Danny & Family

Just Some Random Stories About Me and My Family

Friday, August 10, 2007

Golfing With My Dad

One of the fondest memories I have is playing golf with my dad. Papa Kirk, as my sisters and I called him, and as he was affectionately know to many other relatives and friends, was an avid golfer. It’s because of my Papa Kirk that I learned to play golf, and learned to love golf.

These days, due to family commitments and a busy work schedule, I rarely play golf. However, this Saturday (8-11-07), I will be playing golf in a tournament named in Papa’s memory. This is the forth year in a row that I’ve played in the DWP Golf Club tournament at Temeku in Temecula, CA. I’m not sure at what point the DWP renamed this golf outing the Carlos Aguirre Memorial Tournament, but I’m proud to be able to participate. I will be in a foursome with my mom (Mama Norma, as my sisters and I, and many others call her), my uncle Gilbert, and my cousin Michael.

For those readers who don’t recognize the acronym DWP, it stands for Department of Water and Power. The golf club’s participants are employees and retirees (and guests – like me) of the City of Los Angeles - DWP. I participated with my Papa in many a golf outing with this club during my high school years and shortly thereafter.

But the DWP tournaments were but a few of the total rounds of golf my Papa and I played. For years we would go to La Mirada golf course early on a Sunday morning and play the back nine. I can’t tell you how many times we were one of the first foursomes to tee off on the back nine, often times before daybreak. I had to give up a lot of sleep back then, but it was worth it.

We didn’t just play La Mirada, we played other area golf courses too. In fact, I remember when the City of Cerritos (where we lived) completed their golf course, Iron-Wood Nine. We played there many times too.

Papa was so proud of me when I joined my high school team. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was quite an accomplishment. I had only started playing golf in the summer before my sophomore year, and by the spring of my junior year I had made the team. Unlike other sports teams at school there was only one golf team: varsity. So after the season ended I was awarded a varsity letter, and my parents bought me a letterman’s jacket. At the time, I was not as proud about this as my Papa was. From my perspective, it didn’t compare to a varsity letterman who lettered in football, or baseball, or soccer, or track, or any of those more physically demanding sports.

During my senior year, my game improved and I moved into the # 2 spot on the squad. It was during this period of time when I was at the best of my game. After all, playing nine+ holes three times a week (twice with the team, and then again on Sunday morning’s with my Papa) and going to the driving range two times a week with the team; I was as best as I had ever been. After high school I started working, and the following fall started college, and Sunday mornings as well as DWP tournaments were few and far between.

My Papa and I still managed to play on occasion. Eventually, after my Mama retired, she learned how to play golf too; Papa taught her, of course. The three of us had several golf outings together, and they too are cherished memories. On August 18, 2000, there was a DWP tournament at Temeku that Papa Kirk played in. In his foursome was my Mama Norma and my Uncle Gilbert. The following day The Lord had an opening for a lefty in the Big Foursome in Heaven.

So tomorrow I will proudly play in a tournament at the course my Papa played his last round of golf at. I'm sure we will have a great time, as we have the last three years. I'll post my score after the tournament. My guess is that I'll shoot over 100, and that's okay with me.

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  • At August 10, 2007 9:35 AM, Blogger BreadBox said…

    It must be nice to know that your father would be proud of you!
    Michele sent me this afternoon,

  • At August 10, 2007 1:08 PM, Blogger Jennifer said…

    What sweet memories!! I hope that tomorrow is a good day for you!!
    Here from Michele's! :)

  • At August 10, 2007 1:11 PM, Blogger shoeaddict said…

    Michele sent me to tell you that this is a very sweet post. I'm a daddy's girl and I understand being close to one's father. I'm so glad for you that you have such a wonderful way to remember your dad and for others to do so as well.

  • At August 10, 2007 8:06 PM, Blogger Dak-Ind said…

    i love golf. i am a lousy golfer, but i love the pretty courses and the comraderie of a few friends whacking a ball around for a few yours.

    what a great memorial to your papa to have a tournament in the game he loved named for him, and what testimony to your love for him to play in it.

    michele sent me.

  • At August 11, 2007 4:31 PM, Blogger Diane said…

    What a great post, Dan. I wish I had taken up golf while my father was still around to play with. Good luck and here's betting you break 100

  • At August 11, 2007 9:23 PM, Anonymous gautami tripathy said…

    I don't know much about golf but I am glad michele sent me here to learn a bit about it.

    Remember papa would be watching you play. Do give your best shot!

  • At August 11, 2007 9:30 PM, Blogger D.O.M. Dan said…

    Breadbox, Jennifer, Shoeaddict, Dak-Ind, and Gautami Tripathy: I'm glad Michele sent you to say hello to me, and I thank you for your nice comments.

    Diane, Thank you. I know from reading your posts that you enjoyed many other things with your father.

    I had a great time playing golf today, I'm a little more tan and a lot more sore than yesterday, but did not break 100. That's what I get for playing once a year.

  • At August 12, 2007 1:05 AM, Blogger Dara said…

    Dan, this must be the night for Dad postings. Mine died 9 years ago on Aug. 20th at age 73 after a short illness. Here is the post I wrote on what would have been his 82nd birthday: http://daramusing.blogspot.com/2007/08/tangerine-dreams-and-marmalade-skies.html
    Glad you had a good golf day and thanks for stopping by.

  • At August 12, 2007 4:06 PM, Blogger Prunella Jones said…

    I don't know how to play golf. But any sport you can play in a short skirt sounds good to me! Glad you had fun.

  • At August 12, 2007 5:51 PM, Blogger M-M-M-Mishy said…

    I'm not a golfer (I'm barely a mini-golfer) but it sounds like you have fond memories of the sport and your dad. Hope is was a great day!

  • At August 12, 2007 7:18 PM, Blogger LA said…

    What a lovely tribute and memory to share! I think it's great that your dad played golf to the end.

    I was GTE for a number of years and used to play in GTE tourneys. If DWP took their golf as serious as the phone company did, it's quite an honor to have the company tournament named for you!

  • At August 12, 2007 7:19 PM, Blogger LA said…

    p.s. Did you live in Cerritos at the time of the plane crash? I worked (for GTE) in the building at Carmenita and 183rd a few years later. On my first day there, I wanted to know where the plane crash had been and was stunned to learn it was in the neighborhood kitty-corner to the office. That was a crazy and tragic day.

  • At August 13, 2007 6:40 AM, Blogger Jenster said…

    How very special! Can't wait to hear all about it. :o)

  • At August 13, 2007 12:19 PM, Blogger D.O.M. Dan said…

    LA, I know the GTE building you're referring to. Some other company is there now. I lived in Artesia at the time, @ 183rd due west of the crash site. I can still remember the thick black smoke. My parents' house in Cerritos was closer to the crash site, but northwest of it. It was scary close.

  • At August 14, 2007 9:37 PM, Blogger GetFlix said…

    Great post, Dan. I try and play once every summer with my brother, as we only really have a three or four month golf season every year.

    It's a little strange for me to imagine being able to play golf all year, with no snow. But that's the wild reality of life in California. The place I play at is really cheap, around $18. These is no irrigation, so the green can get a little rough.

  • At August 17, 2007 8:37 PM, Blogger v said…

    A great post, filled with fond memories. Thanks for sharing them with us.


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