Last year, I lost quite a few days of vacation since I maxed out what I could roll over. So last Friday I took the day off work, intending to do nothing more than run errands for R, read and generally just lay around. Instead, I called my grandfather up and we got together in the early afternoon at Spivey for a round of golf. For those of you who don't know, my grandfather is a better than par golfer. At 86 years old. At least twice a week. He plays from the front tees now instead of the backs, but still... He can out drive me by a long shot. He hits straight and long, and most importantly, accurate. Every time. Not bad for a man who didn't take up the game until he was in his 40's, and then only so that my father couldn't have a sport in which he could beat him.
It's a pleasure to be schooled on the golf course by my grandfather. I don't spend enough time with him, what with kids, dogs, jobs, etc. I'm doing better than I have in the recent past though and try to do as much with him as possible.
It's more than just being out on the golf course, a worthy destination in itself. Being with a man who has so much experience in life, and so much still to teach. Not just golf, but life. Makes me think of the quote by George Bernard Shaw, "Youth is wasted on the young." I wish as a younger man I had the wisdom to really listen to what he said. I gleaned a lot, but I also have to admit that I resented his attempts to step in as a fatherly figure in my life.
My grandfather is a great man. He's one of the Greatest Generation. He lived through the depression in very rural Alabama, getting out during World War II and spending the war in India. The Army Air Corps gave him training in repairing avionics and instruments. After the war, he came home and gathered up my Grandmother and Father and moved to Atlanta to work for Delta Air Lines for 40 years. After being there for a few years, he was asked to serve on the Delta Employee Credit Union board, a position he held for over 50 years, representing both his department and later retirees.
He raised two kids and helped raise me and my sister after my father died back in 1985. Soon after my father's death, we moved to Lake Jodeco, just a few houses down from my Grandmother and Grandfather. They were gracious enough to keep an eye on us while my mother was flying for Eastern Air Lines in the late '80's. While I'm on the subject, my Grandmother was probably my best friend for many years. Needless to say, my Grandparents were very important in my life. Thankfully my Grandfather still is.