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Welcome Back! The Board and I are excited about what has been accomplished this year and optimistic about the upcoming year. 
Happy Birthday to the Palm Desert Tennis Club which is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year.  Judy Siegel and the Social Committee are working on the November 10 HOA welcome back dinner as well as activities to celebrate the Club's birthday. 
Several new faces will greet you on your return to the desert. New owners will be introduced at the November 10 annual Homeowners Meeting.  In the Office you will find the friendly, outgoing staff of Mike Bannister, General Manager, and Debbie Divac, Administrative Coordinator.  Meet Melanie and Leif Nordlund, our enthusiastic staff in the Pro Shop who are busy planning tennis and pickleball events for the year.  Of course you will also recognize our much beloved, long term employees:  Steve Geyer, Greg Dunkel, and Chef Dana Hutchison. Chef Dana will open the kitchen on November 3rd and I can hardly wait. 
As you look around the Club, I hope you will be pleasantly surprised at the improvements that were done over the summer.  The tennis courts look fresh with new windscreens and freshly painted gazebos. Courts 1-3 have been resurfaced and lined for tennis play.   Court 4 has been resurfaced, and blended new lines have been added, making it usable for both tennis and pickleball.  

The new, low voltage LED landscape lights provide brighter light while using less electricity than our old incandescent system and provide a modern look throughout the complex. Thanks to Mistie Iseman whose company provided our new landscaping lights at cost, a great savings for the Club. The Clubhouse pool is essentially a "new" pool with new plumbing, electrical, pumps and filters, resurfacing, decking, and pool cover. And the updates do not stop with the club's exteriors.  
Dana Fraser volunteered his time and provided the materials to update the fitness center.  The color scheme there complements the one the Nordlunds chose when they provided the materials and labor to update the Pro Shop.  Not only can you go to the Pro Shop to schedule matches, do a little shopping, and get your racquets restrung, you can also watch television, thanks to the set Leif and Melanie installed. As you see Dana, Melanie, and Leif, please thank them for their generous contributions.
Don't be surprised if your personal mailbox location is different than last year.  Debbie has been busy relabeling the boxes with owner names in alphabetical order.  The office is also finalizing the 2018-2019 printed member directory.
I am sure there will be even more for you to look forward to as the year progresses.
 Ann Merrill, President
by Howard Back

The new season is upon us.  Snowbirds are flying (in some cases, driving) back to the Palm Desert Tennis Club from their homes in places like Washington state, Oregon, British Columbia, Kansas and Minnesota.  The 2018-2019 season is underway.  Here's a look at the busy schedule of events for the coming week.
The schedule of events is included below for your information.  All events are in the Clubhouse unless otherwise stated.  Asterisked (*) items are ones that non-resident members may attend.
Wednesday November 7th
*Noon-2:00  Desert Landscape and Water Usage
An educational program by Dale Schulz and Greg Dunkel

Friday November 9th 
9 am  Town Hall Meeting 
PDTC Board and Owners meet to informally talk about issues, ideas and consideration for the Board during the upcoming year. 
3 - 4 pm  Annual Emergency Preparedness Review
by Brian Lord, Emergency Preparedness Chief. 
*4-6 pm  BYOB and an appetizer to Meet and Greet

Saturday November 10th
 Annual General Meeting
9 am - Homeowner registration to insure quorum
9:30 am - Annual Homeowner's Meeting
-led by GM, Mike Bannister.
Meet new homeowners and staff, learn election results, and hear annual summaries by committee chairs, GM and officers.
* 5-6 pm - BYOB Welcome Back Cocktail Hour
* 6 pm - Homeowner Welcome Back BYOB Catered Dinner

Sunday November 11th
*9-11 am - Summer Camp in the Winter 
Sign up in the Pro Shop to join the Nordlunds for a morning filled with fun: bocce ball, tennis, pickleball, and table tennis.

Monday November 12th
9 am - Open Board meeting
with 5 minutes per speaker during Open Forum.
Executive Session will follow the board meeting.

