As much as I enjoy tennis, I prefer the snappy uniforms worn by these vintage gents playing paddle tennis. For reference, paddle tennis is an indoor variation of the traditional tennis played with solid rackets and underhand serve on a smaller court. I liken paddle tennis to the elegant, east coast cousin of pickleball, a PE course requirement in 1980s Eastern Washington. Per usual, I endorse any sport that permits you to wear clothing that still resembles what you might wear to work. I’m shopping for a pair of deadstock saddle shoes so I can start working on my own, from-the-ground-up, paddle tennis ensemble. See below for step by step illustrations on how to play the game.
Yes, we’re most fond of cycling and hiking here at Archival, but we (almost) all love tennis, too. I waved a racquet around for an hour this morning on the last day of open tennis in New York (as of tomorrow, you need a $200 permit). I had to shop from my hiking wardrobe, but I was mentally wearing a more complete outfit from the past.
Some films are better watched on fast forward or reproduced as film stills. Shoot the Moon (Parker 1982) is just such a movie — playing out like an Ingmar Bergman domestic drama populated by Woody Allen characters. While we’re asked to focus on the dissolving marriage of Albert Finney and Diane Keaton, one’s eye cannot help but wander to the the family’s shared taste in classic clothing: wonderful cotton plaids, knits, woolens and jackets sourced (perhaps) from venerable brands like Barbour, Woolrich and Pendleton.
I’ve reproduced a few stills for reference:
Once Spring randonneuring season is over I’ll be switching over to tennis as my preferred archival sport. Tennis is great because it only requires two to play and even if you have no formal training there’s a good chance you’ll get the ball over the net (who cares about line calls). Fortunately for me, most of my friends have at least rudimentary, P.E. class level ability (although one is a transfer student from the more hoi toi toi sport of squash). We chatter and bat the ball back and forth in the outdoors.
It’s easy to shop from the past for tennis equipment and apparel. I have a robust, thrift store collection of wooden rackets including favorite signature models by Chris Evert and Jack Kramer. My own embarrassing racket of choice during my teen tennis “career” was an over sized Prince woodie.