MID-WINTER GOLFING: 2012
(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 (more…)