Editor’s Note: With this posting, the EPC introduces a new monthly feature –short profiles of the diverse and talented individuals who make up the Edmonds Petanque Club. Kudos to Jan Pruatt who interviewed Ann and Bob and composed their profiles. If you have suggestions for other club members Jan might interview for a profile, please let Jan know when you see her at the courts.

Ann Swan

“There is something to be said for the pleasure of normalcy and the contemplation of quiet things.” David Swan

This saying adorns the park bench at the Civic Center Park where the Petanque Courts are located. Just south of Court 1 you’ve probably rested briefly during a game, or at length to watch the players or kibitz with a fellow Petanquer. Ann contemplated seeing her late husband’s comforting words on a bench back when the old Civic Field had been demolished and was being transformed into the heavenly haven it is today. Ann, herself, loves sitting there. And remembers when Dick Van Hollebeke, a former Edmonds City Council member and Petanque player, encouraged her to get Dave’s memorial going.

A petanque club member since 2018, Ann enjoys playing Petanque a couple times a week, loves to volunteer whether working on the Petanque Board to help develop etiquette rules or manning donations for the Food Bank Tournament (her favorite event). She is a strong player in many ways and on all levels.

Ann was drawn to Petanque, located practically in her back yard because, “I didn’t know anyone in Edmonds,” and players greeted her and encouraged her to play. It felt homey and friendly, had a nice grass roots feel about it. She, too, is an encourager and has a knack for developing opportunities where neighbors can come together in community.

Ann and Dave and son, Scott, have lived all over the world and the US and moved 32 times. She says life has been like a slow vacation teaching her patience. They settled in Edmonds because that is where their son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter live.

Ann is no stranger when it comes to facing tasks head on. Since 6th grade she became a sailor and learned to race boats like the Snipe17, and skipper the Benneteau36 sailboat she and Dave owned in Santa Barbara, CA. No! She has not been soft and fluffy all her life and has a brown belt in jiu-jitsu. She is a seasoned business woman who knows her own mind and shares her expertise in so many gifted ways.

Anne and the “crew” on the David Swan memorial bench

Bob Mazelow

We all have our stories. We all are a book, ready to be opened and read, and, in the case of Bob Mazelow, this allows us to savor each chapter. Bob is a storyteller, and I sat mesmerized as he shared.

Bob, I learned, loves the outdoors, kids, travel and his wife, Kathleen, of 43 years. His love of life is not limited to playing Petanque, nor teaching the younger set at Lakeside School, nor travelling Earth from the Sierras in Nevada to Nairobi, Kenya, where he and Kathleen were married in 1981. His joie de vivre includes his friends, and recently celebrating the life of Kathy’s mom who was a Renaissance woman.

Bob’s love of Petanque began when a friend named Rick Steves, looking for a Petanque partner, introduced him to the game. About the same time, others joined the club. He introduced Jack McHenry, a Lakeside friend. Rich Majer and Don Bothell started to play. Dick VanHollebeke taught the guys to play the game, and the rest is history. The best part of Petanque for Bob is talking trash with other Petanquers. He sentimentally refers to boules as “the stupid metal balls in the gravel.” And fondly shows me pictures from the Petanque album on his Android. One in particular is of playing “the game” in the Luxembourg Gardens of Paris.

Getting to know Bob is a treat. Next time you see him be sure to ask what’s his most favorite place in the world. Then be prepared to join him on a journey to somewhere you’ve never been before.

Bob is a Petanque Player extraordinare and winner of the Food Bank Tournament in 2023 with friend and partner, David Rockwell. His favorite event is Bastille Day because it fits with the French culture, and he gets to play with new people.

Bob Mazelow preparing to play “the game” under all conditions. What’s a little snow on the courts?!