A Return To The Links: Giving the Game Another Go

The author captured this photo of a golfer hitting an approach shot earlier this spring.

For pretty much all of my life, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the game of golf.

It has given me many great memories; yet it has cost me dearly, both physically and emotionally.

Today, just two weeks past my 52nd birthday, I’ve made a decision to take the game up again.

I’m Tiger Woods Redux, only paler and fatter and older and nowhere near as good as he is … left-handed.

 

I went out and low balled the heck out of second golf career, spending $300 for clubs, a bag, a glove, 36 balls, 100 tees, and a pair of Nike Golf Shoes.

Less than a mile from house, there is a nine-hole Par 3 course. The Short Beach Golf Course, it’s called.

It’s only $10 a round, so that’s where I’ll start my comeback.

Hole by hole, I’ll play to the future. Getting better, I hope, while both my weight and my score drop lower and lower.

As I sit here thinking about my next first round, I can’t help but dance with the ghosts of my foursome as I tee off on this thought and making it become a reality.

• • •

Insert wiggly flashback special effects here.

• • •

I was just a boy that day my dad and I went to the golf course in Eddington. Watchoverya, is what I called. Even today, I don’t know how to spell it.

It’s where I first swung a club and even though it’s long gone now–closed, defunct, overgrown, no doubt–it still holds a special place in my heart for that reason.

Father. Son. Bonding over a sport.

Golf is one of my favorite memories with my dad. And that’s where it all started.

• • •

Insert wiggly flashback special effects here.

• • •

In middle school, eighth grade to be exact, I had a student teacher named Mr. Blodgett.

Donald Blodgett from Penobscot, Maine.

Growing up in a small town like Orrington, Maine, most of my teachers were wily and cagey veterans. Too damn old to be cool or to be able to reach students on a certain level. It was there way or the highway.

They wouldn’t put up with much bullshit and—as good old Robert Bradford, a science teacher, showed me that same year—if you dished out you’d get a punch straight to the forehead.

But, I digress. Mr. Blodgett was probably my first “favorite teacher”, even if he was just a student teacher who would be gone by the end of the year. He was cool and it was fun to be in his class.

Once the school year was over, I was saddened to see Mr. Blodgett go. But one of my favorite middle school memories was playing a round of golf with him that following summer at the Pine Hill Golf Club.

I also made one of my all-time great golf shots that day: A long, winding, twisting putt from one end of the green to the other that found nothing but the bottom of the cup.

I knew where my golf had gone after that. I never knew what happened to Mr. Blodgett.

Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, though, I found out for this post.

Mr. Blodgett lives in Scarborough and retired from the Old Orchard Beach school system.

I wonder how his golf game is. Chances are when I’m out on the course later this week, he’ll surely cross my mind.

And thanks, Mr. Blodgett, for having such an effect on a student before your career truly got off the ground.

• • •

Insert wiggly flashback special effects here.

• • •

I was 19 going on 20 and it was at a time when I loved three things.

My new job as a sports assistant at the Bangor Daily News; my new girlfriend, Jennifer; and the game of golf.

Any chance I got I would tee it up and play. Bangor Muni, Pine Hill, Woodland Terrace. My friends and I would even trek to Portland to play when we could.

That summer I got pretty good, or at least I thought I did.

I shot an 84 at Woodland Terrace, a Par 60 course – my lowest score ever for 18 holes. And I shot a 93 at Bangor Muni, my best-ever score on a real par 72-course.

One day, playing the sixth hole at Bangor Muni, a 169-yard par 3, I struck the ball perfectly. Seven iron, if I remember right.

I watched my shot sail into the sky, reach an apex and fall back to earth.

It was a pinseeker if there ever was one and for the only time in my life I thought I might get a hole-in-one.

The ball landed and skipped slightly left, winding up four inches wide of the hole.

I tapped in for birdie. So close and yet so far.

That’s the thing about golf.

You can stink it up for 17 holes and then hit three perfect shots on the 18th and walk off with a birdie.

And that’s what keeps you coming back.

If you can do it once, why can’t you do it all the time.

