In Memory of My Dad #31

“Not even God can hit a one iron” –Lee Trevino

This is true.  Most golfers don’t even carry one of these bloody things in their bag.  The one iron is a confidence crusher, a fear trip not to be believed, an almost certain guarantee of shame, failure, dumbness and humiliation if you ever have to use one of the things in public view.

All golfers hate and fear the one iron.  It has no angle, no pitch nor any loft.  It is straight up and down like a putter, and the chances of a normal person getting a ball aloft with it are about 1000 to 1.

Few PGA players ever touch the one iron, and most amateurs won’t even have one in their bag, lest the pure ugliness of the iron poison the  beauty of their matched set of $500 clubs.

The one iron is so ugly, they will tell you; so evil and wrong by nature, that it’s mere presence in the bag will cause seven irons to fly off course.  It will make a Ben Crenshaw putt like some school boy whose only existence  is to see how far he can drive the ball.

The one iron is usually the cheapest club in the 50 percent off barrel which sits all alone among the seastraw hats and the Titlest visors.  Charlie Manson once said he’d rather hit a whippy hickory shafted Bobby Jones two iron than the best one iron made (I tell you this to show how diversified golfers are).  Or perhaps they’re just bedrock crazies.  Trevino said, “Not even God can hit a one iron”, which proved to be true in Trevino’s case—but so what?  I can flat out hit a one iron.  I can mortally kill a one iron.  The Ping Eye 2 Berylium one iron is my favorite golf club.

One night at Gene Cryer’s driving range in Pampa, Texas it felt so weird the first time I hefted a Ping one iron.  It felt like an extension of my arms that soft summer evening.  I teed the ball up and lashed it about 240 yards down the middle.

I then placed about five or six more out there where you could cover the whole bunch with a J.C. Penny sheet.  A deathly silence fell on the crowd that summer night at the driving range, as I continued to hit balls out at the 250 marker.

“Hot Damn,” I thought.  “This is it.  This is the club that will put my game on an entirely different plane.  This is wonderful.  The people were frozen and stunned, they made me an object of worship, a real hero of golf.

They were like law students watching closely as my old friend Mike Stone won five DWI cases in a row.  He worked best when he was under a bit of pressure and always in the face of huge odds.  Mike couldn’t hit the one iron, but in the courtroom he could walk with the kings.

Written by Bob Briggs

hehe, haha

My present condition allowed me to find this a tad bit humorous.

Baby Girl in 3D

I usually find myself most uninterested when pregnant women start pulling out a roll of black and white, grainy sonogram pictures showing off their upcoming bundle. 

I’m usually the one holding up the picture, squinting, turning it to the left, the right, upside down, right side over while oohing and aahhing when in reality I can’t tell heads nor tails of the dern thing.

“Oh, is that her nose?” 
“No that’s her toe.”
” Look at her cute chin.” 
“Uh.  That’s her elbow.”

Even on my own sonogram, after I’ve plopped myself on that table, I have to tell the sonographer to talk me through it.

So I know how you feel as I’m about to show you these pics of our little girl.  Yes, girl.  Nothing has changed.  They still identified those three little lines that look kinda like a hamburger and said it’s a girl.

  Out of the  approximately 18 pictures we got, there is only a couple that really show her sweet face, and I’m dying to share them with you, even though you may have to squint.  Even then I can’t promise that her eye might just  look a little like her foot.

 

Meet Emma Kate (for now anyway).  She has an absolute gigantic nose in this picture.  But I’m sure its only the position of the camera, aren’t you?  I don’t care.  I can’t wait to kiss that big honker.

yawning…….so sleepy

In this little picture, the arrow is pointing to her open mouth. 

Her nose completely changed appearance, and I can’t help but say it, but she has my nose.  In this picture anyway. J-Dub has this itty bitty nose which lacks those bulbous parts sticking on the side.
Those are her feet up there by her head.  She has folded herself up like a taco. 
The sonographer tried to get her to move around, but to no avail, at which she commented how she is not easily irritated, which makes me happy to know.  I hope she is never easily irritated.
 
