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History of U.S. Table Tennis Volume 13: 1984

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

                1984: April Tournaments.

Cindy Miller in reporting (Timmy’s, May, 1984, 15) on the Apr. 7th Butterfly Open, held Apr. 7th at Sacramento’s Table Tennis World, stresses the $100 Butterfly Handicap event:

            “This point-adjusted event was perhaps the most exciting of all the events, bringing more cheering from the spectators than any other. The final round robin consisted of nine-year-old Daniel Goodwin, rated 775, his twelve-year-old brother Jimmy Goodwin, rated 845 (both are students of Jeff Mason), and the Club’s defensive star James Therriault, rated 2022.

            Playing best 2/3, James had to spot each of the kids 19 points in a game to 21. Therriault, giving up only one point total, stopped young Daniel. But the quick-attacking style of the older Goodwin rather quickly won him the first game 21-9. James, slowing down the pace, and cleverly changing the spin, took Jimmy at deuce in the second. The last game featured some incredible smashing, lobbing, dropping, chopping, and rolling exchanges—with the play sometimes going 15 hits before a point was won.

            It looked like the match would be won by Therriault, for, down 20-17, he would just wait for the less-experienced junior player to miss. But then the luckiest break of the tournament was Jimmy’s. With Therriault back ready to return another smash, Jimmy hit an impossible-to-return net ball, netting himself $70 for first place. Thanks go to Butterfly for sponsoring this Point-Adjusted event. Both spectators and participants enjoyed it very much.”

            Other Results: Open Singles: Final R.R. 1. Dean Doyle, 3-0. 2. Avishy Schmidt, 2-1 (d. Chun, 25-23 in the 3rd; d. Therriault, 17 in the 3rd). 3. James Therriault, 1-2. 4. David Chun, 0-3. Women’s: Diana Gee over Cindy Miller. U-2000’s: 1. James Chan. 2. Masaaki Tajima. U-1850: George Sanguinetti over Horace Cheng. U-1700: 1. Sung Lee. 2. James Ritz. U-3250 Doubles: Robert Schanilec/John Schneider over Mike Hara/Smith. U-1550: 1. Ritz. 2. Doohyun Won. U-1400: Tom Li over Hara. U-1250: Ed Kawai over Leroy Yoder. U-2250 Doubles: Morgan Lehman/Carol Plato over Joe Rodriguez/Ron Jew. U-1100: Andy Heroux over James Stewart. Under 950: Heroux over Bert Toler. Senior’s: Bob Partridge over Ritz. Junior’s: Joe Lomas over Lehman.

            Results of the Apr. 28-29 Helping Others Open: Open Singles: Jimmy Lane over Rich McMillan (from down 2-0), then over Ricky Guillen. Open Doubles: Steve Schreiner/Lane over Chi Ngo/Ngo. U-2200: Stan Tang over Charles Childers, 17 in the 5th. U-2000: Mark Wedret over Stevan Rodriguez, 19 in the 3rd, then over Shmuel Goshen, 17 in the 5th. U-1900: T. Negishi over Stephen Co, 24-22 in the 4th. U-1800: James Cheng over Chris Fullbright. U-1700: Fullbright over C.E. Chi. U-1600: Brian Thacker over Karl Dreger, 19 in the 5th. U-1500: Wilfredo Escobar. U-1400: Chusak Phungprasert over Boonyarit Anuntalbochai. U-1300: Karim Ismail over Orrin Joseph. U-1200: T. Nguyen over Gina Butler, 19 in the 5th (from down 2-0), after Gina had advanced over James Scott, 20, 21. U-1100: W. La-Guta over D. Kerner who’d outlasted L. Cann, deuce in the 3rd. Unrated: Negishi over Anuntalbbochai. Hard Rubber: K. Dreger over H. Dreger. Draw Doubles: Fullbright/M. Kane over Harold Kopper/Howard Reisman. Esquire’s: Leon Ruderman over Frank Suran. Senior’s: Suran over Amin Jaffer, 18 in the 4th. Junior’s: Fullbright over Butler.

            Winners at the Apr. 13-15 Mar Vista Open: Open Singles: Mas Hashimoto over Avishy Schmidt, 20, -14, -18, 19, 15, after Avi had survived Charles Childers, 17 in the 5th. Women’s: 1. Carol Davidson. 2. Kerry Vandaveer. 3. Esther Zachary. 4. Kim Gilbert. Open Doubles: Gabor Berezvai/Tibor Racz over Hashimoto/Mike Baltaxe. U-2200: Schmidt over Baltaxe. U-2000: Berezvai over Wedret, 18 in the 5th. U-1900: Racz over Chart Kocanoth (from down 2-0), -25, -16, 16, 19, 16. U-3800 Doubles: Berezvai/Racz over Wedret/Richard Friedland who’d escaped Mas Hashimoto/Hui, 25-23 in the 3rd. U-1800: Harold Kopper over Mike Blaustein. U-1700: Joe Tran over Tony Jaimasco, after Tony had advanced over Chris Fullbright, -18, 19, 17. U-1600: Brian Thacker over Jeffrey Ellis who’d squeaked by Jaimasco, deuce in the 3rd. U-1500: Somsak Bhombuth over Dezi Resznecky, 19 in the 3rd, after Dezi had taken down Stan Frisbee, 19 in the 3rd. U-1400: Bhombuth over Ken Wong, 20, 19. U-1300: Henry de los Santos over Jeff Towns. Unrated: Mark Hsiao over Guenter Pauly who’d outlasted Jose Pena, 19 in the 3rd. Draw Doubles: Harold Kopper/Chi Ngo over ? Junior’s: Thinh Nguyen over Fullbright.

