Miriam, a neighborhood tennis advocate and avid collector of tennis memorabilia, holding a ball tail racquet from 1890.
This profile is one in a series featuring San Francisco’s passionate tennis players and vibrant neighborhood parks.
Miriam’s Park: Glen Canyon Park
Neighborhood: Glen Park
Park Address: 70 Elk St.
Glen Canyon Park Info:
- Size: 6-acres
- Established: 1992*
- A 17,600′ recreation center, including a gymnasium, auditorium, and offices
- Hiking trails and open space
- A playground
- Two baseball fields
- Two tennis courts
- A two-story Silver Tree Day Camp building
- *Fun Fact:
Rich with a history that spans back to the 1850s, Glen Canyon Park has seen a myriad of uses ranging from Adolph Sutro's personal "Gum Tree Ranch"; to the Crocker Real Estate Company's mini-amusement park and picnic site; to an earthquake refugee camp. Not until 1992 did the park come into its current state as an official public recreation site operated and maintained by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. [Source: SF Rec & Park website]
Miriam Moss has been playing on San Francisco’s neighborhood courts since 1964, when she moved to San Francisco from Michigan. A resident of Glen Park for 45 years, she’s a long-time advocate for public recreation in the city and has served on SF Rec & Park tennis advisory boards. She is passionate about free tennis instruction for children and access to public tennis courts. She’s also an avid collector of tennis memorabilia, and a charter member of Tennis Collectors of America.
When did you begin playing tennis?
I started playing tennis when I was 13 years old. I was on my High School tennis team (1955-58) in singles and doubles. I have always preferred singles so once the courts re-opened after being closed because of Covid-19 it was tennis as usual for me.
I graduated from the University of Michigan in January of 1962. The star of the Men’s Varsity tennis team was none other than Barry McKay (ranked No. 1 in the United States in 1960 and long-time Wimbledon and US Open broadcaster). There was no Women’s Varsity tennis team until 1973.
How have you been involved as an advocate for public tennis and recreation in San Francisco?
I served on the SF Rec & Park Tennis Advisory Board for eight years from 2001 to 2009. Along with Jake Hall, a former RPD Tennis Director, and Dan Mauer, who is currently a Project Manager Supervisor, we visited and evaluated every court in the city. We were able to get 65 neighborhood courts re-surfaced.
Tell us about the tennis items that you collect. What are they, where do they come from, what do they mean to you?
I have been collecting for about 20 years.
I am a Charter Member of the Tennis Collectors of America. The goal is to keep the history of tennis alive. There are many lessons to be learned. Our members meet once a year all over the US for our yearly convention. They collect not only racquets from the turn of the century but every other type of collectable that has a tennis theme, of which there are many.
Last year we met in New Orleans, which is the home of the oldest tennis club in the United States. We also have met several times at the International Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. There are always guest speakers at every convention. Bud Collins would always stick his head in at our meetings in Newport and stay for a party to honor him.
Anyone interested in collecting should check out the book written by Jeanne Cherry: "Tennis Antiques & Collectibles".
I suggest that everyone look up the recently published obituary of Angela Buxton 1934-2020: “Angela Buxton, half of an outcast duo in tennis history”.
Know someone passionate about tennis at your neighborhood park? We want to profile regularly San Franciscans who play at parks across the city. Send us a line at email@example.com