I was re-reading a couple of articles about "Steady Ed" Headrick in an old issue of Disc Golf World News (#63 Fall 2002) and fell upon this article again. Upon reading it, it got me to thinking about another facet of disc golf that affects everyone's life. A facet that helps most of us to realize that it's the little things in life that put smiles on our faces. In coming to this realization, we can, hopefully, remember to "not sweat the big stuff". So, here it is. It's the Parting Shots article written by Barrett White, I hope that I am not infringing upon anything "legal" with re-printing this article here. Enjoy....
A Year Later
I called in sick a few days before the anniversary, not because I was so overwhelmed with emotion, but because the Toboggan course was only going to be in the ground for a few more days, and it is too good of a course to miss one of the last few opportunities to play it. I almost missed going. I almost talked myself into another day at a job that is nowhere near as much fun as the course, and just last-minute called in and hit the road.
The course is amazing. Todd White did such a great thing in bringing it back for Am Nationals, and A3 Disc Club worked wonders in making it beautiful again. I played one round with some locals, who were nice enough to take me around the course. We ran into Mark Ellis and a group of the locals doing course work, and they spotted on one of the many blind holes for us. I then shot a second round solo, shooting pictures off every tee pad so that I could remember the course when it is gone for good. The weather was good, until the brief rain that hit when I was on hole 16's tee pad. Luckily for me, just as it started to pour, I heard someone call my name, and looked up to see Pad Timmons sitting in his car near the tee. He kindly allowed me to sit and chat in his car with him while the rain passed, which made a beautiful day even more fun.
Was it the most responsible decision of my life to call in sick to play golf? Hardly, but it is not even close to the least responsible either. It came down to having this huge national reminder of how fragile we all really are, and how temporary life is, and I couldn't rationalize maybe never playing this course I loved again. As I drove back into this amazing sunset of red and pink sun flares accented by grey-purple clouds, it hit me that we as golfers are pretty lucky. We have these amazing courses to play, and people dedicated enough to create and maintain them; there are players selfless enough to run tournaments so we can get together with our friends and compete at these beautiful courses; and we have this camaraderie that seems to be common to disc players everywhere. For those of us for whom work is a necessary evil means to an end, golf is a fabulous time that removes us entirely from the world where a boss thinks that it's not unreasonable to expect you to do six people's jobs for one person's low pay, and has no qualms about overtime, as long as it is you and you are salaried. Golf is a de-stressor that allows us to be social and competitive at beautiful places.
If you get to play every day, I hope you realize how lucky you are. It is a tough decision to be on the road for a living, but the bottom line is: you get to play every day. It's a pretty cool life, in the fun and games department. Money may occasionally rear its ugly head as an issue, but it does that for everybody, and most of us don't get to play every day. The weekend tourneys are our big-golf-fun wad, and it is tough to have that weekend dampened by the same stressors that inhabit every working day. Nobody makes every putt; some of us are thrilled when we get to 50/50 percentages. At the end of the day, however, almost everybody remembers the ones that you make, and the graciousness with which you competed. With all the bonuses of having picked disc golf, maybe we should spend more time remembering how lucky we are, and enjoy the good moments we have together.
Obviously, at the beginning of her story, Barrett, is referring to Ed Headrick's death (August 12, 2002). A blow to the entire disc golf community that will always be remembered ( I think I may start up a "Day of Disc Golf" every year to comemorate his death on the 12th of August). Another thing, as of when Barrett wrote this article, it was true that 2002 was suppose to be the last year for the temporary Tobaggan Course out at Kennisington Metro Park here in Michigan. However, that course was, again, brought back for the Am Nats and is continued to be used each year.
I hope that some of you take this article to heart and just think about how great this sport is. Also, think about how lucky we are with everything that Barrett wrote about in her story. Take care everyone.