Ramblings of an Old Man on a Saturday Morning

Maureen is off to a “movie date” with her “girl friends.”

Sarah is going to the San Diego Zoo with one friend and then to Safari Park (nee Wild Animal Park) with another.

Billie Holiday, the catahoula mix; Dakota, the pampered princess; and Bruce Willis, the epitome of a “fraidy cat” are with me for the day.

i am taping the Vandy-Nevada game to watch a bit later and skip all of the stuff other people must find somewhat interesting, and of course the never ending stream of commercials dedicated to making money and disrupting the flow of the contest.

And it’s been a while coming back to my briar patch, my writing place. i’ve been working on the book and dealing with the fact “old” is here in the house. i’m reminded a lot of the time from an annoying shoulder and neck issue, which may not go away. Ever. Part of life, i surmise.

Been thinking, too. That is a scary thing.

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It all began this morning when Maureen and i started giving each other shit about our faults. i was going to describe it in another way, but we both sort of lean on D.H. Lawrence’s idea about making profanity not profanity because after all, they are just words, and even though it seems the mass of our population now seems to believe words can be destructive, it’s the people saying them that are destructive, not the words because i know because they taught me somewhere around five or six years old “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” and Owen Wister knew it when he had his hero (the Virginian, of course) deal with the novel’s  asshole…oops another one of those words, but this one is what my bunch of friends who rally around the Friday Morning Golf game proudly take that title as a compliment… in a way best be described by an excerpt from Wikepedia:

The novel begins with an unnamed narrator’s arrival in Medicine Bow, Wyoming from back East and his encounter with an impressively tall and handsome stranger. The stranger proves adept at roping horses, as well as facing down a gambler, Trampas, who calls him a son of a bitch. (At the time, the word was an unacceptable insult in any society, except between joking friends.) The stranger lays a pistol on the table and gently threatens, “When you call me that, smile!” 

And…where was i?…oh yes, Maureen and i this morning giving each other shit about our faults, which, by the way, we no longer consider faults but just differences and things we actually admire about each other but would never admit it and when we do give each other shit, we roll our eyes, evoking my mother’s famous facial expression, and laugh and then we go to each other and hold each other in our arms and warmly laugh and say, “i love you” expressively, which we do and which sort of defines us now because we have passed from the passions of youth although we were a bit beyond youth when our passions were in full bloom and our admiration for all of our strengths and things one might admire in us although my strengths and list of admirable traits are damn short, especially compared to hers, and we have advanced, not because we are old, at least not because i am old because she still reeks of youth compared to me, but because we are experienced and we know, perhaps knowing all along through the passion and the admiration that subconsciously we understood the good, the sharing we would have then and have now that we are two humans who happened to connect at the right time with the right feelings about life and about each other and someone somewhere smiled on us and let us understand what love really is about.

i think we love a lot of other people more because we have stumbled on that understanding.

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Then i read about some silly ass (oops, again) idea that passing gold chains on the sidelines of the Miami Hurricanes football team to someone who made a sack was becoming a big deal and other college teams were trying to outdo the Hurricanes with their own gimmicks, and then i thought about how silly and inane such gimmicks are, and then i realized pretty much any sport not on a sandlot or empty court or empty field by someone unsupervised under the age of…a moving target, this age thing as i played for the game until my twenties, but now in the age of supervision, orchestration, marketing, product selling, and false idolization of plastic heroes and heroines, the age is probably around six or less.

And then i thought about touchdowns and how much i wanted to score one in a real game (i did: one on a punt return, 447 yards according to The Lebanon Democrat in 1957 in a Lebanon Junior High Colt game at the old high school stadium on Coles Ferry Pike) and how i imagined crossing the goal line and passing the football to the referee, letting my actions speak for themselves and not go into some kind of idiotic dance and attention-seeking histronics, which is now sadly de rigueur. But then, we can understand as it seems our very existence, all marketing, all political posturing, all just about everything focuses on gimmicks and we buy into it big time, ignoring what is really important, which is one of the reasons corporations like Nike don’t care if the gimmick is negative because the notoriety sells their products (and i’m not taking a stand on Colin Kaepernick, the National Anthem as i have said my piece and no one seems to have listened and they are still arguing apples and oranges and it has done nothing but deepen the chasm between those people who are intent on taking sides.

Nah, i’m talking about dealing with the essence of things, dealing with people face to face, not creating false idols or false enemies, not taking sides but believing in the goodness of most of us, all of us, which seems to be pushed into the background as folks keep trying to kill all of those demons hiding under their bed at night…like ten year olds.

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Most of you should know by now i’m not a formally practicing Christian. There are many reasons, but the biggest reason is hypocrisy. Those in churches who are not into hypocrisy seem to get shuffled into the back of the room But i do believe in the tenets of Jesus Christ as i interpreted his lessons from the Bible’s “New Testament.”

And then with all this gimmickry and stuff, i got to thinking about everyone wanting and buying things and ideas to make it easy. Then i thought what a ridiculous idea it is to seek making it easy. As my good friend Dave Carey said, “It (life) ain’t easy. It ain’t supposed to be easy.” i would add it would be awfully boring if were easy and all of the gadgets, technology, innovation, etc., etc. to make it easy don’t work. Easy and money ain’t the answer. Living well is the answer. Doing the right thing is the answer. Enjoy life, learn. Take care of others. Get off this easy shit (oops again).

    *     *     *

You probably have figured out it ain’t morning any more. And i’m still rambling. So i watched my taped version of Vandy drubbing Nevada, a good show, but the real tests are yet to come. It was fun, and my fast forwarding through all of the stuff except the game, i watched the three-hour broadcast in about forty-five minutes. Just right.

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And then i went to a little slice of heaven for lunch. Well, maybe not heaven but a good place, good enough for me anyway. The Bonita Golf Club. i sat at the bar. Val is one of the daytime bartendresses (my word, obviously). She is a neat young lady and very, very busy on Saturdays. Everyone knows her. She knows everybody as well. All of the bartendresses, waitresses, and waiters seem to know everyone.

The place is packed. The bar when i arrived had one seat. It’s that way most of the days i go there. The food is standard bar fare. But there is nothing bad and mostly great. The cheeseburger is splendid. The onion rings are special. The chili is really, really good. And then there is the club sandwich, the shrimp tacos, and the carne asada quesadilla: my favorites.

There are nine televisions in the bar and the other sitting areas, but not on the outside patio. They all have different sports events except three have the pro golf tournament.

But the best part is the people. There are all kinds of people of every skin tone, many origins, different political and religious positions, the spectrum of educational levels. There is a Pearl Harbor survivor who parks illegally in a spot right outside the door. i usually write nasty notes and put them on the windshields for people who park illegally, but not him. He’s earned it. There’s a retired Navy SEAL who is there almost every day. i often avoid him because i know i will enjoy the discussion so much i will overstay my time.  There is this one Latino who talks really loud, but laughs a lot and it seems like everyone with him is having fun. There is this one guy at the end of the bar who is buying every kind of drink and beer for what seems like three or four groups of golfers, men and women. The basketball player who played professionally in Europe is not here. He and i laugh and talk about foreign places and golf courses. Kevin Mitchell, the outfielder who played most notably for the Giants is not there. i talked to him a couple of times. Nice guy. Those two are here most of the time.

It is a fun place.  i’ve never seen an argument there. It’s people, all kinds of people, golfers and non-golfers, having fun with each other.

If it’s not heaven, it’s sort of like i imagine heaven would be.

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