            Canadian Provinces other than B.C., Ontario, and Quebec are getting more attention these days. Here’s how the players (down to the U-400’s!) did in the Apr. 1st Western Canada Open in Saskatoon: Two-Player Team’s: Horatio Pintea/Johnson Tan over Bert Flisberg/Emiko Kinoshita. (Bert’s the son of the famous Swedish Champion of yesteryear, Tage Flisberg, runner-up to Ogimura at the 1954 World’s.) Men’s: Pintea over Eddie Lo, deuce in the 4th. Women’s: Cindy Choy over Sandy Mah. Men’s Doubles: Pintea/Charles Woo over Flisberg/Roy Rakovic. Women’s Doubles: Mah/Cathy Chu over Kinoshita/Amy Lee. Mixed Doubles: Lo/Choy over Pintea/Sheena Muirhead.

            U-1800: Tommy Vuong over Bob Lucky. U-1600: Carlton Douglas over Brian Williams. U-1400: Owen Brazell over Jim Yee, 18 in the 3rd. U-1200: Elaine Wong over Muirhead. U-1000: Jinh Hsieh over Les Culleton. U-800: Kim Heinz over George Haraida, 21, -17, 18.U-600: Leanna Heinz over Keo Chanmany. U-400: Dean Griffiths over Shelley Butler, 17 in the 3rd. Senior’s: 1. Karol Ziduliak. 2. Elmer Hazzard. 3. Chandra Madosingh. U-17 Boys: John Mah over Vuong, 21, 18. U-15 Boys: Mah over Danny Poh. U-13 Boys: Ian Muirhead over Lee Rogers. U-17 Girls: Chu over Erika Ziduliak. U-15 Girls: Elizabeth Kecki over Serena Mah.

            The Alberta TTA, in an exchange with Heilongjang Province, has received two coaches from China for a two-month period. The coaches did their thing at the Western Canada Open and will follow up at both the Canadian National Junior Championships (results below) and the National Championships in Calgary, Alberta in May.

            Winners at the Apr. 7th Canadian Portugese Open: Men’s: Joe Ng over Steve Lyons. Men’s Doubles: Lyons/Ron Johnson over David Mahabir/Maurice Moore, -20, 21, 17. Mixed Doubles: Lyons/Julia Johnson over Mahabir/Rumar Kavin, -16, 10, 20. U-2000: M. Moore over Bogdan Kalinowski, -20, 25, 13. U-1850: Roger Moore over Johnny Ng. U-1700: Peter Ng over J. Ng. U-1550: Tom da Silva over Dave Evans. U-1400: Rajiv Singh over Paula Antune. Senior’s: George Bonigut over R. Johnson. Boys U-17: P. Ng over Roberto da Silva. Boys U-15: J. Ng over Kirk Vassel. Boys U-13: J. Ng over Trung Le. U-11: Vassel over Ben Lee. Girls U-17: Crystal Daniel over Michelle Qurrey. Girls U-15: Daniel over Adriana Altic. Girls U-13: Monika Thimian over Dina da Silva. Girls U-11: Julie Lawrence over Angela Campbell.  

            Results of the Canadian National Junior Championships, played Apr. 20-23 at Rexdale, Ontario: Boys U-17: Ontario’s Pierre Parulekar over Alberta’s John Mah, 17 in the 3rd. Boys U-15: Mah over Quebec’s Tan Hoang Lam. Boys U-13: Peter Ng over Johnny Ng. Boys U-11: Ontario’s Trung Le over Alberta’s Don Yee. Girls U-17: Quebec’s Helene Bedard over B.C.’s Erika Ziduliak. Girls U-15: Alberta’s Cathy Chu over Alberta’s Karen Mah. Girls U-13: Chu over Mah. Girls U-11: Julie Lawrence over Angela Campbell.

Boys U-17 Doubles: Quebec’s L.H. Tan/Jean Bourget over Ontario’s Vaibhov Kamble/Tim Kwan. Boys U-15 Doubles: Mah/Boris Vaynsteyn over Tan/Patrick Leveille. Boys U-13 Doubles: P. Ng/Le over Doug and Don Yee, 16 in the 3rd. Girls U-17 Doubles: Ziduliak/Fong Seow over Bedard/Manon Fournier, 17 in the 3rd. Girls U-15 Doubles: Saskatoon’s Elizabeth Kecki/Chris Traeger over Serena/K. Mah. Girls U-13 Doubles: Chu/S. Mah over Christine Paquet/Caroline Sylvestre. Mixed U-17 Doubles: Kamble/Michelle Qurrey over H.D. Vu/Bedard, 23, -10, 18. Mixed U-15 Doubles: J. Mah/Chu over Tan/Lucie Drouin. Mixed U-13 Doubles: Don Yee/S. Mah over Doug Yee/Chu, -20, 18, 14.

