"The world, as a rule, does not live on beaches and in country clubs."
The weekend before last, I lounged around The Willard for their special cherry blossom high tea service. This past weekend I lounged on the lawn of St. John's College in Annapolis, munching on my parent's amazing spring tailgate spread at the St. John's-Naval Academy croquet match. In two weeks, I'm off to lounge around London. There are times when you realize how swell life is thanks largely to pure dumb luck.
For those of you unfamiliar with the croquet tradition (say, anyone not from within 10 miles of Annapolis), St. John's College--the school where students spend four years reading and discussing the Great Books and get their grades only if they request them--has only one sports team: the croquet team. And they participate in one match per year: against the Academy. To warm up for the event each team plays one practice match: against a local senior citizen's home. Dubbed "a perennial inside joke," the tilt originated when a former Academy commandant instructing a Johnnie to find a sport he and his bookworm bretheren could actually win. And every year the midshipmen don natty lawn dress while the Johnnies try to scrape together the grottiest team uniform possible. This year, they went with Budweiser T-shirts with their own "Born on" dates. The mids' waterboys are in full Navy dress. The Johnnies tote their own Budweisers around. From the Post:
The Johnnies also field a designated temptress, held in reserve for desperate moments, whose job it is to saunter over to the midshipmen with a winning smile and a tray of drinks. The mids, for their part, perennially vow to remain sober throughout the five-game match; they sometimes keep that pledge well into the second game.
Here are some pictures from the croquet event, courtesy of my father. See if you can pick out who the Naval Academy players and spectators are and who the Johnnies and their fans are. As for the dog, I believe he was an equal opportunity fan.