We’d like to share a few of the testimonials we have received from visitors to the site. If you would like to share your story for posting to this page, please check the appropriate box on the Contact Us page.
Message from: Archer M.
February is a cruel month for those of us who knew him. Every year at this time, his friends from Richmond contact each other to talk about him- that’s how I received this webpage.
Thanks for it- it helps. Archer M
Message from: Elliott A.
I am very pleased with your website. The videos and photos are great and well done. I am from Goochland County, VA. and remember Mr. Ashe, Sr. giving us tennis balls when he was cutting grass at the Bank of Goochland. He always told us to work hard and to behave.
This site really does a great job showing Mr. Ashe’s desire to give back to the community. As a young man, I remeber him working to educate the public about AIDS and I know that he really made a difference. I look forward to seeing the updates to the site.
Good Job and God bless.
Message from: William P.
I knew Art in 1966. We were in “G Company” at Fort Lewis. We played on the championship softball team. He was so smooth. I was embarrassed that I didn’t know he was a great tennis player. I asked him why he didn’t tell me. He laughed.
Years later I told my teacher friends that I knew someone famous. They didn’t believe me. I called and found where Art was staying, and he arranged for a pass. I stood in line to see him after his playing. He told everyone to leave. We laughed at our pictures in the ROTC book. He signed his book” TO SYRE ELEM.
PEACE Love, Arthur Ashe. He is a special person! Thanks
Message from: Howard F.
Dear Jeanne, You don’t know me, but I believe you may have met my parents, David and Carolyn.
Arthur was a great friend of mine. We met at Longwood, in Boston in the early ’70s, when I was a junior high school student. I approached him for an autograph and told him that I had lived across the street in Washington from a family that had helped coach him years earlier. I invited Arthur to dinner at our house and later in the week he came, and we remained friends in the years that followed, with him inviting me to tournaments and appearances in the Boston area.
The site looks great and I am pleased and proud of the effort that you’ve put in this. Arthur had a big influence on me and his example and spirit are a gift for future generations.
With best regards, Howard Shanghai, China
Message from: Peter H.
It was August, I believe, in 1968. I was a white, privileged 12 year old ballboy ( the members’ kids got to do this) at the all white, nearly all Christian, Orange Lawn Tennis Club in South Orange, New Jersey. It was The Eastern Grass Court Tennis Championship, a warm up to the then grass court U.S. Open at Forrest Hills.
A few miles away in Newark, a racial tinderbox was continuing to burn, but I was oblivious to all of that, sheltered even. If I remember correctly, the match was against Stan, who was favored to win the whole tournament ( he didn’t; Mr. Ashe saw to that.)
I could write about the stack of experimental Head rackets, or the skill of Mr. Ashe’s ground strokes and volleys, but here is what struck me the most.
As Arthur Ashe stepped onto the court, his was the only black face around. In what might have been an awkward situation, Mr. Ashe took the high ground and extended his hand to shake ours, we lowly ballboys. He even offered us sodas and orange slices from the players’ cooler, essentially breaking the ice. My mother later told me I had made some mistakes during the match, but Arthur Ashe was forgiving.
I went on to play college tennis during the era of Nastase, Conners and McEnroe, fantastically gifted players all; but when it came to professional courtesy and comportment, none of these players could hold a match to Arthur Ashe. I have never forgotten our meeting, and never will.
Message from: jamie k
i first met arthur when i was 14 and he was the touring pro at the doral hotel around 1972 and from the moment i met him i was mesmerized–he was so articulate and so beautiful to watch play tennis–i got to know him a little bit over the years but it was fine for me to just watch him from afar b/c i idolized him–tiger woods reminds me of arthur– anyway, anything that our company or i can do pls let me know– thnks
Message from: michael s.
I grew up in Sydney Australia. My father was American and my mother was Australian. Whenever Arthur came to Sydney, I would always go to WHite City to watch him play his matches. He would play against Australians such as Roy Emerson or Americans like Pancho Gonzalez. He was definitely my hero growing up. I played all the junior australian tournaments buI admired Arthur Ashe for everything on and off the court. The thrill when he beat Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon was palatable..and still remains.