I am 25 weeks along today, and there’s only  15 more measly little old weeks to endure.  The baby is weighing about 1.5 lbs (the weight of an average rutabaga….whatever that is) and is a little longer than a foot long sandwich from Subway.
 
So far, everything is going perfect.  God has blessed us through this pregnancy thus far and we are believing He will see us all the way to the end and then help us every step of the way raising her as we desperately try not to mess her up.  Too badly.
 
She is much loved already. 
And just so you know, these are the first of many pictures to come. 
Just wait until January!
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

In Memory of My Dad #31

This article was written by my dad on April 8, 1995 entitled Springing Eternal the Hunters Spirit Mingles in the Greenery.  Perhaps some of you hunters can see yourself in the description, and most of your hunter friends too.

The days are lengthening; green colors are showing beneath the yellowish brown cover of fall grasses, buds are showing on the fruit trees and another long winter is about to end.

Early Spring burst out in the hills to the east of Tahlequah and the whites of the dogwoods and the pinks of the redbuds bring out another phenomenon:  The return of the deer and turkey to their accustomed haunts.

The fundamental instincts of these creatures brought about each year simply seem to make the animals disappear from the face of the earth.  Even for the last two months, it’s as if they had been swallowed up by the earth.  And it’s not until about the first of March that they come out again from the deep canyons and heavy brush and become visible to their human neighbors.

Many people will not believe what I am about to say.  I remember a few years ago, when I interviewed the last (at that time) of the Whooping Cranes, there were doubting Thomases who denied that I had ever, in the middle of Dismal Swamp, Texas entertained a family of cranes and held a prolonged conversation with the head of the family while feeding them canned shrimp and anchovies.

There has been a many-antlered deer out on Webster flat for many years now.  Neighbors have seen him flitting across the darkening landscape, and he has been the quarry of many an ardent hunter these past hunting seasons.  As a matter of fact he and I have an understanding.  He lives in a growth of cedars not far from Art Webster’s house near a hillside watering tank.  Often we meet out by a large block of salt and he licks while I talk.

Now if you don’t believe this you had better stop reading now—especially if you are a deer hunter–because my old friend may be discussing you with a frankness which will not do your ego any good.

The afternoon was mild as I sat propped against a sweetgum tree, and old Lucky Buck worked out on the block of salt.  Finally he turned to me and said:  “Mr. Bob, people are sure enough funny, especially hunting people.”  I don’t know why it is, but all sorts of animals call me “Mister Bob”; deer, fox, ‘coons and all sorts of flying creatures. 

“I suppose,” he went on, “that we deer here in Cherokee County have had about a good a chance as any to study the hunting human.  And believe me, they are a strange lot.  Now being that you want the facts, I’ll give them to you.  And you write them down.

One of the oldest types of hunter is the Housekeeping Hunter.

This fellow arrives on his hunting lease in the early morning hours with a truck load of equipment and one or more hunting partners.  He is the boss of his own camp and a great stickler for detail.  While his companions look longingly out over the hills, he is picking the ideal campsite.  This may take three hours.  Then the others in his party are handed shovels and boy scout axes which brings about the job of erecting the tent.  Cots are then set up and the kitchen is installed with all the painstaking care of Admiral Byrd setting up camp in “Little America” in the Arctic.

On about the second day there is a supervised hunt for a couple of hours with no results, and the third day is reserved for breaking camp, reloading and policing up the area.”

So our interview came to an end, and in the interest of brevity I have condensed the other observations of Lucky Buck.

THE EXECUTIVE TYPE:
According to Lucky Buck, this man hunts from a tree stand.  The game is supposed to come to him.  Often he has a hole bored into a live oak limb, into which he slips a swivel chair, so that he can feel at ease and face up or downwind at will.  he spends a good deal of time drinking coffee that his toadies fetched for him, while sighting his rifle in on imaginary rhinos or cape buffalo, against the time he is voted in as president of Alaska or the king of Africa.

