A trip for old, but not aging, friends…

The boys on the 18th hole at Pinehurst #2. That's D3 (yours truly), D1 (Dave Hemminger), flag bearer Bob Furstenau, and D2 (Dave Dahlquist). A special course with special friends.

The sometime recipients of my sporadic letters, Iowans all, convened in North Carolina last week for a weekend of boys golf.  Three Daves and a Bob.  If you’re Bob it was easy to get our attention because when he derisively yelled ‘Hey, nice shot Dave’ after our particularly un-noteworthy (and all too frequent) efforts, each of the three Daves collectively turned our heads.

We did it up right: Pinehurst #2 and a gem called Tobacco Road (probably as visually interesting a course as the golfer can ever walk) just up the road in Sanford.

But Pinehurst is special.  It is the complete golf experience.  It is the history and knowing all the greats have walked there before you (although they didn’t traipse to some of the out-of-the-way turf or sandy expanses our golf balls visited), plus the reputation, and the sheer golfiness of the place.  Not a tough walk by any means, especially when caddies Christian and Tom did the toting of our golf bags as they regaled us with local lore.  In the pro shop, Stonehouse golf prints hang proudly on the walls and still sell in great quantities according to the shop manager, and I need to report that happy news to Pat, my former partner in the business.  Our work – Pat’s work, really – has sold in the shop for more than a dozen years.

This was a trip among old (note: not aging) friends for which golf is a conduit to catch up on each other’s worlds on what is now an annual basis.  Last fall it was golf and a boat trip in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.  Who knows where we will land next fall.  That’s up to Bob, not D1-D2 or D3 (as we Daves called ourselves), as the newly-elected organizer.  Wine and cigars and stories (both true and not-so-true) will figure into the picture.  All of which will give me something to write to them about, and as you know, it’s far easier to give someone the needle in print.


November 8, 2011

Ellen/Reid: It doesn’t do much good to watch the calendar because Thanksgiving isn’t going to get here any earlier.  I can’t wait to see you two bumpkins (plus Tim and Henry, of course).  Reid, I’ll probably lounge around the airport until you arrive so we can cab it to Ellen’s.  The daily weather forecast shows a downward trend in temperatures for the Twin Cities but I’ll be ready for whatever comes our way.  Henry better be ready to walk.

We have yet to have our official first frost, but Felicia and I saw some dormant kudzu on our way back from Oak Island this weekend.  It means some of the lower-lying areas of the Carolinas have already see colder temps, but that hasn’t hit Charlotte as of yet.  I hope it stays away at least through this weekend so we don’t have any frost delays when us guys head over to Pinehurst to play.  They arrive late Thursday morning and we’re trying to line up a good spot where they can have a nice meal, some wine, and all the while overlook the Uptown area.  I’m chomping at the bit to play Pinehurst #2 although there are persistent worries that my game won’t make the trip with me.

The ocean was nice.  Kind of cold and very windy, but sunny and bright.  Almost deserted, which is what you’d expect of a spot that lives for summer visitors.  We stayed at some fleabag motel that was right on the beach facing the water.  But we had some of the best tuna I’ve ever had at a little spot in Southport called Fishy Fishy.  It was just divine.  We trundled up to Wilmington for part of a day then just sort of motored around the rest of the area when we weren’t walking the beach.  I saw a golf course and tried to temp her into playing 9 holes but for the life of us couldn’t find the clubhouse, so we returned to cruising.  It was a good weekend for relaxing, given all that has happened this year.  We needed the break from reality.  Now it’s back to the real world.

Ellen, I would plow ahead with the bath work.  Look at it as a creature comfort not so much as an investment, although it will increase the value of your house vis a vis the surrounding bungalows.  The single bath will continue to squeeze you, and you can always work on the upstairs to create a bedroom or master suite.  On the other hand my guess is that not unlike when you and Reid were peanuts on Polk Blvd., we simply had to look for a larger place.  That will probably occur to you, and already you have increased the value and desirability of your place with the wonderful new kitchen.  A huge selling point.  Price-wise, it’s perhaps not the best time to sell but it’s a reasonable time to buy.  It really is onward and upward.   That’s how families are.

So what I will think about is Thanksgiving, and being around you two guys (plus the aforementioned Tim and Henry).  It’ll be here before you know it, and I won’t have to worry about staring at that confounded calendar waiting for the day to come.

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