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Men of a Certain Age

Posted by djingodjango on Monday, February 20, 2012

 

Men of a Certain Age

by George Locke

Men of a certain age. What do they want?

Well, that’s the question isn’t it?

Men and women of a certain age all share some common desires and interest.

Like being a good parent or grandparent.  Good health. Reasonably secure financially.

They hope they will be remembered when they no longer tread this good green earth but sing with the angels.

However I want to address those with waning amounts of testosterone because, although I sympathize and stand with the women I know, I will never be one.

As stated, men and women of a certain age want to be remembered when they are no longer here.

But I believe men wish this in truth and, in fiction.

When we were boys we dreamed of making The Show. We wanted to be Teddy Baseball in 1941 when he became the last man to hit over .400 – 37 home runs -120 RBI’s – 135 runs scored.

Or Carlton Fisk waving fair that home run in the 12th inning of game 6 of the 1975 World Series.

Bobby Orr flying through the air.

Havlicek stealing the inbound pass from Hal Greer in the final seconds of the ’66 NBA Eastern Championship game.

Perhaps it might have been wishing to be like your father or grandfather.

As for me, it was Sammy Sneed. 

“Slammin’ Sammy” who won more tournaments (81), and had more wins in a year (11) then anybody had or has in the history of the game. He wore a straw hat and it was said he had a perfect swing.

He played the game fair, calling two forfeits (which cost him the win) on himself rather then continuing the matches. *

And I would dream about these things when I crawled into bed, so tired from standing out in the sun for hours, it seemed, in right field  - with the taunting echo’s’ of my team mates when I was the last left to be picked and nobody wanted me.

I would think these things when I came home-beat and tired from long hours on the links where I caddied and occasionally played – never winning a match (the closest I ever came was tied on the 6th hole at the Laconia Country Club during the nine hole 1959 “Caddie Day” tournament – then losing on the 7th – a wicked short drop downhill to a fast green.)

Its funny how we never forget our “almost” and “could haves”.

Our defeats and follies on some days loom from the past much larger then they were lived and knocking us back on our heels.

We are men of a certain age who were boys once, relying on our charm, wit and élan to take us through life, and never suspecting that, once we reached that certain age, the dreams would re-appear.

The same dreams but with a different cast of characters.

A typical day of what we want at this age begins waking with our mouths not feeling all of the members of the Arsenal F.C. along with a few Man. U. chaps have run through it during the night. Several times.

It should begin with a hop and a bounce, doing ten pushups on the bedroom floor and then ten more with the left – then the right hand and bounding down stairs.  No need to stop at the bathroom. We haven’t had to go all night.

We skip the medicine cabinet, also, as our shelf for our medications is empty – filled with spider webs,

Down we sit at the breakfast table after whipping up an omelet that would bring tears of delight to Emril and downing several steaming pots of hot – black – coffee and then out to the garden to hand dig a half acre of topsoil, build several raised bed containers.

Before lunch.

Then it’s off to the golf course for a few  18 hole rounds, pausing on the way to give a few tips to the grateful pro.

Well. You sort of get where I’m going.

Boys become men – men become boys. It is a full circle.

What do I want?

I want for only ten seconds of my life to feel like Jeremy Lin staring down Kobe Bryant or Dirk Nowitski with only that many seconds on the game clock and trailing by two.

I want to be Lefty - teeing off for the last hole of his 2007 players championship win.

I want to be – add your own hero.

We become children again in so many ways as we grow older. Vying for attention, our world shrinks to include just our family or friends (although, I must admit Facebook and the web has widened things a bit.)

Old men do not see themselves as old men. We look at our peers and think – “My god. Those guys are old” – and then we realize they were our classmates.  We think of ourselves as we would wish to be, even, perhaps, as we once were and never for a moment understand the dream has matured and it really doesn’t matter who we wish we were.

So the question is, what do men of a certain age want?

I am reminded of the last lines in the movie “Saving Private Ryan”.

Old James Ryan: Tell me I have led a good life. 

Ryan’s Wife: What? 

Old James Ryan: Tell me I'm a good man.

 Ryan's Wife: You are. 

 

That’s what men of a certain age want to hear. That’s what men of a certain age want to be.  That’s what I want.

 

© 2012 George Locke

 

* Reminiscent of the 2000 movie directed by Robert Redford; with Will Smith and Matt Damon “The Legend of Bagger Vance", Sneed once forfeited a match (1952 Jacksonville open) when he and Doug Ford ended in a tie at the end of regulation play, and a ball he hit in the second round of play wobbled out of bounds behind a freshly moved OOB marker (the judge ruled he was ok because no one had told the players about it) and then in 1959 against Mason Rudolph when he played badly on purpose because on the 12th hole of the final round he realized he had more clubs in his bag then was allowed. He said later, since it was a nationally televised event, he didn’t want to embarrass the sponsors and officials by calling the match and ending it awkwardly.

 

 



1 comment on “Men of a Certain Age”

Hankon5 Says:
Monday, February 20, 2012 @8:29:05 AM

George--you hit a home run!!Thanks for the memories!

Hank

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