said it was my ball to hit, and it happened because I didn't run for it,"
Barbara says. "She was probably right."
President-elect is noncommital. "Popped the shoulder out," he says.
they moved the porch," Barbara says.
Bush has been
playing tennis since he was about five, which is hardly surprising considering
the tennis heritage in the family. His mother, who is now 87 and living in Hobe
Sound, Fla., was a national caliber junior player—Bush describes her as very
much a "scrapper"—more than 70 years ago. Her uncle Joe Wear, the
court-tennis champion, was the nonplaying captain of the 1928 and 1935 U.S.
Davis Cup teams. At home in Greenwich, Bush had early lessons—as did other
members of his family—with the Czech-born club pro, Karel Kozeluh, whose
standard advice, as Nancy Ellis recalls, was "bend ze knees, move ze feet,
keep ze ball in play and in doubles hit ze ball down ze middle." Often
Kozeluh would establish his authority by announcing mysteriously, "I beat
though, was the prime influence. "Sportsmanship was a big part of what she
taught us," the President-elect says. " 'Boys! Boys!' she'd call out if
someone got out of hand. If you scaled your racket across the court, you were
history. Once, playing in the finals of a Kennebunkport tournament when I was
about 10, my uncle Herbert Walker and his wife, my Aunt Mary, came to watch. At
one point Aunt Mary started laughing at something. I turned and ordered her off
the premises: 'Out!' Mother was very upset when she heard about it. I had to go
and tell Aunt Mary how sorry I was that I had done such a thing."
And did Aunt Mary
leave the premises?
certainly," Bush says. "She got up and left. It must have bothered my
conscience because I didn't win the match—beaten by a kid named Squash
wonder what's ever happened to Squash Collins."
playing singles not long after grade school and concentrated on doubles,
largely because his ground strokes were "terrible." Today, his backhand
is almost nonexistent, except for a chip return of service that drops at the
feet of the oncoming server and that he refers to as the "falling
leaf." The net is where the President-elect is utterly at home, fast of
reflex and aggressive, and he will come in at every opportunity, even behind a
second serve or a falling-leaf return.