Around the Bend: The Masters and a master


I am steeped in the world of sports, but I have decided not to add my voice to the mighty wind of commentators. This will be an exception: The Masters

I only devoted a couple of hours a year to golf.  It is to watch the finish to The Masters. The setting and the reverence for the event make every finish dramatic whether it is has a runaway leader or sudden death playoff like this year.  Most dramatic for me was when the great  and beloved Arnold Palmer walked up the 18th fairway for the last time to the cheer of thousands.

Golf, the civilized sport. The silence when a player is about to strike the ball. The fans appreciation of all players. Everyone gets applauded. No hooting and hollering when someone is about to putt. Maybe part of this respect is that most of the spectators are golfers and know how hard it is as opposed to hitting a fast ball which most fans will never experience.

How refreshing golf is contrasted to the harsh uncivility one can face with other sports.  eg Sitting near to someone’s whose main calling is yelling at the refs can be so obnoxious and ignorant. Moving can be so liberating.

(This reminds me of a fellow I used to work with. A Hoosier, he was a standout athlete in three sports and a very straightforward fellow. He regularly drove by a country club. This respectful silence of golfers bugged him. "Shoot, I had to make foul shots when they were yelling  and waving at me."  When he drove by and saw a guy about to putt or drive he would lean on his horn. In retrospect, it’s remarkable how well Vern and I got along…)

So, once a year, I settle down and retreat to this gentlemanly world of golf in Augusta, Georgia. A footnote to his year’s tournament is the waterworks of Bubba Watson.  I could include him in a revised version of my "Men Crying" posting.


While the Masters was going on, one of Charlottesville’s grand traditions was going on: THe Friends of the  Library Book Sale. The Director is Bill Davis whom I met the first day I came to Charlottesville 30 years ago. For several years, he was the Assistant to  the dynamic Arthur and Jane Hess. The baton was passed on to THE right man for the job.

It is a very demanding job- physically, interpersonally in the supervising of so many volunteers and logistically-it takes intelligence to keep track of so much.  It was a few years ago in considering all that Bill manages with such grace that a light bulb went on and I realized that he is A Master.       

So, this is a salute to Bill and I wish that I could send him on a trip to Hawaii for some very deserved R&R!