Glory days in the second division

It’s not just celebrities that write autobiographies, there will be a day when a non-entity, like a blogger for example, publishes his/her life story on paper, and with astute marketing and a bit of luck it will sell like cement. The book won’t even need to have the boring background material in it. The story could centre on just one event. A ski-lift journey, the first time you encountered hot water or tuning in the radio and having the bottle to listen to the police messages. You see every one has a book in them.

And I laboured long in thought, cranium Chronos-like, before the brain epidural concluded that nothing of great interest had ever happened to me. The autobiography would have to wait until a page-turning significant experience manifested itself into the drudgery of my existence. As a would-be writer this was a rebarbative circumstance that shelled me like Hypatia, the last librarian of Alexandria. Ikea! This little-known cataloguer of expiry dates gave me an idea for a book.

Sadly, my other commitment, the musical I’m working on, had to be put on ice, so to speak. However I was excited about the prospect of writing a full-length magnum opus. If my autobiography would be a DeLorean in print there was nothing stopping me writing a Dino de Laurentis biography of someone else instead. Not for me the usual suspects. I wanted to write about a minor figure in history. If you look past the chieftains there are some really interesting underlings.

Step forward with your wooden racquet: Victor Pecci

Victor Pecci was a Paraguayan tennis player that strode through the circuit like a second rate Colossus in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Although he wasn’t even in the second string of hitters like Vitas Gerulaitis and GuillermoVilas he left a mark on me. I watched him on the TV at Wimbledon, and as a fledgling tennis star myself I was mightily impressed with his ground strokes.

Contemporaries at the time cynically pointed out Victor’s uncanny resemblance to the young Freddie Mercury as a source of my idolisation for such an unsung racketeer. The likeness is purely coincidental. Pecci could put a tennis ball on a tanner. Freddie, incidentally, was an accomplished table tennis player in his youth. Strange but true.

My mind was now straight sets up. A Pecci biography was what the English-speaking world was waiting for. Massive research would have to go into this venture. Working on the assumption that Victor still had family in Asuncion I bought a plane ticket to South America and packed my bats.

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22 Comments on “Glory days in the second division”

  1. WOW, JW – Magnificent! And d'you still have those shorts?

  2. Tennis – Yippee!!

    Who was it who said – ?

    Give me a tennis racket, fresh air and a beautiful partner – and you can keep my tennis racket and the fresh air…

  3. suspect it was you, CI…

  4. Expat Says:

    Dolores, you beat me to it!!

    Anyway, D. Was your “magnificent” for the tennis prowess or the rear view?

  5. There are two (and only two) Iconic Images of the Swinging Sixties, and I'm the chap in a red headband in this clip!!!

  6. 'Prowess' Expat? There was Prowess too…?

    CI – “Unforgettable… that's what you are…” (singing here)

  7. JW10 Says:

    Good morning everyone,

    Sorry for the delay in replying. The taxi driver in Glasgow (probably deliberately) took me to Uruguay instead. Eventually he got me to Paraguay; the fare for the meter in the cab was a small country’s GDP.

    To pay my way I’m giving tennis lessons to budding Peccis. Trouble is they keep beating me after a short time. I blame these tight shorts for my lack of prowess. Not much room for mobility.

  8. Jon Says:

    “I blame these tight shorts for my lack of prowess. Not much room for mobility.”

    It's true that they can constrain important blood flow. I think I'd quite like Paraguay. As soon as I sell my book and make a fortune, I shall go. Sometime in 2053, then.

  9. Paraguay, JW… Uruguay… What's wrong with Bognor?
    (the shorts would work Anywhere)

    May all your Pressies be ludicrously extravagant!

  11. Coincidences…

    You see, I wizzed my Mum across the Channel for her surprise 57th birthday. She loved tennis, and Jimmy Connors was her hero…

    So thank you for reminding me, and here's a Happy Birthday to you JW!

    PS. You beat me to it again, Dolores!

  12. Expat Says:

    Remember, remember the 9th of November…

    Happy Birthday JW!

  13. JW10 Says:

    Thanks Dolores for such a wonderful greeting.

    After dropping hints for years at last I got a truckload of Road Runners to have as pets. I haven’t the heart to eat the fast fellows.

    Thoroughly enjoying nosily reading your “cat worry” thread. Sorry I haven’t contributed more to the conversation. You three ladies are in fine form and I don’t want to break the rhythm of your excellent rallies.

  14. JW10 Says:

    Thanks CI for the warm greeting.

    Your mum certainly knew her stuff. Borg, Connors and McEnroe (not forgetting the underachieving Pecci) was the Fonzarelli days of tennis. That’s hey-days, if you know what I mean. Wooden bats, headbands and …unnhhfff… tight shorts.

  15. JW10 Says:

    Thanks Expat for the firework birthday message.

    It’s always wondrous researching the stars who share your birthday. The 9th November inductees are slim pickings indeed. Only notables are Lou Ferrigno, Den Stratton and Alessandro Del Piero. I must be more famous than all of them.

  16. Certainly more famous In Parts, JW!

    Please drop in on the other side if you find a moment betwixt your whizzing about

  17. Expat Says:

    You've started something now, JW. My birthday sharers include:

    Salvador Dali
    Irving Berlin
    Eric Burdon
    Baron von Munchausen
    Chang and Eng (a twofer)
    Margaret Rutherford
    Valentino (fashion guru, not silent film star)

  18. Do you like my big nose and moustache?

  19. JW10 Says:

    Your fellow birthday chums are much more well-known than my non-entities, Expat. I’ve been desperately trying to find a big name 9th’er to dazzle you with. Can’t find any. Have instead looked at momentous events that occurred on my birthday, I do have the fall of the Berlin wall up my sleeve.

    CI, is that an impression of Salvador Dali? You’re very surreal.

  20. Eric Burdon, Expat – fond memories of vinyl blastings from bedroom windows (There is (beat beat) a house (beat beat) in Noo Orleans…).

    My best 5th Oct birthday is Donald Pleasance (we're could be twins). But I see you've gravitated to Events, JW – so earth-shatteringly, 'in 1430 Duke Philip The GOOD of Bourgondy visits Brussels'.

    Who named him thus, one wonders. Was his mother Something in the Court…

  21. Expat Says:

    Nobody really famous, JW? How about King Edward VII!! You can't get much more famous than that.

    Well, there is also Tom Fogerty of CCR, the great Carl Perkins,and Mary Travers, not to mention Carl Sagan.

  22. JW10 Says:

    Thanks for that one, Expat. How did I miss out on King Edward VII?
    If I can throw one back at you and a lovely one at that. (Though not as lovely as you) You share with the Aussie songbird- Holly Valance.

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