Two free Tennis clinics every week
Leif is offering clinics to PDTC members. Wednesdays at 11:30 am (30 minutes) and Saturdays at 8 am (60 minutes) during the season.
New: A free one hour tennis clinic on November 24th at 10 am, for all interested members who have limited tennis experience. Please sign up in the Pro Shop.

Drop-in Tennis, every Tuesday evening.
Tuesday nights at 6:30 pm are designated as drop-in tennis nights, when PDTC members can play under the lights. Guests are welcome, but must register and pay a $10 drop-in fee. A waiver sign up sheet is hanging on the cork board next to the Pro Shop.

Upcoming Events on the Courts
November 11th
Summer Camp in the Winter

Join us for this non-competitive and fun season-opener event for all members. This multi-sport challenge includes tennis, pickleball, table tennis and bocce ball. Visit the Pro Shop to sign up and get more details.

Update on Pickleball
November 3 to November 11
National Championships at IWTG

Did you know that the 2018 National Pickleball Championships will be held just down the road at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden?  Competition starts November 3 and runs through November 11.  Three of PDTC’s own managed to make it into the tournament, so please come and cheer them on.  Karen Gysin is playing mixed doubles on opening day, November 3 and almost every other day after that. (check with Pro Shop or Office for specifics) Norm DeWitt and Scott Bracke will be playing doubles in the 65-69 age division at the 3.5 level on November 10. It was not easy for the three PDTC-ers to get into the tournament. Signups opened August 1, and enrollment was limited to just 2,000 players.  All slots were filled that first day. There were 500 hopefuls who missed the boat, but are on a waiting list.

See you on the courts
Leif Nordlund, Director of Tennis and Pickleball  
Melanie Nordlund, Coordinator of Tennis and Pickleball


1921 - 2018
by Howard Back

Jerry Freirich, a long time owner of Unit 27 at the Palm Desert Tennis Club. passed away peacefully in his sleep late in October.  
He was 97.

Jerry was not Irish.  But he sure loved green…and Irish things.  For many years Jerry and his family hosted a fantastic St. Patrick's Day party at the Club.  Corned beef from the Freirich meat company back East, along with cabbage and all the trimmings were contributed.  The family did much more:  they did the cooking, serving and cleanup.  

As Jerry was celebrating his 90th birthday, seven years ago, Ye Olde Editor interviewed him.  Here is that article, as it appeared in the May 2011 issue of the Racqueteer:

Jerry Hits the Big 90 ...  Going for 100?
Long time PDTC homeowner Jerry Freirich celebrated his 90th birthday on April 23. Ye Olde Editor phoned him to ask for an "interview". Jerry said sure, but first "I have to check with Judy to be sure I don't have an appointment for bungee jumping”. Anyhow, YOE sat down with Jerry to explore the story of his life:

YOE: How did it all start?
JF: I was born in 1921 in Manhattan (New York City), went to school in Jackson Heights, then to Columbia University for bachelors and masters degrees in Science. And married Connie. And got started on a PhD.
YOE: Then came World War Two?
JF: Right, and I went back to Manhattan, this time the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge Tennessee, where we worked to produce enriched uranium for the first atomic bombs.
YOE: And when the war ended?
JF: We found it would take five or six years to finish the PhD, so Connie told me: "You are going in the meat business." And I did, joining my Dad at the Julian Freirich Company. It's a family business, and I’m still a part of it, but quite inactive now.
YOE: What were some of your other interests?
JF: I was a gymnast in high school, started playing tennis in college. I was very short, and that was always a problem for me. Photography has always been a hobby, and I still play a lot of bridge and chess.
YOE: Tell me more about your family.
JF: Connie and I had four children. She passed away some years ago, as did my son Jeff. But I have nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. I had known Judy Golden for many years, an old friend, and we have been living together now for a long time.
YOE: Only one American male out of every 100 reaches the 90 mark, Jerry; how did you do it?
JF: I smoked a cigarette once and didn't like it, and haven't smoked since. I love spices and highly spiced foods. I keep active; I still go to a gym and work with a personal trainer twice a week.
YOE: Do you drink?
JF: A lot. Scotch, rum, gin, wine. But in moderation.
YOE: Current longevity tables show that a man turning 90 now has a life expectancy of 94.1 years. What say? Going for 100?
JF: I have no plans. I really enjoy what I've got. Most of my family is nearby on the West Coast; I see lots of friends in New York. 100? I'm not going to worry about it.
YOE: Finally, Jerry, what would you like to be when you grow up?

