It was by chance last October that I stumbled across The Racket Web, a little treasure trove of tennis past and present nestled inside of Nola's restaurant in Palo Alto. Since 1977 master stringer John Mundorff has been tending to rackets in his same little museum of a racket shop. His shop walls are covered with patinaed tennis history, rackets from the 1800s, Wimbeldon Championship Towels, Tennis Ball sleeves from long before I was born. John and his wife have been collecting tennis memorabilia for quite a while, and he has quite the collection. He also has quite a client following, he was the Stanford Tennis Team Stringer for 30 years running. Generations of tennis players, both amateur and pro have been trusting John with their rackets. The tennis legend Jimmy Connors even stood at The Racket Web's counter, the same spot I stood to ask John if I could come back and take his portrait. With his gentle demeanor John invited me back and with my camera in hand I spent a little over an hour with him. Like old friends we chatted about life, working for ourselves and of course the game of tennis. The game that is a part of John's everyday life and I can tell he loves every minute of it.
If you're in the Bay Area and you need a tennis racket strung I'm pretty sure John is the guy you need to go and see. Or if you happen to be eating dinner at Nola's, peek your head in John's door he'll welcome you with a smile.