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Borrego landscape, October 2006


The next tournament will be the weekend of January 13 - 14, 2007. This is close to the peak of the season, so you should get lodging reservations early. If you are planning to play, you must sign up by 7:30 p.m. on the eve of the tournament. Sign-up at the clubhouse, or contact Jef or Kathy: phone 760-767-4536, e-mail:, or if all else fails, call the tennis center at 760-767-0577 the Friday night before the tournament (definitely before 8 p.m.). The draw will be completed by around 9:00 P.M. and play will begin on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. If you want us to call you with the start time, add your phone number with your name when you sign up. Also, if you are just joining the club, please provide contact information, preferably an e-mail address, if you wish to receive a newsletter, and if you want to be listed in the club's directory. If you want to share and consume goodies, there will be a Goody Bar in the clubhouse on Saturday and Sunday mornings.


The happy hour/potluck will occur 6:30/7:15 p.m., Saturday night, January 13, 2007, at the tennis center. If you want to contribute to the door prizes, remember to place them in the door prize area before dinner.


Tennis club member, Ruth Johnson, passed away January 4, 2007. Son Jef is currently gathering details on her life story, and this will be provided in the following newsletter. Ruth was in good spirits as she concluded a meeting with friends in San Diego. However, when she got up, she had a severe headache, felt nauseous, and soon collapsed. At Alvarado Hospital, it was determined that she had a massive stroke of the type where a blood vessel broke in her brain. Nothing could be done, and all brain activity ceased within the hour. After all tests indicated that there was no hope of even partial recovery, life-support was withdrawn the following day in the presence of her 2 daughters, Julie and Elsa, and son Jef with his wife, Kathy. Ruth had a full life, despite being plagued with severe health problems most of her life. We are saddened by this unexpected loss. She will be missed. A simple service is planned to take place on Friday, January 12. Jim Rickard has agreed to do a service. It is tentatively scheduled to be in Glorietta Canyon at 4:30 p.m. Please contact Jef for directions if you plan to attend.


Jef led a small group on a loop hike from the club, traversing about 3 miles of fairly easy terraine. Harold Plett, Carole Stadelbacher, and Bonnie Wilson hiked to the Palms Resort, which was the Hoberg Resort in 1956, when a fire destroyed a number of hotel rooms. We found the cinder block walls were still up, and much of the tilework and fixtures were still in place. Harold had to bail out just before this part of the hike. Continueing into the functional part of the resort, Carole arranged a tour for us, and we viewed 3 different types of rooms -- which were all very nice. We continued into the state park, intercepting the walkway between the visitor center and the campground, which has been upgraded with new benches shaped like rocks and informational displays. We turned back to the club at the visitor center, completing the hike in 1h 30m.


Hikers: Harold, Bonnie, Carole
PALMS AT INDIANHEAD RESORT (restored portion of old Hoberg Resort)

Economy room

View room

Poolside room

Bed in poolside room

View from poolside room

Leaving pooside room

Tumbleweeds has a display
room at the Palms

One of many Tumbleweeds antiques

On the connecting trail between
campground and visitor center


Jef and possibly Kathy should be available to lead a hike the Friday before the next tournament. Meet at the clubhouse around 9 a.m. If Jef is late, give him a call at 767-4536, and he can be there within 10 minutes.


Due to doctor's advice, Sandi cannot deal with anything as stressful as putting on a tennis tournament until she recovers from her cancer. So Borden announced at the end of our tennis tournament that their January and March 2007 tournaments have been cancelled (not our BSTC tournaments), but they hope to re-start these wonderful tournaments in 2008.


As everyone at the last tournament noticed, Borden is in the midst of another round of improvements to the Tennis Center. A new jacuzzi is being constructed, most of outside is being tiled, and the irrigation is being upgraded. Each court will have custom tiles at the entrance showing which court it is. Other projects are also planned, including stuccoing the outside.


Barbara Kirsch provided more details of Ralph's life. Here is a brief summary of an article published in "The Sun" of Redlands with of a few other stories and details provided by Barbara, daughter Karen, and Jef: Ralph Kirsch passed away November 9, 2006 at the wisened age of 87. You will see that he led a rich, full life: He was born July 2, 1919 in Crookston, Minnesota, to Dr. Ralph Kirsch and Elizabeth Kirsch. Because his sister had diabetes, the family moved to a more healthful atmosphere in Altadena, California. It was there, hiking the steep trails of the San Gabriels, and on family camping trips (including Borrego Springs), that he gained his toughness and love of the outdoors.

While on a family camping trip to the Grand Canyon, he was skinny dipping in the icy Colorado River. He, and a few other kids swam across the dangerous river, and was spotted by a mule train coming down the canyon. The leader said to his group that they would never make it back. Note: This is probably before there was a North Rim access trail. Not only did they all swim back, but Ralph helped one of his friends get back up the steep bank to the mule trail.