And doing it all the time is what cost me my relationship with Jennifer. Instead of walking back, I walked away.

Golf got in the way, she got angry and the eyes of another caught my attention.

That led me down a path where I got away from golf a little bit, playing only from time to time.

Did golf remind me of what I lost too much? Hard to say, even all these years later.

But I never forgave the game for what it cost me.

• • •

Insert wiggly flashback special effects here.

• • •

The last time I played golf was in Somersworth, N.H. The year was 2000? Maybe 2001.

I don’t even remember the name of the course.

I just remember taking a shot, hearing a pop and feeling a burning sensation in my right shoulder blade.

Just like that, the golf clubs were put in a closet for good.

I haven’t played a round since.

How much will I play in the future?

Who knows?

Will my shoulder handle the wear or tear again?

Who knows?

Will I find the sport a bore, a bad walk spoiled and thus have wasted all this money giving it a go?

Again, I ask, Who knows?

But I’m going to try to comeback. Just like Tiger did.

He has the whole world watching.

I have nobody.

So let’s tee it up, let it fly (in whatever direction it heads) and we’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, “Fore!”

Advertisements

Remembering my 13-mile long classroom

Many of my friends and former classmates are mourning the loss of a former teacher today.

The news of Jeffrey Johnson’s passing takes many of us back to our high school days, to our interactions with him and how he changed our lives.

I never had Mr. Johnson as a teacher, however.

Instead, he changed my world as a friend, and I realize now – suddenly, now that he’s gone — what a debt of gratitude I owe the man.

As the crow flies, my family home in Orrington, Maine, was just about two miles or so from Hampden Academy, the school from which I graduated.

It was directly across the Penobscot River and from certain points in Orrington you could look across the river and the see the school.

By car, however, it was 13 miles away … six-plus miles to Brewer, across the bridge to Bangor, and six-plus miles to Hampden on the other side of the river.

When I made the decision to transfer from John Bapst Memorial High School to Hampden Academy for my senior year, transportation was my biggest hurdle.

This is where Jeff Johnson changed my life.

I had known Jeff prior to my year at Hampden Academy. In fact, looking back on it, I had known him when I was in middle school.

He lived in Bucksport, the town south of my hometown, and was a regular visitor to the convenience store my mother and step-father owned.

As one of my stomping ground places where I spent much of my time, I got to know Jeff and his wife, Pam, also a teacher, enough to ask them a big-time question leading into my senior year.

Could I hitch a ride to school every day?

As far as I know, they never gave it a second thought.

So pretty much every morning from Labor Day of 1983 to graduation in 1984, I would walk a half mile from my house to the Main Road where Jeff and Pam would pick me up and allow me to attend Hampden Academy.

Every morning, we would talk about life and love, family and education.

(As an athlete who always stayed after school for practices, I rarely if ever got a ride home. Instead, I hitchhiked the journey home … though that, too, became a regular journey of regulars who would pick me up and drop me off at certain spots).

The Johnson family decision to allow me to ride with them to school changed my life.

First and foremost it allowed me to avoid attending Brewer High School, a thought I dreaded.

It gave me a new set of friends I still care about to this day.

And, it opened my door to two new English courses, one of which was journalism, pushing me further down the path that would become my life’s career.

I’m sure I thanked Mr. Johnson for the rides back then, but only today – after hearing of his passing – did the magnitude of them hit me.

My heart hurts knowing he’s gone, but what an effect he had on so many lives, as a teacher … and as a friend.

Thanks again, JJ.

May you rest in peace.

Dear Lottery Winner, What if?

Dear $758 Million Lottery Winner,

I woke up this morning and discovered the bad news. I was not the big money winner of last night’s Powerball drawing.

Instead, you were.

Congratulations.

Then, I discovered more bad news.

After walking up to my local deli, and plugging my own two lottery tickets under the scanner (I didn’t even bother to check the actually numbers) I learned I won $4 on one ticket and another $4 on the next ticket.

That’s $8 out of your winnings going into my pocket. Eight bucks worth of food out our your mouth and into my belly.

