I dreamt I saw Sara Choy play tennis

Sacred Heart tennis ace and Palo Alto resident Sara Choy a moment after dispatching her Saint Francis adversary in CCS action, Cuesta Park

Sacred Heart tennis ace and Palo Alto resident Sara Choy a moment after dispatching her Saint Francis adversary in CCS action, Cuesta Park


Terry and I split a sandwich from Refuge in Menlo Park. She likes Russian dressing, I prefer yellow mustard. I saved the receipt.
Then I dropped her at my apartment, at Oak Creek and rushed out. She said she was taking a nap. She had come from Dr. Nguyen her new dentist. Sometimes she gets up and kinda goes nuts and straightens up my place, which means I end up cursing her if I am looking for something in a hurry and she has messed with my system.

The news said there was a ladies tennis, Sacred Heart and St. Francis. The little girl in our building — she was once in our newsletter — was playing top singles for SHP. In fact, she at 15 is considered the Section’s ace. (I, for comparison, went as high as #13 at Gunn, which is #4 JV singles, for 3 matches not 4, in spring 1982, which is a whiles ago, believe me).

I got to Cuesta by about 2:30 for the 2 p.m. match. Sara was up 5-0. I didn’t catch the name of the Lancer. Freckles, reddish hair?
John Swetka was there. Alex’s son. Runs the tennis store, the family business with Kenny Arnold, from my old neighborhood, west of 280 and was my coach or Gunn’s assistant the day I beat Doug Knapp in a ladder challenge. Doug was living at Oak Creek incidentally, and hung with Rick Fisher and his Corvette. I know John from the Fantasy Football league we are both in — Kenny, too. (I actually founded the league, in 1978, with Brian Evans, whose two brothers were part of The Streak).

I said hello to Jeff Arons, a former Terman, Gunn and Stanford star. His brother Rick was my classmate and teammate, I guess. (And also part of The Streak).

I met a man named Jue or Jew from San Jose and Milpitas with a daughter at SF.

I chatted up a man in a Cornell sweatershirt and it turned out to be Joe Mitchner, Zale Mitchner’s cousin, who went to M-A with Bob Melvin. (Our parents would have known each other, close enough; maybe we are distantly related).

Sara Choy won her match handily. I think SHP won. They are Top 10 CCS in football these days. I will read John Reid tomorrow in Merc and Daily News to get the part of the story I may have missed.

Not sure if I think I am channeling Hemingway or Salinger here or Twain inventor of the shaggy dog story.

Good luck, Sara. (I had previously kind of trash-talked her on behalf of Sami Andrew of M-A, Stephanie Savides daughter, my Terman, Fremont Hills and Gunn schoolmate).

Previous times I had met Sara I had mentioned a list of former Gunn ladies champions: Savides, Rebecca Dirkson, Barrie Bulmore, maybe Cami Mitchell.

Mitchner is re-elected to the Mountain View Los Altos High School Board so has a good excuse to watch student athletes like Sara and her opponent. I mentioned that I helped Zale get his first job in advertising, as John Noble’s assistant.

Joe Mitchner

Joe Mitchner

edit to add: the headline is a reference to Joe Hill, Wayne Horvitz, Wallace Stegner and Joan Baez; people say “Plastic Alto” is obscure enough but I almost wish I had called this “I dreamt I saw Alex Swetka last night” I never died said he.

three weeks later: Sara Choy, CCS champ: will she 4-pete?
Congrats to Sara Choy for winning CCS. You missed the point that unlike 70 percent of the young people you mention in your prep coverage Sara is actually a Palo Alto resident (and in fact, my neighbor). She went to Terman, before Sacred Heart. She gets a pass on that in that SHP tennis coach is former Gunn and Stanford All-America Jeff Arons.

You might have mentioned not the random San Mateo player but Rebecca Dirksen, like Barrie Bulmore a Gunn player and 2-time CCS champ. (And Dartmouth “Wearer of The Green”).

Sara with due respect dodged a bullet in the form of Menlo-Atherton ace not Van Linge but Sami Andrew, a senior playing doubles but maybe not singles in the post-season, who is the daughter of another Gunn CCS champ Stephanie Savides. (Savides by the way, reminded me apropos of Sara that by age 16 she was California State Champion women’s not just 16s, because I asked). Sara would likely beat Sami at least until she learns to tap her inner-Savides, then all bets are off.

Tom Savides meanwhile played Harvard tennis with PAUSD Kevin Skelley.

39 minutes later, and oddly Terry is back at Dr.Nguyen today:
ok, stand corrected, or you can update and edit as you see fit:

The five Gunn CCS ladies champions individually, total of seven crowns: Bulmore (’77, ’78), Serena Wu (’86), Tammy Robertson (’88), Vedica Jain (’92) and Dirksen (’94, ’95). Stephanie Savides despite being ranked #1 in every age division in her youth career for NorCal never won CCS invididual title, but did win team championship with Gunn in 1982, her junior year. She played for Stanford, went as high as #263 in the world and is a successful realtor in Menlo Park, and mother of Menlo-Atherton’s Sami Andrew, a quarterfinalist in doubles this her senior year.

Kudos to Sara Choy of Palo Alto and Sacred Heart. Here’s to a 4-peat!

(I met Stephanie at Fremont Hills of Palo Alto school in 1974, never hit with her in tennis but wrote about her as sports editor of the Gunn Oracle…and Plastic Alto my blog; I met Sara meanwhile in the laundry room of our building in 2012).

I last saw Dirksen meanwhile at a restaurant owned by the wife of Mac MacCaughan of Superchunk rock band (Cubberley, 1999) and Merge Records in Chapel Hill, North Carolina circa 2003, she coaching Lady Tar Heels and me managing Blue Eyed Devils band on tour. I saw Dirksen win CCS in 1995 and then one match for Dartmouth circa 1998.

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About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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