THE MEAT GETTER:
Works under the old belief that there are two kinds of venison, that with antlers and that without.  This man is of special interest to game wardens.  This mean is an elusive character, found mostly at night equipped with a powerful flashlight, poaching on private property and later found in the county judge’s office.  Often has wife or children along as a decoy.  Cries like a baby when caught.

THE STATUS HUNTER:
Often is accompanied by his wife.  Easily recognized by outdoor and hunting plumage, station wagon, and a certain amount of hopping from one hunting camp to another.  Is not considered a serious threat to the deer population, but does make an occasional input on armadillo, field mice and owls.  Only disaster that can happen to this boy is getting shot by his wife.

THE DRINKING HUNTER:
A boon to conservation (deer conservation that is).  Full of laughter and practical jokes, conversation and ‘who hit John’.  Usually can be found at convenience and package stores around town, thus enlivening the hunting season.  Likes to frame hunting companions by pretending he’s the game warden over the telephone.  Keeps odd hours.   Returns home from hunting trips laden with plenty of meat:  cured hams, smoked bacon, sausage and a tame turkey that he tries to pawn off as a freshly killed wild turkey.

MISCELLANEOUS HUNTER:
Shows up on frosty mornings with a .270 rifle and plenty of .30-06 ammo.  relaxing in his snuggly sleeping bag, he awaits dawn and D-Day, then suddenly remembers what it was he forgot to bring–his hunting license.

THE DISCOUNT STORE HUNTER:
Can be seen wearing the bright hunter orange vest, cap and gloves, searching for an inch of uninhabited land to hunt on.  Not finding this, can usually be found around a companion’s truck checking out the spike deer that his friend has been feeding for six months.  Drinks tons of coffee and talks about how it used to be.  Can be readily identified by the trinkling gadgets that can be heard two miles away.

Radio Contest

My husband, J-Dub, is a music nut.   He can tell you a song after hearing 2 notes played.  He knows the lyrics, the artists, the name of the album, and the year it was released. 

I, on the other hand, am a music flunkee.  I make up lyrics.  Whatever sounds close, that will work for me.   I mistake the sound of a fiddle for an electric guitar.  I think a woman’s singing when it’s actually a man.   I think The Beatles are The Monkees, I think Robert Palmer is Ronald Palmer.  Big deal.  I’m laughed at regularly, but I’m used to it by now. 

Today J-Dub is trying to win a radio contest.   It’s a big one.  Five hundred dollars to be given away to the ninth caller who can correctly identify a song by its first 3 notes that was played earlier.  And guess what?  J-Dub knows it.  He’s 100% positive.  He and his buddy had the cassett tape and rewound it over and over and over.  He’s appalled at the guesses of the people who have actually been caller #9.  All day he’s been trying to win this contest.  He only receives a busy signal, and the one time he did get through, he was caller #7.  It’s not as far-fetched as you might think.  He’s won several radio contests.  Maybe a free CD, maybe a couple of tickets to a show, but never anything as win-worthy as $500.

He’s been hauling hay all day, so a radio and a cell phone have been right handy for him.  Since he’s been home, we’ve been listening to the radio, ever attentively listening for the little jingle that signals the time to try to be caller #9. 

But now, he’s gone outside to do the chores, and I’ve been left in charge of winning this contest.  Me.  He has left me, the musical flunkee,  in charge of remembering the name of a song I’ve never heard before.  Oh the pressure. 

However he knows me oh-so-well, so before he walked out the door, he programmed the radio station number in my phone, and handed me a yellow sticky note on which he has written the name of the song, the artist, the phone number to the radio station, and which caller I’m supposed to be.  Just in case I need to know all that stuff.  And just so I won’t act like an idiot if I actually do win, he’s even written down what I’m supposed to say when they ask me, “What station makes you a winner?”

