Father’s Day

This week is only one of two editions not ‘all about’ pickleball. It’s all about Dads,… who are our fathers to us? Do they deserve the same attention that Moms do on their ‘day’… I don’t know? Perhaps they do.

Some family friends have said I’m quite a bit like my own Father. I don’t see it myself, although Dad was an avid golfer, so I could have inherited a similar tendency…., he was obsessive about golf, my obsession is towards the ‘Pickle’ game. Maybe our Fathers have a big influence in who we become later in life. If that is so, perhaps Dads are more important than we think.

So, enough with the philosophy…..let’s get to it….let’s hear what people had to say about their Fathers.

I hope you will enjoy this special edition of CHALLENGE COURT.

I liked making my Father laugh. So, when we were having a family dinner with his great-grandkids, I made up a story about being called ‘Dog-less’ Baker when I was young (our Irish setter kept running away from home).

Everyone liked the story, Dad laughed, then he said, “Was that story true?”

Well Dad, “It could have been,” I replied. He snorted and smiled. I knew what he was thinking. (more cock and bull). He liked real things. “I don’t read non-fiction novels”, he once told me, “because they’re not true.”

He was a no nonsense kind of a guy. His personality was a bit like John Wayne, part Archie Bunker, a bit Sam Snead, and a lonely piece of John Muir. My favourite times were when he took my brother and me ‘bush-wacking’ (driving up the logging roads and making our own trails on the side of some nameless mountain.)

I wonder what we will talk about when I see him again? Will he smile if I ask if he has read any good fictional books lately?

Perhaps he will laugh more freely considering the next part, the best part of life, is all like a dream.

My Father, Arthur Baker passed away November 2012, one day before his 92nd birthday.

by Beverly De Haitre
My father is a humble, social, knowledgeable, loving generous individual. He taught me and my 3 brothers to share with others, no matter how much or how little you have. You can always depend on my Pops and you always have a place to stay!

My father loves road trips, short and long and he always picks up people. One of my earliest and lasting memories is that he would drive us 14.5 km to and from prep school 5 days per week and would pick up every hitchhiker on the way until the car was full. This is a practise that I myself have adopted. You would be surprised at the interesting people you meet, stories you hear and experiences you have…..laughing out loud!!

He is always there to unselfishly help family members and strangers alike whether it be emotionally or financially. My father is old fashioned. He believes that a man should be the families breadwinner and that a woman should raise the children. He believes in a hard days work and living within your means.

I adore my father because he has principles that he lives by and he loves with reckless abandon!! It doesn’t hurt that I am the apple of his eye.

On this Father’s Day and every day, I thank God for you. My heart belongs to you Popi.

With Love,


by Leaf
My Dad always tried to do the right thing, but as a kid I had the uncanny ability to create chaos.

So when I was having some difficulty with math in high school, my Dad decided it would be a good idea to hire a math tutor for me. Mr. Schmoke had a bachelors in mathematics and was a very knowledgeable and easy going guy. My grades quickly improved over the weeks as I practised math drills daily.

At the time, we lived on the 2nd floor, so there were at least 25 stairs to climb to get to the main floor. And poor Mr. Schmoke, with his bad leg, it would take him 15 minutes just to get up the stairs. I don’t know if Mr. Schmoke was in the war or what happened to his leg, but we always felt sorry for him climbing the stairs.

Now, you may not know this, but my Dad had a standing household rule. No guests were allowed in the house when Duncan was working on the plumbing in the basement. You are probably wondering why that is the case. Why would I not be allowed a guest over when Duncan is working in the basement. For those who don’t know Duncan, the best way to describe him briefly would be to say….he resembles a 7 Ft. tall chainsaw wielding monster of a neighbour. He rarely says hello, complains incessantly, and he will come up to your apartment at midnight to eat the cheese from your fridge. Anyways, the reasons no guests are allowed over when Duncan is working in the basement is due to a traumatic event that happened nearly 10 years earlier. My friend Jarod came over to play video games one day. My Dad made us meatball sandwiches for lunch and Jarod immediately had to go the bathroom. My Dad said to Jarod, “Now, you can use the toilet, but you can’t flush it because Duncan has taken the plumbing pipe off and is using the rotor rooter to clear out the plumbing system”. Jared nodded his head and went into the bathroom. Not 5 minutes later, but we heard the toilet flush and the water going down from the 2nd floor to the first and then finally to the basement at which point an audible scream was heard, “What the **** are you doing you ###******###!! Duncan screams from 3 floors below. Suddenly, Duncan races up from the basement, swings open my Dad’s front door and screams, “I have the ****** pipe off and you just flushed the toilet and its all over me!”

