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)
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Bogie Movies: Casa Blanca; Maltese Falcon; The Big Sleep; and Key Largo
The Thin Man Movies with William Powell and Myrna Loy
Clint Eastwood Movies: Grand Torino; all of the Dirty Harry Movies; Absolute Power; In the Line of Fire, Play Misty for Me
Movies with Book Themes: The Jane Austin Book Club; and 84 Charing Cross Road
This is only my first batch of Favorite Movies. I will come up with some additional movies and categories and post again. If you have some favorite movies or favorite categories, post them on this blog or email them to me. Happy Holidays
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
There’s probably not a whole lot more humiliating than being shot in the buttocks by your canine buddy. Box Elder County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Kevin Potter says that’s what happened at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge while two duck hunters were getting set up for a morning on the water.
"One of the hunters was inside the boat with the dog, and the other hunter was in the water,” Potter said. “The guy in the water had put his 12-gauge shotgun across the bow of their boat.”
4. I am going to read Noel Coward's play "Private Lives", a 1930 comedy. I don't know what made me want to read the play but I am going to track down a copy and read it.
6. My book list at the top of this blog does not include all of the books I read. I probably read or listen to 8 or 10 books for each one I list above. I just finished reading "Garden of Secrets Past" by Anthony Elgrin. It was a fairly good read and is his fifth mystery, all of which are related to English Gardens.
His web site is http://web.mac.com/speedboat1/Site_2/Welcome.html
7. I watched one of the great "Chick Flicks" yesterday, "An Affair to Remember" with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. I have watched this movie at least 10 times in the last 30 years. I still get teary eyed in the climatic final scene in which Cary Grant real izes that Deborag Kerr had been hit by a car on was unable to walk.
8. I have two wonderful nieces (both of whom, I might add, are University of Utah graduates). Samantha's husband Tim is an accomplished birder and has a fantastic website. Check out:
The listing of these totally unrelated topics probably made your head spin. That is how my goofy brain works.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Thanksgiving is a time to spend a week or so with the Lovely Sharon. Golfing, shopping, doing things together and not doing anything but not doing them together.
According to the Bud calendar, Thanksgiving is the end of autumn. I think of the summer fun I had. I think out how fast the last year has gone by. I think of how many leaves I have raked in the last few months and how many are still on the ground waiting to be covered with snow.
Throughout the year I try to be mindful of and reflect on my good fortune to have the family and friends that I have. Friends who are happy to see me after months apart. Friends who want to help me and who I want to help. Friends who you can discuss politics with and still be friends. Each year through the realities of life our friends and family members face illness and death. We never know who might be next. I have lost a few friends to deaths this last year. Tragedies and illness have taken them. I miss them. I think about them. I have friends that face uncertain futures due to illness. I worry for them.
I am Thankful to be an American.
I am Thankful for my son Alex. I am Thankful for my parents. I am Thankful for my sister Tanya and her wonderful husband Scott and their lovely daughters, my nieces. I am Thankful for my stepsons Shawn and Nick and for Nick’s beautiful and special wife Allie. I am Thankful that Nick and Allie consider me to be one of the Grandpa’s of their children.
I am Thankful that I am relatively healthy.
I am Thankful that I am still excited about life and the things around me. I am Thankful that seeing a bird or deer or the autumn leaves still excite me. I am Thankful that I still want to learn about life, history, current events and the things around me.
I am Thankful to be married to the Lovely Sharon. She drives me crazy some of the time and I know I drive her crazy all of the time, but when I am eating Thanksgiving dinner today with dear friends Ray and Kay, I know I will have a tear in my eye as I give Thanks to life with her.
