimming, cycling, long distance
runningthese were recommended.
Other results: As: Gary Wittner over Roger Sverdlik whod eliminated Chapman. A
Doubles: Bill Davis/Neal Fox over Sverdlik/Ron Tiekert, deuce in the 3rd, then over Chapman/
McGimpsey. Bs: Vic Meridith over Howard Ornstein. Cs: Cody Jones over Mike Joelson,
deuce in the 3rd, then over Joe Maffei. Ds: Jerry Alderman over Dave Dickson III. Seniors:
Tim Boggan over Bob Brickell. U-17: Gary Wittner over Jeff Zakarin. U-15: 1. Scott
Boggan, 1-1 (3-2). 2. Scott Plakon, 1-1 (2-2). 3. Chuck Zakarin, 1-1 (2-3). U-13: Eric
Boggan over brother Scott.
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Womens: Louise
Chotras over Evelyn Zakarin.
Mixed Doubles: Sverdlik/
Dave Sakai
Louise Chotras over Dixon/
Photo by Mal Anderson
Irena Stepan. Open Doubles:
Chapman/Guy Germain over
Dixon/Dave Sakai. In the
$100 Open Singles final,
Sakais steady blocking in the
5th prevailed over Dixons
golf-glove forehand and lowtrajectory backhand attacks.
Earlier, Dave, in between gin
games with card magician
Sverdlik, quickly took care of
round robin semifinalists Jeff Zakarin and Tim Boggan whod won the Long Island Metro
Open at Central Islip over Doon Wong. Runner-up Dixon knocked those two off tooexcept
both of his games with Jeff were 21, 19 close, and he had to go 3 with Tim. In fact, dammit, I
lost the 1st at 19, won the 2nd, and had a fine flamboyant moment in the 3rd when, down 16-19,
I scored on four successive serves and follow-up flat hits, then missed the winning 5th, then
lost two ads, the game, and it may be after a few choice words my pulmonary-cardio output.
Ah well, on to the Nationals.
SELECTED NOTES.
*Randy Hess, Bevs dad, thinks highly of Marvs coaching, as witness this excerpt
from a Randy Coaching Report (TTT, Sept.-Oct., 1974, 14):
I feel that his [Martys] repetitious teaching methods are unique to anything
I have seen before. For example, when starting a student on a new stroke or a change
in his stroke he will take his arm and hand and slowly and meticulously go thru the

Bev Hess/Nancy Newgarden Coach Marty Prager

293

mechanics of the strokeas precisely as a brain surgeon removing a routine tumor.


The student is then allowed to go thru the motions on his own. If the motions seem
correct to Marty, the student is then allowed to actually work with the ball. If Marty
detects the student making an error in the stroke he will drop back, repeat the
proceduresometimes even to working the students stroke for him again. Marty is
very serious while coaching, does not waste words, and does not raise his voice. His
professionalism encourages respect and attentivenessand he gets it!
**Dick McAfee would one day tell a group of us over dinner about Bards delight in
smacking balls hard. Once Dick, Bard, and others went to a topless bar where they had a pingpong table. For $1 you could play a waitress. Bard didand banged a ball so hard it left a
welt on her tit. She was furioushanded him back his $1 and told him to leave.
Ali Oveissi

***The 27-year-old Oveissi,


diplomatic adviser to the Iranian Mission to
the United Nations, was recently robbed
while he, his wife, and kids were all sleeping
in their home. Luckily for him, said reporters
Bernard Rabin and Paul Meskil in a mid-May,
74 issue of the N.Y. Daily News, the burglar
took only a stereo set, photographic
equipment, and his wifes wallet. What he
TTT, May-June, 1974
didnt take was Alis prize ping-pong paddles
that he plans to use at the Nationals. To
me, he said, theyre priceless. They fit in my hand perfectly and have just the right feel. Im
grateful that the burglar apparently isnt a ping-pong player.

