I grew up in a weird and wacky family! I'm the youngest of six, tragically 2 passed away before I was born, and the only girl; for awhile. I have 3 older brothers that would beat me at everything, so I learned to lose at a very young age and gracefully! 


One day my dad was looking for something in the want ads in the Hamilton Spectator and lo and behold he saw an ad for a monkey for sale, off he went and we had a new addition to the family! Then he bought another and another and soon we had eight. We didn't have all of them at one time but one summer we did have 4 monkeys and a raccoon. You can imagine that the neighbours loved us! 


My parents went on a vacation one year and came home with a new sister for us, a 13 year old girl from St Lucia. A couple of years later my dad took a job transfer to Sweden, and off we went, my new sister, a brother, our monkey, my parents and myself. It was a whole new experience! Sweden, the land of the free....and naked, everywhere you turned people were taking their clothes off for a sauna and a swim in the lake! Not knowing anyone there, my family played a lot of cards and ping pong! My brother would spot me 20 points and play left handed for quite some time until I started to beat him. 


A few years later, I returned to Hamilton and started my life here! I had a daughter, started my career at Sears and played for the first time on a baseball team, which I'm still playing! I met some wonderful women who got me involved in volleyball and golf! Again my brothers would spot me so many strokes off per game so it would be competitive. Just the other day my brother said “I'll give you a stroke a hole” but I didn't need it as I beat him by 2 strokes...he wasn't happy, but I was! 


2 more daughters came my way, as well as 3 grandsons, what a blessing! I dabbled in a few more sports until pickleball came around. I overheard some friends talk about going to Hill Park and playing Pickleball, so I tagged along and played for the first time two years ago! It felt like playing ping pong without the table, I loved it, I was hooked!  


The best part about Pickleball are the people, they are so welcoming, it seems like such a big family, it's like "Cheers," the bar, with Norm!   But last May I got my eyes opened, I played in the Steeltown pickleball tournament and the level of play was amazing. I got whooped in every category, it was very humbling! I'm not going to be a pickleball pro, but I'm going to enjoy the game and the people around me!

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Spotlight Player of the Month - Caroline Fanson