March 18, 2012

Mid-Winter Golfing: 2012 (and men in beards)



(and men in beards)

     We’d been in New York State since February 25, 2012—one week in Syracuse, the remainder of the time further north in a small community near the St. Lawrence River. We marveled that we had driven so far north from our Southwestern Pennsylvania home and seen little of the white stuff that normally blankets that part of the world well into spring. There was one evening when we went to the library that it was snowing a good show, but by the time we left the building the precipitation had become wimpy, and the night sky was clear.

     On our first morning back home, March 14, I relaxed with the February 27 newspaper, reading the following:

Two years ago, not one person played golf in February at the Moon Golf Club. In February 2011, golfers played 50 rounds at the public course. By Friday — Feb. 24 (2012) — the club had tallied 250 rounds, with a forecast that might allow more golfing before the month ends.

“We never count on any golf in January and February, so this is unusual. Lots of our members are happy,” manager Mike Quigney said.

This winter is not the mildest ever in Pittsburgh — it’s not even in the top 25. Still, temperatures have been warmer than normal since early December, according to the National Weather Service, leaving Mother Nature dazed and confused.*


     While preparing to leave Northern New York on March 12 Monte suggested we eat breakfast at a roadside diner a couple of hours away, one he remembered eating at on another journey. He recalled that he was the only man among many men without a beard. He felt like he wasn’t one of them. This time his full beard would make him one of them

     Enroute I drank my coffee and took my meds. . The diner was further away than Monte thought. The miles, time, and towns passed by—towns named Mexico, with its water tower painted desert orange; Fulton; Hannibal… Along the way we passed a ridge of layered flat stones.

     “It’s nice driving in the spring,” Monte said. “You get to see more, things that are hidden by growth later on.”

     It was a beautiful day: sunny, ever so slightly overcast, fifty-three degrees. Monte kept driving, well past my eating hour—around eleven o’clock in the morning. I caved in and drank an orange juice.

     We finally found the diner—Two D’s Drive-In.

     As Monte entered he said to the familiar-looking woman who greeted him It looks like we came here in the in between time. She said there were busy and not-so-busy times.

     After we ordered our meal two men entered and sat at the counter. Neither had a beard. I heard them tell the waitress they were coming from the golf course to eat lunch before starting another round of eighteen holes.


     Writers are taught to eavesdrop.** Taking writing hints seriously, I listened to the conversation at the counter. Besides, we were sitting less than three feet away. Their conversation was very audible.


     I commented to them on the weather. They said there was little snow this winter—they had been out golfing for at least a month. The waitress noted that the two had been golfing all winter.

     The man in the red shirt with the golf tee behind his ear was teaching the second man the intricacies of the game. They discussed different types of golf clubs.

     After their golf discussion the student asked his teacher if the Mrs. played golf. It appeared she enjoyed the game but had had some severe health problems (that I won’t repeat here) and could no longer play. He finally sold her golf clubs.


     While listening, the golf tee stuck behind the golf teacher’s ear appeared, to me, very photogenic. By the time they were served their meal I had worked up the nerve to ask the man if I could take a photograph.

     “I’d like to ask you something that may sound silly,” I said. “Can I take a picture of your golf tee?”

     He started to remove it but I stopped him, saying I wanted the picture of it stuck behind his ear (like a teacher tucks a pencil behind her ear). I emphasized that I didn’t want his face, only the golf tee.    

     The golf teacher good naturedly agreed. I snapped the picture and showed it to him.

     Jokingly he asked if his other ear would be better. He moved the golf tee, I snapped second ear, and showed him the results of my trigger finger.

    He noticed I had captured the name, Taylor Made, on his cap, and explained that it was the name of the top golf club manufacturer.

     “My ear may become famous,” he joked. “It will be all over the Internet.”

     “It will,” I replied.

     I noticed the four women conversing at the end of the counter were now watching with interest, so I showed them the last picture I took.

     “I have a writing site on the Internet,” I told them. “I’ll probably write something about the pleasant winter weather here.” I left them a business card with this blog site on it and told them it would be posted within a couple of weeks.

     Our breakfast was hearty—Monte ordered pancakes and orange juice.

     “Those were three big pancakes.”

     And the passé resistance? Chocolate peanut butter pie with whipped cream topping. He couln’t resist.

     After enjoying my scrambled eggs, corned beef hash, garlic bread with cheese—and almost half of Monte’s rich pie (a breakfast not so good for my heart)—we left to continue our travel to Buffalo, where we would visit my sister overnight.


     Not long after we ate we passed an intersection with a McDonald’s.

     “We missed our opportunity,” I told Monte. “There’s McDonald’s.”

     “If you could have held out just a little bit longer—no, it’s too late to get a breakfast item, I don’t know what they call them…”

     However, I doubt that the fast food chain would have had the menu that the Two D’s Drive-In diner had.

     Nor the entertainment. I’m certain we will return to the Two D’s Drive-In someday, when the diner will be filled with men bearing beards.

     And Monte will then be one of them.



** Eavesdropping—the good and the bad of it

Broken Bridges

‘Find the Herb & Spice’ Quiz

The Flamingo, A Pizza, and a Big Bad Dragon

Is Your Table Big Enough? If not, add a leaf…:



* Mild winter may mean earlier allergy season, more bugs,Rick Wills, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, February 27, 2012,


1 Comment »


    Comment by Joan — March 22, 2012 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

What is your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: