By Ted Lipsky (1976), from the Wheatley Alumni Newsletter
I grew up on Locust Lane at the bottom of Saddle Lane right across from the RCC. The fact that the community allowed the Club to deteriorate is another sign of apathy and not putting value on what is truly important – COMMUNITY. I literally grew up at The Country Club, beginning as a baby in the kiddie pool and being taught how to swim by Barry Fox and my mom, who was a fixture at the club playing cards everyday in the corner between the men’s locker room and the bathrooms, always having a clear eye on the pool and where we were.
By the time I was 6 I was already competing on the swimming team with Nancy Weissman, and we had meets almost every week at the Village Bath Club, the RCC, the Plandome Yacht Club, and many others, and eventually I improved enough to compete at open meets in Manorhaven, swimming butterfly and freestyle in the long course 50 meter pool.
The RCC was the center of my universe as a young boy learning the proper values of family, community, friendships with people like Robin Firetog, Paul Katz, David Eysler, and way too many others to name, and our RCC family as we were all family there looking out for each other every single day, and having “credit” from the Fox’s at the snack bar so I could eat each day.
The RCC was so much more than a pool, a tennis club, a snack bar, the Club House, the paddle ball courts /handball courts, the makeshift basketball court behind the men’s locker room, and climbing the fence by the corner of the paddle ball courts and tennis courts to go down the hill through the woods to avoid walking through the parking lot, which was way too far to walk! Seeing pictures of the club in its present state of disrepair on Google Earth is heartbreaking to me. As Howard Senft (1967) wrote, $100 was a steal. They should have started raising dues back in the early 70s as the community became more affluent, but sadly people were too interested in other meaningless things.
I find it amazing that “The Community” has not banded together to create a fund to fully renovate and restore the club to all its glory, but I guess a McMansion and wealth is more important today than family and community.
Just another example of how low we have sunk as a society.