April 2016 Ace of the Month Henry Reynolds
Where were you born and raised?
If you aren’t from Pittsburgh or the surrounding areas, what brought you to Pittsburgh, PA?
How long have you been associated with the Highland Park Tennis Club? In what capacities?
I’ve been a faithful member of HPTC for 20 plus years.
At what age, where and with whom did you first begin playing tennis?
I started playing tennis in my early 20’s with Ike Davis, Dave Hamlet, and Walter Smith. We were a group of guys that played together all time. We played in and Pittsburgh, most of the time.
Did you play for any school teams? If so, what teams, when and at what schools?
I played a little basketball at Brownsville High School.
What level tennis player are you now? What was your highest ranking?
Do you or did you play in tournaments? If so, why? If not, why not?
I worked as a barber at Gebhardt Barbershop for quite some time which consumed a lot of my time. Consequently, I didn’t play in too many tournaments.
Do you prefer singles, doubles and or mixed play? Why?
I prefer singles. I like singles because it is more challenging and you get more activity.
Name two of your favorite tennis players and tell why they are your favorites.
Walt Smith and Ike Davis. They were too great guys to be around and are great tennis players
What is it about the game that you like? Why?
I like the fact that tennis is very active and good form of exercise. And it is very challenging.
Is there anything about the game that you don’t like and if so, what is it and why?
I don’t have anything about tennis that I don’t like. I am completely in love with the game and have always been. I was very impressed with the kind of people it attracted. It attracted a great group of people and it still does.
If you could change one thing about tennis, what would it be?
Not a thing. It doesn’t get any better than that. it attracts nice people
What do you consider the strongest aspect of your tennis game? Why?
The strongest aspect of my game was my forehand. I was very consistent off the forehand side.
What part of your tennis game would you most like to improve? Why?
My backhand is what I would have liked to have improved. I wanted to have hit it a lot harder.
Do you have a personal tennis match that stands out in your mind? Please share the circumstances of that match with us.
Not particularly. Earlier in my tennis life I didn’t do much in terms of tournaments. Tournaments are where you get most of your experience. You are duty bound to win or you are gone.
Aside from tennis, in what other athletic activities do you participate?
Swimming. I’ve been a swimmer all my life. A pretty decent swimmer too. I’ve been able to swim across the Monongahela River since age 7. We did that all the time as fun in Brownsville.
What is your favorite type of music?
Black rock and roll.
Name your favorite musical artist/group?
Nat King Cole Trio
What is your favorite food?
Chicken. Fried, roast or baked
What can always be found in your refrigerator?
Milk, butter, ginger ale and yesterday’s dinner.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Florida, west coast, north of Miami Clearwater
What would most others be surprised to know about you?
That I am witty, according to my wife and one of my sons.
I was the first black salesperson at the Greater Pittsburgh Airport in the early 60’s. I was hired by United Airlines.
I was a civil rights activist and the NAACP and other organization in Pittsburgh and Penn Hills.
I have a Master’s degree in Math and taught at Allderdice and Westinghouse High Schools.
I have 3 children. They are sons and one is a doctor, another a chemical engineer and the other an electronic technician.