I moved to New York in 1983 an still live inthe city. But I had read about Arthur’s tennis program Safe Passage and wanted to contribute. So through a friend of a friend I spoke to Arthur about a week before he passed away. I told him and we reminisced about those tournaments at White City where they basically strung a wire above the court and hung a dozen lights that would sway with the wind…and there was always at night a heavy dew on the court. Anyway I told Arthur that I wanted to volunteer my time to coach in his program. He told me that he would pass my request on to a Bob Davis. Arthur passed away a week later and I doubted that I would hear from anyone. But sure enough Bob Davis called me about a month later explaining how Arthur had spoken to him about me. So each week for about a year, I used to leave my work and go and coach inner city kids in Newark. It was so special to me to be involved in a project championed and started by Arthur Ashe.
I think the site is very special and I wish you all the success and Arthur was a boyhood and now adult hero to me.
kind regards, michael
Message from: Patrick D
I wanted to thank you for this site. I remember thinking as I watched Arthur holding up his Wimbledon trophy I would love to congratulate him personally some day. In the early 80s I was a teaching pro at Bedford Golf & Tennis. I went to Mt. Kisco to cash my paycheck, and as I was walking down South Moger (dressed in my tennis whites) I looked up and saw Arthur. He smiled at me, and I smiled back. I was absolutely frozen. I no longer regret not stopping to congratulate him, but will always appreciate the smile that I got.
I no longer teach or coach, but still have a great passion for the game. Arthur Ashe will always be one of my heroes…not just for what he did on the court, but for what he did off the court as well.
Message from: RONALD K
Here is a wonderful story about Arthur Ashe that says a lot about the man. In the 80’s I ran a huge public tennis program in Great Neck, N.Y.. One of my students was a very enthusiastic 12-year old named Peter. Occasionally Peter’s energy flagged on the court, but I was still quite shocked to learn that he had a congenital heart condition and had already endured two open heart surgeries. A third surgery was scheduled at [ I believe] Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, but the decision to submit Peter to the procedure had created a great deal of stress and conflict within his family. It was at this time that his aunt came to me with a request. Tennis was Peter’s passion – could I think of anything tennis-related that might cheer him up? I immediately thought of Arthur Ashe, who I knew was on a program to address his own, newly diagnosed heart condition. I provided an address for Arthur and suggested writing to him to tell him about Peter. I had no idea whether Arthur would respond, but the idea seemed to intrigue Peter’s aunt. She wrote the letter, mentioning in passing the date of Peter’s surgery at Columbia Presbyterian. Several weeks passed, but there was no response from Arthur. Finally, on the morning of Peter’s surgery, just as he was being prepped, into his room pops Arthur Ashe, his arms loaded with about five Arthur Ashe Signature tennis racquets. “I’m looking for Peter,” he said, and then proceeded to spend some 15 minutes with Peter and his family before Peter was wheeled away. I was told that Peter was so high from the visit that he hardly needed anaesthsia for the surgery, which, by the way, was entirely successful. Peter got an MBA from Wharton and now has a successful career in real estate.
In today’s world of calculated photo opportunities, Arthur’s gesture seem s all the more extraordinary. To Arthur, I suspect it was just a chance to connect on a very personal level with a kid who loved tennis.
Message from: Barry P.
When I was 28 years old I was fortunate to be hired as Promotions Manager for Head Sports Inc. in Boulder, CO. Part of my job was to work with Head Sports spokesmen and sponsored players, needless to say, Arthur was our most respected spokesperson. For two years I had the “Privledge” to travel with and work with Arthur as we attended speaking engagements, inner city clinics and events all over the country. Arthur was a kind and gentle man of strength. I remember on one occasion we had spent the day in New York City from dawn to midnight going from event to event. I was 28 years old and was completely exhausted, Arthur was older and had done ALL the work that day, he must have been beyond exhausted. On the elevator to his hotel room a man who had to much to drink, was very aggressive and rude to Arthur demanding his attention. The man insisted that Arhtur talk with him, take pictures and spend time with him. My instinct was to buffer Arthur from the man and get him to his room, but instead Arthur was extraordinarily gracious, in fact, he ended up spending twenty minutes with the gentleman, making what could have been an ugly confrontation into a moment to remember for this man, and for me. I will always remember what Arthur said when I asked him why he did what he did, Arthur simply said… “Yes I’m tired, but I’ll sleep better knowing I made that gentlemans night better” I have many more examples of what made Arthur special. The best tribute I can give is … when people ask me to tell them about Arthur, I can only say what a special man he was, then I choke up and can’t continue, my emotions always says more about Arthur than my words ever could.
Thanks for perpetuating his memeory and legacy!