Recently Read Books

  • A Delicate Truth- John Le Carre (fiction)
  • Perfect - Rachel Joyce (Fiction)
  • The Expats - Chris Pavone (Fiction)
  • An Event in Autumn - Henning Mankel (Fiction)
  • Winter in Madrid - C.J.Sansom (Fiction)
  • The Brothers - John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles - non-fiction
  • LIfe Among Giants - Bill Roorbach (Novel)
  • Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman (non-fiction)
  • Woodrow Wilson (non fiction)
  • Lawrence in Arabia (Non-Fiction)
  • In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helpren (Fiction)
  • Lesson in French - Hilary Reyl (fiction)
  • Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand (Non-Fiction)
  • Venice, A New History- Thomas Madden - (Non- Fiction)
  • Life is a Gift - Tony Bennett Autobiography
  • The First Counsell - Brad Meltzer (Fiction)
  • Destiny of the Republic - President James Garfield non-fiction by Candice Millard
  • The Last Lion (volume III)- William Manchester and Paul Reid (non-fiction, Winston Churchill)
  • Yellowstone Autumn -W.D. Wetherell (non-fiction about turning 55 and fishing in Yellowstone)
  • Everybody was Young- (non-fiction Paris in the 1920's)
  • Scorpion - (non fiction US Supreme Court)
  • Supreme Power - Jeff Shesol (non-fiction)
  • Zero day by David Baldacci ( I read all of Baldacci's Books)
  • Northwest Angle - William Kent Krueger (fiction - I have read 5 or 6 books by this author)
  • Camelot's Court-Insider the Kennedy Whitehouse- Robert Dallek
  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More Things I Like

There are a number of things I like. I mean I just like em; sometimes for good reason sometimes for no good reason. In previous postings on this blog I have mentioned some things I like, here are some more. If there are things you like, I would love to hear about them, you can leave a comment on this blog and share them with the other readers or just send me an email.

Kids Laughing. Last Saturday, while we were golfing at Wasatch State Park, there were several groups of kids playing near the pond on the corner of the property. They were playing, screaming and laughing around the lake in the midday sun. Their laughter was like music. When I heard it, I stopped playing golf and looked over to where they were playing. The sounds made me smile, made me feel good and certainly made me glad I heard them. Pure, sincere, uninhibited laughter of a group of children is something special.

Buttered Popcorn at the Movies. Diet or no diet, its darn hard to go to a movie and not order a big container of heavily butter and salted popcorn. I am pretty sure this is good for your health.

Aerial Photos of Lake Powell. From satellites or low flying airplanes, photos of Lake Powell from above are very cool.

The Inauguration of an American President. I don’t care if the new president is a Democrat or a Republican or whether I voted for or against him. I am always thrilled to watch a new President get sworn into office. The pageantry, the music, the flag fluttering in the wind on a January day. The simple act of placing a hand on the Bible and repeating an oath to serve and defend. This represents the fundamental greatness of America. We change our President by a vote of the people. We don’t assassinate or drive into exile the previous President. We have a civil and deferential turnover of power to a new President. This ceremony always chokes me up and makes me proud to be an American. I feel this way even if I don’t care for the new President.

The American Flag. This is somewhat the same concept as the previous item. Picture an American flag fluttering against a blue sky. How does it make you feel. What does it make you think about. It makes me feel respectful. It makes me feel blessed. It makes me feel that I have the right to disagree with you or with the government about issues of the day. I am patriotic toward America but I think that is a different thing that being supportive of a government position or being a puppet for a particular party or a particular leader. One of my favorite sayings is “Dissent does not equal disloyalty”. You can criticize Obama, or Bush or Reagan or Clinton during each of their presidencies, you can dislike them, but that does not make you disloyal to America. When US first went to war in Iraq after 9/11, I opposed it and I still opposed the war. The Iraqi’s were not the architects or actors in 9/11, by and large it was the Saudi’s. We didn’t invade Saudi Arabia. During the first few years of this the longest war in American history, more than a few of my friends questioned my loyalty because I spoke out against the invasion. These days after thousands of deaths of American military personnel, tens of thousands maimed for life and billions of dollars of costs, fewer people criticize me than previously but there still are some. I criticize the government under Obama for still having us in Iraq just as I criticized George W for getting us there in the first place. The Flag is a symbol of my right to criticize the government just as it is a symbol of your right to criticize me. I believe each of us has the responsibility to speak up when we disagree. It is sometimes difficult to speak your opinion, especially in a group situation, but I think it is important in all things to stand up and be counted for what you think is right. When I see the Flag, it reminds me of this right and this obligation.

