Archive for June, 2010
Lenie is still in Wisconsin and will soon visit Jackie Clay at her home. She sent me this photo of the two of them at the recently finished MREA Fair.
It’s just great to be home. My own bed, sitting quietly on my deck and listening to the wind whisper in the firs.
I have work to do: already mowed the week’s-worth of grass, watered the garden, and gone in town to solve a few publishing problems for Annie. But there are structural jobs — rework a shed and build a garden hot bed. They’ll be fun.
It’s the solitude during the day I like best. I let out a Tarzan-yell and no one hears but my kids. They are good Tarzan yellers themselves. I’m ruining them for citified society. They’re going to need an occasional Tarzan-yell for the rest of their lives.
Well, neither Tiger nor Phil won the U.S. Open, and the Celtics let the NBA Championship slip away, but otherwise it’s been a good week. I wonder why men, in particular, invest so much of themselves in the outcomes of sporting events.
Jackie Clay was indeed at the MREA Fair today. She arrived shortly after it opened and stayed until about 4. Lenie said we sold out of all Jackie Clay books while she was there, including her canning book and Starting Over. She apparently had a great time meeting with subscribers and autographing books.
Meanwhile, Robby and I stayed an extra day at the U.S. Open Golf Championship and watched Tiger Woods shoot a 66, tied for the lowest round of the day, to get back in the tournament. We’ll go tomorrow too. We left at 4:30 pm, three holes before Tiger finished, and avoided shuttle bus problems. It was a great day. We got within an arm’s length of Tiger as he walked from the green on 12 and the tee box on 13. Then we watched him birdie the 13th.
Not long after I made the previous post, Lenie called from the MREA show to say Jackie Clay will likely visit the BHM booth tomorrow, Saturday. It will be the first time ever Jackie has attended the show. It’s not definite because Jackie says her mom is not feeling so good, but she was pretty sure she’d be there.
You learn a lot about yourself as you grow older. At age 66, I’ve discovered that attending the U.S.Open Golf Championship in person is not nearly as much fun as I thought it would be.
While my wife, Ilene, and two sons, Jake and Sam, are in Wisconsin minding the BHM booth at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair (MREA), son Robby and I are at the U.S. Open Golf Championship in Pebble Beach a couple of hours south of San Francisco. We’re staying in a motel in Morgan Hill, an hour from the “temporary” golf course parking lot, which is another hour’s bus shuttle ride to Pebble Beach.
Unlike watching the Open on TV, in person you see very little due to the crowds. We wanted to see Phil, Vijay, Sergio, Furyk, Watson, and others, but we especially wanted to see Tiger Woods. After barely being able to catch a glimpse of Tiger on his first several holes, we found a spot eight layers of people back from the ropes four holes ahead of where Tiger was playing. We waited nearly an hour to finally see bits and pieces of his shoulders and head, but seldom saw the ball he hit.
After several hours of weaving through the chaotic crowds, we finally found a seat high up in the bleachers by the 18th green where we rested our weary legs and watched nine groups of golfers play until Tiger finally arrived. He had a nondescript bogey, finishing the day at 3 over par. But at least we saw him clearly through binoculars.
When Tiger finished the 18th, the bleachers emptied and everyone headed to the parking lot shuttle buses at once. After waiting in a very long, winding line for an agonizing three hours with approximately five to ten thousand other spectators, we were finally let on a bus that took us to the parking lot. An hour later, at 11:30 at night, we made it back to our motel totally exhausted. My back felt like somebody had stuck a knife in it.
We skipped today’s trek to the golf course, opting to watch it on the motel TV. We’ll go to a few hours of the tournament tomorrow (Saturday), then skip Sunday and drive back to Oregon a day early.
The couple of practice days leading up to the actual tournament were more fun. The crowds were big but manageable. I even got Jim Furyk to autograph my Cedar Bend (my local Gold Beach golf course) hat. Robby got five autographs, including ViJay Singh’s. This morning he says his legs are really sore from standing in line three hours for the bus. He’s ready to go home too.
Maybe I don’t have the stamina it takes to mix with the greatest in sports, and I certainly won’t try doing this sort of thing again. No wonder my older brother, Hugh, turned me down when I offered to fly him out here from Maryland to attend the US Open with me. He looks like a pretty wise older brother right now.
Aside from the long lines and big crowds, one other thing about the U.S. Open setup bothered me: The public wasn’t allowed to bring cameras or phones in, which I could understand, but you were also not allowed to bring bottles of water in so were forced to buy little bottles of water for $3 each since they had no public drinking fountains. I thought that was kind of cheap. They were already charging $10 for a lead-painted US Open souvenir coffee cup, $34 for a hat, $85 for a sweatshirt, and $125 for a lightweight jacket. Why not free water on a hot, dehydrating day!
I’m used to small town hospitality and generosity where there are no celebrities and the water is always free. I can hardly wait to get back to Oregon.
Clara Lynn Tuttle arrived last night, and the sun finally came out in Oregon this morning. What a coincidence!
We got our advance copies of the July/August 2010 issue. It has been mailed to subscribers so they will be getting theirs in a few days. It will take another week or so after that to get to the newsstands, then another week to be put online. Strong issue with a marvelous cover painting by Don Childers.