Knowing my luck, I’d have to stammer and stutter….”uh…..uh……100.3? 93.1? 87.9, The Car?  The Cat?” 

I wonder if they’d still give me the money if I was unable to identify their radio station?  Would they know I was a fraud?  Someone who never listens to their station, only when I’m forced to by my beloved?

So here I sit, needing to go to the bathroom.  But instead I’m frozen into place, ear turned to the speaker, white fisting my sticky note in one hand and my cell phone in the other while blogging with my tongue.  The ink on my sticky note smearing from my sweaty palm to a blue smudge by the time I make it to caller #9.

The stress is too much for me.  

J-Dub, where are you?????

 

In Memory of My Dad #30

Some little-known sports facts and a bit of elk lore

written by Bob Briggs

Abner Doubleday was thought to be the inventor of baseball while in Cooperstown, N.Y. so Cooperstown has become baseball’s adopted home.  However, Alexander Cartwright has been proved the actual inventor of the game.  Doubleday never even lived in Cooperstown.

Besides being thin-haired presidents, Gerald Ford and Dwight D. Eisenhower had something else in common:  both played college football.  Ford played at the University of Michigan, Eisenhower at West Point.

The Harlem Globetrotters got their start as a team that was sent on a grueling tour across the Midwest to play local teams in 1926.  Their now famous antics didn’t start until 1929.

Wilt Chamberlain played as a Globetrotter for a year before joining the NBA.  In 1962 the “Stilt” scored 4, 029 points, an amazing average of 50.4 points per game!  He had a 100 point game and a 55 rebound game as well.

The great center fielder Mickey Mantle of Commerce, Okla., began his career as a shortstop.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s real name is Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.

Roger Staubach won the coveted Heisman Trophy during his junior year of college while enrolled in the Naval Academy in 1963.  Staubach didn’t enter the NFL draft until 1969 because he served in the U.S. Navy.

Ted Williams missed nearly five seasons in Major League baseball due to serving his country as a flyer in the USMC during World War II and Korea.

After spending nine seasons as a professional basketball player, George Mikan, the first big man in basketball, became the first commissioner of the former American Basketball Association.

People in the know say that Sandy Koufax may have been the greatest pitcher ever had he not acquired chronic arthritis in his left elbow which forced him into early retirement.  Koufax also was the youngest man ever inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.  He was 36 when he took his place in Cooperstown.

Patrick Ewing was born in Jamaica.

****************

What comes to mind when you hear the word “fertility clinic”?  Probably a bunch of middle-aged ladies being bathed in perfumed waters, while being fed herbal concoctions while their husbands watch old movies and chew on an elk antler.

There has been quite an upsurge lately in the form of exotic animals, and a bunch of Canadians and Americans are in the business of supplying elk to the public, not just as a fertility enhancer, but for a plethora of ailments from boils to memory loss.

Elk raising is well suited to a lot of livestock operations.  The animals have to be worked, treated, bred, wormed, vaccinated, fed and pastured not unlike other cud chewers down through the ages.  Fencing, of course, has to be adapted along with the other working facilities.  As one old garrulous ranch hand told me, “It’s kind of like fencing in kangaroos.”

Elk velvet is the whole horn sawed off the bull elk in the velvet stage.  The market value, according to the old ranch hand, was $45 per pound.  The fresh horn or antler from a mature bull elk weighs about 10 pounds.  The live market for breeding animals is high.  Yearling heifers brought an average of $3,750 late last year, while yearling bulls went for an average of $1,300.  Young elk cows and mature bulls went for $4500 and up.

Other species like llamas, ostriches, emus, pot-bellied pigs, buffalo and catfish have also made inroads in the livestock operations throughout Oklahoma and Texas as additional sources of income.  Like the elk, supporters of these breeds of livestock talk up the practical side of these animals such as meat, milk, feathers, hide and tallow.  And they are quick to point out that eggs and breeding stock are very valuable and therefore, a good investment.