Winners at the Apr. 28-29 Quebec Open in Montreal: Men’s Open: Joe Ng over Horatio Pintea, 23, 17, 22. Women’s Open: Mariann Domonkos over Thanh Mach who’d upset Gloria Hsu in five. Men’s Doubles: Ng/Steve Lyons over Pintea/Bao Nguyen, 22, 18. Women’s Doubles: Domonkos/Diane Bourdages over Hsu/Mach. Mixed Doubles: Pintea/Domonkos over Ng/Mach, -19, 20, 22.

Play at the Apr. 7th SUN TV Open produced these winners: Open R.R. 1. Ricky Seemiller (d. Randy Seemiller, 8, -18, -22, 15, 16; d. Bob Cordell, 15, 13, 4). 2. Randy Seemiller (d. Cordell, 15, 12, -17, 13). 3. Bob Cordell. A’s: Po Lee over Rod Mount, -19, 19, -20, 11, 14. B’s: Ken Stanfield over Bill Johnson, 19, -16, 17, 14. C’s: Johnson over Joyce Jenkins, -13, 16, 11, 17. D’s: Jay Wright over Russ Shuttleworth, 13, 15, 9.

Results of the Apr. 14th Dayton, Ohio Spring Classic: U-2000 R.R. 1. Ian Mailing, 5-0. 2. Rod Mount, 4-1. Women’s R.R. 1. Cindy Marcum. 2. Mari Weber. U-1800: Mark Weber over John Dichiaro, 23-21 in the 3rd. U-3500 Doubles: Andy Gad/ John Pletikapich over Dichiaro/Jerry Marcum, 18 in the 3rd. U-1650:  Pletikapich over Voldis Daskevics. U-1500 R.R.: 1. John Kizer. 2. Tom Taylor. 3. Curt Sutter. U-1350: Willie Hamilton over Bill Wolfe, 19, 20, then over Keith Gad. U-1200: Don Hamilton over K. Gad who’d advanced over Chester Riddle, 10, -16, 19. Senior’s: J. Marcum over Lyle Thiem. 

Warren Goesle (Timmy’s, June, 1984, 20) covers the Indiana State Closed, held Apr. 28-29 in Indianapolis: 

“State Time.

You can tell it’s State Time. The evidence is all there: the hottest weekend of the spring, the drinking fountain’s out of order, 97 people entered and played 343 matches on six tables, the Open Singles ran until 1:30 a.m., and Dick Hicks won.

Must be State Time.

Some day Dick Hicks will be tired of winning the Indiana State Singles title. Isn’t this something like 23 out of 24 years, Dick? Once again, he had no trouble. Oh, I suppose he was a little cautious about picking up balls off the floor following a nasty back injury last tournament.

 …The only first-round win talked about was produced by—guess who?—John Elwood two straight over Bob Miller. (Quotes from Bob that went round the tournament: ‘I don’t mind losing to John. I just didn’t like the fact that no one considered it an upset,’ and ‘The least he could have done was taken off his sweats before blowing me off the table.’) Thirteen-year-old John is obviously destined for bigger and better things—hopefully out of state.

…There was a big upset when Jerry Marcum top-spinned through John French’s hard bat in four. But Jerry’s son Tony pulled off an even bigger upset by taking out Charlie Buckley.

No surprises regarding the Open’s Final Four, though—Dick and Ricky Hicks, Kokomo’s Harry Deschamps, and teenager Klaus Geske from Evansville (via West Germany) all advanced. Geske 3-0 avenged his loss to Ricky two months ago. But Klaus’s loop to his surprise didn’t work against Deschamps, a (‘How old is this guy?’) winner in four games, thanks to his hard bat-defense and troublesome picks. Ricky, however, had enough patience to pick the right ball to loop or hit against Harry, and when he won in four, 2nd-Place went to Klaus (1-2/4-3) on the tie-breaker.”

Warren’s comments continue into the Results that follow: Open Doubles: Dick/Ricky Hicks over Geske/Festus Mead. Women’s Singles: Defending Champ Kim Farrow’s attack was too strong for Marcia Johnson’s block defense, but Marcia earlier had scored an upset over Cindy Marcum. Mixed Doubles: Ricky Hicks/Farrow over Jerry/Cindy Marcum, -19, 22, 12 (Marcums had been up three match points in that second game). Senior Esquire’s: Bill Hornyak over Gene Bricker. Esquire’s: Deschamps over Mead. Senior’s: Al Grambo over Paul George who’d just slipped by Vince McMenamy, -19, 19, 20. U-17: Geske over Elwood. U-15: Elwood over David Arterberry.