Dawn. I love dawn and the early morning. The time before of the sun comes up when it is just barely light. I love the feel of that time of day. It is generally quiet and cool. It is a time when I have hope of a good day ahead, a mini new beginning of life. Do better today, be nicer today, help someone today.

Pictures of the Lovely Sharon. I can’t get enough of them. They make me feel good.

Ocean Avenue in Carmel, CA. I have been to Carmel, California forty or fifty times. I was there in June of this year for the U.S. Open. I love to walk down Ocean Avenue on the right side of the avenue as you face toward the Ocean and then walk back up on the other side. We look in all the shop windows and walk in and browse in many of them. You can smell coffee and baked goods, the air is usually comfortably cool. If its late afternoon, maybe we stopped for a glass of wine.

Art Galleries. I have no training in art. I have limited knowledge about art and artists. But I love and appreciate art. I love paintings and photographs. I love pottery and glassware. I love sculptures. I love to walk into art galleries in Palm Desert, San Francisco, New York and Carmel.

Things my Parents Taught Me. Just like a statement from the Bible, I was born of goodly parents. I think often about the lessons they taught me. Be kind to all, work hard, don’t be envious, be genuinely happy at the successes of your friends and neighbors. Be honest. Help the less fortunate. Help your neighbors, family and even strangers without having to be asked. Get the job done and do it right. Respect everyone regardless of position, wealth, education, job status, religious preference or sexual preference. I have always tried to live by these principles. I have not always been successful, but I have tried. Can you imagine if the Democrats and Republicans threw away their political platforms, and just tried to do those things my parents taught me as a boy? Our society would be better for it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Meat Dresses, Ice Cream Cones and Witches

Here are some things I have been thinking and reading about. There is no order, no connection, its just random stuff that you probably won’t think is all that interesting, but if you have a goof brain like I do, you might.

Meat Dress. Lady Gaga wore a dress constructed of raw meat at the 2010 VMAs. The dress was actually made from thin slices of raw meat stitched together. The designer of the dress obtained the meat from his family’s butcher. Various cuts of beef were chosen to be part of the dress and her handbag. She even had a slice of beef draped across her head. There are many photos and a lot of discussion about it on the internet.

When asked about why she wore that outfit, she cited concerns about the controversial military law called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” which was signed into law via an executive order by Bill Clinton in 1993. So let me get this right. Lady Gaga (who I never heard of before about three months ago) wore a dress made out of meat because of the military policy on gays? If she was opposed to the Arizona laws on illegal aliens what would she wear, chiles rellenos? If she opposed the nuclear policy of North Korea, would she wear a dog?

You have got be very careful where you take out a woman who is wearing a dress made out of slabs of meat. You cannot take her to a vegetarian restaurant; the other patrons would be on you like white on rice. Try taking her to a dog show or even to a park and you would have to run for your life from packs of dogs looking for dinner. You can’t spend time with her in the hot sun or the dress will start cooking. You wouldn’t want to put your arm around her at the movies; it would be like sleeping on a spam mattress without a sheet.

I think she is a nut and her dress designer is a nut. This was a very bad and sickening idea. I would prefer to see a sexy woman covered in biscuits or maybe pancakes. The Lovely Sharon dressed in croissants? Now that would be cool.

Christine O’Donnell. This woman just won the Republican primary in Delaware for US Senate. She is a Tea Party devotee. She has acknowledged she previously dabbled in witchcraft. She once said

“I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I'm not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do. One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar and I didn't know it. I mean, there was a little blood there and stuff like that. We went to a movie and then had a little picnic on a satanic altar.”

After this information came out, the head of some witch organization criticized O’Donnell by claiming witches do not have satanic altars. The witch lady said O’Donnell blew it and this could have been a good teaching opportunity about witches. Yeah I think we need more teaching opportunities about witches. Maybe it should be a required class in elementary school.

If O’Donnell is elected senator, maybe she could use “Bewitched” type powers to straighten up the economy.

Real Quotes from Politicians.