After graduating from high school, Ralph helped build trails in Yosemite. Before finishing at USC, Pearl Harbor was attacked, and Ralph promptly joined the Navy.

He served as lieutenant aboard the the USS Olympus in the South Pacific. Near the end of the war, Ralph was among the first on the scene after the Hiroshima bombing, and some horrific images were etched in his memory. His wife, Barbara, whom he married in 1950, said "He saw all the damage an Atomic bomb can cause, a city leveled, and few signs of life. In one place there was the shadow of a man leading a donkey. That was all that was left: the shadow." After the war, Admiral Byrd offered him a commission as Lieutenant Commander, if he would help lead an expedition to explore the South Pole, but, he declined, heading back to Yosemite, where he became a ranger.

At one point, he was put in charge of the Tioga entrance to Yosemite, toughing out the rugged and isolated conditions and the "Tioga ghost" for quite a while, when others had quickly fled this job. While at Yosemite, he experienced some tragic sights. One time while at the top of one of the larger falls on the Merced, he saw a child get caught in the current. His father jumped in to save him. And a ranger jumped in to save them both, but the current was too strong, and all were swept over the falls to their deaths. On another occasion, he pulled a drowning person from the icy water, and was prevented by the family from reviving him, due to their religion. He always regretted that he was stopped from saving that person.

In 1950, Ralph, a handsome young man with an Irish twinkle in his eye, married a young Barbara, who grew up in the same Altadena neighborhood. The couple moved to Twain Harte on the Sonora Pass, where Ralph worked odd jobs. Then they moved to Glendora, and finally to Redlands in 1958. The family which eventually grew to include 4 children enjoyed hunting and camping. His daughter, Karen Hoak of Yucaipa, recalls "We would get in our blue Plymouth station wagon and drive across the desert, always ending up somewhere beautiful"

In the private sector, Ralph worked many years for Sherwood Medical, a division of Brunswick. In 1964 he ran for county supervisor, but lost to a 20 year incumbent. Following his retirement in 1981, he played tennis, cycled, did woodworking, went on many camping trips, and escaped to the family cabin in Baja.

Says Barbara: "Through his life, he loved to camp, explore and show others the beauty of the great outdoors." He is survived by daughter Karen, and 2 of 3 sons: Tom Kirsch of Redlands and John Kirsch of Yucaipa, sister Therese Riccardi of Reno and five grandchildren. His son, Mike, passed away 16 years ago. Because Ralph was usually upbeat and quick with a joke, he is also survived by a large collection of good friends with much love and warm memories of him.


We had a fair turnout of 41 contestants for the December 2 - 3 straight doubles tournament. Weather was great for the whole tournament, except for some chilly mornings. Gary and Jef had an easier time, as only 1 man, Harold Plett, had to play twice. (Last month, 4 women had to play twice!) Fred emceed the potluck, with his usual comical, yet eloquent, banter. Nancy Shoemaker provided the entertainment with 3 songs that demonstrated her amazing talent. President Gary did a good job emceeing the awards ceremony. To catch up on the missed $50 drawing last tournament, 2 drawings were made by each of Gary's 2 visiting grandsons. The winners were Bonnie Wilson and Jim Gilloon. Congratulations, Bonnie and Jim!

Part of Edwards clan and winners Bonnie and Jim

Susan Dow - Roz Smythe

Carole Stadelbacher - Concha Rivera

Tom Freed - Harold Larson

Fred Wantland - Fred Dow

Jan McNamara - Eileen Childress

Barbara Ashley - Sandy Kean

Denny Bean - Harold Plett

Barry Frahm - Mike Shoemaker
Bonnie Wilson - Marilyn Bean Betty Minkel - Barb Kirsch Jack ? (Harold Plett) - Bill Koerner Jef Johnson - Al Lieb
Harriet Lisak - Linda Notholt Mary Marchese - Sonja McGrath Jim Gilloon - Jack Fairbanks Ken Shallahamer - Don Wilson
Jacki Shallahamer - Diane Young Gary McNamara - Ed Ghiorso
Vicki Koerner - Kersti Garthewaite Hank Wennik - Dick Stadelbacher


Oct 28 - 29 2006 Mixed doublesFeb 17 - 18 2007 Straight doubles
Dec 2 - 3 2006 Straight doublesMar 24 - 25 2007 Mixed doubles
Jan 13 - 14 2007 Mixed doublesApr 21 - 22 2007 Straight doubles
Sep 15 - 16 2007 San Clemente Campout


If anyone still has some old newsletters (pre-1997), please bring them in so Jef can summarize them and put in some old pictures and tournament results in the newsletter section of the webpage.

RECYCLED E-MAIL JOKE circulated by Harold P., December 11, 2004


The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

  1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
  2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Cathy during my Freshman year that, "it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you, and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct...leaving only Heaven thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Cathy kept shouting "Oh my God."



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