Lamorinda, here we come!
I am 5 minutes away by car from the Marin pétanque court. I can be there in a jiffy… in my pajamas if need be. Other fields, located farther away, require a little more effort; but it is sensible, once in a while, to stray from familiar grounds and mix with different tribes.
Yesterday, after hearing glowing reports about Lamorinda, I drove to Lafayette to investigate this story. This club (on a good day) is located about 45 minutes away from my house, so it requires a little more energy to get there…
Because of traffic, I seldom venture to the East Bay, but life can be full of surprises. Except for the Emeryville corridor, the traffic was fairly light and we were on the field around 11:30 am.
Upon our arrival, we saw about 10 people already playing, but about one hour later, this little band grew to about 30. And this, on an ordinary day!
How do you explain this successful patronage?
First of all, Lamorinda is a welcoming club and its members are very friendly. They promptly put everybody at ease and in a pleasant mood. But this does not mean that they will let you win. Au contraire mon frère !
When it comes to playing, anybody willing to participate puts a boule in a circle and somebody creates teams. But these teams don’t stay together for the entire day. Periodically, squads are recreated and everybody plays with different partners.
At noon, there is a little break, and all sit down to share goodies, laughs and beverages.
After lunch, new teams are formed and games start again. Unlike members of our club, most of the Lamorindians are dedicated players. They came to play and will indulge their passion until nightfall. I suspect though, that later on, some will fall by the wayside and will be collected in the darkness by friends or relatives.
Of course, we did not feel like strangers. Many of the Lamorinda natives were familiar to us and have played with us in the past.
But it seems that (as we are getting older) most of the people are stay-at-home types; they prefer to avoid the traffic hassle and play with familiar people on familiar grounds.
I think that it would be great it if everybody tried once in a while to get behind the wheel and play in a different location. In this respect, I give well-deserved credit to the Sacramento and Fresno people who think nothing of spending a few hours a car to play with us.
Going to Lamorinda was a very positive experience and I will do it again soon. They are excellent players and they have outstanding shooters.
I urge everybody to go there and if you are shy, tell them that Alain sent you.
Enjoy the few pictures I managed to take.