''His mom lived in Long Island for ten years or so. God rest her soul. And- although, she's- wait- your mom's still- your mom's still alive. Your dad passed. God bless her soul.''
Joe Biden, on the mother of Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who is very much alive, Washington, D.C., March 17, 2010

''We had no domestic attacks under Bush; we've had one under Obama.''
Rudy Giuliani, Mr. 9/11, forgetting 9/11, Jan. 8, 2010

'I'm blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up.''
Ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, in an interview with 'Esquire' magazine

''I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy in the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown -- in this case a $20 billion shakedown ... I'm only speaking for myself. I'm not speaking for anyone else, but I apologize. I do not want to live in a county where anytime a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, [it is] subject to some sort of political pressure that, again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown.''
--Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) member of the Tea Party Caucus, during a congressional hearing with BP CEO Tony Hayward, referring to a $20 billion fund for damages that President Obama pressured BP to set up to pay for the Gulf oil spill. Barton, the biggest recipient of oil and gas industry campaign contributions in the House of Representatives, was forced by Republican leaders to apologize for his BP apology.

Kim Kardashian. For the life of me and I cannot understand the fascination with Kim Kardashian and for that matter, her family. She is not an actress, singer, author, inventor, business leader, athlete or humanitarian. She has large boobs and a large butt. OK so that’s nice. Maybe that is all that is needed to be in the news. In the last three or four days on The online news, there was an article that announced Kim Kardashian had eaten ice cream cones in Paris and Capris. There was even a picture of her lapping the cone in Capris. This is news? This is of such import to the rest of us pathetic slobs whose lives are some boring, so unimportant, that we want to read about some woman with no talent, no skills or to my knowledge, no contribution to mankind, eating an ice cream cone in Capris? Please I would rather watch the Lovely Sharon eat an ice cream cone or for that matter, a bowl of cold cereal. What happens if Kardashian eats a steak in Oslo, do we give her the Nobel Prize? Two days after the ice cream cone article, there was an article that informed us that Kardashian had purchased a $30,000 purse in Milan. A single purse for $30,000, are you kidding me? You can buy two $15,000 purses for $30,000.

I gotta quit reading the news, it drives me crazy.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Autumn In Midway, UT

It started with a short phone call on Sunday evening, September 12, 2010. The Lovely Sharon and I had just arrived home from a trip to McCall, Idaho. When I picked up the phone, I was pleased to hear the voice of friend Barry. He told me that he and Nanette had organized a 27 hole golf outing for the next Saturday at Wasatch State Park in Midway, UT. He got about 30 seconds of a description of the planned event out and I broke in (it is not unusual for me to break in- bad habit) and told him to count us in. Barry responded by asking me if I needed to consult with the Lovely Sharon (Barry, like many of our friends, have come to refer to Sharon as the Lovely Sharon). I told him that no, we would play. A brave decision on my part but I was certain Sharon woud be up for an autumn golf outing in Midway. The plan was to meet for breakfast at the golf course, with all six couples who were scheduled to play in the event. Then there would be a 27 hole golf event, followed by dinner in Park City. Who in their right mind would say no to such a plan?

So yesterday morning I awoke around 4:00 am to start my day. Had some coffee, read the online news and packed my camera and a few other things in a large canvas tote bag. My plan was to leave the house around 7:00 am for the hour drive to Midway. For those of you who may not be familiar with Utah, Midway is in the beautiful Heber Valley about 12 miles from Park City. At 6:10 I woke Sharon up in a very romantic and sensitive way. I pulled the covers off of her, squeezed her derriere and told her she needed to drag her butt out of bed. Hey, it seemed romantic at the time. She moaned, opened her eyes for about 2 seconds and said it was still dark outside and no right thinking person would be getting up that early for golf. I encouraged, prodded, threatened and cajoled and she finally promised to get up. After filling up the car with fuel, and getting her coffee at the bagel shop, we headed out.

The morning was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. As we entered the Heber Valley it was about 8:00. The surrounding hills were aglow with the warm colors of autumn. Reds, oranges and yellows were abundant on the hills and mountains but the dominant color was reddish –orange that was absolutely spectacular. As we drove into the Heber valley, we saw a solitary fisherman wading the Provo River, with thigh high fishing boots, a brimmed hat and a fly rod in hand. It looked like painting of some Americana scene of the West. We turned off Highway 40 to head to the golf course. We passed by cows and horses grazing in fields of yellow in the early morning. As we drove toward the golf course, I was overwhelmed at the beauty of the morning. We were driving west; the entire mountain side was awash in color, beyond the color was the majesty of the rocky cliffs of the backside of Mt Timpanogos. The radio was playing John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” and I was feeling just like John’s words, “you fill up my senses” as the sounds and the sights were lifting my soul. About a mile from the golf course I pulled over got out of the car where I stood taking in the scene and breathing the autumn weather. I took a picture of the mountains in the background and in the foreground steam was rising off a pond in the morning light. After a few minutes I got back into the car and we drove to the golf course. When we arrived at the golf course, I told the Lovely Sharon how I was feeling. She told me that indeed it was beautiful, but that she never really liked “Annie’s Song”. Oh well, back to reality.

