May 6, 2007

Petanque in Greensboro, NC

Last week we saw a poster for the annual festival organized by Greensboro Beautiful and the Parks & Recreation Department: Parisian Promenade, a celebration of spring with sights, scenes sounds and smells of a spring afternoon in Paris.
I don't know about you, but when I hear Paris, spring & gardens in the same sentence I think of pétanque, so 3 days ago we offered to go and play there and demonstrate the game. One phone call later our proposal was accepted.

Now comes the surprise: the only place in the park suitable for petanque was the driveway of the maintenance department. I had mentioned that the stones were kind of big (up to 1"), the surface pretty uneven and that it would have been better if the top layer were finer and smoother.

Guess what! On arrival today there was waiting for us: 2 tons of 1/4" minus (screenings), a mini dumper and a bunch of rakes. In less than an hour, we had a perfect terrain, large enough for 4 games at a time! A miracle? No, just an extremely efficient and co-operative bunch of people at the Parks & Recreation Department. They had also prepared a sign pointing to the play area.

Hundreds of folks stopped by and we played with them non-stop from 1 to past 5pm. People who had never seen the game, people who remembered it from trips to Europe, young and less young. We had sunny areas, shady areas, a bit of breeze, a perfect afternoon in a beautiful setting.
And that terrain can now be used by anyone to play. Well, after 4pm and during weekends, when the maintenance people don't need to drive by there.

Many thanks to Johnny Galbreath and his crew, to Mebane Ham, the event coordinator, and to all the friends who came and helped to make this impromptu event a successful pétanque clinic in beautiful Bicentennial Gardens.

Unfortunately - as usual -, most of the time I was explaining, so didn't take as many group pictures as I would have liked...

1 comment:

Jeppy said...


As usual, you worked magic! It was a lucky thing that the particular area you needed to transform into pistes was at the maintenance area, they had all of the equipment practically nearby it seems. If only we could get the Parks and Recreation folks in other cities to be so reasonable.

Good work!

Jeff Widen
-Detroit Petanque Club