By the Family
Jun. 28, 2017: Jaime de Carvalho, the tennis pro for many years at the Bronxville Field Club, passed away on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
Some people measure time by holidays. Farmers measure it by seasons, but Jaime knew what time of year it was by the clay courts. Rollers, tapes, nails, and windscreens marked the arrival of spring. Summer meant keeping the HarTru dressing on the courts after torrential rains. When the weather turned, fall meant the lines could stay as long as the ground would hold the nails. Winter was all about squash and paddle. The courts, much like the fields, lay dormant. Jaime could always be found in his beloved courts.
It is said that if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life. That is what I remember my Dad telling us. He rarely missed a day at the club and couldn't wander far from 40 Locust Lane. He loved running the club with the staff, people he considered family.
He took more than just a professional interest in the people he taught, and he truly loved the kids he ran across the baselines.
True, Jaime wasn't always easy, and anyone who ever had the nerve to arrive late, be a no-show, or give less than 110% came face to face with his tough side. I clearly remember one of his assistants sweating it the whole morning after he forgot to verify an MITL match. We all waited outside the old pro-shop, certain that poor Ricardo would get blasted. When he fessed up to Jaime and apologized, to our surprise, we witnessed his compassionate side. He said, "Ok, don't let it happen again."
He loved coaching his wife of 54 years, Dawn. I can hear him "gently" encouraging her in both English and Portuguese. He taught me, Frank, and Joy the game and instilled in us that if you couldn't win, you had better go down with a massive fight.
Jaime became an expert pitching coach when his grandsons JR and Spencer took to the mound. He would passionately follow every one of their pitches and it would always surprise him that they ever threw a ball. I have heard from numerous Palm Beach County umpires that while they are sad for his passing, they welcome a few innings without his intense scrutiny.
When his grandsons PJ and Matthew started playing basketball, Jaime became the Portuguese John Wooden. He researched the game, took notes, and put the boys through rigorous drills in the cul de sac.
Jaime discovered that he could also be an expert at coaching the violin and dancing with boas and glitter with his granddaughters Alexis and Adriana. Not sure I should put the part about the boas and glitter in here, but it speaks volumes as to the lengths he would go for his grandkids.
He loved teaching the game of squash to Dick; tell Paul how to fish; and talk to Wendy about finances.
My dad looked forward to visiting his nieces Cristina and Nelinha in Brasil. Jaime owes his engaging smile to Cristina and Evandro's expertise in the dentist's chair. We can't thank them both enough for the love they showed him.
Jaime enjoyed speaking with his niece Mariana about politics and horses. He loved his cousins and nephews in Portugal and looked forward to visiting them all. His sister Julia could say or do anything to him, oftentimes following him out the door with a fork in her hand yelling, "Come! (Eat!)." He still has the books Andrea gave him.
There is not enough time to mention all the friends by name here, but you know who you are. Every minute we think of someone to call and send a hug to. Please do not feel as if we forgot any of you--we haven't. Jenny, Max, and Bradley, he loved you so. Steve Sacks, you were our rock and you are a rock star.
We are planning a celebration of Jaime's life sometime in the near future. We will keep you posted.
How fitting that on the eve of Wimbledon my dad is no doubt supervising court maintenance and coaching from afar. Give 'em Hell Pite, as only you can.