It was a pleasure to eat breakfast with friends, looking out the window at the surrounding mountains and the green golf course. We talked of golf, and weather and things friends talk about. There was Barry and Nanette, Don and Sandy, Mike and Jane, Bruce and Rhonda and Sharon and me. Robyn and Paul met us after breakfast. Finally, it was time to play golf. The 27 hole event was divided into three separate nine hole games, (i) point par with both balls of each couple counting for the score, (ii) better ball with one ball per couple counting for the score and (iii) a scramble of the couple’s best shot on each hole. We played with a different couple for each of the nine hole matches. It was a glorious day where the sky was as blue as could be and the temperature was perfect. The colors were so beautiful it was almost distracting. We saw deer, wild turkeys, geese, and scampering squirrels. The Lovely Sharon and I hit some good shots and plenty of bad shots. At the end of the competition we were not surprised to learn that we took last place in each event. Friends Robyn and Paul played terrific and took first place in each event.

After golf we hurried to Park City for dinner. We were joined at dinner by Mary and Rich and so we had two tables for the 14 of us. We laughed and ate and watched football on the big screen. Barry announced the winners and in as nice as manner as possible informed me that me and the Lovely Sharon were DFL in each event. Around 8:30 we all hugged, kissed cheeks and expressed affection for each other and proclaimed that it had been the most special of days, a day that would be long remembered. . Then we each walked into the night to our separate cars to drive home.

After we arrived home we unpacked the car. When I was finally in my bed for the evening, lying in the dark, I thought of the day, the sights, the companionship and the Lovely Sharon. I must tell you, I was still overwhelmed by it all. I still had a glow inside me and just between you and me, in my mind I was humming and thinking of the lyrics of Annie’s Song.

Monday, September 13, 2010

McCall, Idaho

The Lovely Sharon and I arrived home last night from our annual trip to McCall, Idaho to play in the Payette Cup at the Whitetail Country Club. This is the sixth year of the tournament and we have played all six years. This is one of my favorite things to do each year. Last week we drove to Boise on Tuesday and checked into the Cambria Inn. We had a lovely dinner in downtown Boise at the Bardenay Restaurant. On Wednesday we drove to McCall to play golf. Wednesday was a rainy day so we only played nine holes. After golf we checked into the Shore Lodge. The Shore Lodge was built in 1948 and sits on the edge of the beautiful Payette Lake. I love the hotel and I love the lake.

Wednesday night we stayed in our room watching the US Open tennis championships, ordered room service and shared a bottle of wine. It was kind of nice to have a low key evening just crashing on the couches and watching tennis.

Thursday was the practice round of the tournament. It was a cold day but we only had rain on one or two of the holes. Out of all six of the years we have been going to the tournament, this was undoubtedly the coldest day, but I must say I have played golf in a lot worse weather than we played in on Thursday. We had a cart cover and kept pretty warm in the cart. Thursday night was the annual cocktail party at the Whitetail Swim and Fish Club. This is a great facility which is a different building than the golf club house. Even though it is referred to as a cocktail party, there is a buffet so it is basically a dinner. The food was great, the tee prizes were handed out and we had a wonderful couple of hours, eating drinking and joking with our fellow competitors.

Friday was the first round of the tournament. It was cool but no rain. Sharon and I played absolutely terrible. Our playing companions were great fun so we still enjoyed the day. Friday night we attended a cocktail party at Kevin and Cathy’s house. Kevin and Cathy are full time residents of McCall and we have been friends with them since we first met them six years ago. Their cocktail party was great fun and the view from their house on a mountain top is stunning with its panoramic views of Payette Lake and the Whitetail Golf course. From their patio I was overwhelmed by the blue sky, blue lake, green golf course and pine trees as far as you could see.

