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August 29, 2012 08:56 AM
Lynn_and_DWayne_Begay_001_(2)Lynn Begay, 54, and D’Wayne Begay, 56, have performed numerous roles on Albuquerque’s tennis stage for most of the 16 years they’ve been married.  Lynn has held several positions on the Northern New Mexico District board of directors, including two years as president and a year as vice-president. She has been a Sectional delegate and before that was president of the Community Tennis Association of Albuquerque.
D’Wayne has been a teacher and development specialist for the USTA, training trainers of 10-and-unders and working with wheelchair tennis players. On the national level for the USTA,  D’Wayne, a Navajo, has been driving force for more diversity.  
In mid-August, the Begays announced they were leaving New Mexico to move to Chicago. 
What ‘s so special about Chicago?
D’Wayne:  I was offered a great opportunity at the Midtown Athletic Club in Palatine, Ill., a suburb. It’s part of the Tennis Clubs of America, one of the most distinguished teaching organizations in this country.
Big club?
D’Wayne:  It has nine teaching pros and 19 courts. Upscale.
You both have been to Chicago before, I’m guessing.
Lynn:  No, actually. For me, just to change planes.
D’Wayne: I had never been beyond the airport until I went there for an interview.
Are you ready for a real winter?
Lynn:  We’ll get ready, I know.
Lynn, I know you are a physical therapist and have been for more than 20 years in Albuquerque. What will you do in Chicago?
Lynn: I’ll do physical therapy.
D’Wayne: She’ll have no trouble finding work there.
How did you two meet?
Lynn: At Cadillac Ranch, the country western place at Eubank and Montgomery. It’s not there anymore.
So it was one look across a crowded dance room and then . . ?
Lynn: I went there with some girlfriends, not expecting much.
D’Wayne: I knew how to country and western dance. I went there hoping someone might talk to me.
And did you, Lynn?
I thought he was good looking.  I got my girlfriend to go up and talk to him. I used to say I went to a cowboy bar and left with an Indian.
Have either of you been married before?
D’Wayne: I was married for four years. No children.
Lynn:  I’d been in a 10-year relationship but never got married.
Lynn, how much tennis had you played before you started going out with D’Wayne?
Lynn:  Not much.  I thought I was good,  then found out from Joe Felice that I was a 2.25.  Yikes.  I’m a 4.0 now.   I started playing seriously a year after we got married.  I watched D’Wayne at first—in a tournament at Highpoint.  I thought, Whoa, he’s pretty darn good.
Tennis eventually became a big part of your lives?
Lynn: D’Wayne coached my 2.5 team and we went to the playoffs.  It was hard at first for him to
coach me. When he criticized me, I let it get personal. 
Then you started playing together, didn’t you?
Yes, as I improved we played 8.0 mixed.  We did well in the New Mexico Open, in the Southwest Closed, at Taos. We played in Arizona, we traveled to see the U.S Open.  
How difficult is it going to be to leave Albuquerque?
Lynn: I’ve lived here since 1981. 
D’Wayne: I was born and raised in Albuquerque.  The toughest part for me will be my mother. She’s 87 now. She lives alone and she can no longer drive.  I know she’s so proud of me but I also know she took the news hard at first.  We’re already planning for her to come for the holidays and we’ll come back here.
What was behind this move? You’d been at Four Hills Country Club for a long time.
D’Wayne:  I started at Four Hills in 2000.  In 2008, it was named Tennis Facility of the Year in the Southwest, but the club never really supported tennis.  Things there had started to go in decline. The club is down to about 15 to 20 tennis members.  The five courts are in bad shape and need complete overhauls, but they won’t do it. 
You did so much for tennis there.
D’Wayne:  I started the wheelchair program and watched it develop a national reputation. I brought Native American kids there. I brought Silver Racquets there.  We usually had 100 to 130 kids there for summer programs. I gave many. many private lessons. I knew the future for me there was not going to be long or bright.  This summer I started sending out my résumé.
And now a new life and a new club awaits.
D’Wayne: I can’t wait.  They (Midtown Athletic Club in Palatine) have a high-performance training system. Students have to complete 12-15 levels.  It’s how they teach the game in Europe and Canada.  They want me to also work 10-and-unders. 
Your gain is Albuquerque’s loss.
Lynn:  We’ll be back for visits.
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