I was touched today when I watched Blake’s video showing during school. One thing that caught my attention was a “ping pong machine gun” for Blake to practice with. It brought back humorous memories I had when Blake was over at my house.
As rumor had gone around school that “Blake was the ping-pong king,” I had ardently honed my table-tennis skills with the new ping pong machine my dad had recently bought. Under the name of “RoboPong,” it was a fearsome looking, ping pong ball shooting robot, with advanced oscillation, spin, and speed control. After a couple weeks of preparation, it was time to face my opponent. I had done my reading and had perfected my forehand topspin smash: surely my unbeatable weapon. My birthday was coming up, and of course Blake was on the invitation list.
My first impression when playing Blake was that his style was so casual and his strokes just looked…good. When looking at Blake play anything with a paddle or racket, one would just have to say: “Yes, that’s what a hit should look like. Yes, that is the way it should be done.” In the midst of our game of table-tennis, I had finally set up for my smash, my “secret weapon.” Meanwhile, Austin (who was at the party) had discovered my younger brother’s nerf automatic firing machine gun. On some whim or sudden inclination, he aimed the nerf gun and commenced firing at Blake. I executed my topspin smash, which caught Blake far at the opposite side of the table, but somehow Blake ran all the way from one end of the table to the other end, dove down, and miraculously returned the ball. After doing so, he began blocking the zinging bullets Austin was shooting with his paddle, deflecting them onto my side of the table. One by one, twenty nerf bullets ricocheted in my direction. It was almost like Blake had done this before and practiced deflecting torrents of nerf bullets with a ping-pong paddle. It’s clear that Blake had prodigious coordination and skill at table tennis. Perhaps Blake also had a lot of time to practice cool and amazing things like this. I can’t say either way, but I know Blake always had the talent of being able to take his time at anything, filling it up and enjoying it with his pure energy and spirit.