 “U-1900: Greg Waldbeiser over John French who’d been too much for Dave Russell in the semi’s—though Dave certainly was making his presence felt by repeatedly knocking down barriers in an attempt to retrieve John’s hits. As for this U-1900 final, it was the best match I viewed all weekend. French blocked, chopped, and backhand drove down Waldbeiser and his industrial-strength loop, 18 in the 3rd. Yet some 20 minutes later, John had a change of heart and defaulted to Greg because he hadn’t called a paddle-point on himself. Or something.”

U-1750: Dwight Mitchell over Jerry Marcum who’d advanced over Jerry Button, soon to be an International Umpire. U-1650: Eric Cougill over Mike Robinson, -18, 17, 20. (Despite serving off when up match point, Mike prevailed at deuce.) U-3300 Doubles: Potter/Ercel Kerner over Paul George/Forest Milbourn. U-1500: Goesle, outpicking and outpushing Cougill for the win—“after which Warren thankfully turned over his writing chores to Jack Rudibaugh and Bill Connelly and said he was going home to throw up.” Cougill was grateful to reach that 1500 final, for he’d been extended in his semi’s by Mike Dalton, -17, 20, 20. U-3000 Doubles: Elwood/Mark Artman over Russell/Jim Wilson. U-1400: patient Vernon Oliver, Jr. over Larry Clark. U-1250: Dave Essex (‘looks like a bulldog’ someone said) over Hong Nguyen. U-1100: Artman over Dave Heisler. U-900: Paul Burgdorf over Steven Barnes.

Winners at the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Round Robin Tournament, played Apr. 29th at the local USM TTC: Championship Final: Ed Poon (9-0) over Homer Brown (9-0), 21, -14, 17. 3rd-Place: Abdul Moghrabi. 4th-Place: Richard Fung-a-Fat. Doubles: Keith LaFrance/James Schioo over Poon/Poon, then over Sushil Prem/Fung-a-Fat, 18, -21, 17. First Flight (?): Moghrabi over LaFrance who’d knocked out Prem.   

Michael Wetzel (Timmy’s, May, 1934, 17) reports that table tennis is on the rise in Alabama and fills us in on the State Closed, the first sanctioned one in several years, held Apr. 7th in Tuscaloosa.  The tournament (State Closed t-shirts were sold promoting it) was under the sponsorship of the Alabama T.T. Club and directed by Bobby Marcus and Joe Mitchell. Mike was the Tournament Referee. And the Control Desk was run by Bobby and his hard-working wife Virginia.”

In Championship play (27 entries), Don Gaither, Rafael Zambrano, Ralph Kissel, and Jack Wise advanced to the Final Four. Here’s Mike to summarize the play:

“In the deciding match, veteran Don Gaither held off 20-year-old Rafael Zambrano (1895) to win the Alabama Closed. Gaither of Huntsville defeated Zambrano, a native of Venezuela attending Jefferson State Junior College in Birmingham, 17, -19, 19. Kissel (1884) used his wicked backhand to down Wise for 3rd-Place.

Gaither not only had a tough time with Zambrano but also had to fight off the weariness of a sleepless night prior to the tournament. Don and his companions, Kissel and Helen Brooks, traveled from Huntsville to Tuscaloosa with plans of spending evenings in a hotel. However, with over 900 collegiate swimmers in town for a regional meet at the University of Alabama, the trio found themselves sleeping on the floor of the tournament site, Foster Auditorium.

In the final match against the steady Gaither, Zambrano, a strong attacker, often found his loops being blocked back. Indeed, in the third, the Venezuelian was down 19-16. Then, scoring with aggressive forehands, he rallied to 19-all. But Gaither—like the champion he is—remained patient and took the last two points for the Championship. The win was good for $20 and a trophy, while Zambrino earned $15 and a trophy.” [Is this kind of prize money good or bad for the Game? I myself am of two minds about this.] 

Other Results: Women’s: 1. Suzette Koch. 2. Lillian Wise. 3. Helen Brooks. Championship Doubles: Zambrano, who played on the Venezuelan National Team, paired with chopper Warren McNeil (1740) to defeat Michael Adeyemo/Bill Mobley. Class A: Adeyemo, a native Nigerian attending Alabama A&M on a soccer scholarship, over Mobley (1777), 20, 22. Class B: Jeff Dykes over Tom Scanlon and David Wilder. 

Rick Mundy (Timmy’s, June, 1984, 22) tells us that 30 players from four states participated in the Apr. 14th Virginia Beach Open, a giant one-day round robin tournament in which each entry played 14 matches.

“The big winner of the day was Joe Griffis who lost only one game—to Larry Hodges. Jules Millete, unrated when he began play, recorded the most upsets, defeating players rated 1776, 1668, 1557, and 1450 to give him an initial rating of 1781. Both Kris Van Nostran and Vijay Gideon also did well—gained over 90 rating points. On the negative side, the big surprise was top-seed Billy James (2053) losing four matches.

