Tennis Tournament Director
BY FRED CHERNOW
Photo courtesy of Annelies Karp
WHAT WAS YOUR ESCAPE LIKE?
Really, quite comfortable. My mother, Lieselott
Kaiser, packed us up with lots of clothes we
seldom wore, because they did not look
“American.” The S.S. Bremen was a luxurious
ocean liner which made regular transatlantic
crossings between Germany and the U.S. It
carried first class passengers as well as cargo.
My mother was an excellent ballroom dancer.
She was thrilled when asked to dance with
fellow passenger, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., the
actor who appeared in swashbuckler films,
such Robin Hood, and The Mark of Zorro.
WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?
We lived in Lynbrook, but just over the
line from the Malverne School District. After
graduating Malverne High School, I enrolled
in Adelphi University and became a teacher. I
enjoyed my career in the Island Trees schools.
I graduated college in May and married in
August. I met my future husband, Charlie,
through an introduction. He was a dentist
who practiced in Lynbrook, and we lived in
Baldwin for 38 years before I moved to NST
in 2002. Charlie passed away in 1994.
WHERE IS YOUR FAMILY NOW?
I spend a lot of time in the air visiting them.
My son, Jeffrey, lives in California with his family.
He is the president of a video game company.
My daughter, Debby, a psychologist, lives in
Arizona with her family. Jody lives in nearby,
Roslyn, where she is a college and camp adviser.
I have a granddaughter in Boston, another in
New York, and three in California; one grandson
is in San Diego, another is in New York,
and one is still living at home—a total of eight.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN TENNIS?
I was a Phys Ed minor in college and always
participated in sports. I was an active volleyball
player into my 30’s. When Charlie was off on
Wednesdays, we started taking tennis lessons
together. We became pretty good players, as did
our son Jeffrey. When Jeffrey became a serious
tennis player, I volunteered to work with the
U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) and Eastern
Tennis Association (ETA). Through my work,
I met many famous players and coaches, like
Dan Dwyer, the legendary Pro at the Woodmere
Country Club and coach of future tennis stars,
like John McEnroe. He asked me to run tournaments.
I enjoyed doing this and am still involved.
I ran tournaments for all age groups at Robbie
Wagner Tournament Training Center for 16 years
and Glen Head Racquet Club for 19 years. I
currently run a Boys 16 and 18 tournament at
NST. They come from all over the United States
and even from foreign countries.
WHAT IS YOUR ARIZONA CONNECTION?
I moved there in 1996 to be near my daughter
and two of my grandchildren. Scottsdale is a
great place to spend the winter. There is so
much for me to do there: I play tennis all winter,
of course, and Pickleball. There’s a movie group
I joined, plus canasta and dinners out. The best
part is spending quality time with my family.
WHAT IS PICKLEBALL?
Pickleball combines elements of badminton
and tennis. Two or four players use solid
paddles made of wood or composite to hit a
perforated ball, similar to a Whiffle Ball, over a
low net. It was invented in Washington State in
1965. A dad returned from golf one afternoon
to find his kids bored. They attempted to set
up a badminton game but couldn’t find a shuttlecock.
They improvised with a Whiffle Ball,
lowered the badminton net, and fabricated
paddles from spare plywood. The family dog,
Pickles, was fascinated watching them, so they
named their invented game, Pickleball. It is
extremely popular on the west coast, in Florida
and now at NST among both men and women.
Come down any Tuesday morning and sign up
with Gerry Rosenberg of Building One.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE MEN’S
I used to sew a lot of my clothes and made
my own tennis dresses. One time I needed a
colorful scarf and bought some printed silk.
There was some material left over. On a whim,
I went to my husband’s closet and selected an
old tie, took it apart and used it as a pattern
for a new tie using the leftover silk. He wore it
to his office and got a lot of compliments. He
told admirers his wife made it. I started getting
calls to produce handmade ties for other men.
I specialized in extra-long ties for heavy men
and small ones for Bar Mitzvah boys. I selected
unusual prints, and no two were alike. The
business lasted two years until I got seriously
involved with tennis.
YOU’VE DONE SO MANY THINGS:
KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, TIE MAKER,
ARTS AND CRAFTS TEACHER, AND TENNIS
TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR FOR 35 YEARS.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?
I’d have to say running tennis tournaments.
For 13 years, I coached age 12 and under kids.
I always emphasized their need to analyze
their opponents. I’d always ask, “What’s their
forehand, their backhand?” When I meet them
years later they greet me warmly and express
their gratitude for that important lesson. We
have many tennis events here and Mary Anne
Langone, our Country Club Manager, eagerly
supports the events of our tennis community
along with CeeCee Farfan. We have potluck
dinners and even show videos, such as Tennis
Etiquette, which our members benefit from.
Rick Bates does a great job as Tennis Pro and is
proud of our Har-Tru courts, which are paved
with ground shale and provide a soft surface.
They are also lit up at night.
Annelies Karp was born into a prosperous Berlin family, who had to flee Germany as the
war clouds gathered, when she was three-years-old. Her transition to the United States was
different from others you’ve heard about. Her father was a successful physician married
to an attractive woman. Their social life included fancy dinners and elegant dances. Dr.
Kaiser left first to set up his office and find a house in the U.S. He soon sent for the rest of
the family who set sail on the S.S. Bremen. Theirs was the last ship to leave Germany for
the United States, with furniture.
4 NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER ¢ September 2018