I’m sure you’ll find a way to survive. I just hope you’re wise enough to thrive with such winnings.

To paraphrase Voltaire – or maybe it was Spiderman – with great money comes great responsibility.

Spend wisely.

Last night, after hearing  a promo for the upcoming drawing, I allowed myself to briefly wander into the “What if” land of a Lottery Wannabe.

What if by shit luck and circumstance my numbers came up.

Well, first and foremost, I know I wouldn’t have been pocketing $758 million.

According to USAMega Website, “If the winner opts for the lump sum cash payout, as most do, then he or she is being awarded $443,300,000.”

That’s before the United States Federal Government steps in, though.

Federal taxes would steal $110,825,000 — for “45’s” golf fees? State taxes would eat up another $22 million or so.

I’d have to pay my mother $1 million as the obligatory thank you for raising me, as well.

In other words, the $758 million actually becomes something closer to $310 million.

Still wouldn’t fit in my wallet, but you get my point.

So back to my “What if?” scenario.

I’m sure the first year would be just silly and ridiculous in terms of blowing money like it grew on trees. In fact, I might even have paid somebody to place the money on trees at the house I bought so I could just pick it off and spend it.

But in my 51 years and three months on this planet, I like to think I’ve lived rather frugally.

No silver spoon here, folk. I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck for all of my life because I chose a career that made me happy, even if it left my wallet light.

As a lottery winner, I thought to myself, I could live off of $2 million a year quite easily.

If I have 20 years of life left in me, that’s $40 million spent just living – which means I would have close to $200 million left over, even with my initial spending binge.

One of two things would happen, I think.

I’d either be making a bunch of strippers very happy, or I’d have my name on something.

A gymnasium somewhere, I suppose. Or a new wing of a journalism building at some college campus.

I’d give a lot to education because if there is one thing I’ve learned in a half century of life, education is the way out of the mess this country has made for itself.

Instead of continuing to fall behind, why not start taking the steps to catch up.

Maybe I’d buy a weekly newspaper somewhere and as publisher just run it right, not giving a flying fig about the bottom line of the financial books, but the bottom line of Page 36.

We lost a $1 million last year? No problem. Here it is from my lottery winnings. But we did journalism right!

That’s the way I’d professionally want to go out.

Sadly, in this day age of the Fifth Estate, I’m likely going out as a Walmart greeter, informing the public that there’s a 2-for-1 savings on toilet paper in aisle seven.

But all that, of course, was in the “What if?” world.

In the real world, I won $8 playing Power Ball.

I bought a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, and a 20-ounce coffee for $5.44. I pocketed the other $2, waiting for the next time the lottery hits a couple of hundred million.

Then, realizing I had spent $20 in tickets to win that $8 prize, I started to head off into the “What if” world again.

What if I had that $12 back? What would I spend it on?

The Quitter

She quit. She packed up her gear, walked out of the dugout, said something to the head coach and walked away from the field, not looking back, leaving behind eight teammates to ask, “What the hell just happened?”

She just quit.

It was the bottom of the fourth inning in a two-run game.

This is the story of Sara. (Not her real name). OK, it is her real name, but I’m not putting a last name or what team she played for, so I’m hiding her anonymity so future potential employers won’t know she’s a quitter who will walk away when it’s time to learn something, or won’t know she’s the worst kind of team player imaginable.

She is … or, well, was … a travel softball player and right away the coaching staff knew there would be some issues.

She was what some people would call soft.

She would ground out, she would pout.

She would strikeout, she would pout.

Because she lacked foot-speed, she got thrown out from right field. Her head was gone for good, at that point.

Sara was part of the team because the team needed her. Due to some early summer-season number issues, which had players on the roster doing internships, working and taking vacations, it was a struggle to field a team, so when somebody suggested a pitcher to the head coach, he welcomed her.

So, too, did the team.

Sara was shy and always stood away from the team. She had to be invited into the team’s inner circle, but by the third tournament of the season she was part of the team, one of three pitchers used in a regular rotation.

She was a slightly below average pitcher, pitching over head against some tough summer competition. She probably threw more balls than strikes. And, she was a really below average hitter.