Results: Class A: 1. Griffis, 7-0. 2. Todd Ingram, 6-1. Hodges, 5-2. Class B: 1. Mark Davis, 4-1. 2. Millete, 4-1. 3. Steve Hochman, 3-2. Class C: 1. Van Nostran, 4-1. 2. Kevin Walton, 4-1. 3. Phil Schafer, 3-2. Class D: 1. Pat Donahue, 5-0. 2. Dana Hanson, 4-1. 3. Scott Cobel, 3-2.

Yvonne Kronlage reports that “the Junior Olympic Trials for Delaware, Maryland, D.C., and Virginia players will be held June 2 at the Wildelake School in Columbia, MD. Money has been and is still being raised (thanks to Catherine Haring for her $500 donation) to send the winners to the National Championships in Jacksonville, FL. Let’s all work hard to give our Juniors more encouragement.”

Results of the 7th Open in the Howard County Circuit, held Apr. 7-8 in Columbia, MD: Open Singles: 1. Sean O’Neill, 5-0. 2. Hank McCoullum, 4-1. 3. Don Garlinger, 3-2. 4. Pat Lui, 2-3. U-2000: Lui, 3-0. 2. T. Miller, 2-1. U-3800 Doubles: O’Neill/Kevin Walton over Lui/Hodges who’d gotten by Garlinger/Gene Wonderlin, 19 in the 3rd. U-1600: Shibaji Chakraborty, 3-0. 2. Steve Kong, 2-1. U-1400: Walton, 3-0. 2. Craig Bailey, 2-1. U-2800 Doubles: Irv Goldstein/Bailey. U-1200: R. Banks, 2-1/5-2. 2. Prakesh Chougule, 2-1/4-2. 3. Douglas Holtzman, 2-1/4-3. U-1000: 1. Peter March, 7-0. 2. Bill Fry, 6-1. Handicap: John Wetzler over Goldstein, 51-45. Junior’s: Jeff Harris, 3-0. 2. D. Walsh, 2-1.

Howard County Circuit Point-Leaders (as of May 4th): 1. O’Neill, 81. 2. Chougule, 77. 3. Wetzler, 64. 4. Goldstein, 64. 5. Erich Haring, 63. 6. Lui, 56. 7. Bailey, 49. 8. Walton, 48. 9. McCoullum, 45. 10. Robert Fallon, 44. 11. Warren Wetzler, 42. 12. Ha Chi Do, 40. “Since 48 points can be made in any one tournament for the Under-2100-rated player, 42 for the Over-2100-rated player, it’s still anyone’s race. Three tournaments to go for the $1,000 first prize.” 

Pat Hernan (Timmy’s, May, 1984, 18) really gets into a couple of matches at the New Castle, PA Open, held April Fools’ Day: 

“Just another routine victory for Ricky at the 1984 New Castle Open.

Not really. Danny had him down 2-0 in his first match in the cross-over semi’s. But then, wait, how could this be? There were only two Seemillers at the tournament—and the one that was rated about 2650 wasn’t one of them. April Fool, everyone! Danny, yes—but it was DANNY WALK, 1707-rated (under-rated) who was on the verge of taking Ricky to the cleaners.

For a while it seemed like two against one. Walk versus Ricky and Ricky versus himself. Still, Danny was simply out-playing Ricky. Walk was looping Ricky’s serves, and his tactic of angle-blocking and killing the return was extremely effective. It was certainly a sight to ponder. Danny’s been playing well lately, but the thought of an upset over Ricky was…well, preposterous. But it almost happened.

Ricky won the third game, but Danny’s confidence wasn’t shaken. At 15-all in the fourth, the spectators were highly partisan for the underdog—but they weren’t cheering against Ricky, just louder (much louder) for Danny. However, a few loops in for Ricky, and a couple of unforced errors by Danny—and off they went into the fifth. Walk looked so incredibly calm. Although he went on to lose the fifth game, it was as if Ricky was handing him a diploma. A commencement tribute of sorts—the beginning of more won respect. Good show, my friend.

Also, more compliments seem called for here. Nice guy Barry Rodgers had an upset win over Bill Walk and a near upset over Pat Hernan; and twenty-year-old retiree Lance Falce and his decade-old rubber swatted their way to several wins, as did the newly-indefatigable Gary Martin.

Ricky, Mike, Gary, and Randy Seemiller comprised the semifinal four. But it was clear that Ricky and Randy would battle it out for the Championship. It’s a tough thing for brothers to be competitors, but this five-game battle featured two distinct adversaries. Randy was keeping the ball so touch-tone short that often Ricky couldn’t wind up for his bullet loop. Advantage Randy, 15-10 in the fifth.

But Ricky fought back…and suddenly Randy’s lead evaporated. Courageously, though, Randy struck back. From down 18-17 he went up 19-18. Then 19-all. The next point was a topspin rally and Ricky was able to angle his brother wide to the forehand where Randy attempted a loop around the net but the ball went long—20-19 Ricky. The final point started as a slow topspin exchange with Ricky jab-blocking Randy into his backhand corner. Randy floated one off and Ricky had the bittersweet victory. Commented Ricky after the win, “Did you ever get the feeling you won the tournament and lost it at the same time?’” 