My friend, Jarod was so terrified at this point that he quietly escaped through the back door never to return.

Fast forward 10 years to the present and you can understand why my Dad enforced the rule of no guests during plumbing operations.

So, when Duncan called my Dad to tell him he was going to be working in the basement again to fix the plumbing, my Dad reminded me that I was not allowed any guests during that day. To which I quickly reminded him that my math tutor was going to be coming over the very same day and was already scheduled. My Dad looked puzzled, but then agreed that Mr. Schmoke was an adult and would be able to better follow directions.

That evening, Mr. Schmoke with his fake leg came up the stairs where we greeted him as always. After working away at my math drills for 45 minutes, Mr. Schmoke told me to finish the quiz while he went to the restroom. My Dad quietly took Mr. Schmoke to the side and explained the situation with the plumbing and that he was not to flush the toilet under any circumstances as Duncan was working in the basement on the plumbing. Less then 5 minutes later, the whoosh of the toilet being flushed was heard. The water splashing from the 2nd floor down to the 1st floor and finally to the basement where an audible scream was heard, ” What the #*#* are you doing? You ######******! My tutor, stood frozen in fear, as the angry giant came racing up the stairs shouting “Are you ******* kidding me? I’m working on the plumbing with the pipe off and I am now covered in S*** ! Who flushed the toilet?”

My tutor never came back after that day. I think he was too afraid.

I got a C+ in math though thanks to Mr. Schmoke. God bless you sir wherever you are. And thanks Dad for being supportive in these times of crisis.

By Leslie Bateman
A favourite thing (out of many) of my Dad was his hands. When he died, we siblings found a poem about a man’s strong hands that we put on his pamphlet. All about the strong hands that we always felt protected us. He was always building something so there was usually at least one blackened fingernail. We loved his hands. He died 6 years ago and I still wear his watch — makes me feel he is still protecting me.

Happy Father’s Day to you and all the Pickleball Dads.


By Don Wilson
One of my favourite memories of my Dad was when I was about 4 – 5 years old when we lived in a small town in northern Ontario. Sometimes during the winters he would pull a toboggan with my brother and me on board into town to get groceries with my mother. I can remember looking towards our ‘downtown’ along the main street and seeing all of the Christmas lights strung across each road intersection. At the end of the main street was a huge Christmas tree all lit up. What a sight for a little guy to see!!!

I can remember when my brother and I were older he would take us hunting and fishing. Those were great times…….good memories.

Dad had 3 stages to his 87 years on 3 continents

No Fears
Horticulture, Ornithology, Archeology
Never a tear     Raising a Family
Chicks flew,    “Me Too!”
He said and landed in the
Sunny South for the remainder of his years.

By Rosemary Cobb

By Kathy Thomson
So 63 years ago last week my eldest brother was born, in those days my understanding was that men DID NOT go into the delivery room or operating room as it was referred to in those days.

I remember my Mom telling me that my Dad said to the Doctor that he was planning on attending the birth of their first child. The doctor was taken aback and said no that wouldn’t be happening, my Dad being who he was said to him “well, we are going to have to work this out as I am going to be there”. So it happened my Dad was there in the room when they had their first child. Three children later Dad was there for all of us being delivered. My Dad was always the Dad that I remember who was always there when we needed him. I remember Mom telling me he had no problems changing diapers, or chipping in for the bottle feedings, kissing boo boos and just making us feel good.

