The ITF Senior World Championships is hosted annually at the Ballen Isles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens FL – a posh facility with expensive hotel accommodations close by. Many of the senior tennis players who attend the yearly tournament, seek local hosts in order to keep their costs down. I’ve been fortunate to find gracious hosts like Stan and Karen Brooks who welcomed me into their lovely home several times! In fact, it was Karen who loaned me her Costco bathrobe to hide my costume which earned me top honors, and I was gifted a magnum of champagne!
Although many tennis members are not happy to give up their court time during our week-long tournament, the Brooks are gracious hosts! Karen mentioned, that Oracene Price, (mother and coach to Venus and Serena Williams,) lives in a gated community in the area, and she told me that the sisters are cordial and even hit at the club and that she sometimes sees them at the beauty salon. So, at least those members don’t mind giving up court time for our yearly tournament!
When “Dr. Doolittle,” with Tommy Tune was at the Buell theatre in Denver I bought one of his portraits and had Tommy sign it, “to Karen and Stan.” I had it framed and sent it to my hosts. When I came back the following year it hung in the entryway to my cozy room! It’s always a treat to find wonderful people who open up their home to you!