Bill Walk (SPIN, May-June, 1984, 16) covers the 75-entry $1,000 Pennsylvania State Closed—held this year, only for the fifth time in its 47-year history, in Pittsburgh. “In 1971, a 16-year-old named Dan Seemiller became the first player from the western part of the state ever to win the Men’s Open event. In the past 14 years, due in large part to the Seemiller family, the title has stayed in the west 12 of those years.” Here’s Bill with the highlights of the tournament:

“Men’s: Advancing from three round robins were Pittsburgh’s Randy Seemiller, Harrisburg’s Horace White, and Philadelphia’s Enoch Green. Randy had his hands full with the transplanted Jamaican White. Horace kept Seemiller from playing his deadly loop-game by going for quick winners and scoring often. As Randy would step around his backhand to loop, White would hit a bullet backhand to Randy’s unguarded forehand. White was up 18-17 in the first game when Seemiller looped a serve long but claimed the serve was a let. The umpire didn’t see the ball tick the net, but White graciously agreed with Randy—and then quickly lost the next four points. In the second game, White dominated all the way to establish a 20-15 lead. Randy then ran six straight points, and eventually won the game 23-21.

In his next match against Green, White never really got into the match.

The final between Randy and Enoch was anticlimactic. Enoch, who seems to have endless styles of play (offense, defense, shakehands, penhold, and all variations possible), couldn’t decide how to play against Randy. So Randy won his first State title easily (21-9, 21-10).

Women’s: 1. Bich Ngoc Tram over Linda Gaudi.

 Men’s Doubles: Surprise! Randy and TIMMY Seemiller over Horace White/Barney Reed in the semi’s. Then in the final over Green/Hank McCoullum. Hank had played offense and Enoch defense but that style wasn’t best. Later Green admitted that both of them should have played offense.

U-2050: As in the Men’s, three round robins—out of which advanced Jeff Young, Gary Martin, and Barney Reed (the beneficiary of a default from McCoullum which automatically gave Reed a better record than Wolfgang Deutz who’d beaten Hank in straight games). But Reed proved up for the occasion by beating Martin 2-0 and Young 2-1 (after being down 20-17—triple-match-point).

Results of  the Apr. 14-15 Westfield Open: Open Singles: Final: Eyal Adini over George Brathwaite, 18 in the 4th. Semi’s: Adini over Brian Eisner, 17 in the 4th; Brathwaite over Steven Mo, 24-22 in the 4th. Best Quarter’s: Adini over Fu-lap Lee, 17, 19, -20, 20; Eisner over B.K. Arunkumar, 18 in the 5th. Women’s: 1. Jasmine Wang, 4-0. 2. Ai-ju Wu, 3-1. U-2200: George Cameron over Eisner, 18 in the 5th. U-2050: Michael Henry over J. Wang. U-1950: Henry over Peter Dunn. U-1850: George Hellerman over Howard Lee. U-1750: Debashis Kushary over Carlos Monroy who’d escaped Mark Kane, 19 in the 3rd. U-1600: Judith Ackerman over Lyle Seales. U-1450: Carl Skeete over Doug Holtzman. U-1300: Larry Stein over Karen Rugar. U-1150: Raul Mejia over M. Lozada. U-1000: A. Dickinson over Lloyd Thomas, 20, -19, 18. D Doubles: Tony Gegelys/Huang over Marcus/Guy Castronovo. F Doubles: Gegelys/Moreau over Steve Kong/Al Matlosz. Esquire’s: 1. Dan Dickel. 2. Ray Sprague. Senior’s: Brathwaite over Igor Klaf. U-17: 1. Neil Agrawal. 2. A. Thomas. U-13: Steve Fink. 2. Jason Ertel, 2-1.

Winners of the New Jersey Closed, played Apr. 28-29 at Westfield: Championship Singles: 1. Rey Domingo, 3-0 (d. Arunkumar, deuce in the 4th). 2. B.K. Arunkumar, 2-1. 3.-4. Barry Dattel, 0-2. 3.-4. Brian Eisner, 0-2. Best Quarter’s: Arunkumar over John Shareshian, deuce in the 4th. Women’s: Jasmine Wang, 2-0. 2. Joan Fu, 1-1. 3. Sangeeta Dosi, 0-2. Open Doubles: Dattel/Harvey Gutman over Domingo/Ron (“Babe”) Luth who’d outlasted Alan Fendrick/Eisner, 19 in the 3rd. Mixed Doubles: Arunkumar/Ai-ju Wu over Domingo/Fu. Senior Esquire’s: 1. John Kilpatrick. 2. Dan Dickel. 3. Ed Gutman. Esquire’s: Kilpatrick, 20, 18, over Gutman, then 15, 24, over Gene Wonderlin who’d eliminated Ralph Vescera, 15, 23. Senior’s: Mike Kuklakis over Elmer Wengert, 19 in the 3rd. Senior Doubles: Weingart/Kuklakis over Hellerman/S. Sinder. U-21: Fendrick over Ai-ju Wu, 20, -19, 19, then over Wang. U-17: Rajiv Dosi over Michael Sinder. U-15: Sinder over Brian Ertel. U-13: B. Ertel over E. Ertel.