But softball, like baseball, is a game where you’re going to fail more than you’re going to succeed.

Mentally, she was never able to embrace that, and her negative Nellie attitude was draining on a team that was struggling to find its first win of the summer.

On Sunday, the team was in the thick of a battle in a game it could win.

Then, in the fourth inning, with runners on second and third, Sara — her team’s starting pitcher — stepped to the plate with one out.

It was a defining moment in the game. It proved to be a defining moment in her young life.

The third base coach gave her the suicide squeeze sign — which for those of you who aren’t sports fans is a simple bunt that must be put into play because the runner at third base is racing home at full speed.

The pitcher delivered. The runner at third broke for home with the pitch. Sara swung and missed. Fortunately, the catcher dropped the ball and the runner was able scramble back to third base.

From third base the head coach bellowed, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WE’RE SQUEEZING.”

Sara just looked dumbfounded.

“Do it again,” the coach ordered, giving the sign.

Then he added, “We’re squeezing.”

He told Sara. He told the defense. He world the world.

He was calling a suicide squeeze. Again.

The pitcher delivered. The runner at third broke for home with the pitch. Sara swung and missed. Again. Didn’t even pretend she was looking to bunt.

“SARA! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

The coach was angry. His coaching staff was stunned. She missed the sign twice and missed a verbal instruction that was as obvious as a sun in the sky.

When queried as to what she was thinking, Sara waved her hand at her coach and stepped back into the batter’s box.

The next pitch painted the outside corner. Strike three.

Sara stormed back to the dugout. Behind her teammates, behind her coaching staff, in the back of the dugout, she gathered her belongings and packed up her bag.

When the inning was over, Sara looked over the fence from outside the dugout and told the coach, “I quit.”

Then she walked off away from the field, nothing more than a quitter.

She left her team with eight players to finish out the game, which they lost 4-2.

The coaching staff was angry at Sara. The players were perplexed, but in the long run they all seemed to agree not having her around would be best for the team.

Me?

I was stunned.

If a kid doesn’t enjoy a sport, I understand the decision not to play anymore. But the only reputable way to do it is once the season is over and your commitment has been fulfilled.

I can even understand a kid quitting after a game, though it’s a choice I would never respect or understand.

But to walk away from a team sport  mid-game? Leaving behind eight people who embraced you as a teammate, allowed you to become one of them?

It’s inexcusable.

I could understand the anger coming from the coaching staff, but more than anything I felt sorry for Sara. I felt sad for her and her future.

If she quit a summer softball team because she screwed up something so badly, what else will she quit over the course of the rest of her life?

Every time she failed, she pouted and refused to show any self-confidence, or even a hint at wanting to learn from her failures and grow from it.

The world of sports is full of life lessons. Likewise, many successful lives, without a doubt, can be traced back to the world of sports.

And part of both are parental decisions that help make the difference between success and failure.

Sadly, Sara is a quitter and will likely remain that for the rest of her life.

And that doesn’t make me angry. Instead, it just makes me sad.

 

Sometimes You Just Want To Feel Close To Home

Patrick Stewart of Bangor, Maine, was a senior at Colby College this winter (Photo courtesy of centralmaine.com)

Patrick Stewart of Bangor, Maine, was a senior at Colby College this winter (Photo courtesy of centralmaine.com)

Walking through the under belly of Wesleyan University’s Freeman Athletic Center in Middletown, Connecticut, I came across the Colby College hockey team.

I was there for the 2017 National High School Squash Championships. The Mules were there to play hockey.

One by one, earphones plugged in to drown out the outside, they were lugging their gear from the bus, heading to their locker room, their eyes focused on what was to come.

Suddenly, I was focusing on what once was.

Colby College. Waterville. Maine.

Home.

Well, almost home.

Waterville is located about a 50-minute drive from my hometown, but it’s a place I’ve been to too many times to count.

As an athlete. As a sports writer. As a coach. As a fan.

Colby College was a place I knew well.

One of the highlights of my life occurred at Colby College way back during my sophomore year in high school.