To all my friends, I truly am Thankful for you.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
With all of that said, I don’t think there is a chance in hell that Mr. Huntsman will be the Republican nominee. The ultra- right wing, so called “Christian Right”, will not permit it. Mr. Huntsman is not crazy enough, right wing enough or uniformed enough to be the Republican nominee. One of Rick Perry’s supporters (a religious right Pastor) has called the Mormon Church a cult and most of the Religious right agree. The same Pastor called Catholics a cult. I guess I am a double cult member since my heritage is Mormon and the church I now attend with my dear wife, is Catholic.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
“Police in Russia have taken a man into custody after discovering that he had at least 20 dressed-up female corpses hidden in his apartment. Authorities believe that historian Anatoly Moskvin, 45, would sneak into cemeteries during the dark of night to dig up the dead bodies, then dress them up in his apartment, according to The Telegraph. Photos taken by the tabloid publication lifenews.ru indicate that Moskvin clothed the remains -- all belonging to women who died between the ages of 15 to 25 -- in women's clothes to look almost doll-like. Some sources report that as many as 26 corpses were found in Moskvin's residence. Moskvin, who speaks 13 languages and is considered a genius, is well known locally for his fascination with graveyards, having visited more than 750 of them. He is said to have been writing a book about the cemeteries of the region, according to BNO news. Police were tipped off to the hoarding of human corpses by the Moskvin's parents, who live in the Nizhny Novgorod apartment with their son and discovered the bodies upon returning from vacationing at their summer home.”
The guy is 45 years old and still lives in an apartment with his parents. That tells you right there that he does not have both oars in the water. For most parents when they come home from a holiday, they may find the house a mess or that the kids had a party or something was broken. But these poor parents come home and find the bodies of 20 dead women dress liked dolls scattered throughout the apartment. What is the son going to say when he got caught by mom and dad? “They are not mine; I don’t know where they came from.”
3. Did you see Rick Perry’s recent New Hampshire speech? It’s been on all the news. It is truly weird. There are conflicting reports of whether he was drunk or not drunk. I for one hope that he was drunk, if not, then his behavior was really spooky.
4. The following story was on MSNBC.com at
What, he might have done this before? He might have done this before and they didn’t arrest him, the first time?
“A Portland woman who bought a horse, killed it, gutted it and posed naked for photos inside the carcass broke no laws, Oregon authorities decided. And she says she can't understand people's interest in her. "No idea why people care," Jasha Lottin, 21, told Seattle Weekly, which published photos that she had posted on the Internet. Lottin and her boyfriend had taken over care of the 32-year-old horse, which they said was in declining health, KOIN-TV reported. They told Washington County sheriff's deputies that they shot it near Portland with a rifle and gutted it, then Lottin stripped and climbed inside. She also posed outside of it, covered in its blood, and with parts of the horse's organs. She posted the photos on the Internet, and a man in North Carolina who came across them reported them to deputies, the Weekly reported. Lottin reportedly told investigators that they wanted to humanely kill the horse and eat it — and she wanted to feel what it would be like to be inside the dead horse. Investigators decided the couple had violated no laws. But Lottin's mother said her daughter has received death threats, KOIN reported.”
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
After our tete-a-tete we drove home in relative silence. After the discussion we just had, what more could be said? It would have been all downhill from there. Once home she went to work getting things organized for her departure and I descended to the Bud Cave where I started reading a new William F. Buckley biography.
As I sat in my leather chair, I could hear her moving from room to room getting last minute tasks completed. It was difficult to concentrate on the book as I contemplated her absence from Utah for the next seven months. Although I get to Palm Desert a good number of times during the seven months, there is also a fair amount of time when I am in Salt Lake. During that time I read a great number of books and articles, I watch TV, go to movies on my own and have numerous conversations with the Neighbor’s Dog. He is a good listener as I talk to him while feeding him treats. He loves the mini hotdogs or sausages in a blanket. If you did not get a chance to read my essay about the Neighbor’s Dog check out
This year I am going to be more active after work and on the weekends when I am in Utah. I am going to organize more dinners with friends, I am going to work out more often, visited book stores and visited art museums and galleries. There is a currently a showing of LeConte Stewart paintings at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. I think I might go Saturday to see it. Here is a link to a LeConte Stewart website http://umfa.utah.edu/LeConteVirtual. A great Utah artist.
