Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sometimes You Gotta Be There to Appreciate It

We tried to get a photo of something at the Northwood Country Club by looking around the internet, but the attached shot from the 45th reunion was better than anything else that was there, and besides, it's a chance to memorialize these fellas, par-shooters that they are.

This story from Stan Arendts is a little bit longer than the previous ones, but I think you'll find it to be every bit as entertaining. Enjoy the view, if you get the drift . . .

About 15 years ago, my oldest daughter was married in Long Beach. My mother was still alive and attended the ceremonies. When taking her to LAX for the trip back to Iowa, we found ourselves on the flyway between the 405 and 105 freeways. I made a comment about the amazing view and she said to me "I can't understand why anybody would want to live in a place like this". I had never looked at it that way, but her statement got me thinking. Yes, there were places and things I did not care for also.....Connecticut, Ohio, refried beans and golf.

GOLF!! The gentlemen's game? Pastime of my ancestors? I was brought up with golf. Both grandfathers, my father and mother were all avid golfers and members of the Northwood Country Club. I accompanied them when I was a small child, when the greens were brown (sand) and sand traps non existent. My job was to smooth the oily sand in preparation for the putts. When I was old enough, I got an old set of women's clubs, since men's were too long. My favorite club was the 5 iron, which I used almost all the time. But my heart wasn't in it. There weren't many kids involved, it was boring, and to this day really made no sense. So other objectives arose.

I would practice early in the AM, when you had to roll up your pants because of the dew. I carried a 22 rifle in my bag and shot gophers whenever I saw them (taking care not to have the club house in the background). My main goal was to hit the club house (on the fly) from #5 tee. During the busier times, I would move other golfer's balls on #7 green close to the hole so they thought they almost got a could not see the hole from the tee and you didn't know where your shot landed until you climbed the hill.....and then listen to them lament in the club house.

As I said, not too many kids. Bill Roberts was the only classmate I remember that played. He was pretty good, as I recall. So I played with my family and their friends. One time in a foursome with Tom Fretty (a left handed golfer and owner of Tom's Damaged & Unclaimed Freight in Manly) he hit 4 consecutive drives into the river at #5 tee. After the 4th, he threw all of his clubs into the river, one at a time, and tried to get the bag in also. He then walked back to the club house in frustration avowing never to play again. After the round, I helped recover the clubs. My father had made a golf cart, fashioned from a meter maid cycle and I liked to drive that until I stalled it on a hill and it rolled backwards and ran over his clubs.

My golfing career ended about the time I got my driver's license....kind of ironic? Only played one more time, when I was in the Navy and stationed at Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay Cuba) The course was unique since it had little grass and the golfers had to carry a square foot piece of artificial turf to put their ball on for each shot. Nothing better to do on Gitmo. Such is life.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.