Pickleball rising in Lawrence

I had never witnessed pickleball being played until I went with Dave Ranney to Sports Pavilion Lawrence on the west edge of town.

It is an awesome facility with at least six full-size basketball courts, a soccer field with artificial grass, a gymnastics room for kids and six pickleball courts.

This is just in one building. It also has indoor tennis courts and an outdoor track where KU holds its track meets, including the KU Relays in April each year.

Pickleball is created for all ages and skill levels. The game is easy to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.

All of the courts in Lawrence were full, which means there were 24 folks in their 60s, 70s and maybe even some 80s playing the game. One can work up a sweat, but it won’t kill you.

I was surprised to learn that my friend Larry Hatteberg underwent seven bypasses just recently. He was surprised, too, but he wants people to know that they should listen to what their bodies might be telling them. He said he had been lightheaded recently and more tired than usual, but never did he think he was about to have a heart attack.

His doctor caught the problem from a stress test he had ordered.

I am thankful Larry is still with us because he has so much to offer. His “Hatteberg’s People” profiles are still running on KPTS Channel 8 in Wichita. We watch it every week.

I was amused that DirecTV called me last week and offered me a small discount if I would stay with them.

I said sorry, but he was too late. Looks to me like if you switch satellite carriers every two years you can get the best deal. That means a new remote and DVR every two years. Better than getting comfortable with the same old stuff. And the freebies are outstanding.

I may have mentioned that Dave Ranney volunteers at the public library in Lawrence and is active in finding joke books for me that otherwise end up in the throwaway bin.

The latest book he sent my way didn’t make me laugh until about the eighth page and now I can’t stop laughing.

A farmer and his new hired hand were working on the new barn. “I’m putting this rivet in the correct position,” instructed the farmer. “When I nod my head, hit it as hard as you can with a hammer.”

When the farmer woke up in a hospital the next day, that’s all he could remember.

If you built a house in the newest part of York, Neb., would you live in “New” York?

This issue marks the completion of our 19th year of publishing the Free Press. So, at this time next year we will have 20 years under our belt.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@

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