Thursday, March 10, 2011

Old Men & French Fries

I took the day off yesterday to play in my father’s weekly golf scramble.  I knew getting into my car at 6:15 am to make the drive half-way across the peninsula that I was going to have a great day, meet some interesting people, and have a few laughs.

The camaraderie in this group was pretty apparent watching them line their clubs up in the driveway before 8 am in anticipation of the day.  There was some old men smack talk, introductions made all around, and the general feeling that reminded me of being back in elementary school and heading out on a field trip.  This group does this every week, and I was happy to be a part of it.

My father and I were paired with a couple from Michigan, she was 80, he was 79; both seemed genuinely happy to have my beginner (and much younger) golfing skills for the day – little did they know...  We were the first to tee off.  The woman told me standing on the tee box that we'll sit under the trees on the 18th after we finish and watch the rest of the groups coming in - heckling was encouraged.

My golfing was not the best, but I did have some bright spots in the day.  I saw a couple of golf course gators, a few Beware of Snakes signs, lots of Ibis’s, and had some great laughs.  One highlight of my day that will always stand out was the 80 year old woman cracking open a beer and handing one to me at 10:30 am.  Who am I to talk back to my elders?

When the golfing was over a group of us went Sinbad’s Bar & Grill.

From the outside it doesn’t look like much more than a ratty old shack on the lake, but once inside, I instantly saw the charm and what brings this group of men here every week.  The bar maid had two pitches and two handfuls of icy mugs out to us before we ever made it out to the back patio to watch the custom and full of advertising bass boats flying all over the lake. 
As the beers were poured and the story telling started back in again, our table was brought three large containers of French fries to snack on.  It was fascinating watching this group poke fun at each other, poke fun at themselves, talk about the math they used to get their scores, all the while treating me like I had been hanging out with them every week. 

When the French fries and the beer containers were empty, it was time to head back to the coast for me.  The men talked of checking out another bar on their way back.  I was hugged and encouraged to come back again anytime, and I knew they all meant it.

I had a great day golfing with my dad; a sport that neither one of us is very good at, but can excel in our trials, tribulations, and stories together.  I really enjoyed hanging out with old men eating French fries.

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