To the editor:
This summer marks the first time in 24 years that Jak Beardsworth can't be found on a tennis court in Lake Placid. Long allergic to Lake Placid winters, Jak has decided that Florida summers are more fun than some realize.
During his Lake Placid years, Jak managed the tennis operations at what was once the Lake Placid Club and at the Whiteface Resort, sometimes both at the same time. More recently, Jak just rented a single court and gave private lessons; if you didn't book your time by April you were out of luck.
Jak touched the tennis lives of young and old, Lake Placid natives and the summer transplants; his passion was and is tennis. Jak also took under his wing his "assistants," a flock of teenaged boys and girls through the years who dragged courts, kept court time schedules, taught tiny tots, and a host of other things. To this day, Jak is the only person who got my son to go to work at 7 a.m.; his sense of duty, courtesy, responsibility and fun turned out to be a great motivator.
But most of all, Jak is a superb teacher of tennis; he can make anyone, at any level, a better player. He honed our shots, lifted our spirits, and schooled us in the art and fun of tennis so that we can keep going forever. Jak loved Lake Placid, and we love and miss him. I hope he'll come to visit, and in the meantime, I'm getting my racquet back early, watching the ball, and taking it on the rise.
Kathe Fox and Michael Collins
Baltimore and Lake Placid