Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Legacy of the most famous BUBBLE of all time!

This story does not relate to real estate, but it does give a fantastic description of one of the most legendary tennis professionals on the planet. After reading this post, you'll probably want to go out and purchase a home on Hilton Head Island. Call me!

"It was a warm humid day, circa June 1998. Location? The foothills of Southern Virginia...SWEET BRIAR COLLEGE.

JR was in the midst of running yet another successful adult week-long tennis camp for tennis players from various locations around our great land. They had traveled to Virginia to participate in a Van der Meer tennis class run by the then-famous 'JR'!

Little did they know they would have the opportunity to experience one of the finest and most innately skilled young professionals on the planet. His name? Mike Reichenthal.

It was Day 4. Afternoon session. Players had just enjoyed a cafeteria buffet lunch. The weather was beautiful and the instruction was even better. Half of the players were on the upper courts competing in matches. The other half were on the lower courts doing the same. Little did they know what would transpire next.

As the afternoon session began, JR once again created cohesive tennis pro pairings to ensure premiere instruction. For the untrained tennis population reading this, pros were selected for the upper and lower banks of courts with incredible precision regarding their ability to roam the courts, giving pertinent match-play instruction, and then vanishing into thin air. Only well-trained professionals are capable of this feat.

The Setup: JR was strategically placed on the upper courts so he may view ALL courts. JR's assistants were roaming the upper courts like soldiers on night patrol. One of those assistants (hardly the proper term) was a young and unknown Mike Reichenthal. He was placed on the upper courts in the event that JR would have to leave the premises. 'Mike, take over.......' would have been the mantra. The lower courts consisted of two assistants who were the lowest of the low. JR watched.

Suddenly...4:42pm...the sun had peaked hours before and dinner was on the mind of most. JR...on one of his routine glances over the hill...noticed something…THE SIGHT WAS NOT PRETTY.

One of the biggest mistakes of all time was occurring. Wes (the 29 year old pro who took a shower once every other day) and Heinrich (the 19 year old pro who had no real sense of anything except for breakfast) were standing side-by-side talking with each other. Needless to say, JR was enraged. Disgusted.

History was about to happen.

JR stood on the peak of the hill as General Patton did reviewing his troops march through the snow deep in the heart of France during World War II. Hands on his hips, clipboard in his left hand, whistle dangling out of his left pocket, royal blue Bolle sunglasses shining in the afternoon warmth.

'Hey Wes...' yelled JR. JR wanted to say 'go take a shower, you're done'...but he didn't. What he DID say was the turning point of one young professional's career. To all of our young readers of this small piece of history: I HOPE YOU'RE SITTING DOWN.

'Hey Wes! Do you think you could float around a bit...LIKE A BUBBLE??' Without even looking at JR, Wes began to float. Still enraged, JR turned back to the upper courts where Mike was now in charge. Major floating by all professionals was seen under Mike's jurisdiction. A small smile appeared on JR's lips...only for a second...then it was gone.

JR looked to the lower courts again to view the mess. Yes...Wes was reluctantly floating. But Heinrich was still standing in the same place no doubt trying to figure out what was for dinner that evening. 'Hey you think you could be a bubble too?!' yelled JR.

Without saying, the guests had no idea that any of this occurred. In their minds, they had experienced yet another historic JR Clinic.

Later that evening, JR was dining with the pros and Heinrich was on his third bowl of chocolate ice cream. Always the teacher, JR explained to the pros the extreme importance of 'floating' during matches.

The BUBBLE analogy was brought up again and JR explained it one more time with clarity. 'Guys...allow me to give you an example. Our absolute best floater during matches is Mike. He'll float to a player like a shark quietly moves toward a baby seal. Once there, he'll lurk in the background allowing the players to make their mistakes. With a smile and an outstretched racquet, Mike will analyze the problem, offer an alternative, give a positive affirmation, and then he has somehow disappeared into the mist. This all takes place in mere seconds. Somehow, it's you chills. Guys...he will no longer be called Mike. Henceforth from this location, Mike will become THE BUBBLE for all eternity.'

The other pros were silent. Heinrich dropped his spoon. Wes had a tear in the corner of his left eye. JR left the cafeteria having once again taught young professionals the meaning of grit, determination, and most of all...THE BUBBLE.

To those reading this historic might say 'Where is The Bubble now?' I think you know the answer.

He's floating the land's largest and most important tennis courts...helping the helpless gain much needed insight into our sport.

The BUBBLE is everywhere!"

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