Memories of Paul Laxalt
The recent passing of Senator Paul Laxalt was well documented in the local press. For me, my first meeting with Laxalt was on a basketball court in Carson City. My town team, in the Reno City League, McCaughey Motors was playing his Carson City town team. I was warned that Laxalt was a star player, so I elected to guard him. Fortunately for us, we were able to defeat Carson by double digits.
Over the ensuing years I would see Laxalt frequently, mostly at social functions and political soirees. At one point in time, during a hot political season, I met with him and his cohorts at the Governor’s Mansion. The day started off with breakfast on the back porch, followed by a three hour meeting, which terminated with lunch being served.
Paul and I met once again in an athletic contest. On that occasion my father-in-law had somehow inveigled Paul to challenge me to a tennis match. As I was a neophyte tennis player at that time I approached the match with a sense of trepidation. I met Paul at the mansion where he showed me to an upstairs bedroom where I could change into tennis togs. When I asked him where we were going to be playing he responded that he had a tennis court at his private residence. This added to my dismay. We played the match and he succeeded in drubbing me. When I asked him how he learned to play tennis so well he said that when he was a teenager a top female player had come to Carson for a Nevada divorce and somehow he wound up getting lessons. I asked her name and he replied Helen Wills Moody, who was the number one player in the world in 1927 and she won a total of 19 major titles from 1923 to 1938.