Although I met Nathan in '86 and we lost touch in the early-to-mid 90's, I remember many stories being packed into those years. We enjoyed playing tennis (and in those days, golf. . .not so much) for nearly a year and half before Nathan beat me in a best-of-three sets match for the first time, at scenic Hilton Head Island, on my favorite (slow green clay) surface. Once he triumphed, I only managed to beat him one more time, in the Crawfordsville Park & Rec tournament. The following year, in the same tournament, Nathan beat me 6-1, 6-0 in 17 minutes, including changeovers. If I hadn't taken a few sips of water during each changeover, he likely would have broken the 15-minute barrier. I suppose those details are still in my mind because it is difficult to forget the thrashing of a lifetime, even when it took less time than a broadcast of the evening news. As I was shaking his hand, I recall asking him if he had a date he was in a hurry to get to or whether he had left something on the stove. It was fulfilling to see his talent and effort, always accompanied by his humility, come full circle. It seems that span of a couple of years of playing tennis served as a parallel to his incredible career achievements and nearly quarter-century marriage to the love of his life.
As I remember Nathan, I will always think back to his expression of joy and the satisfaction of a job well done. I will always wish we could have played one more time, even if it lasted for only 17 minutes.
Rest in peace my friend. You will be remembered with many a smile.