Class A: John Shareshian over Alan Feldman who’d escaped Peter Zajaczkowski, 20, -20, 10. Class B: George Hellerman over Frankie Fong. Class C: Heng Yiu Tsang over Mark Kane, 18 in the 3rd. U-1900 Doubles: Zajaczkowski/David Lowry over Kushary/Tsang. Class D: Vescera over Mark Rose who'd knocked out Kane, 25-23 in the 3rd. U-1700 Doubles: Fu/Kushary over Rose/Kane, 19 in the 3rd. Class E: Fu over Al Matlosz. Class F: Fu over Matlosz. Class G: Nova  Zakaev over Colin Mallows, 12, -20, 20, then over Bill Hampton. U-1400 Doubles: Mallows/Vladimir Lojko over Harry Monroe/Wood. Class H: Mallows over Lojko. Class I: Nicolas Nicolaidis over B. Agrawal. Hard Rubber: Barry Dattel over Bob Holland. 

Fred Danner (Timmy’s, May, 1984, 19) covers the Long Island Open, held Apr. 9th in Huntington’s Finley High School gym:

“With a brand new format and purpose, table tennis (USTTA style) was reborn on Long Island. [Huh? What’s “USTTA style” table tennis?] The hiatus since the mid-seventies caused by top-player boycotts and the pressures for high money prizes [well, at least money prizes] had ultimately forced the Long Island Table Tennis Association out of existence. [But why? In every section of the country tournaments offer prize money, so why was the LITTA, that occasionally had drawn hundreds of locals to its tournaments, “forced” to go its separate way? Because it had an amateur agenda that didn’t draw the top players? And that made a difference between success and failure? But now the LITTA has a brand new purpose? Though still no prize money to attract top players?] Since 1978, only local and club events had been run and there had been no incentive for any new people interested in table tennis promotion to take the risks inherent in promoting a USTTA Open without an in-place operating tournament committee.

In 1982, Neal Golub started a local table tennis tournament promotion to raise money for the Melville Lion’s Club charities. It made a small profit and the tournament was repeated in 1983. Improvements to the format and a better playing-facility were key factors in expanding the event from 38 to 75 local players with net proceeds increasing from $172 to $750. It now looked possible to build this fund-raising tournament into a major charity benefit provided the list of events was expanded and a more professional operation planned.

The 1984 tournament was promoted as part of a USTTA 1-star Open Championships. Over 1800 entry forms were mailed, along with promotions, through the Long Island clubs. Sixteen tables were available for play, and a Township of Huntington Championship was included for the first time to stimulate local-player participation.

A unique feature of the format permitted non-USTTA players to play in one of three Novice events separated from the USTTA Open section of the tournament. This approach was extremely important to the tournament’s financial success, and over a few years will serve to greatly increase USTTA membership on Long Island as these Novice players progress to join the other events. Many new players will want to receive National Ratings when they understand how the system works. [Well, such speculation is certainly upbeat.]

As a result of the expanded promotion 150 players joined the tournament—with 88 entering the USTTA Open events. [Hasn’t this initial rush of players happened before in such a Long Island tournament? Then what?] Preliminary estimates of the net process for charity show about $1,600 available to aid Melville Lion projects for the blind, deaf, and needy. It was my pleasure to deliver a check to the Huntington Helping Hand Rescue Mission last week to help them feed and clothe poor people of the community. Also, several other very worthwhile groups will receive support from the tournament proceeds. We are working on another project to produce a new hearing aid for a needy person who has to have this device to permit her to work productively.” Fred told Jerry Grillo, reporter for the Long Island paper, Newsday (Apr. 6, 1984, 24), “There is a woman I know who will be able to hear for the first time after this. That’s what this tournament is for.”

You can see by now that this type of USTTA promotion is not the usual one reported in our newspapers. For the first time we are evolving a tournament format which will attract people outside of the normal  table tennis channels to help promote, sponsor, and run the event. As we build up and further develop this promotion we hope to aim for several important goals.

First, we want to expand the tournament over several years to a 1,000-player level. It is possible to get a large ‘free’ facility to run such an event by gaining support of the local town government and school board. At levels over the 400-player mark, it is much easier to get extensive local and regional media coverage. When crowds develop at this tournament we would next like to build up charity revenues through paid spectator admissions. Local businesses may then be willing to sponsor prize money or underwrite some of the unavoidable expenses. Prize money is justified when it produces increased revenues from paid spectator admissions. The charity nature of the events permits tax deductible contributions from businesses and individuals who want to help the worthy cause.  [So if prize money is to be brought into play to attract talented players to give spectators their money’s worth, all you have to do is get more and more local players each year, hundreds of them perhaps (so long as they can hold a racket), to enter this annual tournament—with very interested family and friends willing to pay admission to watch them?]

