David Bruce: Be a Work of Art — Games, Golf, Good Deeds

Games

• As a young man, Rabbi Yechiel Michel of Gustinin decided to learn to play chess. However, he immediately quit after learning that one of the rules of chess was that a move, once made, cannot be taken back. Rabbi Michel explained that such a rule went against Judaism, which believes that no act is final. After one commits a sin, one can repent.

Golf

• Even early in his career, golfer Sam Snead was able to drive the ball very well and very far. He once played Duke Gibson. On the first hole, Sam’s ball went 25 yards further than Duke’s ball, and Sam explained, “It must have hit a rock and bounced.” The same result occurred on the second hole, and the third, and the fourth, and on each hole Sam made the same “explanation.” An exasperated Duke finally asked Sam, “What the h*ll are you doing? Aiming at those d*mn rocks?”

• In 1997, Tiger Woods won the Master’s golf tournament and broke Jack Nicklaus’ old record, becoming the first African-American and Asian-American to win the Master’s. In 1975, the first African-American golfer ever to play in the Master’s was Lee Elder, who was present in 1997 when Tiger won. Tiger saw Mr. Elder and walked up to him to say, “Thanks for making this possible.”

• The caddies at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews in Scotland weren’t always literate. One caddy was seen “reading” a book at the caddie shelter, but another caddie pointed out that the book was upside down. The caddie with the book replied, “Any fool can read a book the right way up. It takes a good man to read it upside down.”

• Golfer Ben Hogan was famous for his powers of concentration on his own game. At the 1948 Masters, he played Claude Harmon. Playing the 12th hole, Mr. Hogan made a two, but Mr. Harmon made a hole in one. Afterward, Mr. Hogan said to Mr. Harmon, “That’s the first time I’ve ever made a two there. What did you have, Charlie?”

• A friend once took TV broadcaster Jim Burke to Kansas City’s Hillcrest Country Club to play a round of golf, but Mr. Burke got off to a poor start. On the very first tee, he swung at the ball — and he missed. Then he adjusted his stand, took a swing at the ball — and he missed again. At this point, he told his friend, “Tough course!”

• After Julie Foudy won an Olympic gold medal as a member of the United States women’s national soccer team, she became a celebrity. One young girl wrote her, “I hope this is Julie Foudy the soccer player. You are my hero. Finally, I have a role model. If it wasn’t for you, I’d probably have to play golf. I hate golf.”

Good Deeds

• A woman who calls herself “Moral12” when posting online at Helpothers.org wrote about a young woman — a foreign student — who had rented an unfurnished apartment and had nothing to put in it because of a lack of money. She even slept on the floor with only her coat to cover her. Moral12 telephoned the student and asked if she could bring over some free furniture and household items. The foreign student thanked her, and Moral12 began telephoning her friends. She writes, “One cleaned out her kitchen cabinets and provided pots and pans, some glassware, a jacket, a blanket. My mother raided her cabinets for items. My husband graciously consented to help play ‘moving man’ to transport our TV room loveseat, furniture cover, my daughter’s twin bed, mattress, box springs, and more. My colleague here at work went out and purchased a brand-new comforter set, a small set of silverware, dishes and glasses.” She and her husband then made three trips in their minivan and took the items to the foreign student. Moral12 writes, “She thanked me over and over again and could not believe that all these people whom she had not even met had given her all these things. I explained that people liked to help and that others had helped us in the past. She asked if there was anything she could do to repay us. I told her, ‘Yes, there is one thing you can do for us: when you are in a position to help others, please remember to try and help.’ With a smile on her face, she assured me that she would.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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