Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Winston Salem Open, Final

Hurricane Irene was busy pounding away on my family down east, but here, 300 miles inland, we just had partly cloudy skies with a light breeze.  The Winston Salem Open surely wasn't bowing down to mere winds so I donned my WSO tee (er, uniform) for the last time and drove back to Winston.  I was officially working so I had to report to my station at the Media Desk before going in to have any fun.  Not saying that the Media Desk wasn't fun, just that my duties there consisted of the same thing I hated in college on my work study job--making copies.  I copied a zallion daily newsletters, to be distributed at the main gate.  Boring work, but at least I had the challenge of changing out toner.  Magenta even.  Not just the boring big black cartridge, but a colored one at that.  An advanced level of intimacy with a copier that a mere, ordinary volunteer could only aspire.  I was a top notch volunteer.

The media center was full-er than it was last Saturday.  There were a few reporters with laptops and some photogs with mack daddy cameras with lenses long enough to act as spy satellites from space.  I still have no idea where the "international press" I was promised were.  Possibly some of the reporters could have had an aunt who knew somebody from Canada, and that fulfilled the requirement, but that's just me, hazarding a guess. The draw sheet had only been filled in to about the second round--but then again, details are overrated in reporting these days anyhow.
This is on my Christmas list.  

Details?  We don't need any stinking details!

After making a bazillon copies, I delivered my stack of newsletters to the main gate and went off to find my lovely friend, Robin the Abandoner.
A perk of volunteering, skipping the line.
I met up with Robin at the Corona Bar and quickly staked out a claim on a bar stool.  Sitting in packed stands was for losers and Robin & I had figured out how to work the system.  We put on our best Norm and Cliff impersonation and drank Coronas while watching the match on the tv at the bar--20 feet away from the stadium court.  We debated for a while and it was settled that I am Cliff, given that I am a fountain of useless knowledge.  Since Robin had abandoned me in my time of need (snapping a decent pic with Baghdatis), I figured that my retribution would be drinking on her tab.  With beer at $6 a pop, that tab increased exponentially during the course of the 3 set match.  She won't be able to make her mortgage payment this month, so I figure we're even.
Norm would be proud.

We held down our end of the bar for the better part of 3 sets.  At the last changeover before match point, we ventured into the stadium and tried to find space.  Thankfully our t-shirts (er, uniforms) and creds allowed us entry and we got a semi-unobstructed view of Isner serving it out for the win.  I was proud of our hometown guy.  I didn't hold his defeat of Baghdatis against him.  Ok, I did, but not too much.  Isner is a really nice guy & I know his mama has to be proud of him.

It's hard to believe it's all over.  The months of preparation.  The steep learning curve of working the copier.  The stalking of my favorite player.  It was one heck of a ride!

Bring on the Winston Salem Open 2012!!  I am ready!  I'll just volunteer to hold a rope or something next time.

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