Thursday, December 31, 2009

In Texas-- French Legation on 12/27/2009

First photo: Amine and his son.

Second photo: Jacques and his quiche (boy, the French eat well!)

Third photo: One of our best Texas friends, Jeanne.

Last photo: Me in one of my new Christmas t-shirts from a well-known Texas barbecue "joint."

Christmas Day, 2009

Pease Park, Austin, Texas.

First photo is of a yule-log-inspired cake that Jacques, the chef, prepared to share with everyone. I'm told it's traditional French holiday fare. I know this much-- it was delicious!

Second photo: Arsene and Hal.

Third photo: Shirley buttering up the chef.

Final Photo: Tony, Ben, Amine, and myself.

In Texas-- French Legation on 12/23/2009

That's Arsene Dupin, president of the Heart of Texas Petanque Club, in the "revolutionary" t-shirt above. He has really done a good job of growing the club and has some of the most avid players we've come across in our travels. The first picture shows Diane, Jim, Ed, and Christophe Chambers who is visiting from Brooklyn, New York.

In Texas-- Lakeway on 12/19/2009

Saturday the 19th found us in Lakeway, Texas. We had a wonderful picnic lunch of chicken fajitas that Amine's wife, Ilhaam, prepared over charcoal at the picnic area. We also enjoyed playing with Geo of the Lakeway group for the first time in quite a while.

In Texas-- French Legation on 12/13/2009

We played again at the French Legation on Sunday the 13th.

First photo: The pretty girl in the beautiful blue lace is Kelsey, a good friend and working associate of Arsene.

Second pic: That's Jules (also a friend and associate of Arsene) with Kelsey.

Third: Christian (in the foreground) studying the situation.

Fourth: Arvin, Alain, and Jerome of Alliance Francaise playing an intense point.

Fifth: Jacques arrives with food!

Sixth: Carolyn and Ilhaam.

Seventh: Rick Armstrong.

Eighth: Tibor and Terrance.

In Texas-- French Legation on 12/9/2009

Shirley and I are visiting family near Austin, Texas. First picture above: Ben, Michael, Arsene, Dan, Amine, Guillermo, and myself. Next: Ross and Marie Claude. Last photo: David.

We are lucky to break even in our games out here. Everyone plays well.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New players in Texas!

Saturday, December 5, 2009, found Shirley and myself in Spicewood, Texas. We had a couple of first-time players for an impromptu game at the Starlight RV campground where we've had a small travel trailer parked for a couple of years.

Grandkids Marin & Maeve Acuna look to be naturals, don't you think? ( Well, maybe we're just the least bit biased! )

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Rainy Day in Carolina

Sunday, November 22, 2009 was a cold, rainy day in North Carolina, but that didn't stop some of us from playing a little boules at Miller Park. A special thanks is due Susanne for providing rain gear to several of the players who came without any.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Petanque America Open 2009

I hope many of you read Petanque America's blog on a regular basis as I do. For those of you who may have missed it, there was a great story recently about a man who made such a significant contribution to the sport of petanque that Philippe Boets, owner of Petanque America, decided that the world needed to hear about it. Please take a moment to follow the link above to a truly heartwarming story.

Now for the amazing part-- Shirley and I were honored on Sunday night to meet Stephanie Canto in person at the awards presentation program in Amelia Island, Florida, subsequent to the day's playing of the 2009 Petanque America Open. After which, we were surprised to be named the first annual recipients of the Vincent Canto award! Thank you so much, Philippe. And, even more important, thank you, Stephanie, for being so gracious to us. We don't pretend to come close to living up to the achievements of Vincent, for whom the award is named, but we were certainly honored to be named the first-ever recipients.

And now, a few bits of news of those you know. CarolinaPetanque was well represented at the tournament. Participating :

Terry & Sue, Tom & Carol, Augustine & Mark, Juan & Cameron, Bob & Donna, Kirk, Khalid, Steve and Trey, Bob & Josh, and Gary & Shirley. Making a total of ten teams with a Carolina connection.

Everyone played well and made us proud. After Saturday's play, Khalid ( with Joseph Hassoune from La Boule New Yorkaise), Augustine & Mark, Steve & Trey, and Shirley & myself all found ourselves advancing to the Concours bracket. This consisted of the top two teams from each pool and a couple of wild card teams. There were 32 teams in the Concours. The rest of the field, nearly 60 teams, made up the Consolante.

The first round of Concours play on Sunday determined whether teams remained in the Concours or fell to the Concours Consolante.

The first round of Consolante play slotted winners into Consolante A and losers into Consolante B. Thus, with the final brackets now set, single elimination play began.

I am happy to report that Khalid & Josef made it to the semi-finals in Concours Consolante and finished third in that bracket. And Bob & Josh finished fourth in Consolante B. Two Carolina teams "in the money" ! Great job, guys.

It was an absolutely fabulous week and I'm sure everyone joins me in thanking Philippe for making it all happen. Oh, and a special thanks to Christophe Chambers for a superb job as tournament director.

Don't forget to check the link in the top right hand corner for Shirley's pictures. They will give you an idea of the flavor of the tournament, but you really had to be there!

Finally, congratulations to Claudy Weibel and Xavier Thibaud, the Champions. You can't believe how well players at their level play until you see it for yourself. It's certainly not the same game that we play at the local club level and it's spectacular to see.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kickoff to Petanque America week

A few of us gathered in Lincolnton for Monday play. Shirley said it was our kickoff party for a special week dedicated to petanque in America and sponsored by Petanque America. She and I left early on Tuesday morning for the tournament in Amelia Island.

As for the play on Monday, we were delighted to host Augustine, Danny, Tom, and Carol. Tom continued the good play he showed at Miller Park this past Sunday, and he, Danny, and Shirley managed to beat the team of Gary/Augustine/Carol two out of three games.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall in the Carolinas

Sunday, November 8, 2009, found us once again at the club's "home" court, Miller Park in Winston-Salem.

Since the gang was a little late in arriving, Shirley put the time to good use by raking the area around our picnic table. As you can see from the photo, it was long overdue!

We only had seven players for the afternoon's play, but the games were spirited. Ronnie Rierson made a surprise appearance since he's only weeks removed from major surgery. We thought he had just come to say hello and watch, but we were delighted that he felt well enough to actually play. Not only play, but win!

Tom Cearley was the unoffocial "player of the day." He hit the first five shots he tried before finally coming down to earth a little.