The final tournament round was Saturday. Saturday was spectacular, not a cloud in the sky, with an afternoon high around 72 degrees. A number of players played in shorts and were comfortable. I played a little better than the previous day and the Lovely Sharon played a lot better. After the tournament all the players were talking and laughing and just enjoying a beautiful autumn day together. Hidden Valley friends Bruce and Grace took first place net in the tournament and Hidden Valley friends Dave and Sue took second gross. On Friday, Sue shot a 74; wow, what a great round for Sue.

Saturday night was the award banquet at the Shore Lodge Pavilion Room which overlooks the lake. As we stood by the open floor to ceiling windows before dinner, we watched sail boats, water skiers and motor boats enjoying the late afternoon early evening sun.

We meandered our way home driving through Stanley, stopping at Redfish Lake and enjoying a quiet lunch in Sun Valley

The Payette Cup tournament is one of the best things we do each year. It is great golf, great parties, wonderful new and old friends and wonderful scenery. Its a romantic get away with the Lovely Sharon.  If you can arrange to go some time, you should do so. I hope I am able to make to the seventh annual Payette Cup next year.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

Whew. What a Labor Day holiday weekend this has been. For the Lovely Sharon and me the festivities started Thursday. My alma mater, the University of Utah, played its season opening football game against the number 15 ranked Pitt Panthers on Thursday night. We hosted a party at our house to watch the game with friends. Initially I thought there might be 8 or 9 friends joining us but it ended up as a football party for more than 30. The party goers included many of our golf pals as well as my mother and Son Alex. We had all kinds of food, too much food. Pizza, chicken, cheese dips, chicks, breads vegetables, bean dip and all kinds of other stuff. We had wines, beer, soda pop and bottles of water to wash it all down. We toasted our friendship and in general we celebrated life, friendship and college football together. Although the party was held on the guise of watching the football game, it was like all parties where there was talk of golf, wine, politics and families. One group of ladies had an enthusiastic discussion of nail polish for their toes. We had several TV’s on in four different rooms in the house and folks migrated from set to set, talking and eating and watching the game. I think most of our guests enjoyed the evening although one fellow informed me that he came to watch the game, not to socialize. He left at halftime. The game went into overtime, the University of Utah was victorious and everyone went home excited.

I took Friday off from work and had a golf lesson with our head pro. The pro is a tall handsome, friendly fellow who is a terrific golfer and a good teacher. He can hit the ball a mile. Like everyone taking a lesson, I arrived early and hit about 500 balls trying to loosen up and grove my swing. When you think about it, why would I want too groove a swing that is so pathetic and ineffective that I have threatened (myself) to quit the dam game of golf on about a100 occasions. My swing is so bad people make fun of me every time I play. They call me Charles Barkley. They wonder how I can even hit the ball. They tell me that they have to turn away when I am hitting the ball they cannot bear to watch. It is like coming across a car accident victim who has been mutilated in a horrific crash. It looks so bad that you just cannot look. If you do look, the image will be permanently imbedded in your brain and when you will lie in bed at night you will have flashback memories of my golf swing. You might ultimately be able to fall asleep, but at some point during your slumber you will wake up from REM sleep, sweating and screaming. In your dreams, my swing has become your swing. Not a pleasant thought.

After I loosened up and grooved my swing, the pro showed up on the practice range and watched me hit a few more balls. We had a full hour lesson in which I hit another 50 balls or more. He worked with me, he tried to make changes, and he made suggestions. His emotions and demeanor vacillated throughout the lesson. At various times, he was laughing, crying or had the look of the people in the old horror movie the “Dawn of the Dead”. When he left, I had the following new swing thoughts:

More weight on my heels
Make my shoulders more square to the target line
Take the club straight back the first few inches
Take the club higher in the backswing and not wrapped around my body
Let my wrists break a little in the backswing
Keep my forearms closer together in the backswing
Stay behind the ball at impact
Let my wrists break more after impact
Get a glass a wine and sit in the clubhouse watching through the window while others play

I hit another 50 balls or so after the lesson and then played nine holes. By the time I got back home, my hands were bloody and sore. I played with my buddies on Saturday in a ferocious wind and I played worse than ever. I played Sunday with the Lovely Sharon, Sue and Dave. I played some holes ok but many holes were disasters. I am trying to remember these new swing thoughts; all of these swing thoughts, but the new swing thoughts are competing for room in my brain with the 1,400 other swing thoughts that already reside in there. I think there is some kind of war in my frontal lobe between the 1,400 “we were here first” swings thoughts and the new swing thoughts. I honestly cannot tell you who is going to win that battle.

