Saturday July 18 was an exciting day at the East Chop Tennis Club. Between sets in the men’s singles finals (Mark Willis eventually defeated Zach Wooster 6-3, 6-4), Court one was dedicated to J. Bushnell Richardson Jr.

Mark Willis, speaking on behalf of the board, reminisced about playing with Bush as a teenager. He then turned it over to Jim Richardson, Bush’s son, who served as the master of ceremonies.

Jim began by thanking his sister, Linda Richardson Collette, for asking the board to honor their father in this way. He then presented some impressive statistics: Bush was the captain of the tennis team at Amherst College, ranked third nationally with son Tom in the father and son division, and a member of the New England Tennis Hall of Fame. He concluded by listing Bush’s favorite East Chop tennis partners, and commented on how his Dad loved to play on court one.

Bob Blacklow introduced Bush to the younger members of the club. He described him as a true gentleman, a devoted husband to wife Mim, a dedicated father to his three children, and an excellent cook. “Bush looked at tennis as a metaphor for life,” Bob concluded. “How you behaved on the court was an indication of what kind of a person you were. He taught us all good sportsmanship by the example he set.”

I spoke about Bush the volunteer. He was president of the club from 1960 to 1965, and chairman of the court committee for as long as I can remember. He supervised the construction of courts three and four in the late 1960s, and built his retirement home across the street from the club so that he could keep a watch on things.

Sandy Dibble, Bush’s former law partner, thanked Bush for bringing the Dibbles to East Chop. He then praised his formidable legal skills. “You may not believe it,” Sandy said, “but Bush was a better lawyer than a tennis player. He practiced law like he played tennis. He made few mistakes, was always in the right position, made sound decisions, was not overly aggressive, and was always well prepared.”

Jane Coe interjected with a smile that they confused the identity of father and son at the national father/son tournament; but Joan Perrine, perhaps Bush’s favorite tennis partner, had the last word. “Bush may have ruled the tennis courts,” Joan said with a twinkle in her eye, “but Mim ruled the house. I could never get him to play before nine o’clock. Mim always had her list.” It was a special day in honor of a very special man.

The East Chop Association meeting at the East Chop Beach Club that preceded the dedication was routine in most regards. Of note, President Craig Dripps thanked his sister Lyn Herrick for repairing the lighthouse fence, and he also thanked Joe and Linda Collette for painting it. Parks chair Rob Hammett asked landowners to request in writing to have work done in a park that abuts their property.

Walter Vail, our representative on the board of selectman, reported some encouraging news related to the ongoing problem with the Bluff. According to Walter, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will soon complete the final engineering study of the problem. The DCR hopes to present a proposal to the board of selectman by early August and for work to begin soon after that. Keep your fingers crossed.

At the end of the meeting several in attendance thanked Craig for all of the work he does. After 22 years as president, I could only say “amen” to that.

Finally, East Chop lost two longstanding and beloved members of our community this week — Jean Kay and Janet Jeffers. Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to the families of these two wonderful women.

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