This was supposed to be a sensitive, reflective essay about a summer now gone and a last evening with the Lovely Sharon. It was not suppose to be hilarious or political. But frankly, I cannot help myself, I must write something hilarious and political, just a simple list:
There you go, you cannot get much funnier than that. Now I feel better.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
The Lovely Sharon has been cutting down flowers the last several days, to get the yard winterized. All of the patio furniture is under wraps for the winter. We moved Rudy, our rubber plant of several years, from the back deck into the house where he will remain until May. A couple of other large plants were moved into the house as well. This last week Sharon turned the outside water off. I devoted Friday afternoon and several hours yesterday to raking the leaves. There are still a lot more leaves to rake and plenty of leaves in the trees but rather than wait for all of them to fall, I try to make a little progress day by day. While I was raking Friday, I could see a deer in the brush about 40 yards from me. We looked at each other for a few minutes and then we each went about our business.
I marvel at the effect that Autumn has on my senses. The vivd colors of the leaves in their journey from green, to yellow, red or orange and finally to brown before disengaging from their trees and floating to the ground. A beautiful changing palette of color. The changes in the temperature on my skin when I am out of doors. The aromatic smell of fallen leaves. I have always loved the smell. Autumn is more quiet than summer. I continue to hear the squirrels but not many birds. They are off for warmer environs. No sounds of lawn mowers or edging machines.
If you look at the pictures above, you will see a lonely looking garden bench in the upper left hand corner. Friday afternoon, in the midst of raking leaves, I sat down on that bench. I looked around at the yard. I looked above the branches of the trees and I could see blue sky. I looked at our house on the hill above me. I thought about how fast the last five months have gone by. I thought about friends past and present and about family. I thought about Son Alex and pictured him as a boy rather than the 28 year old man that he is. I thought about how fortunate I am. I thought about the Lovely Sharon and wondered how she puts up with me. I turned 59 a week ago. I am stunned by that thought. Although my body feels 59, my mind feels 30. Although I look at the future and at current events and goings on, I find myself more reflective than in years past. I find myself wondering if I am doing enough for people, if I am giving enough of myself to helping those around me. I need to do better. After a several minutes of such contemplations I arose from the bench and bagged up each of those piles of leaves.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
When I read Vanity Fair, I typically have at my side (i) a colored pen for underline interesting passages in the articles; (ii)e a pair of scissors to cut out blurbs referencing websites to check out or books to read; and (iii) a small Moleskine note book to scribble notes. (If you don’t know Moleskine note books check them out on Google. They are terrific small notebooks handy for pocket or purse. You can buy them at Barnes and Noble.)
The current issue of Vanity Fair is terrific:
-An article by regular contributor James Wolcott describing his literary obsession with Norman Mailer and Mailer’s assistance in helping Mr. Wolcott obtain employment at the Village Voice newspaper in the early 1970’s.
- An article about the current tea party with references to the founding fathers.
- There is a regular feature in most if not all issues entitle “Letter from London”. This month’s letter from London concerns the famous Savile Row tailoring company, Anderson & Sheppard, the tailor to kings, dukes, movie stars, and many others.
- An article about Kathleen Harriman, the daughter of Averell Harriman, who was once the fourth wealthiest man in America. I have read a couple of books about Averell Harimann over the years. This article is based upon a letters, journals and other materials kept by Kathleen. During World War II she went to England with her father who served as FDR’s conduit to Churchill. What an interesting life she led. She was in her 90’s when she died this past spring
- An article about Johnny Depp.
- Tbe last page of Vanity Fair is always a series of questions asked of well-known people and their responses thereto. The interviewed person this month is Bishop Desmond Tutu.
