Mark Gozonsky: One man’s quest to play every tennis court in Los Angeles + Stories of LA Communities + The Joy of Tennis
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Welcome to TennisPAL Chronicles the podcast to feed your passion for all things tennis! I am your host Phillip Kim also know as Coach PK the tennis pro for the Langham Huntington Hotel in sunny southern California
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Mark Gozonsky is an author, writer, and educator who has one mission in life : To play tennis on every public tennis court in Los Angeles. There are over 514 listed by google so Mark figures that minus the high schools and private courts, we are talking about 400+ courts to play on! Gozonsky finds partners on Facebook’s “Tennis Players in LA” page, by using the “PlayYourCourt” app, or by just showing up. This was his approach at his fiftieth court, Almansor Park in Alhambra, where he applied his 20 years of playing pick-up tennis in LA to fit in nicely with the regulars and take his 6-0 drubbing philosophically. “I got to ride the 76 through all of East Los Angeles,” he reflects. “That was my first time ever in El Sereno.”
“I’m 61 years old, and I’m down to play about three times a week. If I have 350 more courts to go, that’s about two more years. Will I be able to do it? It’s like any other sport, you have to play the games to find out.”
Valerie and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves having found a kindred spirit in all things tennis. Mark adds layers of depth to this quest by using only public transportation or a bicycle to arrive at his court destinations and he vows to write a letter to someone after each encounter in order to use the joy of tennis that he feels to bless others. Gozonsky sends a handwritten letter by mail to a friend or family member about each of his outings.
“It’ll all wind up going into my next book” – a projected epistolary non-fiction novel, according to Gozonsky, author of The Gift is to the Giver (Keppie Usage, 2022), a collection of essays about the mixed results of his trying to be a positive influence in the world.
You can follow along on his journey via his blog https://centrodegozo.com/ and watch video highlights of these blissful excursions on youtube https://www.youtube.com/@MarkGozonsky
[…] mention because it’s free and works well and my new tennis friends Phillip Kim and Valerie Garcia interviewed me on their TennisPal podcast. To get well-matched, share your rating plus where and when you want to […]
[…] I played with my new friend Phillip, who is a coach and does a tennis podcast. He and his podcast partner Valerie interviewed me about the quest last week, and I was delighted for the chance to articulate a lot of the stuff I’ve just been doing based on instinct, such as how this whole quest is partly an homage to my family. You could listen to us go super-deep on Phillip’s site Love Set Match. […]