"Been playing up here?" he asked.
"Yep, up in Lake Leelanau."
"Really? I didn't know there were courts up there. Any good games?"
"Oh, you might say so," I smugly replied. For it suddenly occurred to me that this guy, who was probably on the top rung of the "A" ladder at Chicago's North Side Racket Club, couldn't possibly understand what I'd been through. He would never appreciate the game of rural tennis until he, too, had played it. And I began to think what a marvelous experience it had been. At the Heights Casino in Brooklyn, I would never have to be wary of a rabid wolverine. I would never hear the snort of a bull behind me. Rural tennis had improved my concentration for the regular game immensely. You can lob and drop-shot me all day and I won't complain. Groin pulls mean nothing to a man who's played tennis on Mars, and Stan Smith outfits hardly impress a fellow who's seen a Swede in Peds. Nothing will throw my game off—except maybe a shotgun; I still can't stand that part. But in Brooklyn the innocent bark of a Saturday Night Special won't ruffle my serve.
The athletic young man and I had nothing to discuss except graphite rackets, which we did until the plane landed in Chicago.