$10 Bet

At the La Jolla Beach And Tennis Club in 1995, prior to the opening of The Hard Court National Tennis Tournament on Mother’s Day, I sauntered into the bar and lounge hoping to pick up a 75 year old warmup partner.

I never thought I’d be cajoled into playing a set of tennis with ten dollars riding on the outcome, but a top player and friend, Lillian Peltz-Pero, agreed. I was embarrassed to play against such a pro, but up pops, a man seated at her table, Lornie Kuhle, with a proposition. He’ll play with me against Lillian and a partner of her choosing, but he alone served for both of us. Up pops Bill Tietz, (thinking it’s a sucker bet) his wife Lyn, top 50’s player, will play with Lillian and he will hold the money and preside in the judges chair, scoring and making line calls and remarks. I asked Bill to take our picture knowing nobody would believe this tennis match. A top seed in 45’s, partnered by number two 50 year old against a 75 year old and Lornie Kuhle??

Well, the girls had trouble trying to return his underhanded spin serve, and we were neck to neck at 4-4, when he tried to play his side and my side, leaving the court open, when the girls pulled ahead winning the bet at 6-4!

I thanked Lornie and told him I’d send him the photo adding “it’s a great story!” He replied, I have an even better story, he said he coached Bobby Riggs for a match and was involved in the TV film, “When Billie Beat Bobby” and he was depicted by Van Patten, and had an extra role in the film, as well. Guess the spirit of the wheeler/dealer, Bobby Riggs was with us that day too!

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