Wednesday, January 28, 2015

From France

27 January

In passing to the bakery, I decided to photograph one area of p├ętanque near our house.  Have not played here yet, only in the park that is further on in town.  There are 10 courts here, cans for your cigarette butts attached to the trees, and hangers for your ball carriers.  C'est la vie!!!!!!!
Miss seeing you all!

Construction Daze

Only one playable court

Mound of gravel on the left


Teaching in the grass

So many people- so little room!

Barb and Ryan

Barb w/ Ryan, Barbara, and Kerry

Jessica and Nick
Wouldn't you know it? We knew that the deconstruction phase of the Miller Park renovation project would be in full swing and expected that we would have to move our weekly Sunday play to the baseball field at the top of the hill.  Good plan, right?  Not so much.  When it rains for three straight days during the week, the baseball field looks to be more suited to mud wrestling or four-wheeling than to petanque.

So.  The Parks & Rec people were kind enough to leave us at least one court in semi-playable condition.  With a little raking and smoothing, we removed enough of the loose top dressing to get down to a reasonably firm surface.  Maybe if we got a small turnout of players we'd be able to take turns and make do with just the one court.  So.  What happens?  We got one of our best turnouts of the year so far!  I counted 23 people.  For one court?

So.  We had to improvise.  We were able to draw lines, in a rather creative fashion, that allowed us to make two fairly normal length courts out of our one.  Take a look at the first picture above.What we did was play each round, then play the next round in the same direction as the first so that one of our two courts always played East to West while the other always played West to East.  It actually worked pretty well and, by taking turns, everyone had fun.

We were glad to have several first-time players turn out.  Barbara Kennamer from Kernersville made the trip over and played for the first time.  Kerry returned for only about his second time to play.  Pat Kiser brought her grandson Ryan for his first exposure and he was very enthusiastic and is excited about coming again.  One of Nelson's art students came and did some sketchwork while his companion, Jessica, tried her hand at the game.

Here's the scenario:

Jessica and I were playing three boules each against Fred, Terry, and Barb Arbuckle's two boules each.  Jessica was doing very well for a first-time player and I was doing okay too, but we still found ourselves down 12 to 9 going into the final end.  The other team had the point on the ground-- within about two centimeters of the jack-- when we found ourselves down to our last boule.  Jessica's boule.  So, I asked her to try pointing-- she had been our pointer for the entire game-- more firmly than usual at the opponents' point boule. 

You guessed it.  She not only moved the point away, but she moved it far enough to give us four points!  A final-boule-walkoff-win in her very first game!  Amazing.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Danny, Sue, Shirley, and I traveled down to Carolina Beach, NC, on Monday to spend a few days visiting with fellow Carolina Petanque members and good friends, Bobby and Peggy Huffman.  They have a wonderful vacation home right on the Intracoastal waterway.  They also have a gravel driveway that serves as a challenging place to play petanque.

We enjoyed dining, partying, and petanque-ing with our friends and hope they'll have us back before too long.

First Sunday play of 2015

Don't let the title of this post mislead you-- there has been petanque at Miller Park in 2015.  It's just that Shirley and I were in Texas, so this is the first regular Sunday play for us. 

We had a great turnout for our welcome home.  I counted fifteen players throughout the afternoon.  It was a little cold, as you can see from the coats, scarves, and sweaters.  You may also be able to tell that the first stages of the refurbishment and reconfiguration  of the Miller Park bocce/petanque area has finally started.  We hope to have our own separate petanque area when the project is complete.  The plan is for an area that will handle at least four courts of play at a time.  We plan to monitor the progress and put in our two cents worth if need be.

The project is supposed to be done within a couple of months.  Let's hope that is true. We hope to use the baseball field at the corner of Queen Street and Knollwood as our temporary playing venue, maybe starting as soon as this coming Sunday.


Terry and Sue came over for afternoon play on Saturday, Jan 17.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Legation Boules Club Tournament

The Legation Boules Club held its first tournament of the new year on Saturday at the historic  French Legation Museum in downtown Austin, Texas, and Shirley and I were lucky enough to be included.  It was a one day event with four qualifying rounds based upon a random draw with the top four teams proceeding directly to the Concours Semi-Finals.  (There was no Consolante.)

The qualifying rounds were time-limited games of one hour duration plus only the end already begun.

After four rounds, there were two teams with perfect 4-0 W/L records.  Based upon point differentials, the team of Thierry Amisse and Hasu Patel ended up with the number one ranking followed by the team of Amine Najah and Arsene Dupin.

There was only one team with a 3-1 W/L record.  Therefore, the team of Christophe Chambers and Rudy Vallee was seeded number three.

There were several teams that finished qualifying with 2-2 W/L records.  Of these, two teams tied for the best point differential showing. They were the team of Terry Plemons and Linda Schryver and the team of Peter Gray and Mary Stratton.  Peter and Mary won a single-end playoff to advance to the final four.

Semi-Finals Bracket Play

Thierry/Hasu over Peter/Mary
Amine/Arsene over Christophe/Rudy


Amine/Arsene over Thierry/Hasu

Congratulations to all the winners.  Shirley and I had a great time but lost three of our four qualifying games.  We had a tough draw and had to play our first three games against Christophe/Rudy, Terry/Linda, and Thierry/Hasu.  There are many very good teams here and we always have to be at the top of our game to win against them.

[Thanks to Ed Priest for sharing the pictures posted here.  Shirley forgot her camera again!]

Mary presenting the Championship medals to Arsene and Amine

Hasu and Thierry