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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hot Golf, Cool Baseball, Green Dreams

My mom's parched backyard

Only a few days remaining in our stateside travels before a most welcome return to Costa Rica. It’s amazing just how good the “green season” sounds, even with its promise of thunderstorms, after a couple of weeks of West Texas weather: bone dry, boiling hot days of 100+ temperatures and long, slow-roasting evenings in the 90’s. How do people live here, I ask myself over and over. In fact, I’ve asked a few residents and no one seems to have an answer. They get a silly grin on their faces, roll their eyes and shrug their shoulders.
But live here they do and incredibly, they even go outside during the day and survive -- grocery shopping, going to work, visiting the library, running errands. They even play golf!
Goodwill golf clubs
Which leads me to my topic for the day, my new golf clubs. Layne and I had transported our good clubs and bigheaded drivers from California to Portland last summer, thinking that with all the family golf players in Oregon, we’d probably get the most use out of them there. Climate change has made us re-think that notion since during most of our June visit this year, the weather was rainy and chilly -- not exactly my idea of good golf weather. We had a few nice days and managed to make the most of them with nine holes at King City one day and eighteen at Tri Mountain another. But we also had in mind putting together a set of clubs for use here in Texas so we could play when visiting my mom and perhaps even transporting some down to Costa Rica as well.
Since I’m not a terribly serious or skilled golfer, it had occurred to me that I might find an inexpensive set of clubs here in Texas on Craigslist. Indeed, there were some offered but none that fit the bill. I needed women’s clubs and didn’t want to spend much. But I never expected to find the clubs I needed at Goodwill.
Mother and I had gone to an enormous thrift store in town, Christians in Action. They had huge racks of clubs, organized only by size -- all 4 irons, 5 irons, etc. jammed together on stacked wooden frames. To figure out which were women’s clubs was a gargantuan project. Although the clubs were bargain-priced at $2.39 each, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of clubs and the undertaking I faced in finding what I wanted from the hundreds there.
So-called "fairway" on the 5th hole
So on we went to Goodwill to see what they might have. What a surprise to find only a small number of clubs, easy to sort through, standing in a large open box. I quickly noticed “First Lady” on an iron and realized it was a woman’s club. It looked in pretty good shape so I continued looking through the selection and found the entire set was there, from the driver to 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 irons and a wedge -- all of the same brand, all in darned good condition. The price? Wait for it… 99 cents each! And if that wasn’t bonanza enough, I also found a nice bag, in better condition than my own, for $2.98. I got the whole set for about $12.
That’s the good news. The bad news was the condition of the municipal course I played on. Fairway? What fairway? Oh, you mean that dried out corridor with scraggly grass here and there and hard dirt everywhere else? Given the desperate drought conditions hereabouts, however, one could expect nothing else. So I’ve played twice now, early in the morning to avoid the heat, making the best of the course conditions and finding myself quite satisfied with my new irons. The driver leaves much to be desired but that may just be “operator error.”
It seems the secret to survival in this weather is to find something fun to do inside an air-conditioned building. To that end, Mother and I jumped in her air-conditioned car and drove a few blocks over to the air-conditioned Quartermaster Building at Fort Concho where a fascinating exhibit is on display depicting the history of women in baseball. Linedrives and Lipstick: The Untold Story of Women’s Baseball dispels the myth of women’s baseball as only a brief phenomenon of the 1940’s when the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was in its heyday, later celebrated in the movie, “A League of Their Own,” starring Tom Hanks, Madonna and Geena Davis. Through photos, original posters, framed postcards, game programs and magazine articles, the exhibit reveals the birth of women’s ball in the mid-1800’s through the onset of the sport at women’s colleges, such as Vassar in 1866 and Smith College in 1879, and on to the present day crop of outstanding athletes swinging bats and hurling balls. Organized by Mid-America Arts Alliance, which takes their exhibitions into just 100 small and medium-sized communities each year, the exhibit in San Angelo is the only stop for the show in Texas. If Linedrives and Lipstick comes to your area, don’t miss it. It was well worth going out in the heat.
Now it’s on to Costa Rica and the luscious tropical weather I love. Pura Vida, here we come! 

1 comment:

  1. Its really look good the green season sounds, even with its promise of thunderstorms, after a couple of weeks of West Texas weather...Thanks alot.