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We’ll miss him

“I’m going to show you something that will change your life,” declared the tennis coach, who wasn’t teaching me at the moment but apparently felt obligated to help nonetheless.

Those who have witnessed the racket I make on a tennis court know why the help was needed.

But here was this man, an “official tennis coach,” willing to interrupt his busy day with paying students for the sole purpose of helping an obviously racket-challenged former yuppie.

Tall, thin, balding, but with a smile worthy of describing the word sincere, I always pictured the guy holding a pitchfork, standing next to his missus with a checkerboard smile, both of them humming the tune to “Green Acres” while pigs danced in the background.

But here he was, holding his racket, gracefully tossing the ball in the air, and then with a quick 1-2-3 motion, slamming it 100 miles per hour over the net and bouncing with perfection in the opposite corner, the one it’s supposed to land in.

Within five minutes I had the 1-2-3 motion down, although the speed and aim with which my ball traversed was more like a well-intentioned snail with tattered wings hanging on by threads of faux desire.

It didn’t change my life, but it sure as you-know-what changed my game from that point forward.

Helping others just for the sake of doing so – this is how Brian Hauff seemed to approach life in general.

Along with his boundlessly energetic wife, Jeannie, they have been quietly running the show at the Homestead Court Club for over 15 years, overseeing everything from the installation of new fans in the weight room to organizing rallies at the County Building in Eagle to protest overzealous development issues affecting Homestead in general.

If it involves Homestead, it involves Brian and Jeannie Hauff.

Unfortunately, after a lifetime of winning most games and almost every set, this past Sunday morning Brian lost his final match, the inevitable finale that we all must face someday.

We will miss him.

When you see Jeannie, let her know how you feel. Homestead will continue, and so will she, yet both with a void in the foreseeable future.

Richard Carnes


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