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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

OLD OLD FRIENDS

OLD OLD FRIENDS
There are friends you have known for a long time; old friends.  There are friends who are old.  Then there are friends who are old that have been friends for a long time; old, old friends.
This weekend I spent a lot of time with old, old friends.  Joe B from Pa, and Captain Don (formally known as Squeak) from up the road in NJ.  We played golf on Friday.  Joe B is retired so there was no problem, Captain Don works for himself and his boss is a prick so he could only get a half day off.  Still it was a good day, unless you factor in the golf.  We may not have played very well.
Don is pretty good, but he doesn’t get to play often, it’s that prick boss thing again.  I’m trying to play at a level of a much younger Crank before I had children, I’m not there yet.  Joe B plays a lot.  He doesn’t hit the ball a long way, but he is never in trouble, plays smart, and is terrific around the green.  He is good, though on Friday, not so much.
Cranky and Joe B back when Captain Don flew to the golf course
Captain Don was behind the camera...this was before selfies.

We managed to play 14 holes when the call of a vodka tonic and a dip in Don’s pool was more tempting than four more holes of golf in the hot humid sun.
 
There may have been more than one vodka involved. 
The day ended with dinner out with wives at a very nice restaurant.
Good food, good people, good times.
Saturday everyone was invited to Casa Del Cranky.  The old, old friends left to play golf again, the relatively new friend wives stayed home.  Apparently they had a choice of a day at the townhome association pool dodging kids playing that annoying “Marco Polo” game or going shopping at a nearby outlet store. 
Shopping won.
The old, old friends managed to get in all 18 holes of golf and returned for refreshments.  Captain Don and Cranky played better than the day before, Joe B was more than better, he was damn good.
The wives were not yet home.  When they did return we were cooled off and well lubricated.  The women returned with leather goods from some place called Coach.
The lubrication softened the blow of the leather goods, though apparently there was much money “saved.” 
Grilled food, wine, and a lot of laughter followed.  Old, old friends shared old and some new stories.  New friend wives shared stories of the old, old friends that the old, old friends may have preferred remained unspoken.
All in all, it was a great weekend of golf, drink, food and laughs.
Old friends are great.  Friends that are old are good.  Old, old friends are the best.

Monday, August 22, 2016

THE GREAT FIELD HOCKEY WHIFF

THE GREAT FIELD HOCKEY WHIFF
This re-run is from August 2012

One of the reasons I like to write is it is a way to pass along family stories which might otherwise be lost.  It is a way for future Hagys to know me and the family which preceded them.  I may not always have the stories correct, but they are close enough and hopefully they will pass a true sense of who we are to generations that I will never meet.

My mom, your “Gammie” or your “Great (fill in great as needed) Gammie” was quite the athlete.  I know this because she told me so.

I know she was a fast runner.  When my brother Jim was 12 he bragged at how fast he was, “The fastest in my class.” Mom claimed she was also a fast runner, probably still faster than Jim. 

Neither my brothers nor I had ever even seen mom run.  No one thinks of their mom as a “fast runner” she’s a mom…what the heck?  The challenge was on.

Mom versus Jim in a fifty yard dash…it was not even close. Mom won by several yards…AND JIM WAS FAST!!

We all had a new respect for my mom.

In high school mom played basketball, swam, and played field hockey.  If the school had a team, mom was on it.  Of course her graduating class was 34 strong…and it was co-ed.

Mom was a strong swimmer; it was the exercise which kept her condition of scoliosis from making her a cripple as they had no other treatment at the time. 

She often talked about basketball and how she would have been good except she was only five-foot-two and girls were not allowed to dribble, “You got one bounce and one step.”

Her most famous story was her big moment in Field Hockey.

Mom’s greatest sports memory was of failure.  She really only told one sports story.  I’m sure she must have won some races in swimming, and she must have scored some goals in field hockey, but what did she remember, what was the only sports story she ever told?

It was her field hockey whiff.

