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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ben Hogan Clubs and the Mustang

As I mentioned in my previous post I was bitten by the bug known as Golf.  Within a week of that first game and talking about it, one of my drivers said he knew where a second hand store had a set of golf clubs and bag for five dollars.  I figured for five bucks if even one club was worth a damn it was a good buy.  So sight unseen I bought my first set of golf clubs and it came complete with the most hideous light blue leather golf bag.  I went as much as I could that first year which was not much because I am poor.
My neighbor from across the street had to come out and comment about my stylish blue bag.  He and I had been playing a game all summer long where he would come over and catch me in the evenings and ask me about tires for his classic Mustang, which he loved more than anything else, or so I thought.  So I would bring home brochures and take them over and we would talk about tires for his beloved car.  All summer long, different brochures, pros and cons of this tire compared to that tire, and prices of tires, do they come in the right size for his car.  So finally winter was right around the corner and my neighbor still hadn't picked out any tires for his Mustang.  He was retired, so finally I suggested he come down to the tire warehouse and I would show him tire after tire until we picked out just the right set.
When he finally showed up at my work, I took a few minutes and walked him around the warehouse and we looked at all the different tires I had showed him over the summer through brochures and finally picked out a set of tires for his Mustang.  I found one of our tire dealers in Independence, where I live, a suburb of Kansas City, to put his tires on for free.  I sent my neighbor away with the tires and decided I would just have the company deduct them from my paycheck.  From time to time I perform random acts of kindness at my own personal expense for which I will probably always remain broke and poor.  But when my neighbor came over that evening to pay for his tires I told him not to worry about, I that was just glad his baby had new rubber on it before it got bad out, and I refused to take any money for the tires.
Low and behold I had no idea of my neighbors' true first love was GOLF!  That his car was a distant second.  For thirty years before retiring from the night shift at the Ford Motor Company Kansas City manufacturing facility, my neighbor played 18 holes of golf every afternoon for thirty years; he definitely could afford the tires, but that was never the point.  Besides being an avid golfer he also had an entire shop in his basement devoted to customizing and restoring golf clubs.  He asked me over for a minute to his house where upon entering his basement, every spot between the rafters was used to store golf clubs.  He showed me the golf clubs he was currently restoring.  He explained the unique and strange machines he had built to customize clubs to a individual user.  The man was an artisan of renowned skill.
He presented me a set of golf clubs in a nice slim black bag.  They were a matched set of beautiful clubs.  I explained if he knew how I played he wouldn't be giving me such a nice set of golf clubs.  I further explained how I shouldn't be allowed on a golf course because I play so poorly.  As I did with the tires for his car, he gave me the clubs and wouldn't take no for an answer.  I wouldn't know until later when I was golfing what my neighbor had bestowed upon me.  He never told me either.  He must have known I would find out in time, from the other golfers!
Every time I go golfing now I can't get through eighteen holes without some golfer coming up and asking if he can see my clubs.  I guess my neighbor gave me some limited edition set of Ben Hogan golf clubs.  Frankly I don't know how you can glance across a field and see a guys golf clubs and recognize them as something special but as of yet I am a very amateur golfer and that statement itself is stretching the truth.
For those that believe in Karma this is one of those things which show that no good deed goes un-noticed.  You may never know the true measure of the things you do.  The butterfly effect of the bit of help you give somebody, the kind word, letting somebody else go first in line, or helping somebody with some aspect of something you know about.  Maybe it's tires, maybe writing, maybe editing, you just never know.  It's too bad news agencies don't have a daily good deed reporting instead of sensationalizing all the really horrible stuff that happens throughout the course of the day.  My guess is the gems of kindness go unknown except to those who perhaps benefitted from someone's generosity.  Wonderful acts of kindness without regards to money or what is in it for the person performing the act do happen all the time!

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