Growing Older and Tenser With the Times
Ocho and his gang of ever increasing in age hackers of the sacred turf have once again escaped the cruel and bitter bonds of winter. A winter that was going along nicely until February and then all meteorological hell broke loose and the leaden skies and howling winds buried New England. A winter that saw poor Ocho climbing out onto his deck through the removed lower window of the door in order to clear off the five foot deep ‘freshly fallen silent shroud of snow’. A winter that saw poor Ocho hanging out of a third floor window in a desperate attempt to clear the two foot deep swath of ice and snow off the roof before it crashed down on a poor helpless vehicle in the driveway below. A winter that saw a large chunk of the aforementioned collection of ice and snow on the roof, crash down on the wife’s lease car causing multiple contusions, bruises and the decapitation of the passenger side mirror thus prompting the aforementioned hanging out of the window. All of the Hoovers have similar stories of woe, exasperation and deprivation. All except Jimmy Two Birds who has retired and now calls Punta Gorda, FL as his home, the fat bastard.
Another result of winter in New England, though this is not erratic like the fickle patterns of meteorological mayhem, this happens every year. We do not get much golf played, say after Halloween, so by this time of the year we are salivating at the thought we will be teeing it up again. While we are suffering from this environmentally enforced dormancy we get periodic emails from Jimmy Two Birds about all the golf he is playing, how many pars he averages, in general how much he is improving, the fat bastard. J
All Strung Out from the Road
It was an epic almost Magellan like trek, this solo drive from Providence RI. to Myrtle Beach, SC. At 06:00 Gray Wolf pulled onto I-95 south, eager to stretch his legs on this 1050 mile jaunt. The route chosen will avoid the nightmarish travel corridor of New York City to DC and the attendant dollars spent in tolls on The Jersey Turnpike. Instead, Ocho will wend his way out of New England via I-84 as it travels through land formerly occupied and or used by the Delaware, Huron, Mohawk and others. Ocho pauses for a few minutes to refuel and to grab a cup of mediocre yet necessary coffee to stave off the effects of being up all night at work and there are many miles yet to go.
Near the blood soaked hills and fields of Gettysburg a foursome walks a golf course fairway now cleared of snow renewing Ocho’s energy level; an anticipatory foreshadowing of the week ahead. The Mason-Dixon Line looms just a few miles ahead, one of the landmarks/milestones that Ocho uses as another means of energy revitalization. Not only are these sights important in terms of how far is left yet to travel but they also stir up the historical thought process that inevitably comes to the forefront of Ocho’s mind. The more prominent milestones include the rivers, Susquehanna, Hudson, Potomac and James. Formidable obstacles all and makes me wonder in awe at the hardiness of our pioneer forebears. Imagine the sheer effort needed to cross those rivers and the countless smaller rivers and creeks, the effort needed to climb and descend numerous hills. Not to mention that those game trails they followed weren’t exactly Eisenhower Interstates.
I-81 south runs through an area rich in history. It seems every exit leads to a Civil War battlefield, not that that is surprising as the Shenandoah Valley was the bread basket of The Confederacy and both sides fought to control it. General Philip Sheridan greatly hastened the end of the war by destroying Shenandoah. It’s amazing that this is the kind of stuff that filters through Ocho’s mind as he drives that and the hope that there’s a rest stop soon. Ocho and Gray Wolf need another nap.
Twenty-five hours later, 1050 miles, half a dozen cups of coffee and numerous stops to recycle said coffee and to take naps, I arrive at Jimmy Two Birds timeshare. We are scheduled to tee off in a couple hours but it is one of those rare occasions when I am glad it is raining. Gray Wolf and I are just a tad worn out. J
Boring Stories of Glory Days
I have been fortunate in my life to have two distinct groups of close friends. The guys (and later the girls) I grew up with are once again a part of my life after nearly 40 years of no or very limited contact. We have an annual reunion, this year being the 4th and those few days are filled with silliness and the chance to relive our glory days as young athletes. We have played basketball & football. We went bowling and visited the batting cages. We recount our prowess with clear minds with no thought of hyperbole as we fail miserably to be what we used to be but laughing our arse off nonetheless. We even have our own Hall of Fame of which we are all members and which we named The Moron Hall of Fame in honor of the fact that we actually made it to adulthood mostly unscathed and without criminal records.
 Paraphrased line from Bruce Cockburn’s ‘How I Spent My Fall Vacation
 Bob Seger ‘Turn the Page’
 Bruce Springsteen ‘Glory Days’