#TBT — Tennis In Fiji, 1976


Date:  May, 1976

Place: Fiji Islands

Player:  Me

Age: 14

Racket:  Spalding La Vitesse

Court Surface: Grass

Footwork:  Absent

How in the world did I get to Fiji and on a grass tennis court?

Well, in January of 1976, when I was in eighth grade, my dad took a sabbatical from his professorship at SMU Law School in Dallas to teach & work at a school in Sydney, Australia.  Along with my then college-age brother Clayton, I accompanied my parents Down Under for five months.

On the return trip, we took a ship from Sydney to Fiji (I remember falling in 8th grade love with a girl on the ship who of course paid no attention to me.  Or just enough attention to drive me crazy.).

The place we stayed in Fiji had just opened its brand new grass court tennis complex.  So I went out to play some tennis against Clayton — my designated practice partner for the whole five months — and my dad snapped this picture.

Grass courts are extremely rare and altogether exotic and so I remember thinking that this was like playing tennis in paradise.

Even if my shorts were way too short.