That was my Dad, I always remember my Dad being there for all of us. Thursday nights was Dad’s duty while Mom worked late, got her hair done and the groceries. Dad had three things he could cook, eggs, pancakes, or hot dogs…so we rotated those dinners on Thursday nights. None of us minded though because it was time to run amuck with Dad until Mom would come home. We played games, favourite one of mine was twister…..me under 5 feet tall and my Dad 6 foot 2 ..yup it was funny but somehow I always won the game.

Dad was there to pick up the broken pieces after boyfriend breakups, when I had my first car accident and when I picked out my wedding dress even though that very night he ended up in the hospital very ill…..I would never have known he was sick while I was trying on numerous dresses. That was Dad always smiling always there for all of us.

My Dad died 20 years ago of Lou Gehrig Disease, but he has left so many wonderful memories for myself and my children. If your Dad is still alive cherish every minute you have because they have so much to give us, so many stories and lots of sage advice.


A Father’s Day Gift
Looking back through the years, some of us may recall incidents where our Fathers strove to influence us, and our worlds, attempting to foster safety, health, and wistfully, happiness. Even from an early age our Father’s simple warnings may echo in our memory. Familiar phrases such as; “Don’t touch that, it’s hot! Stay away from the edge, you might slip and fall off!” As we grew, more alerts followed, increasing in scope and complexity. So too did our learning. Finally, with some awareness of risk, we could pursue chosen endeavours with greater relative safety.

Eventually some of us became parents and we found ourselves reiterating many of those same passages. Even then, during unexpected times of need, our Father’s hands might still have been at work in our lives.

Unfortunately, there are times and places where risks are inherit and a Father’s whim cannot extend to mitigate the dangers. Military service in a zone of war is one such event. When a son, or daughter, is called to service, they must endure whatever awaits. Regardless of why’s, or how’s, for some there may be no second chances. As a Father, I found my wish to protect never fully vanished. It seemed especially strong as my son boarded a military flight beginning a journey which eventually culminated in Afghanistan. What makes a Father’s Day Gift to me? When the son’s and daughters returned and had no further need to leave the relative safety of home.

By Jim Lenihan

Thinking Back
I was thinking of my Father today on one of my long walks in nature. Remembering and still visualizing Dad alone in the small sailboat catching the breezes as his boat effortlessly glided through the water.

Our family were fortunate to have owned a beautiful, heritage 5 bedroom cottage on our very own private Island at Stoney Lake, Ontario. It was here during the many summers growing up that my Father taught me how to swim, canoe, sail, row, operate motor boats, water ski and simply enjoy this beautiful wilderness area.

He was passionate about many recreational activities. My Father in his early youth loved running in races earning himself some significant trophies from the private school he attended. Later in my Dad’s life he took up and became an avid down-hill skier at the hills in Collingwood, Ontario.

Now looking back I am quite sure my Father was instrumental to me for my love of the out-of-doors and for my life long journey of fitness and competitive sports.

I believe if my Dad were alive today he would want to learn the game of Pickleball as at one time he loved to play tennis.

Even though my Father, John Gordon Edwards passed away in April, 1982 I still smile and think of him and miss you Dad.  Love always Pam

By Pamela Edwards

By Carmen Seki
So I have answered some questions here:

What is your Dad’s personality like?

My Dad is a bit like the writer of Challenge Court, you should meet him, you have a few things in common.

What favourite things did you enjoy with your Dad?

Going to the Nanaimo River with chips, deli meat and buns. Have a swim, snack and catching some tadpoles.

What makes you smile when you think of your Dad, his quirks, his faults, or his virtues?

Him teaching my son to pee on trees at the park.

Story About Dad
What I remember most about my Dad from growing up was his creativity and imagination.

Whether we were on a walk in nature or doodling in the living room he was always able to add an extra layer of adventure to what we were doing.

A simple walk along the beach could be transformed into a pirate treasure hunt. Watching the stars at night would become a story about interstellar alien travelers (perhaps the Zweeghians).