- The wonderful photographer Annie Leibovitz photos are often in Vanity Fair
- The notes I made to myself from this month’s issue of Vanity Fair include:
- read Boomerang (about the debt cris) by Michael Lewis;
- see if there is a biography of Bennet Cerf, the founder of Random House publishing company;
- buy Chef Mario Batalie’s new book Simple Family Meals, From My Home to Yours.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon maple extract
11/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
8 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
Heat oven to 375 degrees and position the oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the doughnut pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and baking soda with a whisk. Melt butter in a small pot over low heat. In a medium bowl, combine melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, maple syrup and maple extract. Whisk until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour egg mixture into the flour and stir, using a large wooden spoon, until completely combined.
Using a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip, divide the batter equally (using even pressure) between the pans, filling about halfway full.
Alternatively, you can use a gallon-sized resealable plastic storage bag.
Fill the bag and using scissors, remove 1/2-inch from one of the bottom corners and proceed filling the pans as described above.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until doughnuts spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven, invert doughnuts onto a rack and cool completely.
To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, maple syrup and maple extract in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth.
Dip the top of each doughnut into the glaze and lift, allow the excess to drip back into the bowl. While glaze is still wet, sprinkle with bacon crumbles. Place on a platter and serve. These doughnuts are best served fresh.
Servings » 16 large or 64 mini doughnuts
That is the beauty of Utah. The front page of the LifeStyle Section of the newspaper has a recipie for bacon-maple dougnuts. If you were reading the New York Times or the LA Times, you would be stuck with some dumb french food recipie or some Thai food recipie. Not in Utah, we provide recipies of the good stuff, bacon-maple doughnuts. No wonder Brigham Young said "This is the Place".
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
The golf course at Hidden Valley Country Club is spectacular in the autumn. Sometimes it is difficult to concentrate on golf as you look at the colorful mountains, the turning trees. The deer seem more active, meandering through the course eating the fallen apples.
The Lovely Sharon and I have a park-like back yard and some of the leaves are starting to turn yellow. A few have already drifted down from their summer home on their respective tree to the still green grass below. I won’t be raking for another couple of weeks and for now will let the few leaves that have fallen be picked up by the lawn mower.
Autumn has always seemed like a new beginning to me, rather than a sign of the end of the year. It is probably because autumn marks a new school year. I was always happy to start a new school year from elementary school through law school. I always liked buying new supplies to start the new year. What would my classes be like? Would my teachers and professors be interesting and helpful in the learning process? Would I do well in my classes?
I like football. I played football at Granite High School so many years ago and autumn brings me back to memories of those long ago days. I remember gathering with my teammates to watch the first year of NFL Monday Night Football. It seemed thrilling to watch football on TV on a Monday night. I still like watching Monday Night Football.
The squirrels are active now, getting supplies stored up for winter. Sharon told me there was one on our deck yesterday. She looked at the squirrel and the squirrel look at her. I think they had some unspoken communication going on. He was no doubt looking for parts of cushions or something else to provide insulation for his winter home. The Lovely Sharon not doubt communicated “No way buster, get off the deck”. I am familiar with her non-spoken communication. I have frequently read her thoughts when she has communicated “no way buster” to me.
Well I better go shower and get ready for the day it is almost 5:00 a.m. I woke up around 3:30 and read for a while and then decided to write something for the blog. Nothing of substance, but something to help get me back to some form of normal life.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Over the last ten years, my wife Sharon and I have had many golf rounds and dinners with Doug and Beckie. We have been at their house in Salt Lake and their home in Palm Desert. They have been to our houses here and in Palm Desert. By and large, their friends were our friends and our friends were their friends.
Beckie had a long association with the ladies at Hidden Valley where she was involved with golf, with bridge and with an investment club. She had been the president of the Hidden Valley Ladies Association. For most of her life Beckie had been active in many things, socially and as an owner and operator of small businesses.
