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As we were heading to our photo shoot for Cathy Gordon’s story on local croquet players, I admit my first thought was that of stuffy Hampton-esque types named Biff and Buffy. Instead, I found a group of colorful, relatable characters with a Cheers-like camaraderie, constantly kidding each other and cracking jokes about each other’s playing ability, the plethora of back and knee injuries, and of course, age. Croquet’s appeal may skew towards weekend warriors who are no longer in peak physical condition, but whose minds are still sharp-as-a tack, or wicket in this case. While less physically demanding than most sports, croquet is equally, if not more, demanding strategically. Club member ages range from mid-30s to 90s, so I’m right in the sweet spot. Could this be my sport? I’m also intrigued by Cindy Gabriel’s story on Dr. Ben Portnoy, whose retirement also includes that of his beloved collection of more than 250 bow ties. I’ve worn bow ties throughout my life and each time I attempt to tie one, it’s like Groundhog Day. Perhaps I should master tying the bow tie before I embarrass myself publicly at croquet? [email protected]