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Hiding Inside the Baseline: Part 1

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  • Hiding Inside the Baseline: Part 1

    Let's get your thoughts on Bobby Blair's article, "Hiding Inside the Baseline: Part 1"

  • #2
    I can't wait for Part 2. The home life resonates deeply.

    It's far from perfect for anyone out there, but for some its even less so. You can read, see and hear how cathartic this was for Bobby to write.

    Looking forward to much more.


    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

    Comment


    • #3
      July 24, 1983

      I was there that day in Louisville and I vividly remember you Bobby. I remember Nick Bolletieri too. I will tell you what I saw when I have heard the rest of the story. This is going to be interesting...at least to me and Bobby. Thanks Bobby...God bless you.
      Last edited by don_budge; 05-13-2014, 01:35 AM. Reason: for clarity's sake...

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      • #4
        Do Tell Don Budge

        I would love to hear what you saw that day Don Budge. When I was deciding whether to write Bobby's book for him or not, it was the week at Louisville culminating with his run to the finals there with all the other swirling activity around him that clinched it for me.

        I think later in the book, when the entire Louisville week is chronicled in full, and just how crazy it was for him to be dealing with all these major life issues all at once, the day he was to play Krickstein for the number 1 ranking in the nation, that I bet Federer and Nadal don't have these things going on when they take the court for the biggest matches of their lives.

        I could be wrong, and I doubt we'll ever know, but I doubt it. Bobby's story is an important one for our time. Really proud of him and the efforts he made to communicate his complex life experience in hopes that young closeted athletes like himself today do not have to go through what he did back then.

        It was no way to live then. Nor should it be today. We hope telling his story will help as many young kids battling similar demons today live the best life they can.

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        • #5
          Now that is a true Tennisplayer connection! Very cool. DB if you are comfortable love to have you describe your experience with this.

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          • #6
            Stay tuned as we will let the story unfold and then maybe you can chime in.

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            • #7
              Huge Thank You John Yandell for sharing my story.

              I would like to thank everyone for your amazing support and encouragement as I share my life story with the world. This is not about me, but is about my circumstances and struggles with living my truth and how I perceived the world would see me as a gay man. Similar struggles that impact millions of people every day. It is with great hope Barry and I can inspire and mentor our readers through the pages of my story. Our hope is you will share "HIDING INSIDE THE BASELINE" with those struggling with their sexual orientation or loved ones who are challenged with understanding the life of their loved ones sexual orientation. A message of embracing who God made you to be along with dreaming big for a life of love,health and happiness along with abundant success is all possible when one finds their moment in life to accept themselves for exactly who they are. Equality and acceptance for all makes the world a better place. Lets together work to ensure we are on the right side of history..

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              • #8
                From Bobby

                Originally posted by don_budge View Post
                I was there that day in Louisville and I vividly remember you Bobby. I remember Nick Bolletieri too. I will tell you what I saw when I have heard the rest of the story. This is going to be interesting...at least to me and Bobby. Thanks Bobby...God bless you.
                Thank you Don. Look forward to your comments on that moment of a million emotions in Louisville that Sunday morning..

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                • #9
                  I've worked with 12,000 clients in 40 yrs in the bay area, many of them gay. Almost all have treated us with decency at a higher rate than average population.

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                  • #10
                    This gives your comments on Bill Tilden more credibility although I'm still not convinced on exactly who he was.

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                    • #11
                      From blog on Tilden:

                      "He also has the distinction of having been a filthy pedophile who was arrested twice for what today would be called child molestation charges. He, you see, had an attraction to young boys. And thanks to his own wealth and his connections as a world-class athlete (he was friends with the likes of Charlie Chaplin) he thought he was above such petty things as the law.

                      In fact, so arrogant was he, that he chose to defend himself during his trials, counting on his fame and influence to get him out of the jam. It did not. He went to jail and the tennis world was embarrassed. They didn't want to talk about Tilden's personal life.

                      But tennis historians insist on bringing him up. They don't want us to forget, they claim, how much Tilden influenced the game.

                      The New York Times did a piece back in 2009 on Tilden, claiming that he was done in by his vices. Er....I'm sorry? Vices? We're not talking about a penchant for smoking cigarettes or romancing the ladies. This isn't a story about how Bill Tilden liked to over-eat or bought too many expensive cars. He hurt children, probably more than 2, but at least 2 that we know about.

                      Now, perhaps this makes me sound unforgiving, but I don't care how good Bill Tilden was on the tennis court. I don't care what he knew about swinging a racket, or how athletic he was. I don't care that he was the most skillful player of his generation.

                      Yes, he "paid his debt". He spent a handful of months in jail and this entry isn't meant as a post-humous witch hunt. But to shrug off his actions as simply an embarrassment, or worse to revere his ability to play a game whilst ignoring his absolute failure as a human being is downright irresponsible.

                      So, Tennis Channel, show me Arthur Ashe or Billy Jean King. Extol the virtues of Roger and Rafa. Talk about Andre Agassi's school. Discuss McEnroe and Borg, give me Rod Laver or that great innovator Rene Lacoste. But I'll pass on the reminders of what Bill Tilden did for the sport of tennis. In the grand scheme of things, what is a game compared to the wrecked lives of young boys who were unfortunate enough to cross "Big Bill's" path?"

