The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Playing Tennis at 2 a.m.

By: Mitch Worley-Quill Reporter

July 30, 2008

There are some things in life you'll do you'll never forget.

We've all done things as crazy has packing six people in a compact car for a late night McDonald's run, stay up all night playing video games and hanging out with friends even though you have to go to church the next morning, or even better, getting a wild hair and wanting to go play tennis at WIU's lovely outdoor tennis facility at one in the morning.

This past week was absolutely insane with trying to sell ads for the Fred Gibb Car Show and Summerfest, put the finishing touches on my youth group's golf tournament, then host it, make sure I kept up on my journalistic duties for this newspaper, as well as manage the service and preach at my church, followed up by doing the exact same thing a couple hours later at the nursing home.

One would think I would be burned out, tired, maybe even mad about everything happening all at once, but that is far from how I felt as it was all unfolding and taking place.

All of our wonderful advertisers were happy and more than willing to show their support for the two great events of our summer that bring everyone together for an entire week of fun and fellowship, the golf tournament went extremely well, the work for the paper was time consuming, but fun learning about the things I was writing about and getting to talk to people I don't get to converse with as often as I would like about things, and for as inexperienced of a fill-in pastor as I was, everything went rather smoothly and it was extremely fulfilling to deliver the message to the residents of the nursing home and being able to sit and talk with them afterward and share a laugh or two with them.

Like a raccoon or bat, I had grown to be nocturnal for a few days this week, as I had often been geeked up and overwhelmed sometimes about all that I needed to accomplish.

Rather than calling it a week Sunday night when all was said and done and the best part of the summer was now all that was left in front of me, I stayed up late and hung out with a couple of my friends, making two trips to Macomb in the process.

Our original intent was to go out and eat, then play some night tennis, but my friends were afraid of the lightening and light sprinkle and didn't want to be struck and risk electrocution.

I thought my night was over, but we had talked one of our friends who now lives in Quincy into buying a tennis racquet earlier that night and once the storm had subsided, he wanted to head back to WIU's campus to use it at least once because he complained that he bought it for nothing and would never use it.

We strapped on our wrist bands and head bands to look legit (even though we're not too great at the game), hopped in a little Honda and were off to Western for the second time in six hours.

At this point, I had realized it was about 1 a.m. and worried we may get into some trouble turning on the lights for the tennis court and being out there so late at night, but I had to worry more about whether or not I would live due to the lackluster driving ability of the genius that was in such a hurry to hit the courts, just to get destroyed by Blake and myself.

We ended up getting to the courts unscathed, playing point after point until we returned to La Harpe around 3 a.m. to play some PS3 and eventually crash hours later.

Those are the nights people don't forget.

The epic week I had was capped off by a night that to most doesn't seem like a big deal, but when I think back at age 50 and can't even bend down to pick up a tennis racquet from the ground, I'll cherish that moment and wish to relive it one more time.

Friends may come and go, so may the fun and good times, but memories last forever.