THE AVENTURA TENNIS GUYS
Contributed by The Honorable Bob Diamond
According to medical experts, exercising regularly, maintaining social relationships and engaging the mind, leads to a longer, healthier life. Our group of forty men, known as “The Aventura Tennis Guys,” fits the criteria. Together for over 25 years, with an average age about 75, we play tennis together in the early morning (currently at the Diplomat Country Club), then breakfast together, socialize and annually, a black tie dinner led by Sy Schachner. The glue that keeps us together is Bob Novick, affectionately known as our “Beloved Dictator.”
Once a week, in season, we celebrate each others’ birthdays with a breakfast at local locations. Novick usually opens with praise for the birthday boy(s); Sid Brodsky follows weekly with terrific jokes, occasionally followed by Norman Bank, Eddie Cohen, Bob Gertler and Chuck Setty. Joey LaMotta (from Raging Bull) always ends the birthday party leading us in singing Volare (none of us remember the words) Happy Birthday, followed by a song to the tune of “These Are the Days,” with words written by our Stu Wagner. After the party, we then discuss the major international issues of the day; monitored by Commissioner Billy Joel. What makes our group discussions fascinating is some buddies are on the far left, some on the far right, with many in between. After everyone is given the opportunity to speak, we then help the world by deciding the issues with a straw vote. We part as friends and prepare for the next hot discussion the following week. An important part of our group has been our friends who, for age or injuries, are no longer able to play tennis, but continue to regularly participate with our parties and discussions, include Hy Kupperberg (age 95), Julie Cooper (age 93), Ruby Honickman (age 91), Morris Kay (age 90), Milt Siegal, Stan Bramow, Joey La Motta, Marvin Gertzog and Mitch Fishman.