Friends old and new

Guest Columnist

A weekend morning
Year 2011

I have basically two groups of friends and another group I will call acquaintances. The first group is made up of men my age. The other is a group of men in their 30’s and 40’s with whom I play a lot of golf. The conversations within these groups are quite different, as are the personalities.

The old folks reminisce about the good old days when men were men, when we made our own way in the world without ‘Big Brother’ telling us what to eat or read or think. Many of you are familiar with these conversations, I am sure. When we play golf, every shot is good, none of us cares who wins and eating lunch is the highlight of the day. With my acquaintances, it’s business, politics and so on.

Contrast that with one pair of friends who are part of the 30’s (Paul) and 40’s (Todd). We regularly play golf on either Saturday or Sunday. Occasionally we have an out of town golf excursion. They never call me on the phone — they text me! The civility of direct contact is not priority number one. Down the drain with direct verbal communication. It was hard enough for me to learn how to use my mobile phone. Now my pals force me to learn this new skill called “texting.”

Of course, as you can probably guess, once I succumbed to this “Pandora’s Box” of text messaging, I have received images from my young friends over the phone lines that make me blush. Imagine the gall. All of this nonsense is aimed at distracting me from my dedicated mission of winning our weekend game of golf.

Will it work? I think not! I know how to retaliate. I begin by complaining that my back hurts. I continue with yet another complaint that I can barely walk and it is difficult for me to see the ball. Lastly, I ask them to please have 9-1-1 on speed dial for the duration of our round of golf. Now I have them set up for what they think will be an easy win. Wrong again! I am going to have some fun with my weekend golf companions.

I arrive at the golf course to a chorus of “hey pappy, I am going to kick your butt today. I hope you brought your wallet.” That’s Paul talking. The second protagonist is Todd, and he is rolling his eyes in response to Paul’s greeting. The third protagonist is myself, Larry.

Let the game begin. Numerous bets are made and we are off. I will mention at this time that the only bet that is ever actually paid is that low score for the day does not pay for his lunch. The banter is constant, and we relentlessly needle each other. This begins at the first tee and continues until we walk off the 18th green.

To me, this is what friendship is about, a golf game with people you enjoy spending four-plus hours with and knowing it was time well spent. I think Todd and Paul feel the same, at least I hope they do. I am happy as long as I can hear that “hey, pappy, I’m going to kick your butt today” from my pals on the first tee.

Lastly, I would be remiss not to mention how very generous these fellows are. They often, and I emphasize often, buy my lunch. Thanks, guys. I love you both!

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2 Responses for “Friends old and new”

  1. Paul says:

    Well I also must agree as Paul; the comments made by Todd sum up the true story here. Dr. Larry (pappy) is a true inspiration to my golf game, life style, health and career. Todd and I find ourselves educating “Pappy” on a weekly basis on the know how of operating cell phones and discussing today’s techinical advances. “Pappy” treats us like one of his siblings and treats us as such. “Pappy” I truly believe he would give the shirt on his back to me or anyone else in need. I am hoping that by tomorrow his back problems have been resolved and there are no mulligans being used on every other hole. Love you Pops!!!!

  2. Todd says:

    As the individual referenced in this fine piece of journalism named Todd, I would like to clarify that the bigheartedness of us buying “Pappy’s” lunch is NOT due to his outstanding play on the golf course. We just feel sorry for him. In all honesty, Dr. Larry is a true friend and the father I always wish I had in real life. He always gives you great advice (whether you like it or not), both personally and professionally and would always be there if I needed anything. These are the traits and qualities that all young men should be fortunate to have with their protege’s. Finally, I would like to say – just bring your wallet and excuses this weekend Pappy! I love you too!

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