Beckie was tough. You could not push her around. But she had a soft and gentle side as well. Nearly 10 years ago, a time before I married Sharon, I needed a ride to St. George. Sharon was in St. George at a ladies golf tournament or some other ladies activity. I was still courting Sharon and she told me to come down to St. George on the weekend. I did not want to take my own car since Sharon had her car with her. I wanted to be able to ride back to Salt Lake with her at the end of the weekend. I wanted to ride home with her and convince her I was the guy for her. Beckie heard that I was looking for a ride to St. George and she called me. She asked me to ride down with her since she was heading down for the weekend. I cannot tell you what an enjoyable four hours we had. We talked non-stop about lives and loves and work and friends. We talked about golf. We talked about life changes and we walked about family and friends.
Beckie was the boss at her house. She told Doug what to do in all matters and he did them. If you asked Doug to do something or to go somewhere, whether you were asking just him or asking him for the both of them, he would always respond with, “I have to ask the apple of my eye and then I will get back to you.”
She made the house decisions, the business decisions and the family decisions. Not so different from many of us men, whose most frequent phrase is “Yes Dear”.
Doug Boudreaux. If you just said his name, people had a response, they had an image. They had a visceral reaction. For some people it was a good response, for some it was not so good. Those people did not know the inner Doug. For his friends, the words “Doug Boudreaux” made us smile. We seldom called him Doug whether we were talking to him or talking about him. To us, he was “Boudie”.
How many times on the driving range or in the clubhouse did I hear his pals say things like:
“Is Boudie playing today”?
“Where is Boudie?”
“Did you hear what Boudie said on Thursday?”
I met Boudie in 1988 or 1989. Boudie, Gordon Staker, Guy Toombes and I formed the “Staker Group”. For the first few years it was not much of a group. It was just the four of us who played golf together a couple of times a week. We were truly friends. Over the years the Staker Group expanded, it contracted and it expanded again. Currently there are some 20 men who are either full time or part time members of the Staker Group. The Staker Group is just about diverse as a group can be. Our members are contactors, lawyers, accountants, financial planners, business men, psychologists and real estate professionals. We are Caucasians, Asians, Greeks, and Hispanic. We are made up of Mormons, Catholics Protestants and the anti-religious. Our group includes Mormon Bishops and recovering alcoholics.
Boudie was a fixture in the group. If you were in the Staker Group you have been insulted by Boudie more times than you can count. You insulted him back as many times. As bizarre as it seems, the love for each other was expressed in many ways, man hugs and compliments but particularly in insults. We worried about each other, our wives and our children.
When one of our Staker Group members lost a baby just after birth, it was Doug who talked to him. It was Doug who talked about the afterlife with him.
As most of you know, Doug and Beckie lived on the 8th hole of the Valley Nine at Hidden Valley. If Doug was not playing with us on a particular day, we would hit our tee ball and then head over to his yard, walk through his gate and sit on his patio. We would call out for him to come out and join us on his patio. Over time it came to feel like our patio. Doug and Beckie would come out and sit with us and we would talk for awhile as other golfers passed us by, no doubt wondering why there were golf balls on or near the green. Most of the time the passing golfers just left our balls where they were and we would eventually finished the hole. Doug and Beckie would offer us a cocktail, a soda pop or a glass of ice water. Whatever we wanted they would give it to us. Sometimes if Doug was not at home, Beckie would come out and listened to our jokes and lies. She would roll her eyes and laugh at us. One day, we had sat there for four or five minutes but had not yet seen or heard Doug or Beckie inside the house. Finally, we heard Beckie’s voice through the open window. She said “Doug you better get out there, I don’t think they are going away.” The door opened and there was Doug with his smile, saying “Can I get you boys something?”
