Artist and Muse: Ted Tinling and Gussie Moran

 “Should we drink to your birthday or to your panties?”* The question echoes in the crowded room. A courtroom, Tinling calls it. Later a judgement from one of the jurors: “You have brought sin and vulgarity into tennis.” Outside the war is over, but not its unisex trends. Unimaginative men are still in charge of the present’s quickly receding past: its rules, sexuality, fashion, tradition. Ted and Gussie, artist and muse, write fashion columns. Inevitable that Gussie, the fourth ranked American, should ask the famous designer for a Tinling dress. Color is out, so what are the all-white options: More lace? More leg? More femme? More flounce? Gussie loved the dress, but asked about the wind. What if it blew? Which way was it blowing? What should she wear underneath? Tomorrow’s headlines hinge on such questions. The artist gave to the muse what she inspired. A little lace underneath. Gussie so nervous she would not bend over to pick up balls. Everyone laughed. Everyone wanted a picture.

*Jean Borotra, one of France’s Four Musketeers, asked this question.

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6 replies on “Artist and Muse: Ted Tinling and Gussie Moran”

Loved the last two installments of your players as art series David.  The two featured players and their stories couldn’t be any more contrasting. Another example of why we love this crazy game. Inclusive, elusive and multi-dimensional…more so than any other sport methinks. Keep writing. Keep hitting little fuzzies. See you on the court soon.


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