                      Many young people are drawn to the famous athletes of any time period. Tilden was like a famous athletic priest, preying on altar boys (ball boys), and hitch hikers (more prevalent back then). Does any one think Sandusky is innocent? Then why is Tilden given a pass for pederasty? I just don't see nor understand it. All pedophiles will bear the wrath of karma, whether straight or gay. It's no less evil to prey on young girls. There is a special torture waiting for those who prey on the innocents.
                      Last edited by GeoffWilliams; 06-02-2014, 06:40 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GeoffWilliams View Post
                        From blog on Tilden:

                        So, Tennis Channel, show me Arthur Ashe or Billy Jean King. Extol the virtues of Roger and Rafa. Talk about Andre Agassi's school. Discuss McEnroe and Borg, give me Rod Laver or that great innovator Rene Lacoste. But I'll pass on the reminders of what Bill Tilden did for the sport of tennis. In the grand scheme of things, what is a game compared to the wrecked lives of young boys who were unfortunate enough to cross "Big Bill's" path?" Many young people are drawn to the famous athletes of any time period. Tilden was like a famous athletic priest, preying on altar boys (ball boys), and hitch hikers (more prevalent back then). Does any one think Sandusky is innocent? Then why is Tilden given a pass for pederasty? I just don't see nor understand it. All pedophiles will bear the wrath of karma, whether straight or gay. It's no less evil to prey on young girls. There is a special torture waiting for those who prey on the innocents.
                        Way to go Geoff. I refuse to read that book by Tilden, and, or let my child read it.

                        Fortunately for kids here in Russia - Ukraine the local guys like Sergei, Vitaly, Vladmir and Boris know how to handle these types like Bill Tilden who prey on children. Pedophiles often fall out of windows in Mother Russia, or get lost hiking in the forest.

                        My mom worked for the RCMP when I was a kid and she knew two teacher who were pedophiles. They could not prove it of course, but she knew. Anyways, she met both of them and and said "I talk to my son all the time. He tells me everything. We have a great relationship. He's a good boy, he's not like my eight brothers, seven sisters, and that father of his who is crazy!"

                        In other words, our clan will kick the hell out of you. Watch out asshole.

                        I had a couple friends who were bothered by this one pervert named Gary. I later heard one of my buddies Jason was at a camp fire when he was about 20, confused and mad in the head and he chopped off his mates head with an ax when they got into a lovers spat.

                        I know another kid, he was drinking one night, lots, and he then went to the liquor outlet, bought a twelve pack, was driving home on our very bad roads in the north pole and drove the car off the road and into a frozen lake through the ice. He had power locks, so, he was trapped with a friend. Anyways, when they found him all twelve beers were drank, so it must have taken a bit for the water to fill the car.

                        Sad, Denis and Jason, two nice kids, who were taken advantage of very badly.

                        Just thinking about it, I know of quite a few other instances, man, what a bad place I grew up in!

                        This Denis kid, he had seven brothers, and they were all named Denis. Seven of them named Denis Denis. They had sisters, Denise Denis. Their mother was just a drunk, however, I'd always go and talk to her when she sat in front of the general store with her bottle. She used to give me money (a quarter), tell me to buy us some candy, and then she'd talk to me about drugs, alcohol, bad decisions and whatever else. Felt bad for her! She came from a reserve called Good Hope, and she referred to it as No Hope, and it was so bad there.

                        People would sleep on the floors, and be starving, sniffing glue and all the rest. They loved my old man, they called him BIG Red, and he'd go there on weekends and fix stuff, he built them all bicycles LOL and would bring mattresses, food, blankets and whatever else.

                        Those Native kids were sure good to me when I was young. They'd play hockey with me, and spend a lot of time, and it was so tough to hear later many of them were being sexually abused by a white man who took them into his own and promised their parents they'd get an education and get off the reserve.

                        When I moved south I saw this whole Graham James (pedophile hockey coach) as he was in the same league as the team I was with at the time. It was funny, I had two coaches when I was 13, and they were both pedophiles in my opinion. This might sound strange, but I know a pedophile when I see one. What a shitty experience growing up around these people. So much bullshit charm, charisma and sadistic manipulation, its unreal how talented these people are in what they do.

                        These guys like Bill Tilden are SO good at what they do, and they know who to target! They are the worst kind of criminal because they destroy generations of families, and people long term.
                        Last edited by hockeyscout; 06-02-2014, 02:42 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It doesn't discriminate

                          Tough stories there with Tilden, the other poster and of course, Bobby's. What we are really talking about is people in positions of power and authority taking advantage of those who aren't capable of defending themselves fully.

                          Its certainly not reserved for the tennis world as the Catholic Church upheaval has shown, nor is it exclusive to homosexuality, as we are finding out with famed South African player/coach Bob Hewitt. As distasteful as these examples of abuse are, it's imperative that we in the media word continue to have the courage to dig for the truth in such cases. It's by shining a light on these abuses of authority that we can only hope that future generations will be more attentive to whom we entrust the next generation of youth to.

                          One of the driving forces behind Bobby wanting to tell his story is to shine a light upon an experience that for too long and for too many has been taking place in the shadows of society. Living life in the closet makes a young person extra vulnerable to be preyed upon, already are they living a life fraught with shame and secrecy. To think that the man who molested him so in Louisville that year was the head of housing for a USTA national event for many years is frightening. These people are amongst us still today.

                          It's imperative for we as an advanced society do not rest upon our progress. Things are better for the next generation of young Bobby Blair's, but there is still so much work to be done. To be silent is to be complicit. We all must remain hyper-vigilant in protecting our youth from the machinations of the Tilden types that are a scourge upon our youth even to this day.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ~

                            Originally posted by GeoffWilliams View Post
                            From blog on Tilden:

                            Talk about Andre Agassi's school.
                            Okay, it's time to give back to udders.

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