If you want a fresh perspective on things, and to have fun, get some old high school friends together to play golf. Note: this works to best effect when none of you is a good golfer.
That’s us—Tim, Pascal, Tom and Pat—on the 18th tee at Wildcat Golf Club’s Lakes Course, just before it rained, during our high school reunion golf outing earlier this month. The rain was brief but we were already wet from the inside out anyway. We ended up eight over par, which is distressingly poor in a scramble. And we had a great time—what would you expect when you spend the day with friends you’ve had for almost 40 years?
I have assiduously avoided high school reunions since number 10, when I went to a Houston Astros game because I’d never been in the Skyboxes at the Astrodome…and as expected, found that a seat at the top of a ten story building is less than ideal for baseball watching if you’re at all interested in the game. But that’s not why I skipped reunions; I was just never interested. This time, I kiddingly replied that I’m always up to play golf, and someone called me on it. Good on them…better for me.
I’ve been friends with these guys, and a couple of others, since we were freshmen in high school, and I never needed a reunion to find out how they were doing. We don’t all see each other regularly, but it’s the kind of friendship where you can pick up a conversation that was put on hold months and months before. And so we spent the afternoon, scuffing around the course, amusing one another with pathetic displays of athletic ability and laughing at all the old jokes, and all the old jokers.
It made me feel great to realize that I’ve got these these guys in my life, that we’re still comfortable around each other despite the years.
The four of us went out to eat together afterward because we’re all still growing boys (just not growing vertically any more). We watched a ball game on TV and drank beer (that was mostly me) and later told the old jokes and talked about what’s new, and learned some things about one other, even after all these years.
After I got home, it got better. My friend Mark—the guy I play golf with regularly, the guy who joined me to scout Wildcat since none of us had played it before; the guy who gave me his copy of “Golf in the Kingdom”—had wished me “Tempo and Short Grass” in an e-mail that included this:
I sent the Soundtrack of the Day along to my old friends so they could share that part of my day, too.