Stream’s biggest fish

While other fathers took their sons hiking in the woods, or fishing in streams, and for an elite few, golfing at the country club …

My father found a unique way of combining all three.

The waters run deep

First, he’d roll the car to a stop at an undesignated shoulder of twisty country road. Then he’d cut off the engine. The “official” entrance of Winters Run country club was just over the rise, and, more importantly for my father

Out of sight.  

Two doors down, my friend’s father was an “official” member of the club.

Father and son time for them was perfecting the fine art of the golf swing.

Meanwhile, there I was  at the same golf course, but instead of sizing up the distance to the flag out on the middle of the fairway, in plain sight (with golf clubs and sporting the latest trend in spiked shoes), I was following my father under the cover of the tree line, wearing our oldest sneakers and holding my telescopic ball scoop.  By the time we reached the crooked run of rapids right in front of the 16th green the objective of our clandestine mission was clear.

The treasure trove of golf balls that had fallen short and lay submerged beneath.

Can you see the golf balls?

In short order we’d collected our fill.

Easier than catching fish from a bucket, it didn’t take long to pull to shore a good dozen or two balls, all the while marveling at the hubris of the golfers for so cavalierly leaving them behind.

Meanwhile, my father made the discovery of the day:

The mother lode of golf balls! The bounty was apparently corralled by an eddy collected in a hole, where they rested, predictably, just out of reach of the telescopic arm.  And so it was, my father walked across the plank of rocks to give it a better look.  The next thing I remember was a very big splash.

Father and son.  My dad had a thing for brightly colored ties.

Part karma and part fate:

My father got completely wet.

And yes, on that day (and many others) he was the biggest fish in the stream.

End note: My father insisted I play hole 17 and 18 on the way out.  And who was I to argue with my father even though I knew it wasn’t right?  Between looking for my friend, a country club official, and even the police (none of which showed up), I remember striking a good iron shot up onto the green of the 18th hole, and “one putting” it in.  By that time it was pretty much completely dark.  And yes my dad was still completely soaking wet.

Happy fathers day!

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