THE CROQUET IMAGE IN BLACK AND WHITE
Thanks for the article. ["Web Babies Will Change the Face of the Sport."]
And thanks for noting how helpful it has been to have another rookie
player like Marc to "grow" with.
Subsequently, I have received a number of comments about the article.
Many players seem to find it odd that I had any initial misgivings about
the "croquet world." But I would remind them that they, and now I, are
looking at the sport from inside out. From inside, croquet is a
welcoming, encouraging, and supportive sporting community. From outside,
however, the image I had, and many still have, was of a private "society"
guarded by country club exclusivity. While there are many fine country
clubs, there are also many with all too public reputations for discrimination
(race, religion, and - I've heard it mentioned in relation to golf course
access - gender).
Some may find my trepidation paranoid in the 90s, but
paranoia plus precedent equals reasonable caution. I can't say that I would
have even pursued my interest in the sport had the San Francisco Croquet
Club been part of a larger private enclave rather than part of a public park,
accessible to all who happen to walk or drive by.
I'm glad I didn't buy into the "croquet stereotype" and pursued my
interest. I'm also grateful to those in the San Francisco Club who have
welcomed not only me, but every new member. I now, ironically perhaps,
find myself subject to many of the misconceptions of croquet that I once
held. It's interesting how intimidating dressing in all white is.
Luckily, the only fence surrounding the San Francisco Croquet Club is
about elbow high. The perfect height to lean against and explain to the
passer-by who stops to watch, the intricacies of your opponent's break
The croquet sporting community has done a good job in working to change
misconceptions. Logging onto the net now, one would find a much more
accurate "picture" of "our" sport of croquet.
San Rafael, California