Cumberland Times-News

Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything

March 2, 2013

Some friendships are never put on hold

Now and then, someone asks if The Famous Company of Myrtle Beach Golfers still makes its annual trek to The Promised Land of Golf.

Sadly, we don’t. Our last trip was in Y2K.

I was the youngest by at least 10 years — in some cases, it was 20 and 30 — and only Charley Horse and I still live here. The others have passed on or moved away.

Digger has relocated to North Carolina, and once over the phone he told me he had noticed that all of the statues honoring Civil War heroes were facing north.

He said he asked some of the locals why this was so, and they just chuckled and said nothing, as if they knew something he didn’t — which is understandable; he is, after all, an expatriate Marylander and therefore a Yankee.

“They’re facing north,” I explained, “because that’s where the enemy came from.”

The men of The Famous Company were what you’d call professional types — lawyers, businessmen, a banker, a funeral director and so on — who were married to very nice ladies.

We left town on Friday morning and came home on Saturday of the following week, which gave us all of Sunday to recuperate.

Long about Thursday, I usually noticed that my comrades’ conversations included an awareness that they would have to start cleaning up their language before being reunited with their wives.

This was amusing to me, because I was an old-fashioned newspaperman who worked in an old-fashioned newsroom, and the nature of my language actually had improved.

Here are two examples of what I’m talking about:

One night, all eight of us ordered steaks, which were served on metal plates that — for what should have been obvious reasons — sat atop wooden trays.

“Be careful,” the waitress admonished each one as she brought our vittles. “These plates are hot.”

Before she even finished laying down the steaks, Pauline cut loose with a loud and colorful expression that you’d expect to be associated with a sudden and severe pain event, and he began to vigorously wave one hand.

Mother was sitting directly across from him, and he got up to lean as far over the table as he could in order to get in Pauline’s face.

“You dumb (word I have heard him use in front of his wife, although not often)!” he hollered. “Didn’t you just hear her say that plate was hot?”

That done, Mother sat back down to dismantle his own steak. Almost immediately, he let out a warhoop that echoed word-for-word what Pauline said — only it may have been louder — and began waving his hand.

This was the cue for the rest of us to chorus, as if we had rehearsed it, “You dumb ****! Didn’t you just hear her say that plate was hot?”

This generated considerable amusement among the neighboring diners and our waitress.

Truth is, we probably provided free entertainment for a lot of folks.

After the waitress brought us our food in a German restaurant, Digger took one look at the bounty of sausages and sauerkraut on our plates and suggested that each of us put $5 in a pot, with the money going to the first one who experienced what seemed to him the inevitable gastrointestinal consequences of eating such food.

A woman at a nearby table asked him, “Can I get in on that?”

Although the makeup of The Famous Company changed occasionally, there always were eight ... until the final year, when there were only four. When you do something for more than a quarter of a century, time has a way of catching up with you.

We also had an honorary member: George Lovenstein, a mutual friend from Cumberland who moved to Myrtle Beach in 1982. He would fill in if somebody wanted to take a day off from golf, or just hung out with us at other times.

George was better known to us and his other friends (who were like Abraham’s heirs, in that they surely were as numerous as the stars in the sky) as “Lovey.”

When the PGA began holding a senior tour golf tournament in Myrtle Beach, The Famous Company saw it as good reason for a road trip and included it in our calendar.

Lovey was a volunteer worker, and we always met up with him on the course. He occasionally snuck us into places where we probably shouldn’t have gone, but nobody seemed to mind because we were with Lovey.

He always was as glad to see us as we were to see him, and even though months may have passed, he made us feel like our friendships had never been put on hold.

Lovey was the happy, jovial type you immediately wanted to adopt as a friend, and that’s what he and I became years ago when the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament was held in the Allegany High gym.

It was three days and nights of hard work, great fun, high school basketball at its finest (we saw future college and NBA stars) and a chance to make new friends for everyone who was involved in any way.

Lovey was the official scorekeeper and sat at the same courtside table with our sportswriters — Suter Kegg, Jimmy Day, Gene “Goody” Goodrich, Mike Harvey and me.