The school was playing host to the Maine State Cross Country Championship meet and that day I happened to have the race of my life, finishing 27th … right on the heels of our No. 2 runner who was usually more than a minute in front of me.

From start to finish, I felt great. It was a hilly course and I loved it. It’s one of the highlights of my athletic career (27th? Shows you how pathetic my overall talent level was, I suppose).

The Waterville-campus continued to play a role in my life after I started working at the Bangor Daily News. I was covering a lot of Husson College basketball games back then and it was a pretty intense in-state rivalry with Colby that made those sojourns down I-95 so worth it.

I saw countless good Division 3 college basketball games inside the Wadsworth Gymnasium, and many good players.

For a few summers, when I was in my 30s, I got to work on the basketball courts that Colby College offered up. I was coaching basketball in those days and working basketball camps in the summer.

We stayed in the dorms, ate in the dining commons, and, like kids revisiting our college days, drank a little too much at night.

So, yeah … Colby … great memories.

It wasn’t long after the hockey team walked past me that Colby’s men’s basketball team entered the facility, as well. It too was facing Wesleyan that day.

“Any Mainers on the team,” I asked a random player, recalling the program’s love for in-state players. “I grew up in Bangor.”

“Bangor? Patrick Stewart is from Bangor,” a player replied, pointing up the hallway at the 6-foot-6 Colby senior walking well in front of us.

I left Bangor 19 years ago and never looked back.

98xtljs1omo4o4p9

Patrick Stewart, Colby College basketball player.

That meant Patrick Stewart, if he had been born in Bangor, was likely just three years old when I left.

I knew nothing about him short of the fact of what I just learned. He was from Bangor and played for Bangor High School before going off to college.

Suddenly, I wanted to see him play. I wanted to see Colby play. I guess, for even a few moments, I just wanted to feel close to home again.

Where I live in lower Connecticut, about an hour from the Wesleyan campus, it’s a six-hour drive home — Short enough to be able to make the trip in case of an emergency, long enough to be just enough of a pain-in-the-ass to make it home regularly.

There are times when I miss Maine a lot. My family. My friends. The chosen few who have never left my heart and I think of every day.

Things trigger those memories. A song. A smell. A word.

Colby.

Those Colby College athletes walking past me did just that.

So, after my squash duties were done, I made the walk back through the Freeman Center and I slipped into a side door of Wesleyan’s gym. I found myself a seat in the back row of the Wesleyan stands.

It was a close game at halftime, the two teams knotted up at 33-33.

Over the course of the second half, Wesleyan proved to be more athletic and the cold-shooting Colby team was no match for the home team.

The final score was 82-67.

Stewart, who finished with 11 points, two rebounds and an assist, came out of the game in the closing seconds. He walked down the bench, hugging each and every teammate, one by one.

It didn’t take me long to realize I just witnessed the last game of his college career.

Representing Bangor and supporting Bangor: I found myself applauding him as he reached the end of his bench.

Stewart played and started in all 24 of Colby’s game this season. He averaged 16.1 points per game.

Over the course of his five-year career — he missed his junior season with an injury and earned a medical redshirt — he had scored more than 1,000 career points.

And, I’ve since discovered that Patrick has a sense of humor.

While doing some research to write this, I discovered a Q&A with Stewart on the Colby athletics website. When asked by the school why he picked Colby, his opened his reply with, “Well besides the appeal of coming south for the warm weather …”

Bangor humor. My humor.

A second-team All-Maine player at Bangor High, Stewart plans on becoming a teacher. If I had to guess, that means he’ll become a coach, too. He’s following in a long line of many great Bangor High athletes if he does that.

Had I stayed in Bangor, and had life gone differently, I might have watched him grow up as a Bangor High player and appreciated him all the more.

Instead, it was a one-shot deal.

One game; one-half of one game, to be more accurate.

But for nearly an hour watching Patrick Stewart represent his parents, his hometown and Colby College, I got to feel a little bit closer to home.

The New World: One Week In

In the summer of 1983, I made the bold choice to transfer high schools.

I went from a three-year private school of 300 students, where I had many friends, to a public school more than twice the size where I knew, perhaps, 10 people — and only three or four of them well enough to call “friends.”

