Tag Archives: pickleball

Peeved Players In A Parking Pickle

An alert — and unhappy — “06880” reader writes:

For a long time, a number of pickleball players have used the parking lot behind 25 Sylvan Road South to access the public courts behind Saugatuck Elementary  School.

In fact, the Parks & Rec Department told those of us taking their clinics to park there. We park all the way in back. We rarely stay more than 2 hours — mainly on evenings and weekends

None of us have ever seen the back lot remotely filled, even during the busiest weekday times.  Yet here’s the sign we found today.

Sure, it’s private property. But is this really necessary when no real problem exists? A little heavy handed? On weekends, when the offices are basically empty?

I walked in with the Staples tennis coach, who was even more surprised than I was.

Okay, I won’t park there. But I certainly won’t rent space there either. Karma!

The reader emailed later, with a PS:

School starts soon, so the courts can only be used after school or on weekends. Most folks will just use the school lots.

And most of my pickleball crowd prefers to play at Compo, the new bathroom notwithstanding.

It was the mean-spiritedness of the sign that bothered me most.

Mr. Pickleball Turns 90

Tom Lowrie is “Mr. Pickleball.”

A tireless promoter of the game — and the driving force behind the Compo Beach courts — the longtime Westporter turned 90 years old on Tuesday.

Naturally, he celebrated it with pickles — er, pickleball.

About 30 picklers showed up to honor Tom. And they gave the new nonagenarian a great gift: a pickleball bench in memory of his wife Jean, who died just a few months ago.

A pickleball cake for Tom Lowrie.

Tom had a great time, with his many pickleball friends.

Then he went right back to work, pushing for more courts, clinics and programs for Westport picklers of all ages.

(Hat tips: Leslie Gallant and Patti Brill)

Unsung Hero #7

Tom Lowrie is Westport’s Mr. Pickleball.

The 89-year-old retired architect is the man who pushed the Parks and Recreation Department to create a court for the quickly growing sport at Compo Beach in 2015.

A member of the Parks & Rec Racquets Advisory Committee, he’s now advocating for courts at the Doubleday complex behind Saugatuck Elementary School too. He is proud to be Westport’s ambassador to the USA Pickleball Association.

Tom Lowrie posed for the Westport Library’s “I geek…” campaign with — of course — pickleball gear. (Photo/Pam Einarsen)

But pickleball is not Lowrie’s only passion.

A longtime volunteer since moving to Westport in 1966, he was a charter member of the Sunrise Rotary Club. He received Rotary’s Service Award, and serves as the group’s unofficial historian. Though nearly a nonagenarian, he can be seen at every Sunrise Rotary event, doing the thankless work that helps them raise and distribute tens of thousands of dollars for good causes.

Tom Lowrie and a duck — a promotion for the Westport Sunrise Rotary’s Great Duck Race.

Lowrie’s contributions to Westport buildings include converting the downtown firehouse to the former Westport YMCA fitness center, and modifications to the Masonic Temple at the corner of the Post Road and Imperial Avenue.

Lowrie is also a longtime Westport Weston Family YMCA member. He’s also active with the Y’s Men. His pickleball and other activities — like golf at Longshore — help him say in great shape.

A Pittsburgh native, he graduated from Princeton University in 1950. He served in the Navy, earned his graduate degree from the Columbia University School of Architecture, and began working for Philip Johnson.

Lowrie married Jean Sammons. They raised 2 children here: Dave and Anne.

Most “06880” readers who know him will not believe Tom Lowrie is 89 years old. But all will agree he is a worthy honoree as this week’s “06880” Unsung Hero.

(Know of an unsung hero we should celebrate? Email details to dwoog@optonline.net)

In 2012, Tom Lowrie was runner-up in the Longshore Men’s Golf Association President’s Cup.