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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Apr 20th, 2017 01:57 PM
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

This photo from the Monaco ITF website presents a mystery within two other mysteries. The board provides us with names and a trophy.

#1 Who are they?
#2 Where are they and what is date?

#1 Who are they?

The person on the left can only be Gloria Butler, a forgotten but important person in tennis history.

Her father was a wealthy American businessman named George Butler. The family lived in the tiny principality of Monaco. After George died in the late 1930s Gloria stayed on and ran te Monte Carlo tournament, which we know of today as the Monte Carlo Masters tournament.

Gloria ran the event well into the 1960's. She put on a player party with skits that became absolutely legendary, with the players entertaining their peers and a crowd.

She later spent time in California, where she was one of the few friends of Bill Tilden to stay loyal to him after his run-ins with the law. In fact Butler basically supported Bill for a time. He nicknamed her "Angel Child".

We do not have much information on her later life or if and when Gloria died. According to Gar Mulloy in his 2009 book As It Was, she gave away her last remaining wealth to a commune.

The figure on the left is (Mlle or Mme) Speranza. I'm guessing the scoreboard reads "Mlle Speranza", but can't verify this this due to the smallness of the shot. She seems too young to be Mme Daisy Wyns Speranza Wyns (or Wyns Speranza), who entered French events as early as 1909. Mme Speranza Wyns was ranked #1 in Monaco in 1932.

If it is Mme Speranza-Wyns the woman on the right would be at least in her mid 50s. Having exact dates of birth and death for Daisy Sperana-Wyns would help enormously, but this is yet another mystery.

On the other hand the Speranza in this photo is clearly no spring chicken, and looks older than Gloria Butler.

There was at least one other Speranza. We know in 1947 that Gloria Butler entered the French with Lucia Speranza. The team defaulted in the event.

#2 Where and when was the photo taken?

The clothing suggests late 1930s and early 1940s. The trophy suggests they are (or have already) played a singles final.

And coming from a Monaco based site gives us a clue that this is a Riviera tournament. The "jeaux" on the scoreboard makes that nearly 100% certain.

That leads me to guess it is 1947 with Gloria Butler and Lucia Speranza at a Riviera tournament. Are there other explanations I might have overlooked? If anyone has information about Speranza or Butler please share!
Mar 8th, 2017 07:35 PM
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

Nelly Landry in 1946 at Wimbledon.

May 31st, 2016 12:09 AM
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

Gussie Moran in 1949. This is a rare color photo

Feb 14th, 2016 05:01 PM
Ms. Anthropic
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

I don't think Juanita Reed Stanley in the encyclopedia. A great description of an economic depression: Tennis balls only cost 10 cents each, but you don't have the dime to buy one.

The Roanoke Times
February 28, 1996
LISA P. SMITH, Staff Writer

Juanita Reed Stanley sat in the dinette area of her comfortably furnished home, the notes about her tennis activities spread out on the table in front of her.

The seven-time Roanoke City-County tennis champion nervously referred to her notes, which she wrote the night before, to talk about winning the tournament from 1946-1951 and again in 1960.

The tournament was a competitive event for local tennis amateurs ranging from junior boys and girls to men and women.

Stanley breezed through many of her matches to become the champion, according to articles written about her in this newspaper during the 1940s and '50s.

Stanley said her toughest match was against her younger sister, Wanda. Stanley won, though, 8-6, 9-7.

"We were both so totally exhausted that our mother had to put us both to bed."

Stanley also competed in doubles play.

In 1948, '49, '51 and '60, she was a champion in the women's doubles championship. And she was a finalist in the 1951 Virginia State Women's Tournament.

She once dreamed of turning professional. But the dream was impossible to accomplish, she said.

"It was so expensive, and the players didn't make as much money as they make now. But if there was reincarnation, I would come back and become a professional."

Stanley began reliving her introduction to the game.

"[Wanda and I] grew up during the Depression, so we had to find recreation that didn't cost much money."

Stanley was 12 when she got her first racket. "I can remember they were building the tennis courts at Fishburn Park, and every day during the summer I would go there to watch them work, waiting for them to finish."

