The first dodgeball I ever attended was dodgeball 90 in 2007. It started in 2005, so I arrived 2 years after it began. For those who do not know, in short, dodgeball was played at least once a week, first on the Ocean Road Park tennis courts, and then it moved to the Wall High School tennis courts. It would start sometime around 6 and go until the lights on the court went off and not a moment sooner. It was played in rain, snow, wind, etc. Dodgeball was never just a game and over 500 people can attest to that. The amount of connections made over the 8 years it lasted is incredible, maybe even impossible to draw. The youngest player to throw a ball was under a year old and the oldest was 63. So, there is a great range of people that have played and attended, but we were all connected through this one game. Although, it was not always about going to play or to watch, it was a place to go to meet new people and to hang out with friends. You were always sure to have a good laugh and if you decided to play, a new bruise. The games were intense, but there was a great sense camaraderie. There were times when friends were pitted against each other, disagreements and arguments arose, people got angry and at the end of the night, when the lights went out, we were all winners or losers, but it didn't matter because the next week we would be back, on a different team and the disagreements would be forgiven. Sure, some disagreements lasted longer than others and people didn't always get along, but we were united through this game and it satisfied us all in some way.
At the head of it all is a guy named John Tronolone. All of the new relationships built on the courts was because of him. Every event he greeted each new person, took meticulous notes the attendance and how the games panned out and brought a heap of enthusiasm to each game. A lot of people owe him a huge thank you. I know I do. He has changed my life and I am incredibly lucky to know him and to have been a part of his creation. The final event was on Saturday, August 10th. John asked me take photos for him to capture the last moments. I gladly agreed; it was the least I could do. I also was not going to miss the chance to say farewell to a game that has brought so much joy and fun to my life. I will never forget the time I spent on and off the courts with all the people I was so fortunate to meet. I will never forget how sore I would feel after a long night of dodging and throwing and how rewarding that pain was. It was an emotional night and I am completely satisfied with all the memories I was able to capture on that night. We all gave John (and ourselves) a well deserved applause and that is how I will remember the final throw.
Now please, take a look at the photos I took. I put my heart into each and every one and I hope they show it. Enjoy!
(Please click the link below to view photos)