Sunday morning, I arrived at the field around 8:30 am hoping to find some relatively easy parking, but I was in for a shock. Due to some flea-market event, our parking lot was chockfull of vehicles, often parked in a very irresponsible manner. I finally managed to find an available parking slot and entered the pétanque field.
Fourteen (14) teams had signed up for the event and most of the players were already actively practicing on the terrain. By this time, it was already warm, and it got much warmer as the day went by. There was plenty of sunshine and everybody was grateful for the shade provided by our great trees. Everybody but me. Shade is wonderful when you are playing, but it makes it very hard for a photographer and greatly affects the quality of his pictures.
Nevertheless, I started shooting early, as my union requires it. Then suddenly, around 11:30 am, my camera’s battery conked out. It greatly surprised me because usually, I can shoot most of the day with a single battery. I then inserted a spare battery in the camera and continued shooting.
Most of the people stopped playing after 2 games and took a break for lunch. But a great number of wasps heard about it and were at the rendez-vous. These pesky little guys have an extraordinary sense of smell and came by the dozens. It became almost impossible to stay seated at the table. Where were the yellow-jacket traps?
After lunch, I witnessed the merciless slaughtering (13/1) of the Pierce/Marcovecchio/McPhee LPM team by Vang/Choulamany/Bissonette, a well-known Fresno gang. The assassins showed no remorse for their deed.
In the afternoon, my second camera battery also gave up, which again surprised me greatly. Intrigued by this unusual series of events, I consulted the Internet and discovered that “Battery life is reduced at higher temperatures – for every 15 degrees F over 77, battery life is cut in half.” Now you know.
I also watched in its entirety the Concours Semi-finals between the Mathis team and Phomenick’s trio. Phomenick is an awesome shooter and it started very badly for Peter’s team. They were led 0/9 mid-game and it looked like his team was headed for a resounding fanny.
Then at 0/11 Mathis and his guys dug their heels and started a slow comeback. It was like Lazarus raised from the dead. To everybody surprise, Peter, Dave, and Bill managed to win the game by the astounding score of 13/12. Moral of the story: you are not completely dead until the lid is nailed to your coffin.
The Concours’s Finals proved also very interesting but never reached the dramatics of the semifinals. Janice, By Vang, and Choulamany played very well but could not stop Peter’s resurrected and rejuvenated team. Final score: 13/9 for Mathis’s formation.
1st place: Peter Mathis/Dave Lanter/Bill Miller $126.00 ea
2nd place: By Vang/J. Bissonette/K. Choulamany $105.00 ea
3rd place: Phomenick Lee/Mike Lee/ Pao Ly $84.00 ea
1st place: Hans Kurz/ Wolfie Kurz/ Holly Sammons $63.00 ea
2nd place: Mark Shirkey/Sandra Shirky/Mike O’Leary $42.00 ea
PS: Have a look at the so-so pictures