"But with an older building and the use of volunteer labor, you can really cut costs. Local businessmen donated services, furniture and the television set, which meant that the group effort helped keep the budget in line.
"When we started to talk about this thing, most of the guys had never even heard of racquetball. You'd mention the game and all you'd get was a blank stare. But now we've got maybe 50 fellows who've really gotten serious about the game. There are three or four excellent players in the club and maybe another 20 who could handle themselves in any company."
So the Silver Lake Athletic Club is on its way, producing its own unique form of athletic competition, especially during the dark, grim winter months that shroud upstate New York. Men who once looked forward to nothing more strenuous than television tuning and card shuffling are now perspiring and flailing their way around the plywood courts of their newfound sanctuary. No one will know how many cardiac arrests will be blunted or delayed by their efforts. If the tiny club has no other value, it is the source of critical exercise for a group of comfortable gentry too often prone to overeating and underexertion. At one point one of the founders was trying to talk a businessman into parting with $300 for a charter share of stock. The prospect, a citizen of substantial girth, was balking at the price. "Look at it this way" said the club member, "in your case it'll be the cheapest health insurance you could buy."
The fat man signed up. So far, he hasn't lost a pound, but he's developed a backhand you wouldn't believe.