In 1982, when Ken was president of the club, we were invited to sit in the royal box at Wimbledon. Our engraved invitation (which we still have) was quite specific.
We were invited for Tuesday, June 22. In the packet from “The Chairman and Committee of Management of The Championships” were driving instructions and an engraved parking pass for our “driver.” Being 30-something New Yorkers, we decided to take the Underground. Unfortunately there was a strike, so we had to cobble together bus routes.
There was light rain in the morning, threatening to cancel play on our day in the box, but we made the hopeful trek and were rewarded with a sunny afternoon. I distinctly remember dragging along a hat — quite sure it would be required of a lady in the royal box. Not so, but I was happy for its shade. I have no remembrance of my outfit, except for a new pair of navy and white spectator pumps, which were ruined by the slog.
Contrary to our recollection, The Times article noted varying guests. Our impression was that the same guests were invited for the same day every year. Our presence seemed to be a puzzle to the others, and polite but insistent questions were asked of us as the others tried to determine exactly why we had been invited.
“Are you with the embassy?” “No.”
“Are you XXX?” “No.”
Finally, one of the proper fellows said something to my husband, along the lines of “Well, why then are you in the royal box?” After my husband explained, we watched in amusement as the information was passed along the rows of the box. We, of course, wondered whose seats we had usurped. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the strawberries were divine.
Angel and Ken LaVine
To the Sports Editor:
Re “Bob Wolff, Sports Broadcaster for Nearly 80 Years, Dies at 96,” July 16: As a kid growing up in Washington around 1950, I attended many Washington Senators games, since Griffith Stadium was just a 3 cent (schoolboy rate) streetcar ride away, and bleacher seats were 35 cents. The fun of attending games was multiplied when I could go with a gang of kids — an experience provided by Bob Wolff through his “Lacy’s Knothole Gang.”
This promotion, sponsored by a local appliance store, provided some free tickets, souvenir items and opportunities to meet various ballplayers in the parking lot, with Wolff doing the introductions. I remember him as friendly, warm, personable and a wonderful role model.