December 2020 Newsletter

Tennis at Silveridge

Part of A Perfect Day?

By Dale Dauten

You know you have the right person as President of the Silveridge Tennis Club when this is how Shelly Wolfson described for us his “perfect day”…

“Play tennis in the morning.

Coach tennis in the afternoon.

Then, in the evening, sit on my porch and watch tennis.

Throw in a piece of cheesecake and I’m in heaven.”

The sad thing is that Shelly is now a long way from his porch overlooking the courts at Silveridge. That’s because he and his wife Diane are still at their summer home in Montreal, unable to travel to Silveridge due to the pandemic.

So Kelly Harrison has stepped up to “pinch hit” for Shelly and we got to visit with her beside the courts on a perfect fall morning.

The courts were busy that morning, despite all those missing players like Shelly. Kelly told us, “We have a tight-knit group of about 100 members in our Tennis Club, a good solid core. Some of our members play in the competitive EVSTL, the East Valley Senior Tennis League, while others choose to play social tennis.” Kelly is Silveridge’s League rep, but the league is one of those things on hiatus for the season. However, there are still plenty of opportunities for tennis, Kelly assured us, including this example: “We’ve started Friday Night Under the Lights – it’s a free and fun skills-and-drills session for players of all levels using the ball machine and a variety of coaching techniques. The coaches are Silveridge Tennis Club players and volunteers, and coaching sessions are included with the Club’s annual membership fee of $30. What a bargain!”

Both Kelly and Shelly encouraged new players to join in. “It’s a classic sport that is not going away,” Kelly noted, “but some of those from our original group are aging out. And this year we don’t have our Canadian players, about half of our league teams.” Shelly added, “Our goal is to recruit new players. Whether you’ve played before or not, we have coaches who will ease you into the tennis world.”

Here are a few photos of the Tennis Club players and the volunteers who keep the courts and facilities ready for play..

When we feature an organization from the park, we like to learn a little about the people we visit with…


(Kelly on a hike at Panther Creek Falls in southern Washington State)

Although she now splits her time between Silveridge and Redmond, Oregon, Kelly was born and raised in upstate New York. She went to SUNY Plattsburgh and on to grad school at SUNY Albany. (*We always like to offer this challenge: Do you know the team mascots? Answers at end.) That led to a career of 34 years in environmental research and consulting.

If you’re wondering, as we did, what a professional in the field of environmental research does during workdays, Kelly spent much of her time doing historical research, as she put it, “playing environmental Sherlock Holmes.” For instance, she would study old aerial photographs to discover that a corner lot was raw land in the 1920s, then a gas station in the 1940s, only to have the gas station disappear in the 1950s. But that bygone gas station could mean underground tanks and environmental issues that could cause headaches for new owners.

As intriguing as that sounds, Kelly found herself in a midlife crisis and decided to get certified as a massage therapist. That is one of the careers interrupted by covid, and thus she has extra time for tennis and for days that fulfill her response to our “What would be a perfect day for you?” question. She smiled and said, “Every day in Arizona – sunshine, good people and lots of activities.”


(Shelly and his wife Diane outside the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

Shelly and Diane split their time between Montreal and Silveridge… not this year, given covid, but every year for the previous seven. You can tell from the photo that Shelly and his wife, Diane, have been taking the opportunity to travel. And you might also guess a travel theme when learning that Shelly’s college degree at McGill University** included a major in African Studies and graduate work in Nigeria.

When Shelly retired from teaching – he taught moral education and ethics, including returning to his old high school for a 14-year stint — one of the first trips with Diane was to Africa, followed by trips all over the Far East. This year, they’re just hoping that they can still get to Arizona before prime tennis season is over.

* The SUNY teams in Plattsburgh are the Cardinals and in Albany they’re the Great Danes.

** We couldn’t bring ourselves to ask if you know the mascot for McGill. It wouldn’t be fair because the mascot changed last year—the university dropped “RedMen” and adopted “Redbirds.” To confuse the issue further, the women’s sports team are known as the Marlets and Marty the Marlet is the mascot for both the men and women.)


When we asked George Igault, head of the park’s management company, for an update on the park, he focused on the new cameras being installed: “These will let residents see on their home televisions what’s going on,” George said. “We’ll have cameras at the front gates and around the park. They’re for security, but also residents can check on activities. I ran into one of the residents who remembered the system we used to have and I asked him what he liked about it. He said that he loves to play volleyball at the pool and he could check at home to see if there a game going on.”

As for timing, George added, “The cameras are going up now at Silveridge and then the company will move over to installation at The Resort. We hope to have them up and running at Silveridge by the middle of December.”

 A Different Star

Message From Sue 
And the star they had seen in the east went on a head of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. They were thrilled and excited to see the star.
Matthew 2:9
One night under the Arizona skies, someone showed me their Stargazing app on their phone. When he pointed the phone to the sky, there was Orion’s Belt, Sirius and the Big Dipper and many more stars and con­stellations which the app identified. How breathtaking to see and explore the majesty of the stars!
Have you ever wondered what made the wise men notice the star that led them to Jesus? Was it brighter? A different color or shape? The bible doesn’t say; it only reports that the star was different from the rest and it was something the kings had been anticipating. 
This reminded me that we all want to be a star; to be recognized and to feel important. Unfortunately celeb­rity fame never gives us lasting happiness. We are like vessels made of earth and clay, not stardust. Our ful­fillment comes from letting our light shine from the inside out. 
We can all find our own star path, not for glory or fame, but in simple acts of kindness. In these times of the Covid Pandemic, how do we how do we let our” star light” shine? 
One idea came from the latest issue of AARP magazine. It is entitled” Offering a Friendly Voice.” Those who feel socially isolated and lonely sign up to be called by an AARP volunteer who offers encouragement and listens to whatever they want to talk about. Do you know of any lonely residents in our park who are home bound and would love a friendly call just to talk? 
I have personal witnessed many” star people” in our park. Just to mention a few: 
  • The person who made many masks for whoever needed one (available at the Activity counter) 
  • The ladies who sewed the quilts of valor .
  • The person who took pictures on Veterans Day ( they are on the photo page of this newsletter)
  • All of the club, event, activity and volunteer leaders and interim leaders who give unselfishly of their time and labor to keep our activities and events continuing.
  • The two new residents who volunteered to show the movies on Saturday night
Thank you to all who have offered to be a star by volunteering! 
These are different times that we live in. Let’s remember this Christmas to always be thankful for our many blessings, most importantly our families. Whether you are with your immediate family or with your trusted circle of friends; find joy in each other. You may be somebody’s star and not even know it! Stand apart like the Star of Bethlehem, unique and brilliant. Be your own kind of star and let your light shine!
Yours truly,
Sue Arenson