The success in achieving the above goals will depend on the active cooperation of the USTTA and our ability to attract top-quality volunteers (particularly young people) for the Operating Team. [Success, it seems to me, depends on the ever-increasing, perhaps ever-varying number of local players you can get to play in the tournament. One of these certainly is Bill Ma. “I enjoy watching the game almost as much as playing it,” he told Newsday reporter Grillo. “It’s a dazzling thing to watch, like a ballet.”] In any event, the progress made over the first three tournaments exceeded our expectations. We are confident of large success in future years.” [Well, though I think Fred is very optimistic, even a moderate success has to be wonderful for the needy.]

Results: Open Singles: Dave Llewellyn over Kok Liung, 5, 17, -10, 15. Women’s: Flora Ng over Lena Martinsson, 11, 10, 10. A’s: Llewellyn over Dan Green (default due to injury). B’s: Stu Kroll over Bill Ma, 16, 19. C’s: Mike Egner over Art Brunelle, 14, 18. D’s: Steve Lerner over Lyle Seales, 20, 12. E’s: Mike Rose over Arvo Hytinnen, 8, 13. Junior Adults: Ovidiu Nazarbechian over Ed Su, -19, 10, 12. Adult Novice: Oscar Teltier over Steve Hertz, -18, 10, 10. Boys Novice: Scott Hertz over Ken Rappaport, 7, 11. Girls Novice: Martinsson over Mindy Rosenberg, 7, 5.

Huntington Men’s: IBM assistant engineer Dan Green over neurologist Dr. Philip Su, 18, 18. Reporter Grillo speaks of Green and Su being “tennis partners.” But he says, “Both men prefer the quickness of table tennis. ‘It’s more challenging than tennis,’ Green said. ‘The game sharpens your reflexes. This sport requires a quicker eye and mind than tennis.’ Huntington Women’s: Loretta Jasinkonis over Debra Cohen, 15, 15. Huntington Jr. Men: Ed Su over Jason Seturno, 13, 9. Huntington Jr. Women: Melinda Su over Rosenberg, 19, 19. Huntington Doubles: Green/Golub over Su/Su, 18, 18. 

Long Islanders recently lost Frank Davison, a long-time friend of the Game. As I’ve written on Frank in previous volumes, I’ll forgo my obit and instead give you (Timmy’s, May, 1984, 19) Dr. Mitch Silbert’s remembrance of Frank: 

“I met Frank Davison for the first time in 1946, the year we moved into our first home in the Franklin Square-West Hempstead area. No sooner were Shirley and I (and our little two-year-old son Alan) settled I was able to locate the only table tennis activity on Long Island at that time—a club in the basement of a church in Freeport run by Frank Davison.

My earliest recollection of this club includes poor lighting, a rickety wooden floor, dented tables, winter cold and summer heat. However, competition was keen and it was great to be playing regularly again. I made a number of new friends. [As readers of these volumes know, I’ve also written about Dr. Silbert, my former Doubles partner.]

Around 1950, Frank built a new home in Baldwin around a large, well-designed basement that held two tables. It was well-illuminated with adequate space for playing and tournaments. This new home became the hub of table tennis activity for some 20 years on Long Island.

 Besides weekly tournaments, and an occasional Long Island ‘Closed,’ league matches were held regularly. A Baldwin team was formed—some of the players: Frank Davison, John Sullivan, Mitch Silbert, Tom Franklin, Bud Brindley, Mary Larson, and Mark Matthews [formerly Marcus Schussheim—see my Vol. I—considered the best player in the country from 1928 through the founding of the USTTA in 1933]. This team had a consistently good record in the league matches.

Frank was always a generous host—his home was open to all his many friends and table tennis players, not only for the sport, but also for card-playing till all hours of the morning, for meetings of the Long Island Table Tennis Association, and for social functions and parties.

Life-long friendships were made in that basement of Frank’s—a number of you readers will remember the players you met and played with there: Peggy McLean, Tom Sullivan, Lionel Ovelton, Harold Green, Alice Green, Arthur Draper, Phil Malamud, Helen Marcus, Bob Telzrow, George Mott, Marv Shaffer, Bob Rosenthal, Frank Milano, Angelo Gutierrez, Gunther Sautjer, Harry Liedke, Henry Deutsch, Bernie Lieber, Carol Haddock, and so many others.

I would venture to say that Frank Davison kept table tennis ‘alive and well on Long Island’ for more years than many of us remember. I also had the pleasure and privilege of teaming up with Frank to win several doubles tournaments—he was a fine competitor.

Like all aspects of life—times change. A new table tennis group formed at the home of Mary Larson, in Rockville Centre, where a large room housed two tables with adequate lighting, playing space, and seating for spectators. Most table tennis activity was transferred to this new location. [This is where I, on coming back to the Game in 1965 after a 10-year absence, began playing, and where, in preparing for the 1979 Pyongyang, North Korea World’s, my two sons Scott and Eric, and Long Islander Roger Sverdlik, practiced.]

Eventually and unfortunately, Frank suffered financial reverses, and ill health forced him to cease playing the game he loved so well. But so many of us table tennis ‘aficionados’ will always feel a sense of gratitude to a man who devoted so much of his life to the enhancement and enjoyment of table tennis.

Frank Davison: may he rest in peace.”