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11-14-06; #11
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A Road Trip with Whitey: Keeping up with John White

By L-J Anjema © Nov 14, 2006
Laurens-Jan Anjema and SquashTalk LLC

Traveling with John White (photo ©Debra Tessier )

Flying gets to you. It’s all exciting and good
fun in the beginning but after a while, when you can literally word the
stewardess’ safety
instructions before her and (don’t) listen to her “EVEN THOUGH
you’re a frequent flyer”, driving from A to B sounds lovely.

that’s what Whitey (John White) and I decided to do after the
US Open in Boston. Instead of waiting in line for hours and almost fully
undressing (what? my pants too?!) to go through all sorts of X-ray machines,
we decided to go for a lil’ road trip.

City of departure: Boston.
Destination: Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love.

My prior suspicions
of letting Whitey rent the car got thrown out of the window when he turned
up with an awesome, huge and modern black Jeep. After literally half
a minute we already got lost; we (read: Whitey) followed the instructions
from the tournament hotel, instead of following the instructions ‘starting’ from the Avis rental company
street corner… After a few circles around the block downtown Boston
we found our way out of the city. This was gonna be a long trip…

After a few hours, zig-zagging through traffic (cars
in America stay on the left even though they drive like grandma) we stopped
somewhere at Mac Donalds for the oh so healthy MacSalad (oh yeah and
some burgers!). Then, sitting in the car, eating our MacFood, ‘the’ infamous
conversation between Whitey and myself took place:
Whitey: “Where are we now, mate?”
LJ: “At a Mac Donalds in New Haven.”
Whitey: “Oh yeah, there!!”
Enough said…

After a long day of fighting over which radio station
we’d tune
up to (Whitey using the tuning buttons on the steering wheel and me using
the regular ones) and stories of the tour (the best one being Joe Kneipp
reversing up to three times (!) into the car behind him at a traffic
light in Antwerp caus’ he didn’t know where 1st gear was)
we arrived at Whitey’s home. Finally, we could sit back and chill

Or, so I thought…

From the moment the door opened till way after dinner,
kids were screaming, running, kicking, throwing food and other things,
fighting, hugging and shouting: “Daddy, daddy, you’re home!! Kids wanted me to
hold them, play with them, throw them in the air, play piano with them
and make drawings for them while Johnny was upstairs cleaning the bathroom
as Tyler (7) was being sick. I guess this is what life with four kids
(two of them being 2 year old twins) is like…

Right now, on a Tuesday evening in november, Whitey’s kids are
in bed,  I’m sitting on the couch in the living area which
one hour ago was a complete war zone and I realize: for this guy, playing
tournaments is a holiday!

(14th November, 20:28, Philadelphia) 







Jan Anjema:
PSA Ranking 11-1-2008: #14

Audio Interview
His website (
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