I have met so many interesting people at the tennis courts that I thought it would be good thing to interview some of them and offer it to our VDO tennis community on a periodic basis (read:around my time schedule).
The first one that came to mind was one of our elder statesmen - Bruce Randall. The problem was that you cannot separate Bruce from his long time partner Kay, so I am presenting Bruce and Kay Randall together, as that is how they have been for most of their lives.
Bruce and Kay were raised in Washington state on the Olympia peninsula in the small village of Carlsborg (pop100-150), where dairy farms and a sawmill dominated the region.
Bruce met Kay in elementary school where she was two grades behind him. Bruce says that she was such a good athlete that he always volunteered to be captain of the various pick-up teams, so he could draft her for his team. She was the best softball player in the area and indeed she played softball for years afterwards. Kay says that the only organized school sport she played was basketball because it was the only one offered through the school!!
They both attended junior high and high school in Sequim, WA (pronounced like SKWIM). Bruce played football, basketball and baseball in high school and carried on playing these three sports after joining the Navy in 1950. He was stationed in Alameda, California and spent four years there. He was expecting to be deployed to Korea so he asked Kay to marry him before being sent off to war. This was fairly common then, to marry your high school sweetheart before shipping out. In this case, Kay was in her senior year of high school and president of the student body. The Navy did not send Bruce overseas due to the fact that they wanted him to play on their sports teams - namely baseball, football and basketball.
After leaving the Navy, Bruce attended Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA where he had a double major; social science and phys ed. He was sponsored on the G.I. Bill which enabled him to not only go to school but to support Kay with one child and another on the way. He is still a very proud alumnus (check out his ball cap) and was captain of both the football and baseball teams and was in fact named outstanding athlete of the year not once but twice!!!
After graduating Bruce accepted a teaching position at his old high school in Sequim where he was head football and baseball coach and assistant head coach of the basketball team. He spent three years there, and then switched schools to teach in Ferndale and then Bellingham. He was offered the vice principal position in Bellingham, so went back to his old alma mater, Western Washington University to take his Masters degree. He was vice principal at the high school in Bellingham for five years there and then was offered the job of principal at East Mont high in East Wenatchee right on the Columbia river where he remained for nine years. Moving again, he and Kay and family wound up in Tumwater, WA as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for another nine years.
At this point, they were ready to retire so they bought a motorhome and travelled for a while, until an old colleague became Superintendent and coaxed Bruce to take over the head of the Maintenance Department (it was supposed to be for six months and wound up being two and a half years).
Shortly after this, they retired and moved to Valle del Oro where they both started playing tennis. Kay started as a 2.0 and Bruce as a 3.0. Kay had in fact played softball, golf and racquetball prior to tennis and the racquetball helped develop her racquet awareness. She quickly moved to 4.0 where she played for years before ill health forced her to take some time off. She recently was rated a 3.5 where she is currently playing. Bruce played 4.0 for years and in fact while Kay was on one court playing here at VDO she reunited with the wife of one of Bruce’s old buddies from Washington (Jim and Donna Gard). They quickly re-ignited their friendship and Jim and Brue became a formidable duo. They went to the National tennis finals three times - once to Florida, once to Baton Rouge and once to California at Stanford University. The first year they represented the state of Arizona and the next two times the state of Washington.Ironically,Bruce and Jim played baseball and football together at university in Washington and have maintained a close friendship since the chance meeting here at VDO 21 years ago.
Bruce and Kay both volunteered with the beginner 1.5 players for years and both were president of the tennis club.
Kay Randall was at one time the assistant to the member of the House of Representatives in Washington and worked for the school district in Washington in the "title one" reading program and as school secretary.
Kay states that her proudest accomplishment is raising four terrific kids, one of whom (Kathy) is now president of Monte Vista on Baseline. They had three girls and a boy, five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. They will celebrate 62 years of marriage in September and we all should be proud to know them and learn just a little more about our two Super Seniors.
Bruce and Kay, we are very proud of you and honored to know you.