Doug, had a skill, a God given talent if you will, to say a word, a phrase or a comment that was either hilarious or disgusting or both. Over the years some of his comments became legendary. His comments became known as “Boudieisms”. There were stories about shop goggles. There were stories about Doug telling a single golfer who inquired about joining our players on the first tee that Doug did not need any more friends. He told the fellow he had enough friends and he didn’t like most of them. The fellow just turned and walked away. The general problem with the Staker Group is that we enjoy the disgusting stuff a lot. We repeated it. We told his stuff to others. Sometimes we claimed a Boudieism statement as our own. Each of us has our own special Boudieisms. Most of the Boudieisms are best left for the golf course or for sitting around the patio with our pals.
On last Saturday morning at 7:30 am, members of the Staker Group gathered on the first tee of Hidden Valley golf course with drivers in our hand and tears in our eyes. It was the appointed time for the regular Saturday game. We took off our hats and listened to the mournful prayer of one of our Bishop members. Golf was not too important that day.
On Sunday September 25th, the Staker Group gathered together at Gordon’s house to celebrate Doug, to celebrate our friend. We repeated Boudieisms that cannot be said here. We laughed and we cried. We gave man hugs throughout the evening. We listened to another prayer for Doug and for Beckie, for their children, for their grandchildren and for their friends. We sang Amazing Grace, off key to be sure, but this simple song was sung with conviction and emotion by some 13 saddened men. As the sun set, we quieted down and softly spoke of Doug and how we would miss him. I think our gathering together helped each of us a little. If Doug had been there he would have had us laughing. As for me, as I drove away in my car, my tears had dried but the ache in my heart remained.
The passing of Doug and Beckie has shaken each of us to our core. I think we each have asked ourselves if we could have said something or done something that might have changed events. We will never know. We will forever wonder “What if?”
Neither Doug nor Beckie were perfect people. They made errors and mistakes and in some instances bad life choices. Just as each of us are not perfect persons. Each of us has made countless errors, mistakes and bad life choices. But they were good people. They were good friends. They loved their children and their grandchildren. They were loved by their friends. I am proud to call them my friends. They are forever a part of my life. They are interwoven in the fabric of my life. My memories of times together will stay with me. I will remember them in life, I will miss them dearly.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I like the sound of the basketball swish. I like the sound of the golf ball dropping into the cup.
I like the mournful sound of the music of trumpet player Chris Botti early on a Sunday morning when the house is dark and the Lovely Sharon is asleep in her bed and I am reading in the Bud Cave.
I like the sound of cat purring beseeching me to rub it.
I like the sound of a toddler laughing. We don’t have to teach a child to laugh; there is just something in the human makeup that allows us to appreciate something funny.
I like the sound of a church bell calling the faithful to a Sunday morning service. The church bells at St. John the Baptist in Draper, Utah were made in Belgium. When you are walking into the church when the bells are ringing it makes you want to do good, to be better.
I like the sounds of the Lovely Sharon’s shoes on the oak stairs as she descends to the Bud Cave. She never slowly walks down the stairs. It is always a semi sprint with her heels clapping hard on the hardwood stairs. I know she wants me to do something or to tell me something. It is never a bother or a disruption.
I like the sound of squirrels chattering in our backyard. Of late, they have been loud and never seem to stop. I think it is driving the Lovely Sharon crazy but since I am already crazy, I like it.
I like the smell of hot, fresh bread.
I like the smell of chicken cooking on the grill.
I like the smell of a lawn freshly cut. It reminds me of highs school football.
I like the smell of two-by-four boards as they are cut with a circular saw. It reminds of me of my father who spent his life as a contractor carpenter.
My favorite smell, well that’s easy. My favorite smell is the natural aroma of the Lovely Sharon. The smell of her neck. Not her perfume, just her.
Monday, September 5, 2011
(For those of you who do not understand the Ponce de Leon reference, you should have not skipped so many history classes in high school. From Wikipedia - Juan Ponce de León y; (1474 – July 1521) was a Spanish explorer. He became the first Governor of Puerto Rico by appointment of the Spanish crown. He led the first European expedition to Florida, which he named. He is associated with the legend of the Fountain of Youth, reputed to be in Florida.)