Elk have a value that is above and over elk burgers and market speculation—-antlers.  As the brochure says, “The magical and mystical elkhorn has been prescribed in countries such as Asia, China and Russia for virtually every disease known to man.

In our country the FDA requires proof before miracle cures and products can be advertised as such, so the promoters of elk velvet have a disclaimer printed which says, “we cannot make any medical claims for the product; however, we will let the product speak for itself.”

But then again, jogging, garlic, ginseng, megadoses of sunshine and Vitamin C, Mama’s chicken soup, Sunday School and loose shoes are all accepted as beneficial to health.  So far there has been no concrete proof that they are bad for you.  I’ve been taking my elk antler drops regularly.  Now we’ll have to wait and see if my hair starts to come back and if that slice has been cured.

 

Football!!

Football in Texas is kind of a big deal.  More specifically, small town Friday night high school football in Texas is kind of a big deal.  Especially in my area.   It seems the whole town gathers in a sea of green and gold to cheer on our home town boys, The Harvesters.  Yep, the Harvesters.  Not the Bears.  Not the Cougars.  Not anything that can shred you to bits with their teeth or their claws, but The Harvesters.  Don’t get me wrong, we carry a mean sickle let me tell you.  Or is it a scythe?  I certainly don’t know what that harvester is harvesting with.

This Friday night just so happens to be our homecoming game.  Which I would be false in assuming everyone understands.  It pretty much took all my life to be proved wrong.  It wasn’t until last year when my sister, who now lives in New Mexico, said “you know…..I think homecoming mums are a Texas thing.  No one around here does it.” 

I was caught a bit off guard.  If you don’t do homecoming mums, what do you do?  I just figured everyone did it the way we did.  Let me explain. 

Not only do the students deck themselves out in green and gold, spray paint their hair, and paint their faces, all in the name of school spirit, but for the homecoming game, shy boys awkwardly ask out nervous girls, and then buys a homecoming mum (the gawdier the better) to be pinned to their shirts.

  The girls return the favor by buying the boy a homecoming garter to wear on his arm.  A parade kicks off the festivities, and the next night the football stadium becomes a sea of  green and gold ribbons, bells, whistles, and even feathers.  Not only are there concession stands, but it is almost equivalent to a fair.  Booths are set up and the smells of  burgers, turkey legs, roasted corn on the cob, fajitas, and just about anything you can imagine wafts through the stadium.  At half time, a homecoming king and queen are crowned and everyone hopes the Harvesters pull off a win.

As if all this fun and frolic isn’t already giving you a headache, imagine how I feel knowing my sweet, little, tiny, innocent 7th grade niece actually has a date to this thing!  When did she grow up???  Now granted, my first homecoming date was in the 5th grade with a neighborhood boy named Ryan and I guess I turned out alright, but I really wasn’t expecting this so soon with Ash.  

That little girl who made Santa Claus beards with the bubbles in her bathtub now has a boy asking her to homecoming.  He bought her a mum, she bought him a garter, his parents are driving him over to pick her up, they’re going out to eat Mexican food before the game.  Oh my.  Oh my. 

My niece Ash doesn’t have the best table manners in the world, and J-Dub harps on her all the time.  I’ve even been the one to mention, “Ash, someday you’re going to have a date, and if you eat like a hog at the trough, that boy is never going to ask you on a second date.” 

I almost hope she eats like a hog at the trough.  
It’s a hard pill to swallow, this growing up stuff.
 

And then I think of this little bundle of pink who is busy growing toenails in my comfortable, safe womb, and a ripple of panic courses through my veins when I think that this day too will visit us.  One day, when we least expect it, she’s going to grow up and catch the eye of some boy who will ask her to an innocent homecoming football game.  We’ll blink our eyes, and before we know it J-Dub will be walking her down the aisle, giving her away to some stinky boy.

Whoever said “Time flies”  sure knew what he was talking about. 
I wish someone could figure out how to slow it down.