To fully appreciate this story you have to picture a 5’ 2” 105lb. 80 year-old lady telling it with wildly gesticulating arms and legs. 

In a crucial game which was tied, Mom took the ball and dribbled from her goal to the opposing team’s goal.  She drove through player after player (picture a 5’ 2”105lb. 80 year-old lady demonstrating) first one player then another.  In and out she flew towards the goal.  She was fast.  She was agile (picture 5’2”  105lb. 80 year-old lady almost knocking down several lamps in her demonstration).  She was unstoppable.  She could hear her mates cheering; the crowd of fifteen was going wild.  She approached the goal, deftly dodged the rushing goalie with an incredible spin move, wound up and fired at the now unguarded goal and……whiffed.

Mom did not remember who won the game.  She only remembered that she whiffed.  
“I did everything right.  It was the most beautiful run ever.  I dodged everyone and at the last second I whiffed.”  
And then she laughed.  Mom always thought the story was funny.  In her mind, if she hadn’t whiffed the story wouldn’t have been worth telling.

You do not always learn from success.  Years later few will remember a single goal scored.  A whiff will teach you humility.  A whiff will force you to have a sense of humor.  A whiff will make a good story.

It may seem strange, but mom was always proud of her “Great Field Hockey Whiff.”    

Sunday, August 21, 2016

THE CABINET

THE CABINET
Played golf today and on my way home I got a text from my SIL who runs a Hair Salon.  She needed me to stop by for something.  I was sweaty, thirsty and tired, but when I get a call from the SIL I show up. 
Hey, she gives me free haircuts!
It seems she is getting some new cabinetry tomorrow and needed an additional cabinet.  I’m not sure why, but I don’t question such stuff.  She showed me the cabinet she wanted, just like one she already had.  I took a picture and measurements and drove to Lowes.
Original cabinet
At Lowes, I asked someone who was busy doing absolutely nothing for some assistance.  He pointed to an aisle.  Thanks a lot!  I searched that aisle and there were all kinds of cabinets, but nothing like the one I needed.  Finally, I did see one that looked to be the right size and style, but I wanted to be sure of the size.  I went back to “Helpful Man” and he asked me about a dozen questions trying to figure out what cabinet I was taking about.  Finally, I just said,
“I think this is the cabinet I want, if you could just come with me and measure it I could decide in about 20 seconds.”
Twenty seconds later I decided this was as good as I could do.  I took a picture and texted it to SIL to be sure it was OK.  This was not an expensive cabinet, it looked nice enough, but it is only for a storage area.  The only difference I could see from what she wanted is this cabinet also had a small drawer.
Cabinet at Lowes
I then called SIL, but she was busy with a client and one of her stylists, Henry, took the call.  I don’t know Henry very well, he seems nice and apparently he does nice work, but when he took the call I had a “Say Yes To The Dress” moment.  Quick explanation:
On this show where a bride shops for her wedding dress, they often have the “gay” friend.  No matter what the dress looks like the gay friend has something to say.  He always wants to pick the dress regardless of what the bride thinks, and he disses every dress in that “gay way.”
“I love this dress, what do you think?”
“Oh Honey, it looks like some fluff just threw-up all over it.”
So Henry looks at the picture of the cabinet I sent and says, “Oh, I don’t know, it looks kind of ‘bath roomy’!”
Now I was still sweaty from golf, my throat was screaming for a beer and I just wanted to buy and deliver this cabinet and go home for a shower and that beer.  “BATH ROOMY?  It’s a storage cabinet and this is all they have!” I didn’t want to go to Home Depot and look any more.
Fortunately, SIL looked at the picture and gave me the OK.
When I dropped the cabinet off, it was in a zillion pieces and had three pages of directions to assemble it.  I hate reading directions and putting stuff together.  SIL asked if I was going to assemble it.  I said I’d be back tomorrow with Mrs. Cranky… Mrs. C loves doing that sort of thing. 
Turns out I’m off the hook, Henry put it together after I left.  Gay people do have mad skills.