Summer is DEFINITELY here! Croquet season is upon us!!!
When we moved here last year, I was wondering what the neatly manicured and perfectly green square area was behind the old grocery store. I thought it might be a small putting green. Then, one day, there was a croquet game in full swing!
Who’d have thought, back here in the Gap, at the base of the National Forest, afficionados of the mallet, hoop, and ball would exist! Sure, everyone has played croquet, it has always been a summer pastime.
But, here, it is played on a very nice, fully appointed croquet court , with a covered pavilion, neat white fencing, and picnic table. All players are dressed in summer white, de rigueur in any proper game of croquet played since the Great Gatsby era of the Roaring 20’s! On LI’s elite North Shore, F. Scott Fitzgerald was immersed in this Gold Coast lifestyle during the Jazz Age, and we read about it in his writings. Croquet was not just a game for the rich tho’, I remember playing it as a child, and inventing my own rules, in my chainlink fenced suburban back yard. And, you can bet I wasn’t wearing summer white!
The picture above is from one of my favorite artists, Winslow Homer. This mid 1800’s attire worn while playing croquet was quite different! Imagine wearing hoop skirts, bonnets and corsets today in 80 degree heat!
I stopped in the grocery to ask about the games out back- and it is a tournament that has been going on for the past few days, and is played at different places in the area. Apparently, there are finals in Florida. It is really a big deal!!! The players play 6 wicket- following English rules. This little croquet court has been there, (and improved over the years) since the late 1950’s, run and owned by the owner of the little grocery store. While reading game rules and regs online, I had a lightbulb moment! I suddenly realized the origin of the English term “sticky wicket”!
I guess I will have to dig around in the basement, and look for that vintage croquet set, and see if I can interest the family in a leisurely game one night soon!
All is well , and hot, at Mountain Meadows tonite…………………..