A. I’M FREE FALLING

For anyone who is interested in my writing, here are links to my books:

  1. THE LITTLE GREEN BOOK of TENNIS (Second edition).
  2. PLAY IS WHERE LIFE IS. My first book.
  3. A LOT ( A Level of Thinking). A mixture of serious and fun items, collected by an old coach.
  4. HELPING.  This includes more tennis, much post-THE LITTLE GREEN BOOK of TENNIS.  Much is a repetition of blog articles.  Maybe more important is the back half of this book , as it chronicles a thorough collection of data on the issue (s) of international college tennis players in the USA.  The history of this ongoing  problem is here.
  5. THANKSGIVING.  This is a hard copy of selected blog articles, writings, family history.  Personal pictures in the back are beach and family/friend/fish oriented.
  6. NEARLY FIFTY.   My friend, Earl  (Country) Boykin of Rock Ridge, N.C,  hosted a  “duck hunting party” for fifty – one years continuously.   It started with the first super bowl. We moved to Back Creek near Bath, N.C.  and did run over a duck. From there to Emerald Isle, N.C. The book reviews, through print and pictures, the principal characters, and some of the events.

 

“THAT’S ALL SHE WROTE.”  THIS CONCLUDES ARRANGING, SELECTING, AND EDITING IT ALL.  

WHAT FOLLOWS IS OTHER ARTICLES , SOME  OF WHICH ARE REPEATS, SOME ARE PAST WORK IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.

The Coach in “The Cloud”

But I’m trying…I’m trying real hard to be a shepherd. –Jules to Ringo, “Pulp Fiction”

My two sons work in technology. They have made me aware of the “cloud”. Summing up my understanding, the cloud is a modern, idealistic, even utopian way to gain free access to information. Sort of the internet on steroids. Or, for those of us on the other side of the “digital divide,” a giant free library in space.

Prior attempts to impart what I know included “Play is Where Life Is”, my “best seller” of 2007. It was such a best seller that my garage had oodles left over. I have given many copies away. I have learned to question readers, knowing how to ascertain whether they have actually read their gift, or parts of it. The book includes my conversation with a revered coach, the late Jim Verdieck of Redlands University in California. I once asked Coach Verdieck if he had written down his voluminous knowledge of tennis. He said “No.” “What happens if you die?” I asked, respectfully. “If I die, it dies” was his answer…one of the few times I disagreed with the legendary coach.

There is an article on my blog entitled “Mentors”. It describes how one with a thirst for knowledge in any arena might best learn. Maybe I am a little naive about the drive to learn that exists out there. I have had only one college coach ask for my advice since 2004. After an hour he said, “Coach, I’m supposed to meet someone at the local bar.” One hour of learning a profession? My angel wife, Margaret, recently made “All Volunteer”. She and I cannot list all the people she helps, or has helped, gratis. Angel she is, Angel I’m not.

I have tried to give back to tennis…recently my friend, Ronnie Watson, bought a racquet club (formerly White Oak Racquet Club). Ronnie not only changed the club name, (it is now “Olde Porte Racquet Club”) but almost everything else in a most positive way. Ronnie is a great tennis enthusiast and has made a tremendous investment in local tennis in our coastal area. I volunteered to be an “advisor” to Ole Porte because of the qualities of Ronnie’s effort. In addition to traditional clinics, lessons, tips, assisting high school coaches, our pro staff and mentoring talented youngsters, I am trying to get my information in “the cloud.”

You can Google Olde Porte Racquet Club to learn more about the club. On the club’s homepage there is a column entitled “Coach’s Corner”. Punch that link and you will find recommended articles from my blog and book. The blog (www.tomparham.wordpress.com) has half tennis articles. There is a place to add your comments or questions. It is all free. Hope someone out there has the “thirst.”

“Sometimes people don’t want what you have got. Sometimes you can’t give it away”–Bob Dylan from “Floater”

Our State

Our State Magazine June 2008

Play is Where Life is covered briefly in the June issue of “Our State” magazine. Here’s the quick blurb – “A collection of memories from Parham’s 67 years, Play is Where Life Is includes antics from his childhood as a preacher’s son and his career as a National Hall of Fame tennis coach, which included nearly 20 years at Elon University.”