Sunday, August 31, 2008

Golf, Motorcycle Rally, Renunion(again), Funeral, Movie Reviews

Golf is a sport this is easy to love and hate, sometimes it is just like bowling in that it truly sucks. In bowling you can hit a strike or have an open frame all with a few minutes of each other. The same for golf, you can have a straight down the fairway tee shot that goes over 200 yards(300 if you are a pro) or you can lose the ball in the rough within a few minutes. On Friday I was invited to play golf with some friends of mine from my high school senior class(yes it is reunion time again and that will be covered later in this post) of 1957. Yea, I know before you think it, a bunch of old men puttering around the golf course gulping heart medicine and not letting the Flomax get out of our site, while having a big grin on our face every time we took a leak. Our team was made up of five members from the class of 1957 playing against five members of the class of 1959, so they had us by 2 years in age. They average 67 years and we average 69 years of age and were determined not to let these youngsters beat us. When we looked at their team it was a little scary, since 4 of their team were retired and played golf everyday, while we only had one real golfer(not me) on our team and the rest of us rarely play(my last time was two years ago). So, we had all of kinds of reason why we should try hard and beat these guys. When this match got started I was sure we had a chance to make a better than average showing. After all we were members of the Championship football team some 50 years ago and we just don't throw in the towel, no matter the sport. Funny thing how this length of time has not diminished the desire to win nor the competitive attitude of this reunion golf team. Our football team was called a Cinderella team since we were not picked to win anything, we were small and not as talented as the other teams in our conference. But, we had that one thing that will always enable a team to win more than they lose and that was a strong desire to win. Now that I have laid out the ole win one for the Gipper let's get back to the golf match. The rules of the match were simple and is called a scramble match. Each player hits a ball and then the best ball is played throughout the hole. So, you have 5 chances to hit the best shot possible and of course the other team was playing by the same rules. We finished the front nine in even par 36 and our younger dudes had a one under 35, so we were in the hunt. On the front nine we were attacked by a bunch of mosquito's throughout the round that reminded me of Japanese kama-kazee pilots, as they dove to any place on our body to draw some blood and then were swatted away with the flick of the finger. Never the less we ended up with a great round and look eager for the back nine. After taking a Flomax break we were back on the course with fire in our eyes. Our youngster opponents quickly birdied the first hold and had us by two strokes, as we parred the hole. Then the rest of the round stayed close but they did get another birdie and now we were 3 strokes down. Going into the 18th we knew we couldn't make up the difference but we could birdie for a one under par round to put us one under for the day. Since I hadn't sunk a long putt all day I looked at my last putt of the day laying 25 feet from the hole and mentally I decided to sink it. Sure enough that dude went in and we finished the day one under for 18. While we lost to the youngsters we did at least play above our heads as the football team did 50 years ago. What I learned on this day was that no matter the age, once you have the desire to win you just never lose it. Golf doesn't suck after all and it is a great sport for all ages.

This past weekend we put on the first ever Giant Side of Texas motorcycle rally in Lubbock. While we didn't reach the registration numbers we had planned for, it was a very successful event. We are not satisfied with the venue that we used, so will be looking for a new site in 2009. We learned a lot this year and will apply what we learned for next year. What we do know is that it is similar to triathlon in that there are three things that spurs the interest of bikers(riding, eating and beer drinking). While triathlon calls for swimming, biking and running it also has its' share of beer drinking. So, we will take our lessons and use them for next year.

While I really don't know what this class of 1957 is thinking I will take a stab at it. The best I can remember we had a reunion of sorts at the 20 year mark, then the 30 year mark, then the 50 year mark. To me these intervals make all the sense in the world, but then lo and behold we have another one this year for the 51st year. On the 30 year mark I created a reunion triathlon and invited all my classmates to join me, but didn't have any takers. The same held true for the 50th and now the 51st. Don't know what their problem is other than they all concluded that I am crazy as hell and they have artificial hips, knees, heart, to testify to the fact that the class of '57 is too old to do these thing. After the golf match I noticed that during lunch the discussion turned to the number hips, knees and hearts had been worked on and when it came my turn I mentioned that I had had my tonsils out way back in 1945 just after turning 7. They rolled their eyes and proclaimed that didn't count of surgery or replacement activity. Oh well, after the triathlon day, we then went dancing at the Sting for a couple of hours making it a complete reunion celebration. Even though we invited the class to join us we had no takers. Didn't surprise me since dancing wasn't a big item in Littlefield during the 50's. Seems as though the Baptists ruled the roost and they claimed that dancing was sinful and the youth should not do it, and proclaimed it off limits. Fact is their revivals would spell out that there would be no alcohol, dancing, or sex, period. The only flaw in the ointment was the fact that at least 2 or 3 of the young maidens would become pregnant after one of these revivals, so I guess they were right, dancing is a bad thing. For the next reunion I recommended 5 years and everyone said, "no way, we may all be dead by then!" My reply was simple, "well that should give everyone an incentive to live another 5 years, or we can die and go to heaven and then they can talk about how great we were after we die." Remember no one ever says anything bad about anyone at their funeral. Now I can't even remember what they decided but I do know it is not on for next year, but maybe 3 years.

In the latter part of the week we attended the funeral of the young man who was killed on a motorcycle during the weekend of the rally. While it had nothing to do with the rally and happened way after closing time at the rally headquarters, we all felt that he should be honored with a last ride. So someone organized a ride in honor of him and about a 100 motorcycle riders did a funeral parade for him throughout the city, to the church for the funeral. While I like a good funeral I don't like long ones. And now a days funerals and weddings have started to resemble each other. There are the big dual screens up on the front wall that covers from birth to death, with music in the background, then there is the ever present camera getting all of the live/dead action. The country and western band was great and the readings(the ones I could hear) were very good and this young man was laid to rest in a manner that he would have enjoyed. He had written many poems about death, etc., so the service had a macabre flavor to it. Regardless of the length of the service he was honored by everyone there and he was laid to rest in a fine biker atmosphere. He will be missed.

Movie Reviews: "Death Race", *, A stupid movie about prison convicts made to race to the death, and/or if they win 5 races they get a pardon. Of course that never happens but is a fairly good carrot if they did win. These are most hardened criminals of the time and society really wants them dead anyway so it is no big loss. Jason Statham plays an ex-professional race care driver who is framed of a murder(of his wife no less) and sent to this prison to actually race. You see the warden, a blood thirsty hard driving bitch, also has a TV program that shows the races to the death. So with a racer of Statham's ability her ratings will go up. Did I say stupid movie or what? Go see out of curiosity only, that is what I did. Rated R for strong violence(understatement) and language(understatement).

"Pineapple Express", **, Our local critic gives this mess 3 stars. He must have been smoking the weed that this movie is all about. The lead actor(Rogen) is a weed smoking process server who witnesses a mob killing. Of course now they try to find him to kill him to. Lots of stupid dialogue and some part of humor. Go see only with this warning, "should be done on matinee prices or the $2 movie house." Rated R for pervasive language, drug use, sexual references and violence(have I left anything out?)


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