(Editor's Note: Click the link for the Legacy Obituary )

1932 - 2018
by Howard Back

Elizabeth Gingrich and her husband, Lee, have been long time owners of Unit 73.  But few of us, even her close friends, had ever heard the name Elizabeth.  She was "Pudd", a nickname given  to her by her father when she was very young.   Pudd passed away this summer.

Pudd was born in Tacoma, Washington, and spent most of her life there.  Her bachelor's degree was from the University of Washington, where she was a member and President of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority.  While she was a student at UW, she met  Lee.  They shared  64 years of marriage.   

Pudd and Lee lived in Anchorage, Alaska, while he served in the Air Force, and then moved back to North Tacoma where they raised their family.

Her life was a very busy one; she was a volunteer, board member or  officer  of a long list of of community service organizations.  Here are a few:

She was instrumental in establishing The Hospice of Tacoma and was President of the Board for five years.  She served Good Will Industries, the Mason  United Church, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium,  Festival of Trees,  Leukemia Society of America, Junior League of Tacoma.  And more.

Pudd was an avid golfer and was the first woman to be elected to the Board of the Tacoma Country and Golf Club 

Besides her busy civic commitments, she was a partner in a popular Seattle restaurant, Ray's Boathouse, for more than 40 years.    She also represented Omega Seminars, a personal development company. 

Pudd and Lee traveled a lot.  As life-time "fisherpeople"   they often took  trips to Alaska and Canada. They saw much of the world, with visits to Europe, Asia, Africa and much of the United States.

Pudd loved Sunrise Beach, where she fished, sipped her favorite Bombay Sapphire Gin, read her books and relaxed.

In addition to Lee, Pudd is survived by her children Jane Gingrich (Neil Biermann), Carrie Gingrich, Kenton Gingrich and her grand-daughter Laura Caroline Gingrich.

(Editor's Note:  Please click the link for the Legacy Obituary )
by Judy Siegel

Our Palm Desert Tennis Club will be celebrating its 45th Birthday in April.  Now is the time for us all to look back and preserve some memories of the Club during those years.  We need your help! Please  share any old photos, documents, memories or stories you might have about the early days of the club.

To get you in the mood, here are some highlights of the 1970s:  
The ME decade brought us the resignation of President Nixon (’74), the end of the Vietnam War ('75), the Energy Crisis with mandatory gas rationing on even and odd days. It also made our lives easier with the introduction of microwave ovens, cell phones, pocket calculators and floppy disks. It introduced a startup company called Apple Computer.
Feminism and the sexual revolution influenced much of what we did and saw and heard with the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, the Moody Blues and Kiss. Social consciousness on TV turned out “All in the Family” and “Rhoda.”
Detroit gave us the Gremlin and the Firebird.
We rooted for the Reds, and the Athletics, and the Yankees.  We were styling back then. Remember bell-bottoms and Nehru jackets? Still have those platform shoes? Remember the Farrah Fawcett flip?  The Afro?  What do you remember? Keep looking for those memories.  

Right now please take a minute or two and copy the photos, or write up your thoughts and memories and send or take them to the Club office, or e-mail them to:, attention “PDTC History Project.” Be sure to label the pictures.

And, like the old song says, "Thanks for the Memories."
by Sara Freeman

Evelyn Bennett found a local volunteer opportunity that merges her joy of reading with her desire to help others. Surrounding herself with fellow book lovers keeps her apprised of the latest and greatest in literature and connects her with interesting people of all ages.  Her story follows. 

Many PDTC-ers have found ways to donate their time to local groups.  Please contact me if you have a story to tell, or if you know of another member who does interesting volunteer work.