294

Chapter Twenty
1974: USTTA Election Results, and Boggans Exchanges. 1974: English Junior
Championships. 1974: Asian/EuropeanChampionships Before the U.S. Open. 1974: Rackets
and Rubbers.
The results of the 1974 USTTA Elections, as compiled by Carl Danner of the
Nominating Committee were (with 913 valid ballots): President (unopposed): Tim Boggan
(780 votes; Blank, 48; Write ins, 85those receiving more than 3 write ins were Dell Sweeris
13 and Dick Miles 8, while the most colorful write ins were: Spiro Agnew, Gabby Hayes,
Charlie Chaplin, Someone Else, and Anyone Else). Executive Vice-President: Charlie
Disney over John Read (Charlie 486 votes; John 347 votes; Blank, 44; Write ins, 36no one
received more than 3 write ins). Vice-President: Mal Anderson over Bard Brenner and Tom
McEvoy (Mal 391 votes; Bard 244 votes; Tom 198 votes; Blank, 46; Write ins, 34no one
received more than 3 write-ins). Recording Secretary: Lou Bochenski over Joe Sokoloff
(Lou 459 votes; Joe 394 votes; Blank, 28; Write Ins 32no one received more than 2 write ins).
Before seeing the results of the election, John Read
writes an article, On Favoritism, President Boggan, and the
E.C. for
Topics (MayJune, 1974,
28) that
echoes Mal
Andersons
complaint that
Boggan is
going to write
a reply to it
which hell get
no chance to
rebut in the
John Read
Photo by Mal Anderson
same issue.
Here are his
points and, sure enough, my On Favoritism,
Faith, and John Read rebuttal:
John begins by saying that because
Boggan is so busy, is the best Topics Editor,
has reinvigorated the USTTA, done many
good things as President, I should keep quiet.
Well, enough is enough. John now refers to
complaints in an article (TTT, Mar.-Apr.,
1974, 10) Favoritism Bunk by George
Buben, which Id answered in a same-page
companion article, A Reply toBunk.
George said he was shocked by the entry fee
expense being charged at the Oklahoma City
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U.S. Open, particularly if one wanted to play only one event ($15)he feels it might have
been manipulated by the E.C. Though how or why he doesnt say.
His main complaints, reiterated in Favoritism Bunk, Ive already commented on to
readers. But Ill repeat them. First, his loss of the 1972 U.S. Open to Long Island on a
technicality, after which Cobo Hall was given the 1973 U.S. Open with the proviso George
had to offer prize money (which he did and lost money). Then, inconsistently with regard to
technicalities, the E.C. awarded the 1974 U.S. Open to Oklahoma City and the 1976 U.S.
Open to PhiladelphiaBuben, meanwhile, applying for the 1975 U.S. Open which hed not
gotten confirmation for (since it will, after E.C. discussion, likely either go to Oklahoma City
or Houston). George is still irritated that there were irregularities at the 72 U.S. Open, which
nobody meaningfully chastised the organizers for, as they would have, had those irregularities
been at a Detroit U.S. Open. Hes also irritated that Oklahoma City has repeatedly changed
the date of its U.S. Open, and that the E.C. has not demanded prize money be awarded at
Oklahoma City (funds that could have been appropriated for prize money are being used to
bring over foreign players). George feels the E.C. has been unfair to him, and is again
emphasizing that. Read says that, after a stinging criticism of Bubens comments in my A
Reply toBunk, I didnt give George the chance for an immediate rebuttal.
Heres what Id said in my A Reply toBunk:
Dear George,
I can see youre publicly at it again, reiterating much of
what Ive already given you editorial space in Topics to say before
(see Big Shots, Sept.-Oct., 1973 and A Reply to George Buben
and E.C. Reply to George Buben, Nov.-Dec., 1973). This
timeIve neither the time nor inclination to get into any public
argument with you over the changing rules and guiding principles
of the USTTA, over the inconsistent differences between the not
always so clear PRACTICAL and the even less clear IDEAL.
Tim
Youre rightI am trying to do what I think is best for the
Boggan
sport of table tennis. And though thanks primarily to you I have
been to many a well-run national tournament over the years at
Cobo Hall, I dont personally feel obligated to hold a U.S. Open or a USOTCs there
every year or even every other year After all, as President of the USTTA it is my
responsibility, and the responsibility of my E.C. to seek out, to discriminate, and
possibly to favor other, very professional venuessuch as the Oklahoma City Myriad
that will feature for every serious player even more advantages than those you have offered
us unchangingly over the years in that vast subterranean hall of yours.
So, since Read himself had saidin what Ill call his (1) pointin his Favoritism
article that Boggan may be right in not wanting George Bubens Cobo Hall to get this or that
major tournament (after all, we want table tennis promoters who get publicity, television, and
spectators, which Detroit has not done), what more need be said about Georges reiterated
objections? Well, maybe thisfrom Steve Walquist, secretary of the East Detroit Club.
Steve says, Its my impression from hearing his [Bubens] side and reading yours [Boggans]
that your bureaucracy and demeanor leave much to be desired. Nothing specific, just
annoyance and disgust even at your general handling of affairs concerning us.
296

