My granddad (mom’s side) played golf and taught me at a very young age. I don’t know exactly when. He made me a special club for my size by cutting down a regular club to fit me. We played every summer for many years. I thank him every time I play golf now. Golf has become one of my forests, a refuge from the world where I can disappear into myself like I was 8 yrs old again. It’s not typically a social event for me even tho I have friends I golf with regularly. I learned to play in Inola OK on a 9 hole course that was barely more than a cow pasture. There wasn’t all that much grass and the greens were kinda homemade and made of outdoor green fake grass carpet. We would play 9 holes and then take a break for lunch. My granddad always had a bag of pork rinds (ewwww) and an orange or strawberry soda from a vending machine. He smoked unfiltered Camel cigarettes for years. One day he decided to quit and he did. Just like that. He was a big man in stature and strong willed and I heard he was generally up for a fight any time when he was younger. He spent more time with me when I was young than either of my parents, at least in my memory. He retired from working at McDonnell Douglas airplane company in the 70’s sometime so he had plenty of time for me. The relationship eroded when I got older and he became sick. There are many stories about my granddad that I will get into later. He is probably the dominant human feature in my childhood epic.
My grandmother (moms side) was named DI. I named her that. See previous blogs for explanation. She read paperback books voraciously. A lot. There were always tons of romance novels and sci-fi novels. She raised dogs, poodles mostly, as a breeder and as a show handler till she got too old and frail to handle the chores. She was always in the shadow of my granddad in my eyes. I guess everyone needs to be ranked in some order when you are a kid so you can prioritize easily in a crisis. She was ranked #2 in that household. She wore moccasins. Those funny little white Indian kind with little beads on them for decoration. I think she got them at the same place all the time but I don’t remember where that was. That always seemed weird to me. Moccasins. She was small in stature and developed that old lady back hump. She lived next door but I know almost nothing about her. No real background story. The family just ended there. I never ever heard any mention that they ever had parents themselves. That’s sad. She was a staunch supporter of my endeavors. She would go to ball games but never was part of the event. I’m not sure how to explain it other than she was there only for me and nothing else. She was probably much more involved than I know but she was definitely one of my biggest fans whenever I was playing or performing, and I played and performed a lot. It made me happy that she was there. In fact my whole family including my sister were always supportive of my many activities and I liked it and appreciated it and fed off it in some way. I think one of the things that was most pleasant about it was that they could recognize and love me from a distance but there was always a fence to separate us. It was a good fit for me as it felt safer to be a a little separated from them. And very sad at the same time.