Letter to the Editor: Tennis in Denver — Another perspective

By on August 17, 2016

 

Editor,

Ephrata Review,

On July 13, The Review published an article written by Alice Hummer titled “Full Court Press.” This letter is being written solely to correct some statements that appeared to portray the members of the tennis club as uncaring for the appearance of the tennis courts, as well as other statements that may not be entirely correct.

It is a shame that these clay courts, although not on any official historical register, are being removed. They were built in the early 1900s and may have been the oldest existing clay courts in Pennsylvania. They also provided a serene venue for generations of tennis players in the surrounding community. When members from other tennis clubs (Bent Creek, Lancaster Country Club, Hillcrest Racquet Club and Tarrymore Tennis to mention a few) would come to enjoy the courts, they would marvel at the beauty and playing conditions.

It is important to note that the tennis club members respected the traffic conditions and the wishes of the property owners.

Also, the word “immaculate” was used in the article to describe grounds, and it was suggested that the courts were not being adequately maintained by the club. That is erroneous because the members at all times were respectful of the conditions of the tennis courts. We always brushed the courts before and after play, and during the entire outdoor tennis season we raked and removed debris, leaves, walnuts, etc. from the courts. The members also painted the fence that surrounded the courts. When the word “immaculate” is used to describe tennis courts, only the All-England Club at Wimbledon might be considered immaculate. Yes, this tennis club was not Wimbledon.

The parking situation while not ideal, but we did respect the owners’ request to not park in front of the courts. We would park a couple hundred feet from the courts, off the road along an adjacent farm. As a safety issue, this is no more unsafe than the continuous tractor-trailer truck (18 wheelers) traffic that continually negotiates the hard turn by the site of the courts.

Finally, the cost of the valet parking was also reported as a business decision justification for the demise of the courts. The figure of $1,200 per event was documented. This figure may be overstated, as were the other reasons given for the destruction of the tennis club, such as additional liability insurance (we did sign a waiver to play there). We can only guess on the accuracy of such statements.

The owners of the property certainly have the right to do with the tennis courts as they please. Like everything else in today’s world that provides reasonable fun, the courts are now only a fond memory for the Denver tennis community. We wish the business success in the future and can only hope the beautiful property, stream, and wetlands can endure any type of runoff from a parking lot in this area.

Sadly, as Joni Mitchell would sing, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

Ralph Weise, Larry Boger and Pete Oeschger

Cocalico Tennis Club members

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