I was fortunate to have a father that was self employed for most of my life. There was a stint when here worked in aircraft manufacturing her in Southern California, but that was for just a few years.
I feel sorry for young men who don’t have the chance to work with their fathers. A great deal can be learned about a person and his values and dreams when you spend time with them.
When you are a child your father is usually gone most of the time. Not in my case.
I worked with my father as a very young child holding a flashlight when he worked on the refrigeration units in our bar and restaurant before or after school.
In 1962 there was a recession and restaurants are one of the first businesses to suffer under those difficult economic conditions. We were not exempt from those difficulties.
My father was a lather and plasterer by trade however. He just put an ad in the paper and started a small new business to get us through those difficult times.
I worked with him in the summer and on the weekends.
My father did enjoy a good time. Some times to a greater degree than was wise. He was not a one dimensional person. He had many attributes as we all do. Most of his were good.
We almost always carried a nine iron, a seven iron and a putter in our truck. On those days that we finished work while the sun was still up, we would head over to Pine Tree Golf Course.
It was a par three course that was short enough to play before sunset and we could still get home without being in too much trouble.
I am a lefty but golf right handed for some reason.
I was amazed at the skill of the old duffers that dropped the ball within three or four feet of the hole every time that they struck the ball as we waited for our turn to play. They were amazing.
I was not great but improved a little over time, as with most things in life. I was usually two or three over par on those occasions when we had a chance to play. But remember, this is a par three and a short, easy course.
On hole seven one day, I got my one and only hole in one. The hole was 57 yards long and just a chip to the green. It looked deceptively easy.
My father went first and hit the ball up to the front lip of the green into the deep grass and it bounced onto the green with a slow roll and stopped fifteen feet from the hole. Not a bad shot for us rookies.
Then it was my turn. I heard all the advice of my father running through my head as I addressed the ball.
“Slow down. Just take it easy.” I was an active child and adult and this sentence has followed me my entire life.
I looked down at the ball and raised my nine iron in a slow arch up over my shoulder and then came at the small white object. A golf ball had never looks smaller than at that point. It is stationary but not an easy thing to hit properly, as we all understand.
Of course, I looked up as I hit the ball and topped it. It started its journey to the green shooting through the gras of the fairway. The ball cut a swath through the deep soft green grass until it hit a large black sprinkler. It then bounced to the right and off of the fairway heading out of bounds. But it didn’t go out.
It hit a smallish boulder and bounced at a forty five degree angle toward the green. We were both very surprised to say the least.
The ball bounced for several seconds through the rough grass and bald spots where the grass had died during the long hot summer and then reached the green with a good amount of energy still left.
The ball rolled from our left and across the green and into the hole with just enough inertia to do so.
We were very surprised to say the least. It was a great day for us and we were together to celebrate that once in a lifetime experience.
Was there skill involved in that shot? Very little on my part, I must admit. But at the moment it felt great and my father was with me to celebrate my success.
He was there with me often to celebrate my successes and to see my failures as well.
I learned a lot form him and I miss him more than I can express. I am now the same age as when he passed. He didn’t seem old to me then and I don’t think of my self as being old now at seventy.
I am just grateful for all the times we had together. The good and bad and hope he was as proud of me as I was of him.