“Four!”

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ARGENTINA Through Harold’s Lens:

The 2nd Hole Was Murder!!

Long par 4
Dog leg left
Lush green fairway
Long steep hill
Mountain capped by an area for putting.

The little boy was only ten
Nickname: Metty
Tiger of a tyke
Sixty-five pounds
Soaking wet
A four-foot runt.

Dad’s golf bag weighed thirty-one pounds
Stood three feet tall.

Lugging the golf bag up the 2nd hole
Murder by iron and leather.

Barely lift it
Sling it forward
Dump it down

Groan. Swish. Bump.

Groan. Swish. Bump.

Groan. Swish. Bump.

Dad said the bag built character
The small whippersnapper swore quietly
Older brother Chip had taught him the words
The older brother had schlepped the bag up the 2nd hole too
Now the torch was passed.

Groan. Swish. Bump.

All day
6,262 yards
The little nipper humped Dad’s golf bag around the golf course
Week after week
Month after month
For two years.

Groan. Swish. Bump.

Sweat dripped into eyes
Muscles roared with pain.

Groan. Swish. Bump.

Soon, Dad’s male golf tradition was passed
Younger brother Bart
Another runt.

Bart renamed the 2nd hole
“The Bastard”.

Groan. Swish. Bump.

Meanwhile, the shaveling Metty took up other sports
He retired
Other sports are part of his life
Remembers times with Dad
He now plays golf
Character was built.

I saw this old, heavy, sagging leather golf bag in Buenos Aires. It tweaked memories of the great times I had on the 2nd hole, at the Owasco Country Club in Auburn, New York, as I caddied for my Dad.

“Call of Terror”

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ARGENTINA Through Harold’s Lens:

USA.
Auburn, New York
4:12 am.
January 9, 1955.

The brass ringer bell on our rotary phone screams and screams and screams outside my bedroom door.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I’m in deep sleep.

Ring. Ring Ring.

I am only 14.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Old enough to know only bad comes with a call in the black of night.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I’m into horror movies.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I am terrified.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Slapping bare feet rip down the wooden hallway.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Total silence.

A mind-piercing scream rips through my bedroom door. I leap from my sheets. I tear open my door. I’m face to face with my Mother. Wracking in tears. Sucking for air. Eyes wide with terror.

“Maudie”, Mom gasps. The hospital. Her five-month old daughter. Dead. I wrap my arms around Mom’s heaving, sagging shoulders. Mom and I cry.

Please Lord. There is an order to birth. An order to death. Our children are not to die first.

A jet black old rotary in an antique store in Buenos Aires evokes a 50 year old painful memory of an ice cold January morning in upstate New York and the value of life.