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Love Match - L.C. James

June 1, 2004 11:36 AM

“Tennis anyone?” This dated saying is undoubtedly the question that runs through Ernie Vetrano’s mind on almost a daily basis. I do not believe that I have ever met a man, woman, child or beast who loves tennis more than the “Italian Stallion.” Perhaps it is his great love for tennis that has kept him young or perhaps it is the love of a good woman, none other than his wonderful wife, Pat.

Probably no other wife spends more time at the tennis courts than Pat, and she is not there to play herself; but instead, to watch her husband play. Pat has been not only an inspiration to Ernie but to all of us. Her courage, compassion, tenacity and great spirit command our admiration. I know of no other couple who need or deserve each other more.

Ernie has had many victories on the tennis court but his greatest victory is at home, with his wife, Pat, his children, Tony and Karen, and his six playmates (his grandchildren).

When on the tennis court, the “Rosedale Flash” makes for both a great partner or a formidable opponent. Ernie plays with the energy and force of men half his age. I have heard many people marvel at his youthful appearance and athleticism when they learn his true age. If only the rest of us could age so gracefully.

It has been my distinct pleasure to come to know Ernie both on and off the tennis court. Away from the tennis court, he is always ready and even eager to help with any chore or project. He offers his time and assistance without hesitation or reservation.

On the tennis court, he has provided so many hours of recreation and enjoyment that they cannot be measured. How many times have I watched from the sidelines as he and Jim Elliott or he and Ken Toler or he and just about anyone else have pulled out important matches for our team? I personally will always remember that the only time that I have had the opportunity to play for a national championship, I had the good fortune of having Ernie as my partner, and we won all of our matches. When the game is on the line and the pressure is on, you could not ask for a better partner than Ernie Vetrano.

My wife, Barbara, and I feel so very honored and blessed to count Ernie and Pat among our closest and best friends, for they are the best friends a person could ever hope to have.





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