Sunday, April 12, 2009

Another Tiger?

Uncle David reported to me that the members of the two golf clubs to which he belonged had their noses out of joint because a young salesman who snubbed invitations to play socially would sign up for course tournaments and win.

This was in the early days of our marriage and Jeannie was president of Young Wives Club of the YWCA. I made my obligatory attendance at their annual banquet and found myself sitting next to this young man.

I queried as to whether he played golf. He responded that he hated golf. He went on to say that he carried clubs in his car. It seems that many of his customers were avid golfers and a few hours on the course could cement a business relationship.

He went on to say he could win by a stroke or lose by a stroke.

Then the rest of the story unfolded.

His father was a golf pro bent on training his son to be a winner on the professional golf tour.

This ran counter his ambition.

In college he entered the the National Junior Amateur Golf Tournament. He finished second.

He told his father that he did not want to continue in competitive golf.

If he couldn't win against a college kid, how would do against the big boys?

Who beat him?

Jack Nicklaus, six time winner of the Green Jacket and one of the greatest golfers of our time.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A story from another time that may give some thought in our time.

In the fifteenth century there lived a pious Jew known as Abravanel. He wrote poetry and hymns of praise that endure in prayer books to this day.

He was also was very wise and rose quickly in influence in the court of Spain.

Then came the inquisition.

He was advised by his royal friends that he was on a list for prison and torture by the zealots of the Catholic Church.

Abandoning everything he secured passage on a boat leaving that night. On the sea his vessel was attacked by pirates. His family was murdered and he was sold into slavery in Morocco.

His new master recognized Abravenal's powers of reason and he and others sought the advise of this slave. Eventually, he was able to secure his freedom.

Landing in Naples he restored his fame and became adviser to Italian royalty. He led a rich and respected life.

In his seventies, an especially advanced age in those days, he set out on his lifelong dream, a journey to the holy land to spend his final days.

The trip was arduous taxing even much younger men.

When the pilgrim beheld the the walls of Jerusalem that appear golden in the evening sun, he sank to his knees in awe and commenced praying.

An Arab riding out from the city spied the the man in foreign dress kneeling in the roadway, drew a scimitar and lopped off his head.