We covered each night’s games in shifts, shared hilarious stories and stuffed ourselves with jelly beans (Day preferred licorice-flavored, which nobody else liked, so we gave ours to him) and freshly made soft pretzels, washed down with hot chocolate.

Except for those occasions in Myrtle Beach, I ran into Lovey only once after he moved away, and that was by chance a few years ago on the street near the newspaper.

Most folks think time travels only in one way — forward — but that’s not true. For far too brief a period in what then was the present, Lovey and I went back to revisit events that created and reinforced our friendship.

After reading one of my recent columns, his daughter told me that Lovey and I shared a birthday: January 20.

She said he and her mom were living nearby, and I promised to go there and visit him sometime.

Unfortunately, I won’t have that chance. All I can do now is offer my condolences to his family and tell them what an absolutely terrific guy he was. I expect they will hear the same from a lot of other folks.

Pauline, Digger, Whizzer, Mother, Sweetie, Jeemy, Marshmiller, Charley Horse, The Monsignor, Gramps, Kenny, Frankie, Goldy and, especially, Lovey:

Then, now and forever inseparable, our own small band of brothers ... The Famous Company of Myrtle Beach Golfers.

1
Text Only
Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything
  • He was here long before Duck Dynasty

    July 27, 2014

  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014

  • They’d have fallen like Autumn leaves

    So there we were, minding our own business (at least momentarily), leaning against the cannon at Little Round Top.

    July 13, 2014

  • Better read that french fry before you eat it

    People give me otherwise-insignificant items they hope will amuse or inspire me. I appreciate this. I’m always glad for free entertainment, which as Goldy’s Rule 33 says is everywhere. All you have to do is wait and it will come to you. Also, I have been writing columns for 37 years and embrace inspiration anywhere I can find it.

    July 6, 2014

  • The moose is loose, and it’s coming for you

    So how would you like to look out your kitchen door window onto your porch and see a moose looking back at you from close range?

    June 28, 2014

  • There are some debts you can never repay

    Today’s column will be relatively short, as my columns go, for reasons that should become apparent, and I thought long and hard before writing it.

    June 21, 2014

  • It could have saved the county a lot of money

    Random thoughts sometimes occur to me when I least expect it, usually when my brain has become tired.
    When I voice these thoughts at work or in other places, people may tell me, “Goldy? It’s time for you to go home.” Yes, ma’am.
    Here are two random thoughts of recent vintage:
    • If Bugs Bunny were an Emergency Medical Technician, would that make him a MedicHare?
    • If Daisy Duck got a job driving for United Parcel Service, would she be an UPS-a-Daisy?
    I wouldn’t blame you if you think that sounds Goofy — or Daffy.

    June 15, 2014

  • These two were part of the Not Top Ten

    Occasionally, at this time of year, I see reference to a “class orator” or a “class speaker.”

    Nothing wrong with that — people can call such things whatever they want, as far as I’m concerned — but it makes me wonder. Have “valedictorian” and “salutatorian” become politically incorrect, and I didn’t notice? It may come as a surprise to you, but I really have not kept up with what is politically correct or incorrect. That’s what people tell me, anyway. With some of them, it actually seems to be a compliment.

    June 8, 2014

  • Coming soon to a highway near you?

    People say to me, “Goldy? Can I ask you a stupid question?”

    In theory — and theory only — the correct response is: “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” Not so much. There ARE stupid questions, some of them so stupid that to call them stupid is to damn them with faint praise. Other questions are — on the face of it — legitimate questions, but shouldn’t be treated as such ... not if you subscribe to the same philosophy that I do: Free entertainment is everywhere; all you have to do is wait, and it will come to you.

    June 1, 2014

  • This was a skill that proved very useful

    The Belmont Park stewards have decided to let California Chrome wear his nasal strip during the Run for the Carnations. Nasal strips usually are worn by people who snore and may have saved numerous marriages. It helps the Triple Crown hopeful to breathe, and some twolegged athletes wear nasal strips for the same reason. In this case, Chrome’s nasal strip may keep him from (wait for it) ... losing by a nose.

    May 25, 2014

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads