My adventures promoting my books on the streets of Brooklyn, and my thoughts on books, film and current events.
For the first time in a year and a half, I played golf. Cuz, my former softball teammate and playing partner since 1986, summoned me in an email. I couldn't refuse. It was time to test my hip, which gave me so much trouble in late 2010 and has been 95% better lately.
The best part was catching up on news. Cuz has a sunny disposition that wins over everyone. In all the years I've known him, I remember only one time when he wasn't upbeat. I assumed he'd had a fight with his now ex-wife. He's put on a few pounds. He learned to cook in the Army and still loves it. He has graduated to full time chauffeur in his company, which means he has full medical coverage as well as a decent salary. He was let go from the Exchange about six months before I was, and really struggled to make ends meet. It's so good to see him ensconced. Lately, he's run into the likes of Debra Winger and Jodie Foster, and said both were nice to him. His son, Willie, has transferred from John Jay to Queens College. At one time it looked like he was going to try to join the FBI. He is now majoring in Physical Therapy, but his real ambition is to make the WWE wrestling organization. He is working out religiously and taking all sorts of supplements he gets a discount on through his job at a GNC. He has a tryout real soon.
The next best part of the day was seeing the staff at Forest Park: Bobby, the manager who assumed control around 1990 and improved the course 1000%; and John, who runs the concession; and Jimmy, a retired policeman who runs the desk. Jim had bypass three years ago and still feels tightness in his chest. Fortunately, his tests keep coming up clean. He's working out and again playing golf.
As for the golf, it was as I expected after such a long layoff, although the end result happened in odd fashion. For the first ten holes, I was playing at about the same level as where I'd left off. Then I had six straight triple bogies. I righted the ship the last two holes. The 18th is a short part five. I hit two great shots and had a 30 foot putt for eagle that I left a foot and a half short. I made the birdie. At the start I said I'd be happy if I broke 100. I shot exactly that. The course was playing short, as the dry conditions have made the ground hard. I'd thought distance would be a problem, given that I hadn't swung a club in so long. I was as long as ever. Unfortunately, the greens were lightning fast, which is unusual for Forest Park. I had a lot of three putts. I don't know if I'll ever break 90 as consistently as I used to. Right now it doesn't seem to matter. I want the game to be fun. I used to practice chipping on Friday, ball-striking on Saturday and putting on Sunday. I didn't practice at all leading up to today. Maybe my fire was quelled by that one day at Douglaston several years ago when I put it all together and shot 77. I hope so. My ultimate goal was to break 80, and I sometimes got really stupid in the effort. Cuz still teases me about some of the things I did when frustrated by poor play. He laughs off a bad shot and goes at the next hell bent for leather. No one has a better attitude. That's why I love him. He shot 92 today.
The floating book shop will re-open tomorrow.
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