(2) John wanted to keep his hand in USTTA politics by volunteering as Nominating
Chairmanto which I agreed. Then, after feeling me out (was I supporting anyone?) to see if
he wanted to run for office (I said I supported only Bard Brenner, but told him if you want to
run for office, do it), he decided to go for it. That presented a problem: we both agreed he
couldnt be the Nominating Chair who counts the ballots. He didnt think he should send out
the ballots either, but I told him that was o.k. Six weeks later, after thered been no contact
between the two of us, Id changed my mind, realized I couldnt have John send out the ballots
either (it wouldnt be ethical), so I asked Carl Danner to do it. Johns right I think now
though not hearing from him I wasnt aware he was doing anything at allI should have been
courteous, taken the initiative, made it clear to him I had to have a new Chair.
(3) John wrote his Campaign Statement, sent it to Topics thinking rightly that everyone
would read it before the ballots. But the ballots came before Topics! What kind of foul up (or
foul play?) was this? Of course John deserved an answer. Heres what I said:
Clearly, it was to my interests, both subjectively (of course I wanted the
candidates I endorsed to be elected) and objectively (because it was obviously the right
thing to do), to have Campaign Statements and ballots in the hands of the membership
at the same time. To that end, Marv Shaffer, who provided the requisite USTTA
membership list, the Danners, and I worked. All of us were disappointed at our
inability to do what we wanted to do. I, particularly, was very angered after Id called
the Massapequa Post Office and was assured that the second-class mailing had all gone
out and then when, nine days later, in the little neighboring town of Merrick, Long
Island I still hadnt received my own membership copy.
[I] should have insisted perhaps that Danner not mail out the ballots for
another week or ten days, though we were trapped by the May 15 return date on
them.
Of course to say that offers you [John] little consolation. You naturally feel that
had people read all of the Campaign Statements, including my own, you might well
have been elected.
But while I sympathize with your hope, your faith, in the power of the Word, I
have no intention of declaring the election null and void. Though roughly only 35% of
the membership voted, I feel that almost everyone could have read the Campaign
Statements and within the deadline immediately voted. That the Campaign Statements
may have changed the minds of many of those hundreds who voted early is
doubtful.
(4) No doubt it was an unpleasant surprise to John that Id decided, after hed
committed himself, to endorse his opponent Charlie Disney. But why I changed my
mind and endorsed candidates, why I did not attack a candidate or two, is my own
business. Like most people, Im at times politic and not politic. To be too consistent
and predictable is, after a while to disappear, to cease to be alive.
John was victimized some, and, as I said in my rebuttal, I feel the honest emotion in
what he says:
After all of this, I voted for Tim Boggan for President, as I think that Tim
would be the best president we ever had if he could be contained in his favoritisms and
297

if he reviewed less with emotion and more as to the content of the specific
proposal(s)for he will do work that needs to be done. It is nice to believe in the
forward going power of the imagination, but is it too much to ask the president to
believe in the forward going power of the Association by treating all members, clubs,
and districts equally?
Since Im feeling a little feisty in my role as Historian, Im going to give Tims lifelong
point of view on treating everyone equally. He doesnt believe in it. He believes in being fair,
but not treating everyone equally, for some are more deserving than others, are entitled to
special attentiona view shared certainly by millions of people. This is to differ somewhat
with Joseph C.H. Lees Topics article on Arrogance in Table Tennis (Jan.-Feb., 1974, 16) in
which he shows examples of top players involved in heated practice matches that, though
obviously enjoyed by spectators, are being played on tables needed for tournament matches.
Tim believes if the tables are absolutely necessary then the fault is more with the officials who
should step in to claim them. Also, Joe argues that top players should be more willing to play
lesser players, and, while I agree this is nice, I can understand that serious players want to
make the most of their limited practice time.
Then theres the matter of poor sportsmanship. Janet Newbold of the United Nations
TT Club tells us, upfront, what bothers her (TTT, Mar.-Apr., 1974, 13). The foul language for
sureits inconsiderate, to say the least. Tim agrees this can be overdone and thus
understandably disgusting, vulgar. Janets own table manners of letting out cries of
bananas and sugar beans she feels is o.k.such benign expressions dont offend and shows
she cares, thus indicating, she says, 100% that Im not a phony!
Tim realizes Janet doesnt want to be thought goody-goody, but anyone yelling out
bananas and sugar beans does, in a sense, offend Tim. He believes that such a player really
isnt sufficiently focused on what should be the task at handwinning. Always observing the
niceties is one extreme, but, regarding the other, how can one giving his/her all be expected
not to acknowledge the apt emotional power of an obscene word, an intense word for which
theres no real substitution without holding back when the occasionfor example, a highly
competitive sports struggledemands that one doesnt hold back. Of course, as always, words
if theyre to have power, must be used appropriately. An unrestrained flow of obscenities, or a
repeated temper tantrum, Tim thinks, is also bad, not only for the lack of consideration it shows the
players opponent, but also for the player himselfhes lost it, lost his focus.
Janet and Tim both agree that having a fit at the table, throwing the racket in
frustration, or breaking the racket in anger isnt good. And yet, says Janet, she herself, like
most spectators, has been guilty of encouraging such behavior, especially by Juniors, by giving
ones attention to it, even laughing at it when its really not comical. But, says Tim, often,
when someone loses it and you laugh, it is comical, and people cant resist watching drama.
Janet cites the example of Nastase, the popular tennis pro who was fined last week $100 for
purposely aiming a ball at a referees head because he didnt agree with a call. Janet thinks
that though statistics show that lessons are not taught by enforcing money fines, maybe table
tennis umpires should start charging a modest fee (from $1 to $5) for the abuse they see,
and/or sufferwith the money going to a good cause. Perhaps if the money went to, say, an
Umpires Fund (for travel, lodging, food expenses), it would be encouraging for all concerned
were a player in his frustration to whack a ball at an umpire when he least expects it. It would
have the added advantage of getting more spectators to watch the matches.
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English Junior Championships