If you want to find out more about other Coachella Valley volunteer opportunities, take a look at  This site lets you customize your search, based on  locations and time available.  

by Evelyn Bennett

I have been volunteering for more than five years with the group named Friends of the College of the Desert Library.  Essentially, our purpose is to raise money that is given directly to the College of the Desert Library for books and other items used in the Library. We do this by collecting and reselling used books at sales on the COD campus throughout the year. 

Every Monday morning you can find me with a group of volunteers who are sorting the books donated to our group  by genre (fiction, biography, science, cooking, travel, etc.). We also price the books and pack them for future sales. One of the perks of this process is the conversations we have about books and writers. Donations to our group come from average readers, teachers, collectors and even our own Palm Desert Tennis Club (thanks to Pat Alexander, who keeps our Club Library up to date).  We also scan books to select highly valuable ones for sales on the Internet. 

At our sales we have volunteers to help set out books, help customers find books and act as cashiers for the sales.  The fun part of the sales is in meeting other readers who enjoy books as much as we do.  We also work with COD staff who help us warehouse the books and we have student workers who are glad to do the heavy lifting when we are setting up for each sale.  One of my jobs is directing the forklift operator who moves books from the warehouse to our sale site in the student center. 
Friends of the COD Library is a volunteer membership organization.  In addition to our sales we have an annual author's luncheon, a book club that focuses on a different theme each month and premier movie/book events.  Volunteers who are not members are welcome but membership is only $15 per year for an individual; this gets a member priority for the first day of each sale and special pricing for other events.

If you like to read good fiction or enjoy good books for any other reasons, don't miss our sales events this season.

Here are a few upcoming events; you can see a complete list of events and get more information at

Fall Book Sale – November 2-4. Members only November 1.

Patron & Lifetime Member Appreciation Reception with David Hamlin (Winter in Chicago) – December 3. 

Barnes & Noble Bookfair – January 10-13, 2019

Author Lunch – February 9, 2019. Danielle Teller, author of All the Ever Afters.

Spring Book Sale – March 22-24, 2019. Members only March 21.

Moving forward in our journey through the PDTC Emergency Preparedness Plan, we’re taking a look at the section entitled Condo Preparedness for an Earthquake:
  • Walk through your condo looking for large, top heavy furniture, flat screen TVs, items hung on walls or shelving, or atop bureaus, which could topple over injuring someone during an earthquake.  Secure those items to the wall, or move them closer to the ground level if possible.
  • In the kitchen, consider installing child proof latches on cabinet doors so that glasses, plates, etc. don’t fall onto the floor creating even more hazards.
  • Know where your gas meter is, and how to turn off your gas meter if necessary.  Have a gas shut off wrench attached to your meter so you won’t have to search for the proper tool in an emergency.
  • Designate a meeting place for your family so that if an earthquake does occur, you will know immediately if someone may be trapped.  Quiz your family members occasionally to reinforce the location of the meeting place.
The next section is called During an Earthquake:
  • If you are indoors, stay there. Get under a desk or table, move into a hallway, or get next to an interior wall.
  • Stay away from exterior windows, fireplaces, and heavy furniture.
  • Get out of the kitchen.
  • Do not rush outside while the shaking is still going on. You could easily fall or be hit by falling debris.
  • If you are outside, get into the open, away from buildings, power lines, and chimneys.
The last section is called After an Earthquake:
  • Expect aftershocks.
  • Check for hazards like fires or gas odors.
  • Extinguish fire, turn off gas lines if necessary.
  • Cooperate with, and, if possible, assist the Quad Captains.
Fortunately It is not often that we are subject to a large earthquake.  According to scientists we are due for a big one. Most of the suggestions above were designed for any home whether you are here or if you live on the west coast when you are not here in the Coachella Valley.

Years ago I was discussing our units here with former homeowner Ray Chalker. He was a structural engineer registered to do work in Washington and California. He was of the opinion that our complex would do well in a large earthquake. The main reasons are that our units are in a location that is on solid ground, one story tall and built on a concrete slab. In addition, we have many interior walls inside of our units which help make them rigid and less prone to collapse.  He also said our Clubhouse would fare well during the big one. That being said, our biggest threat to injury here at PDTC would most likely be having something inside or outside fall on us.  One thing that wasn’t noted on the list of inside falling hazards is the clerestory glass many of us have above our dining/bar areas. It is like the sword of Damocles ready to shatter and fall on you.  Just outside a unit we have roof tile over the front door and some of the bedrooms. It wouldn’t take much shaking to cause tile to be dislodged and slide off the roof.  Therefore, be extremely careful going under either if you decide to exit during an earthquake. Look at the list above and decide what, if anything, you need to do to prepare yourself and your loved ones for what singer Jerry Lee Lewis described in the song “A Whole Lotta Shaking Going On”.

