Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Golf, closed roads, and traffic

I'm a back roads person. If there are side streets, park roads, whatever that will get me where I'm going, that's my route. I remember years ago an older friend said to me, rather primly, that she always believed a straight line was the shortest distance between two points. Not me. I'll ramble, curve, backtrack, anything to avoid main thoroughfares with lots of traffic and stoplights and angry drivers.
But this time of year, one of my favorite scenic paths through park, along a golf course, and through a lovely residential district gets messed up. I saw it happen today. Cars parked on the front lawns of expensive homes; foot lanes marked with cones on the side of the road. Some roads blocked--no matter, I can go another way, at least for the time being. But soon roads will be blocked, and I'll have to go another way.What's the sense of having a convertible on a gorgeous day if you can't drive under trees? Who wants to drive through a business district?
It's time for the Crowne Plaza International Colonial Golf Tournament--in the day it was the Colonial N.I.T. and I've never gotten over calling it that. Whereas my Fort Worth kids eagerly anticipate it every year, I dread it. They like the partying, the people watching; I hate the traffic.
When the children were little, I used to drive by the tournament, saying to them, "Look at the silly people following the little white ball." Once their father and I took them to the tournament--disaster. We were  neither one smart enough about golf to tell them to be quiet, and we got dirty looks.
Would you believe my oldest son is now the accountant for a series of golf clubs and one of the highlights of his year is the Shell Tournament in Houston. Traitor. I wonder if the people in that neighborhood feel as I do?
I realize that in Fort Worth the Colonial has a big place in our civic history. Novels have been set there, and Priscilla and Cullen Davis cemented the tournament's significance as a people-watching place. Our golf tournament has, I suppose, helped create famous sports writers like Dan Jenkins. I like Dan but remain unimpressed, with a secret wish that some year they'd just cancel it.
I sound like a curmudgeon, don't I? Maybe I am. At least about golf. I've never undertood why people are so fanatical about it.

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