One of our regular activities was creating story pictures where we would start with a blank page and each family member would add a drawing and the next part of the story. Each element could be anything you wanted, and Dad was always able to bring all the crazy mixed up characters together into a funny compelling story.

Happy Father’s Day Dad and keep up the good work.

Hugs and Love,


By Jennifer Craddock
My Dad is Doug Baker, he is actually my step-father but I despise that term due to never actually having stepped on him, the term is illogical to me. He is gentle, kind and has never raised his voice to me but in saying that, the amount of respect and love for him is matching one you would have for a biological parent. Having been my Dad since I was 10 and now I am 47, I can say there have been many memories to share!

Let’s talk about oatmeal and my Dad. When we were children oatmeal was a staple in the morning but I am not talking about instant oatmeal, let me explain! First the pot full of oatmeal would be carried to the table and Dad would put a large dollop in your bowl. Now if it was to be followed by brown sugar and milk I would say that is normal and very yummy…but no…..in our family the container of little bags of seeds, grains and unusual forms of nutrition would be next. Let me elaborate…wheat germ, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, raisins, things I have never known and probably never will. Now as an adult I now appreciate this medley of nutritional delights but as a child I would literally cover my bowl with my hands as Dad meandered around the table putting scoops of each item into our bowls…so traumatic I tell ya! LOL! My younger siblings were not at the age to fight this “oatmeal abuse” and alas they thought it was all amazing but being the eldest I knew this was a “hippy experiment” I wanted nothing to do with!

My Dad is quiet, takes in what is happening around him and loves all of his family unconditionally. He has given me the gift of being surrounded by wilderness, eating healthy, growing food, raising chickens, Sombrio Beach in the 70’s. Dad has worked so hard in his life and has provided me with the same ethics that I am proud of.  His grandchildren want to be around him and we all know if you want to build epic sandcastles then take Dad to the beach. We never had plastic shovels….always real shovels so we could build castles bigger and better! There is so much I could share but a book would have to be next!

Love you Dad very much and Happy Father’s Day!


I hope everyone has as much fun as I did reading this week’s stories. I had a lot of laughs and a few tears. It also gave me some ideas.

I’ve been thinking how the role of Fathers has changed over the years. Today’s Dads are far more involved in their children’s lives than in my Grandfather’s generation. I am inspired by all of the readers’ contributions and perhaps at some point I could write a book about the evolving role of Fatherhood.

The hero would be a ‘stay at home’ Dad who cooks, looks after the kids, and plays a great game of pickleball. Remarkably, it would be about a man who can actually ‘multitask!!’ and, of course….it would be a fantasy novel.

A big thank you to all those folks who contributed to this week’s special edition. A special appreciation to Pamela for typing/editing this newsletter.

A note from Heather Hood:

Rotary Art & Wine Festival
Sunday July 26th at Fort Rod Hill
$30.00 at the gate and $25.00 on-line tickets

I had a chance to re-visit the new Pickleball Venue at 1952 Quadra Street. There have been some big improvements to the playing conditions.

I asked the facilitator, Dave McNeill how it was going and he sent in this comment.

Yes, Pickleball at the curling club was great today. The floors were mopped clean and I had a large, damp towel on the floor that when stepped on cleaned any dust from the player’s shoes. The floors were not slippery.

Also, the blinds were drawn so the ‘glare’ was greatly reduced. Again, no problem. What is great….we have enough courts to offer beginner’s instruction, plus advanced play, plus “non-aggressive’  play for newbies. There is ample wall space for people to practise. I also have small groups for instruction and general tips on how to improve your game with minimal effort or practise. Newbies seem quite pleased and all have said they will be back and bring others with them.

I made a mistake in the June 7th edition of CC in an article on places to play on Vancouver Island.
There is, after all, pickleball in Port Alberni. In a future edition I will give you the details.


The usual jabberwocky, Tips from the Rite Way Coach, and a ‘don’t miss it’ interview with Vancouver Island’s master Pickleballer ….Theresa Orcutt

‘Pickle well’,


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