G. Douglas Talbott died on October 18, 2014. He had just celebrated his ninetieth birthday two weeks earlier. He was the father of the famous Talbott squash clan that includes sons Mark Talbott and Dave Talbott and daughter Polly Talbott’s husband Ming Tsai.
Doug Talbott swam at Yale while in the class of 1946. His father was the captain of the 1914 Yale football team and both of his sons worked there: Dave has been the men’s squash coach since 1983 and Mark, after a Hall of Fame squash career, was the women’s coach for six years. After going to Columbia Medical School and serving three years in the Air Force, Doug Talbott—usually called Doc—moved back to his hometown of Dayton, Ohio, where he worked as a cardiologist. In the 1970s he moved first to Baltimore and then to Atlanta, as he became a national leader in treating drug and alcohol addictions for healthcare professionals.
Talbott loved playing squash. He won the Dayton city championships and Ohio state veterans singles and doubles titles and for many years was a nationally ranked masters player. When he won the 1965 Ohio vet singles title, it was noted that “a swift serve that regularly found the corners finally saw him through.” He served on the board of US Squash in the 1960s and, after moving to Atlanta, helped found the Southeastern SRA. In 2002 he was the first recipient of the Dayton Squash Racquets Association Lifetime Achievement Award. He also built a court in the Florida Keys, which was the southernmost court in the country.
Talbott passed his love onto his children at an early age. He and his wife perfected an unusual parenting technique. They had a squash court in their house on Runnymede Road in Dayton, originally built by Doug Talbott’s father. It had no door—the only way to enter was via a ladder from above. They put all six of their children into the court and then pulled up the ladder. As Dave said, “there was always food and water up by the tin.”