Anybody acting up at the
Apr. 20-21 Wayfarers English
Junior Championships in
Leicester? Phil Reid (English
Table Tennis News, May-June,
1974, 20) says, Not in the Boys U-14s where the finalists showed
sportsmanship of the highest order, temperaments beyond their years.
Which doesnt mean there wasnt any dramafor as Martin Shuttle
(hes sponsored by Air Products, whatever they sell) was winning
this 58-entry event over Stephen Boxall, -19, 11, 12, there was talk of
Phil Reid
Martins all-four-fingers-round-the-handle hammer grip (akin to the
great French player of the 1930s and 40s, Frances Michel
Haguenaurs). So, its not just our Seemiller grip thats an aberration. In the Girls U-14s,
Angela Tierney (a fighting spirit and the courage to go for her shots) prevailed over the
unseeded Janet New (an admirable temperament), 19, -15, 11.

Paul Day, 1974 English Junior Boys Champion, and Anita Stevenson, English Junior Girls Champion
From the English Table Tennis News, May/June, 1974

Boys U-17: Paul Day over Andy Barden, 18, -18, 11. Reid doesnt like it that Day
resorts to such tactics as lengthy ball-testing and wasting time by frequent towelingplays
supposed to be continuous. However, Reid also says that its just a matter of time before Day
reaches the number one spot in England. Girls U-17: Anita Stevenson over Carole Knight,
19, 17with Anita becoming the first local person in the 41-year history of Leicestershire
table tennis to win a National Singles title.
Boys Doubles: Day/Barden, quite invincible, over Eadie/Iszatt, 11, 15. Girls
Doubles: Stevenson/Knight over Mandy Meller/Karen Rogers, 13, 15. Mixed Doubles:
Defending Champions Day/Elaine Tarten over Shuttle/Susan Tame. Tense drama, and maybe
some comedy, in a 3rd round match in this event, for one pair beat another 21-0!
299

Opening Ceremony
From the English Table Tennis News, May/June, 1974

Asian Championships
From the Apr. 11, 15, 16, 1974 Manichi Daily News (reprinted in TTT, July-Aug.,
1974, 2) we learn the results of the 2nd Annual Asian Union Championships, held Apr. 10-15 at
the Cultural Gymnasium in Yokohama. Mens Teams: 1. China (6-0). 2. Japan (5-1)with
China rallying to down Japan 5-3. Womens Team: 1. Japan (7-0). 2. China (6-1). Word was
that a spirit of friendship prevailed among the 400 officials and players from 30 countries;
after all, the tournament motto read Unite Asia Through Table Tennis. But South Korea
with its current World Champion Womens Teamwas not invited. And no sooner had the
Viet Cong paraded at the opening ceremony under the name Republic of South Vietnam
than the Japanese Justice Ministry warned it might revoke their entry permit, for said permit
had been issued on condition that the team compete under the name of South Vietnam
(National Front for Liberation). Laoss dissident Pathet Lao competed under the name of
Laos (Laotian Patriotic Front). But the government of ousted Cambodian Head of State
Prince Norodom Sihanouk withdrew in protest over the Ministrys insistence on its teams
designated name.
Individual Results: Mens Singles: Final: Defending Asian and Japanese Champion
Nobuhiko Hasegawa, in a