Another Week With Emmo: Gstaad 2013

Roy Emerson Tennis Weeks' welcome dinner at the Gstaad Palace, Switzerland

Welcome dinner at the Palace in Gstaad

My wife, Lesley Silvester, and I decided to return to Gstaad, Switzerland this summer to spend a second week with Aussie legend Roy Emerson, his wife Joy, their son Anthony, and assorted others for a week of batting balls, swapping stories, and consuming fine food and even finer wine for several reasons:

  • A year ago, we’d had a wonderful time, making new friends, exploring an area that I knew little about, and thoroughly enjoying the five or so hours we spent on the red clay courts of the Palace Hotel each day.
  • We had missed the experience of actually staying at the Palace, considered one of the world’s best, because we had been loaned a chalet by a friend. For our return, we would bed down in Room 304, with its luxurious two-sink dressing room/bathroom, king bed, and 200-channel satelliteTV.
  • We were going to be in Europe anyway, for a London wedding, and so the somewhat breathtaking cost of the whole venture — a little over 4,000 Swiss francs per person, not including transportation to and from the Gstaad Valley (but including all your excellent meals) — was cushioned by the fact that we’d already committed to a transatlantic flight from New York City.
  • Did I mention it had been great fun?

And so we found ourselves late on the afternoon of Sunday, June 23, climbing into Happy Bus proprietor/driver Neil Fairly’s new Mercedes for a leisurely two hour drive along the shore of Lake Geneva, with side trips through old Lausanne and the neighboring Lutry marina, where Neil kept his 1937 Pirate-class sailboat, before heading up into the mountains, past the Les Diablos ski area and F1 racing mogul Bernie Ecclestone’s glacier chairlift, and pulling into the Palace drive just as the sun began to set on the year’s longest day.

Lobby of Gstaad palace, Switzerland

The Reception at the Palace, which opened for the season on our arrival day

Roy, Joy, and the other pros and campers — roughly 35 in all (with a couple more due to arrive today, Monday) — were on their third of five courses in the main dining room, but in a very short while, abetted by a glass of Swiss white, I’d caught up. We’d be on the courts at 9 for evaluation, and our first clinic would start at 9:30.

“Glad you made it, Blue,” grinned Roy. He calls everybody Blue. Today I’ll figure out if he remembers my name. And if I remembered to bring my backhand.

Next: Monday in the TennisHalle

About 

E.J. Kahn III—known to most as Terry—is an author, journalist, and, most recently, communications consultant. He has written Net Results with psychologist Jim Loehr, a book focused on junior tennis parenting and coaching, and co-authored the award-winning autobiography of New York police officer Steven MacDonald. As a consultant, he has worked in Washington and New York with—among others—the Postal Service, Colgate-Palmolive, the State Department, and the City of New York. He lives with his wife Lesley in Manhattan, and plays most of his tennis at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, where he sits on the Board of Governors. A former college lacrosse player, he first competed in USTA tournaments in 2009, when he was ranked 10th in the East and 67th nationally in the Men's 60s.

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6 thoughts on “Another Week With Emmo: Gstaad 2013

  1. Larry Starr

    Sorry I was not able to read your blogs from Day I but will catch up now. However, I had the great experience of doing Emmo’s camp in 2009. I will echo the cost (I had to sell my condo) but it was worth every penny! Emmo is one of the nicest gentlemen I have ever met and is the consummate ambassador of the game of tennis! The Palace and the Staff are incredible. Thanks for letter more people know about this incredible experience.

    Larry Starr

    Reply
  2. George Wachtel

    Terry, you are doing one of my life goals! I hope you enjoy, and Please give my best to Emmo from this “other Blue” (and tell him that people have been admiring my forehand volley!)

    Reply
  3. Kit Meade

    Life is difficult. No more friends with chalets to lend out in Gstaad (perhaps it would have been better not to let the cows through the living room, despite the pleasant tinkling of the bells, and other tinkling, perhaps…). Forced to camp with the hoi polloi, and be called, “Blue.” Oh, the humiliation!

    Reply
  4. Ray Elman

    Blue !! I’ve known y0u for 43 years and I have been hacking my dimming memory chips to see if I can find any nickname that has ever been applied to you. Nothing comes to mind. I’m glad you finally have a handle. Have a GREAT week Blue and don’t hurt yourself.

    Reply
  5. Ethan cohen

    Hey terry sounds great – played tennis On your court with my daughter Lilas last weekend – cleaned it up some – filled the holes from the ants and swept it nicely – court felt good- was alittle concerned by part of the fence ! Looks like a tree must have fallen ! I assume you know this – am off to china today and back July 10. Had fab art opening in my gallery last night 400 plus guests to see new show titled sharper image- must come see it. Will have part 2 on cape aug 9 -17 at the art stand gallery
    See you both on the cape
    X
    Ethan

    Reply

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