The courts became a regular meeting place for Stanley and her friends.

"The balls were 10 cents apiece, so we could only play if we found any discarded balls."

Stanley played a lot of matches with boys, "because they were stronger, and that helped me a lot in my tournament play."

She earned two titles during her junior and senior years at Jefferson High School.

During her years of competitive play, Stanley married Jack Stanley in May 1948. Stanley also worked full time in the Roanoke office of the Social Security Administration as a claims representative and then as an operations analyst.

Because she wanted to focus more on her work, Stanley decided to retire from competitive tennis in 1951.

Stanley also added a new addition to her family during retirement as well, her daughter, Sharon was born in 1953.

In 1960, Stanley went back to play one last time, winning the women's singles and doubles championships. "I did the tournament in 1960 just to see if I still had it."

But this retirement didn't mean she was through with the sport. She continued to play on a recreational level by joining tennis leagues and reserving time at private tennis clubs. She now makes the game a vital part of her leisure time, playing at least three or four times a week.

Stanley's husband and daughter, both of she taught the game of tennis, play with her, along with her daughter's husband, Ed Mitchell.

But the enjoyment the sport brings also can be an obstacle, especially when professional matches are televised, Stanley said.

"I enjoy watching the major tennis tournaments on television, like the U.S. Open and the Australian Open. When they are on, I can't get anything else done."

These tournaments do, however, give Stanley a chance to see her favorite player, Steffi Graf.

"Steffi is a great all-around player,'' she said. "I like her mainly because of her one-handed backhand. I admire Monica Seles, but I don't like her two-handed backhand."

By watching these professionals play and also reading articles about them, Stanley said she has improved her own game.

"I have a more complete game now than when I was younger. I've learned so much from watching the pros on television and reading tennis magazines."

Being away from competitive tennis also has helped her.

"I play with more reckless abandon now. I try for more of my shots because there is no pressure to win."
Dec 14th, 2014 07:59 PM
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor welcome American professional tennis stars visiting the Bahamas to play in a series of Red Cross benefit matches. The members of the team, from the left, are John Nogrady, Donald Budge, Miss Mary Hardwick, and Miss Alice Marble. (Evening Post, 25 March 1941).
Dec 14th, 2014 07:55 PM
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

Miss Kay Stammers, Britain's leading tennis player, and her husband, Mr. Michael Menzies, outside St. Peter's, Eaton Square, London, after their marriage on January 24. Mr. Menzies is a second lieutenant in the Welsh Guards. (Evening Post, 29 February 1940)
Dec 14th, 2014 07:25 PM
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

Winners of; New Zealand lawn tennis championships, at Miramar'yesterday. Top- right, Miss.Nancye'. Wynne, winner of the women's singles and, with Miss Thelma Coyne, of the women's doubles (Evening Post, 14 February 1940).
Dec 14th, 2014 07:22 PM
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

Miss K. Stammers, Ejigland's pretty No. 1 tennis player, choosing her wedding dress in London on December 18. She is being married today to Mr. Michael Menzies. The dress chosen is tight-waisted, ivith skin-tight sleeves and a short train. She is_ to carry a sheaf of orchids and wear orchids in her hair. , Miss Stammers is seen with Teddy Tinling, a famous London dress designer. (Evening Post, 24 January 1940).
Nov 16th, 2014 11:45 PM
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

Film footage of Marta Peterdy vs Alice Florian--from 1943!
Oct 9th, 2013 09:05 PM
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

Gussie Moran, 1950

Gertrude Moran -- a.k.a. Gorgeous Gussie -- broke down even more fashion barriers at the Wimbledon tournament in 1949 when she famously wore a tennis skirt so short it showed off her ruffled knickers underneath. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club deemed the look so vulgar that Moran stuck to shorts for later appearances. Here, she takes on Pauline Betz in New York City in 1950 wearing a playful pair of bottoms.
Oct 9th, 2013 09:00 PM
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

Louise Brough and Pauline Betz, 1944

During WWII, women wore the pants -- or rather, the shorts. U.S. tennis champ Louise Brough (l.) ditched the bulky skirts of the past for a much roomier alternative, while Pauline Betz flashed a little thigh with a skirt cut several inches above the knee.

