Monday, April 2, 2012

Zaytouna Lounge on Saturday Afternoon

We went out to our friend Amine Najah's lounge on Friday afternoon to hang out and practice for Sunday's tournament. Amine has made good progress on the lounge-- everything is looking great. He's got enough court space for about eight lighted lanes playable now. He has a large area behind the lounge that will accommodate many more players if demand requires.

That's Amine on the left in the photo above. By his side is a famous face that most of you will recognize despite the beard and cap. William Hurt made an appearance and played several games with us throughout the afternoon. He's the star of too many major motion pictures to mention here, but among his better known are:

Body Heat, The Big Chill, Gorky Park, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Children of a Lesser God, Broadcast News, The Accidental Tourist, Into the Wild, Too Big to Fail, and Moby Dick.

He, of course, won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Kiss of the Spider Woman and was nominated for the same award for Children of a Lesser God and Broadcast News.

He arrived with his (and our) longtime friend, Arsene Dupin, world-renowned magician-juggler-comedian and president of the Heart of Texas Petanque Club. We tried not to make too big of a deal about having such a major celebrity in our midst and were, I think, successful in allowing him to be just one of the guys.

The next picture shows William Hurt (second from the left) and Arsene Dupin (standing on the right) visiting with some of the afternoon's players. The man on the left, Jo Sanchez, is somewhat of a celebrity in his own right. In his younger days (Jo's 76), he won national championships in boules sports in both Algeria and France. He had never been to the US before and didn't speak a word of English, but he was a true delight to be around and he and Shirley became friends immediately.

On the left, above, is Ed Porto, the new president of the Federation of Petanque USA (FPUSA). He flew in for the weekend's activities and made his first visit to the Heart of Texas club. Speaking of new FPUSA officers, the tall left-hander preparing to play is Christophe Chambers, the new National Sports Director of the FPUSA. Many of you will recognize him as the Tournament Director of Petanque America's Amelia Island Open for the past few years.

Earl makes the point!

Amine prepares to toss out the jack.

Sandy in good pointing form.

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