Sometime in early August, I was hitting golf balls on the practice range at Hidden Valley Country Club. I was trying to see what new golf swing I could find. I tried something different (lifetime swing change number 325,001). I started hitting the ball pretty well. It seemed to be going further and straighter. I could do it over and over and the new swing seemed to worked for me. Was I was excited? No I was damn excited. When I arrived back at the house, I sprinted inside to share my discovery with the Lovely Sharon. Ok, I am a chunky 58 year old man with a bad back so maybe I did not actually a sprint. It was more like the waddle of a fast three toe sloth. I located the Lovely Sharon in the Bud Cav. She was writing cleaning advice to me in the dust on my desk. Sometimes I wonder how dumb she thinks I am. She can only write “Dust Me” so many times on my desk before I finally realized that a human wrote the words “Dust Me”. It was not my desk crying out in pain experiencing a stigmata causing words to appear. Since I finally realized the writing was done by human action, I was pretty certain it was the work of the Lovely Sharon. We are the only two who live in the house. I did not think a burglar would break in and write "Dust Me" on my desk in the Bud Cave.
Despite her pathetic attempts at secret writing, I continued to be excited to share my new golf swing with her. I took the Lovely Sharon in my arms; we were so close I could smell her wonderful natural bouquet. My mouth was smiling, my eyes were smiling I could hardly talk. She looked at me with questioning eyes and she finally broke the silence (I was still unable to talk in all of my excitement) and she asked “Did we win the lottery?” I should my head to indicate that no, that we did not win the lottery. I kept smiling.
She then asked if I had cured cancer. I again responded with a no but then added “It is something better”. She asked what could be better than winning the lottery or curing cancer. I told her that I had a new golf swing. Her eyes rolled. I mean they really rolled. They went back in her head so far that only the whites were visible. I thought she had suffered an attack of some sort before I realized that in the last 7 years of marriage, I have undoubtedly told her that I had a new golf swing more than a 1,000 times. She has actually called the cable company and had them remove the Golf Channel from our cable line up. When the pupils of her eyes were back to where they are supposed to be, I told her that this time it was different, this new swing actually worked. With a lack of conviction, she responded with a quiet “We’ll see”.
The next 8 or 9 rounds of golf, I played well, I shot my lowest scores of the year, I hit the ball straight, and for me long. I was in a state of bliss. The Lovely Sharon was happy for me. She was happy for her as she contemplated a married life without ever again hearing the words “I have a new swing”.
My golfing life has been great the last month. I had finally found the key to success. Bad golf was behind me.
Yesterday in Sunday Couples golf at Hidden Valley the Lovely Sharon and I were paired with Bill and Martha, two wonderful friends and great golfers. They have won many tournaments over the years. Bill played particularly well yesterday. I was excited to play with them and decided not to say anything about my swing, but rather, I would let my clubs do the talking. I shot 104. It was my worse round in five years. Let me repeat that: “I SHOT 104”. In truth it was more than 104 as the Lovely Sharon took pity on me and gave me a couple of 6x’s when I should have had a couple a more 7x’s. This was a painful round of golf. Sharon, Bill and Martha tried to be kind. They tried to be supportive and, they made the appropriate sounds of condolences each time I hit the ball. They treated me like you tip toe around a friend with an incurable disease. You know he is a gonner but you say something like. “You look nice in that hospital gown”.
I cannot tell you how glad I was to have the round come to an end. I doubled bogey the last hole and frankly, I played so poorly that the double bogey felt like a birdie.
It is Labor Day. I slept in until 6:00. Late for me. The Lovely Sharon is fast asleep upstairs in her bed, no doubt dreaming of her own wonderful golf skill. I am at my desk in the Bud Cave. Its dark outside and the only visible light is the small green shaded banker’s desk lamp on my desk. I have decided that after I shower, I am going to Hidden Valley Country Club and look for a new swing.