Hearne: The Ultra Sad Rockhill Tennis Club Auction Post Mortem

Make no mistake, the joint was dripping with sadness…

Last week’s gloomy estate sale at the the historic Rockhill Tennis Club had a bit of something for everyone. From simple, small plain glass wine carafes to a $5,500 baby grand. From a tennins court bubble “with a chip” to pool loungers.

“Welcome to the Rockhill, we’re glad your here,” read a sign greeting potential buyers, well-wishers and rubber neckers to the pre-death estate sale.

A small green tent – used, of course – was offered at $800. A large one for $2,000.

The Rockhill Tennis Club – past tense where it’s longtime digs near new owner/occupant-to-be the Nelson-Atkins Museum are concerned – is now but a vestige of the past. It’s easy to see how the classically cool urban club’s owner would covet its gorgeous grounds for park-like offices.

Chandeliers, shop worn tools, holiday decorations, original oil paintings – everything must go, the sale made it seem.

A killer cool, old-time Bingo set, including dozens if not hundreds of leather bound Bingo player cards had an asking price of $250. By auction/sale rules bids over $100 of at least half the asking price would be considered.

One classic item: a framed color photo collage from a 1987 tennis tourney with then KC mayor Richard Berkley, Henry Bloch and Vice President George H. Bush was offered at $125.

For a lousy five bucks I bought a cheesy-looking pic of William Rockhill Nelson is an antique-looking silver frame.

Passing on the $9,500 asking price “original oak pub bar.”

Any word – good or bad – on the odds of Rockhill moving into that Nelly Don house in Crestwood?

The one the neighborhoodies are so not-thrilled over?

Nope, answered a helpful sale staffer.

A check of May “Club News” page on tennis and swimming club’s Web site revealed the following:

“No news for this month”

For April the Club News advised readers to “Become a fan on Facebook.”

March’s Club news was wearier.

A letter from apologetic club prez Ken Blundell vowed to fight on and called for “Fellow Rockhillians” to band together to insure the club’s future.

“The best analogy I can muster is the incidence of sheep becoming frozen to the ground and unable to flee from predators,” Blundell wrote. “If we stay put, then as safe and easy as this may sound, we cannot survive. In many respects, our course of action is a leap of faith but the cost of doing nothing will potentially doom us to fail.”

The Club’s Event Calendars for May through August – prime tennis and swimming season – all blank.

Stay tuned….

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2 Responses to Hearne: The Ultra Sad Rockhill Tennis Club Auction Post Mortem

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rick in PV
    I can’t ignore the typo in the headline … it’s “post-mortem”

  2. Anonymous says:

    What did Jardine’s owner and jazz nightlife afficinada Beena Bransgaard purchase?

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