My crippled crumpled back is finally feeling better which leaves me with a couple options: continue to rest until the healing process is complete..or man up and get out there on the golf course and play through the pain. I have chosen the latter and much to my surprise it went fine. In fact, the only pain I felt was the realization and confirmation that my game still sucks. I’m like every other golfer who believes he has never played up to his potential and that one day all the stars will be in proper alignment and struck balls will fly straighter and putts will run truer than ever before confirming that the skills were there all the time.
My playing partners yesterday (in the Fountain Hills American Legion League) included two guys from Minnesota who’ve been coming out here for years. Bill, it turned out was from actually from Valley Springs, South Dakota and recognized me right away from TV. It turned out to be a lovely day with wonderful weather and great camaraderie; almost enough to make up for rather lousy scores. I’m trying it again today at a place called Gold Canyon with some of my pals who play regularly in our Brandon group and spend time out here in the winter. I’ve already started slamming back the Advil to discourage any pangs of back discomfort from creeping in to spoil the day.
Linda doesn’t drive out here so she’s stuck at home during those hours when I’m off gallivanting around the links but insists she welcomes the opportunity to do nothing other than read any of the books she has downloaded onto her NOOK (There’s a sentence that wouldn’t have made any sense five years ago.) or do her nails or just sit outside on the patio soaking in the sunshine. She doesn’t say it, but I’m pretty sure she finds time away from me to be relaxing in itself.
We joined up with cousin, Donny Gruseth and his wife, Arlene for a fun evening in Mesa at a place called the “Pizza Mart” on Wednesday night. My friend and fellow musician, Rich Smith of Sioux Falls, plays bass in a band that’s made up almost entirely of elderly snowbirds who, at first glance, didn’t look like they could play a lick. But from the very first note it was obvious we were in for something special. Playing music transforms people. Years melt away when they stand up to take a ride or belt out a familiar tune on the microphone. Sit-ins are welcome and I confess to cringing a bit when an old lady was barely able to hobble up from out of the big crowd to the stage but when she began to sing an old torch-light song with the band following along perfectly, this elderly woman became what she obviously had been all those decades ago; a heart breaker who would send men swooning ala Lena Horne. When she finished to thunderous applause, the band leader announced there was a guy from Sioux Falls in the audience we’d like to call up here. Oh, No, I thought. Now I know how the comedian must have felt on the Ed Sullivan Show when he had to follow The Beatles. But I clomped up there and gave my best effort at singing Bye Bye Blackbird and just like that it was time to say Bye Bye because tents fold up early around here. Donny and Arlene thought we should grab a bite to eat but neither of us knew what would still be open in Mesa after 8:30..so we agreed to rendezvous at a later date. Perhaps Friday. It’s Karaoke night at the Legion and our daughter already has songs picked out for me to try.
Golf and music. Now that’s more like it.