The men who want to be mentors seldom are and those who never take the time are gods to boys who need them. -Intellectual Shaman
I stuttered growing up and spending time with someone similarly afflicted always messed with my head. Larry was 6 feet 5 inches tall, a towering black man with a big heart. He always peddled some sort of advice or tried to sell me his golf clubs and gear that were three sizes too big.
“Just try em out,” he said. “See if you like em.” They’re Mizuno blades; worth 800, but I’ll give you them for 5. I’m buyin the MP-32s—latest model. They’re sweet.” He said this with a kind grin. Larry and I took golf lessons together from the same coach.
At that time, Larry was a marshal and I was a cart kid.
I was feeding range balls into the washer when Daryl and Larry entered.
“Just look at him work,” Daryl said. “He works twice as hard as you and gets paid twice as less.” Does that seem fair?”
Hey, come on,” Larry said. “Do…do…do you think I have anything to do with how he gets paid.”
“I’m just messin with you, guy.”
“Pro shop to Larry…pro shop to Larry.”
“This is Larry.”
“There’s a guy who’s snuck on hole number 10 without paying. Go collect.”
Larry looked at his radio helplessly.
“I guess you aren’t overpaid,” Daryl said.
Larry slunk out of the driving range to go tell-off the outlaw. Every golfer I know has snuck-on at one time or another. It wasn’t long until we heard more radio chatter.
“Larry to pro shop. The gu…gu…guy isn’t moooving.”
Fat Tom walked by. “That was a load of shit you just said Larry.”
“Tom, can you go help him out, a guy snuck on,” Daryl said.
“Oh, he did, did he? I’ll crucify that son-of-a-bitch. And he’s giving one of our marshals lip? That guy will never set foot on this course again.”
“You might not want to threaten him and just insist he pays,” Daryl counseled. “The course wants repeat business.”
“I’ll give him the business!” Tom yelled. And his fat face turned blotchy red. He was an ex-cop who never really left the policy force.
I went back to wash more golf carts. From the barn, I could see Tom had the golfer with one arm pinned behind his back.
“March!” He ordered. And the poor bastard got escorted towards the pro shop.
“Do you know how much money I have?” The man yelled. “I’ll sue your ass!”
“And to think you couldn’t have spent 20 dollars for a round of golf. Anybody who threatens me is a sorry son-of-a-bitch. I’ve got buddies who know just what to do with you.”
I looked at the guy. He was having a really bad day and he’d just picked a fight with the worst kind; a man who was nostalgic for his sadistic past.