Behind the ladies is the marquee at Forest Hills. The other 3 sides were part of the "bowl" that comprised the biggest permanent tennis stadium in the US until the change in venue to Flusing in 1978.
Apr 11th, 2013 02:10 PM
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

A bump up for this thread.

I updated the bio of Eleanor Purdy Cushingham, sex bomb of the 1940s. Her pic and info may be found on page 7.

Binoxal has been posting some lovely pics and info about 40s ladies at his blog at:
Jan 18th, 2013 12:58 AM
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
Gussy Moran in June 1949 photo shoot.
In the Makarova/Bartoli match, the male commentator reported that Gorgeous Gussy Moran died, and Elise Bergin noted that she was noted for her ruffly and lacy underwear, as this photo suggests. She didn't get very far in tennis, but she was definitely someone to be remembered.

She obviously had a lot of fun in the sport. RIP, Gussy.
Aug 8th, 2012 02:07 PM
praise him
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

Joe, this is getting interesting. My Mom told me the story about her appendix. She was playing in the same tournament and coming out of an elevator in her hotel and they actually burst, which back then was usually fatal. I am trying to track down Pat Yeomans but at 95 I'm not sure if she is using email etc. but in her book she noted my Mom and her and Joe were good friends and often doubles partners. You can email me direct at and we can communicate off line and exchange phone numbers etc. Thanks for responding.

Aug 8th, 2012 01:29 AM
Joseph Hunt
Re: Serve and Volley-40's tennis

Hello Pike,

Thank you for your message. I am not very adept with blogging and am just learning how to use this website, so it appears that a message I posted to go to you did not work and that you never received it. I'm sorry about that. I will try to re-write some of the post. I also remember meeting Beau as a child in Northern California when she was in a nursing home. It is amazing that you also knew that she was known by all of us as B-U. I was too young to have meaningful conversations, but I certainly remember her. I have also met Marian in her later years and her son, Bob and daughter Mimi several times. Marian died several years ago.

I will try to get a copy of the Yoeman book. I never knew that Jacque's first husband was one of Joe's former USC teammates. Wow! that must have been interesting. If Joe married your mother in 1941 (and that sounds right from what I have read) then they were married 4 years (or close to it) as Joe died on February 2, 1945. I have 13 scrapbooks on Joe, which I have poured over through the years. There are a number of pictures of your mom and Joe. She was a beautiful woman. There is one story passed down through the family. Your mom and Joe dated before her first marriage. in 1936, when they were about 18, Joe was playing in the finals of the National Jr. Men's final against a player named John Moreno. Just before the match, he learned that Jacque went into the hospital to have an emergency appendectomy. Apparently, he was so concerned that he ran off the court during the change-overs to call the hospital and find out how she was doing. Needless to say, he could not keep his focus and lost the match! Not to worry though, he came back and won the same tournament the next year.

Do you still live in Florida? I would love to meet you or talk with you about your mother and Joe. And someday I would hope to see your scrapbook. I hope that you keep save it. Did Jacque have any of Joe's trophies? One of my greatest regrets is that we have not been able to find very many, but I have some, including the miniature Davis Cup that he was given for playing on the team with Bobby Riggs, Frank Parker and Jack Kramer. I will also try to get some contact information for Marian's sons. I have not been in touch with any of them and have only met Bob, and that was about 5-6 years ago. Several years ago, I took my family to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The curator there showed us many old archives of tennis in the 1930-1940's but they were very interested in obtaining our 13 scrapbooks. That never happened, and so I still have all 13 and am trying to figure out how to properly preserve them.

Also, my exact relationship to Joe is that I am his great-nephew. Joe's brother, Charlie Hunt, is my grandfather. My father, Laurason Hunt, obviously named me after his uncle.

Hope to hear from you again soon.

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