#466 Nibley Park, Glendale / Kabab Way

The pre-dawn starts are one of the things I like the most about this tennis quest. Los Angeles spends much of the day looking grim, but dawn continues to be rosy. I felt excited to see the sunrise through the front of the 33 bus as we barreled downtown towards my destination, Nibley Park.

This was a suggestion from my excellent new tennis friend L. That’s not his real initial, I’m just calling him that because he likes to play left-handed. We’ve done this three times now and I’m getting much better. Meanwhile, he is getting much, much better. It’s good to see improvement.

Nibley is indeed a gem as L promised: two courts tucked away in a neighborhood-y looking part of Glendale full of slope-y rooves and scary-but-not-too-scary Halloween decorations. Big ol’ trees surround the court and people also use the park for boxing lessons and ukelele practice.

Today was the first day of a new tradition for the tennis quest — writing the name of the court on a ball and also asking the person I play with to sign it. This was the suggestion of my nephew N (for Not his real initial). Such a good idea. I am really heartened to have more folks contributing ideas for the quest!

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Kabab Way actually puts the phrase “No Heart Burn” on their big sign along Glendale Boulevard. I saw that on the bus while my sunrise excitement was still strong enough to make me feel optimistic about everything in sight. The optimism was still going strong on the way home, so I hopped off the bus to check this place out… and sure enough, no heartburn. So let’s call that a promise kept.

Published by MarkGozonsky

Mark Gozonsky is the author of The Gift is to the Giver: Chronicles of a 21st Century Decade (Keppie Usage, 2022). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Sun, and Lit Hub. Mark’s essay, “Gritty All Day Long,” is anthologized by Norton and featured in Best American Sports Writing. He has been writing since his emergence as a gigantic music nerd in early-1970’s San Antonio, Texas. Stints as a regular commentator on public radio’s Marketplace and Internet 1.0 exec preceded a 20-year run as a public school teacher. Marko’s favorite writing topics include unorthodox pedagogy, well-intended gardening, and the intersection of baseball and urban bicycling. He lives with his wife in Los Angeles, where he is working on a new book about his quest to play tennis on every free public court in LA.

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