Richard, one of our fellow members at Sporting Memories, tells Mr B that he has made his day. He holds up a postcard of a young woman tennis player - a black and white photograph dating back to the late 1950s - and declares
that he is totally smitten with the undoubted charms of Miss E. Buding.
Mr B, who has an amazing memory for all his sporting memories, even though he can never
remember what we are having for dinner however many times I have told him, explains that the lovely young Woman in White is Edda Buding and adds, for good measure in case anyone feels that Richard has stolen a march on them, that she has / had a sister named
Ilsa. Alas, no photograph of Ilsa is available so we are unable to compare the two.
Yes, I am really sorry but this is another Loft Related story. I am a little
worried that you may all be getting a little bored hearing about my latest lofty discoveries; unfortunately this is the Daily Blog, my on-line diary, and just at present my every waking moment (not to mention the occasional quite alarming nightmare) is devoted
to sorting through all the boxes, old newspapers and other “toot” in a seemingly hopeless bid to find underneath the beds upon which they were deposited.
Anyway, among the latest “treasures” rescued from on high are around fifty postcards collected by Mr B in his days as a Wimbledon Ball-boy, back in 1958, 1959 and 1960. What a good idea it would be, I suggested over breakfast (Weetabix
for Mr B, Special K for me - I know you like the details) if we took the postcards along to Sporting Memories to show the others. At the start of each meeting, after we have sung a rousing, if not particularly tuneful, rendition of Sussex by the Sea (amending
the words for a more sporting emphasis) there is a ritual during which a football is passed around the group for each member to introduce him / herself and relate a sporting highlight. It’s a bit like “Show and Tell” in Junior School.
Some weeks it is easy to come up with a sporting highlight, other times less so and Mr B often looks to me to come up with a sports highlight for him as well as one for myself.
This week, I tell him, he can pass round his Postcards from the Past. Here are Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall and Darlene Hard - plus sixteen year old Christine Truman, looking shyly proud in her smart Wimbledon blazer. The young Mr B has helpfully written on the
back of some of postcards, detailing the subject’s achievements which is helpful, especially for those players I have never heard of.
What I wasn’t
expecting was the level of interest in Mr B’s postcards shown by our Sporting Memories Gang. It wasn’t just the individual tennis players but little things such as the way all the men are wearing cricket jumpers and the women rather beautiful tennis
dresses. I recall how in the Olden Days, many newspaper inches were dedicated to the detail of the dresses specially designed for the women stars of Centre Court. I’m sure I remember a full page about the embroidered kangaroos on somebody’s dress
(presumably an Australian player because, I mean, who else!?)
A little later and it’s time for the weekly quiz. I am usually notable for being unable
to answer any of the questions apart from those which involve more general, rather than sporting, knowledge. One of the questions this week is who did boxer Sonny Liston beat in the first round of a World Title contest in 1962. “Floyd Patterson!”
The words come, unbidden, from my mouth. Everyone is startled and wants to know how on earth I knew that - and I have to confess that, aged 14, I actually recorded the event in my 1962 diary.
My credibility as a non-sporty person which I have carefully cultivated over recent months is all but lost.
I blame the
Loft Clearance Project. It’s amazing what you discover about yourself ...