Enough of that. Our Labor Day weekend fun continued last evening as we attended a party at the home of dear friends Robyn and Paul. They have a new home they designed from scratch to take advantage of the of view of Mt Olympus on the east side of their house and the west side view of the Salt Lake Valley. The home is fantastic and the party was great fun with catered Mexican food. Many people who attended the football game party at our house were also at this Sunday evening party at Robyn and Paul’s.

As I write this blog it is Labor Day and the Lovely Sharon just left to baby sit grandbaby Kendall, our beautiful one year and one week old grandbaby. I have a 10:50 tee time with my buddy Gordon and a client. The client is a young woman who is a professional golfer. My head pro (the fellow who gave me the lesson described above, will probably also play in our foursome as he is acquainted with my client. Talk about pressure, my new client who is an LPGA qualified pro and my head pro who just gave me a lesson. This feels like biology major joining two surgeons in open heart surgery and when the procedure starts, they hand me the scalpel and say “you start”.

I feel a migraine coming on. Hey is that a twinge in my back? Maybe I am injured. Maybe I should just ride in the cart and give Gordon some swing thoughts.

Oh forget about, it. It’s just golf right, enjoy it. Oh well, if I can get through the day, I am going to watch Boise State play football at 6:00 tonight. When I watch football, there is no pressure.

New swing thought, easy, smooth, no pressure.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Holding Hands

Most days I drive the 17 miles from my home in the southern end of Salt Lake County to my office in downtown Salt Lake City by way of surface streets rather than by way of the freeway. I generally avoid the freeway on my way to work because frequently there is a car crash or some other event that slows traffic down to a crawl. My return home at the end of my business day is generally also accomplished by way of surface streets. 

Each morning I leave my home between 6:15 and 6:30. In the summer it is that time of day when the night has left but yet the sun has not yet come up. Its dawn, when the sky is starting to lighten up but the moon, the stars and some of the planets are still shining. As I drive to work the sky continues to lighten. When I look out toward the western part of the Salt Lake valley, I see the sun is shining on the Oquirrh Mountains and the adjacent west side neighborhoods. The moon has such beauty at this time of morning that I occasionally will pull over to the side of the road just to look at it.

My usual route is to drive down 1300 East from 10600 South to the Van Winkle Expressway at about 5200 South. Each day I pass the same homes, schools and businesses. I have come to know and recognize their normal early morning look. I recognize the cars in their driveways. I can see if the newspapers have been delivered or whether the paper boy is running late.

For the last month or more, I have driven past an elderly couple walking on the west side of 1300 East between 6600 South and 6200 South. This couple intrigues me. They appear to be in their late 70’s. Every day he is dressed in long gym shorts and a white tee shirt. He wears a hat. The same type of hat that the golfer Byron Nelson wore. In his right hand he holds a walking stick.

His female companion, who I assume is his wife, wears a white blouse. She wears what, during my boyhood, were called pedal pushers, but in more recent time are referred to as capris. Hers appears to be denim.

Each day I look forward to seeing this couple. I wonder about them. I have passed them no less than 30 times this summer. Here they are walking down the sidewalk before the sun comes up; wearing essentially the same outfits each day. The most remarkable thing is that every time I see them they are holding hands. Each day they walking down the sidewalk he with his hat on his head and holding his walking stick holding hands with a handsome elderly lady.  Are they an old married couple, 50 or more years together whose hands now fit together?  Their hands aging over the years, transforming from the hands of young people to the weathered, leathery hands that come with age.    Or are they experiencing new love, joined together after previous spouses have passed on. Are they holding hands to protect each other from the physical imbalances that the elderly sometime have to deal with or is it an expression of love? They don’t seem to be in conversation when I pass them. They are just silently walking together before the sun comes up.

As I pass them I am flooded with memories of my father’s parents, my grandfather and grandmother. Whenever they drove together in a car or a pickup, he had his left hand on the steering wheel and his right hand resting lovingly on her knee. It was though his touch of her knee provided a reassurance to each of them; that things were alright and they were together.

I hope that in twenty years I am holding hands with the Lovely Sharon, walking down a sidewalk somewhere. Communicating silently through our hands, no need for words, watching the morning sky and content to be walking with the woman I love.