Someone once asked me how many firefighters does it take to change a light bulb? I said four.  One to change the bulb and three to chop a hole in the roof.  Luckily, we used the longer life bulbs and kept a large supply of new skylights in the basement.
In our next section we look at the “Recommended Basic Emergency Supply Kit” 

Brian Lord, Emergency Preparedness Chief 
Amalfi Coast
(Left) Sandee and Greg Smith got great views of the coastline at Amalfi, Italy attending a wedding there.
(Right) Terry and Karen Parker at Mont St. Michel, one of France's most recognizable landmarks, visited by more than 3 million persons each year.

Fred Weidling and Karen Dummermuth visit  the Hama Rikyu Garden in central Tokyo.  Adjoining Tokyo Bay, the Garden features seawater ponds which change level with the tides.

by Judy Siegel and Dawn Billings

We have friends that travel the world.  Not us. We generally prefer the security and comfort of our motorhome, where we can travel where we choose so long as there is a paved road to travel and stay where we choose as long as there is a scenic view.  Until now we have seen little outside our continent.  But this year we dared to do something different - we cruised the Danube River from Budapest to Passau.  Now the world beckons. 

One of our friends who has explored the globe once said “It’s the little events that often get left out when we recite our travel adventures. These little events are the salt and spice that make up the full experience of our travels, the things that we recall as experienced only by us.”  So, in no particular order, our flavorful little experiences:
  1. Europe is a wonderful place to be.  Getting there, however, is awful. 
  2. Many of the churches, in spite of their gold and grandeur, reflect a very dark and      violent history.
  3. Bow waves are beautiful on a placid river. 
  4. Swans are exceedingly graceful, except when they take off or land.
  5. Locks are engineering marvels.
  6. The Communists took the color from the countries they occupied.  Freedom put it back.
  7. Being spoiled by service is hard to get over.
  8. Cobblestones are pretty to look at, tough to walk on, and surprisingly agonizing to stand on. 
  9. The reflection of lights on the water at night creates a picture that should hang in a museum.
  10. We tip too much when we use foreign currency.

Happy Travels!     

The Kitchen is now open weekends for breakfast and lunch 8:00 am to 1:30 pm
Please join us for breakfast and/or lunch and see the new lunch specials.

Free Saturday morning Tennis Clinics at 8:00 am to 9:00 am.

Thursday November 22 - Thanksgiving Potluck at the Club
Board of Directors
 President - Ann Merrill
 Vice President - Brian Long 
 Secretary -Treasurer - Sue Williams
 Tennis Chair - Karen Dummermuth
 Landscape Chair - Dale Schultz
 Architectural Chair - Brian Long
 Nominating Committee - Sue Williams
 & Karen Dummermuth
 Director - Norm DeWitt
 Director - George LeBlanc

Club Staff  
 Michael Bannister - General Manager
 Debbie Divac - Administrative Coordinator
 Steve Geyer - Maintenance Supervisor
 Greg Dunkel - Landscaping Supervisor    
 Leif Nordlund - Tennis & Pickleball  Director
 Melanie Nordlund - Tennis & Pickleball     Coordinator
 Dana Hutchinson – Chef
The Racqueteer is the newsletter of the Palm Desert Tennis Club

Howard Back - Ye Olde Editor

Leon Bennett - Photographer
Pete Szambelan - Photographer
Jan Roemmick – Proof Reader
Pauline Olesen - MailChimp 

Contact Information
Phone: (760) 346-5683
ProShop: (760) 340-9166
Fax: (760) 346-5777 

Copyright © 2018 Palm Desert Tennis Club, All rights reserved.

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