Approximately 40 years ago, I was playing tennis with John Schroll, Gary Dalpiaz and Nels Glesne down at the Schmoldt Park tennis courts when I suddenly fell to the court with a torn Achilles Tendon. I wore a cast for the next few months, and it slowed down my tennis playing. Eventually, John and Gary quit playing tennis but not Nels Glesne.
Nels and Marge Glesne and their five children, lived in Beardstown for years; their home was in the 1300 block on State Street. Nels was a partner in the Illinois Forest Products Co. and for six years was one of my bosses, being a member of the Beardstown Park District Board of Directors.
When Nels retired, the family moved to North Carolina and it was there that Nels joined a tennis group and he continued to play tennis several times each week. I recently received a copy of the Asheville Citizen-Times sports section which had an article with a headline: “4 PLAYERS, 382 YEARS.”
It told about the finals of the Asheville open tennis championship and Dave Carey, (99) and his (97) year old partner, Nels Glesne, who took on a couple of 93 year old kids–W.T. Mathes and James Chavasse–in the 90 and older doubles finals. Not surprising the youngsters won the tournament. Their ages added up to 382 with Carey being just four months from his 100th birthday.
At age 85, Carey was the World’s Tennis Champ in the 85 and older class. The four are living proof that age is just a number and tennis is a sport of a lifetime. Carey who suffered a mild stroke a year ago, and has had both hips replaced, never let those experiences stop his tennis playing.
We visited Nels and Marge a few years ago when they had an apartment in a retirement home similar to where we are living. Marge had been having health problems and she passed away earlier this year. The Glesne’s three daughters, Corrine, Ann and Jane all live in the eastern states. Their son, Tom, was the only one of the children who didn’t graduate from Beardstown High School. When he was a junior in high school, he was accepted in a special class of superior students at Duke University. That training and further degrees, enabled him to be employed as the director of a company connected with NASA with offices high up on a mountain in Maui. Tom supervised over 225 employees, who with a number of giant telescopes, had the job of tracing everything that would be flying in the atmosphere.
It is not surprising that Nels plans to eventually move to beautiful Maui near Tom. That is, if there is a tennis court near by.
D. Paul Miller, age 95, a Normal, Illinois man, won seven medals in the National Senior Olympics at Cleveland Ohio. There were athletes from all fifty states and 10 foreign countries competing in the Olympics. Miller set two national records, one in cycling and one in track. His time in the 100-meter dash was 25.79 seconds which best the old record of 28.80. Miller said, “I was pushed, I had a runner on both sides of me trying to win also.” AND I THINK I AM OLD–I believe I make a better spectator, especially if it is on television.