In hindsight, it all worked out. My senior year was a new and exciting adventure where I met many new people, made new friends and memories,  most of which I still cherish to this day more than 30 years later.

That first day of school, though, was like nothing I had ever experienced before in the first 17 years of my life.

I grew up in a two-stoplight town, and even then those stoplights were actually the constantly blinking kind. I started kindergarten there and went through eighth grade.

Many of my friends went to the same high school as me, so there were plenty of friendly faces around when I walked into ninth grade.

My senior year, though, was different — perhaps the first major branch to grow off the tree trunk of what was becoming my world.

I looked to the left of me and saw nobody I knew. I looked to the right and saw more faces I did not recognize. In front of me was a classroom that I did not recognize. Behind me … well, I didn’t want to look back.

It was a whole new world.

I bring this up all these decades later because the one question I’m asked often these days is, “How are things going?” since the sale of my tiny locally owned newspaper to a major chain.

It’s been exactly seven days since things changed, but the only comparison that pops up is the first day of my senior year of high school, only with a unique twist.

At work, I sit at my desk with the familiar view. The computer in front of me. My desk surrounding me. The television high on the wall above me. The fourth floor deck and its door behind me off my left shoulder.

Everywhere else, though, are mostly new faces.

Best I can tell four of us survived the change.

Instead of switching high schools, it’s like my high schools have switched around me.

Everything is the same, yet so totally different.

The job is the job. Games to watch, stories to tell, images to capture. It’s what I do best and when I’m at my most comfortable.

The transition to a new way of doing things is going to be extended over a period of weeks and months, so a full and complete judgement must be held off until everybody is on the same page.

There is a new computer system to learn, as well.

Right now, it still feels like we’re in a dinghy being towed behind the S.S. Hearst. But at least we’re all headed in the same direction and we’ll arrive in our port together.

By then, faces will have names and names will have faces. I hope, by then, I won’t feel like an outsider in my home.

So for those of you looking for an answer, I’m sorry if I stammer a bit to try an find an answer.

It’s a work in progress right now and until the all the changes are completed and final, I can’t give it a fair answer.

Yesterday was good, today has a chance at being better.

And tomorrow? Well, we’ll just wait and see.

A Change Is Gonna Come

TheHourPublishingCo

“It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die
‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there, beyond the sky
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will”

— Sam Cooke, A Change is Gonna Come

• • •

There’s an old story about a fork in the road and taking the road less traveled. Well, not a story, really … a poem. Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.”

In less than 12 days, I’m going to be standing at one of those forks, where “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.”

Only I don’t really have a choice of which one to take. It’s going to be decided for me.

Unlike Frost’s masterpiece, at my fork in the road of life, there is somebody I do not yet know and they are going to be pointing me down one of those paths.

Go left? Go right? Go north or south?

I don’t know the answer. Yet I still trudge — “To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on,” said Geoffrey Chaucer, as played by actor Paul Bettany in the movie, “A Knight’s Tale — toward that fork, toward a decision that is out of my hand and will send my life on a tangent that just a year ago seemed rather improbable.

Welcome to Life 101 — where we’re all still trying to pass the class, not realizing the joke is on us and we will never actually matriculate to Life 202 because it simply doesn’t exist on the campus that is our lives.

Here’s the skinny on what’s going down. On Tuesday, April 12, the company that owns the newspaper I work is getting out of the journalism business. It is being purchased by a competing company and while “The Hour” newspaper will live on under this new ownership, changes will be coming.

My department — Sports — is being especially hard hit.

I’ve been laid off before and one of the things I keep telling myself is that on the morning of Wednesday, April 13, the sun is going to come up, regardless of which path I’ll be shown to take.

That’s why I laughed at myself at four o’clock on the morning of this writing, waking from a sound sleep to realize that the news which became all but official earlier in the day kind of hit me.

It was still pitch black out as I realized, “Holy shit, I could be unemployed in 14 days.”

We’ve all been invited to apply for a position in this company — which lets not forget already employees hundreds of others who might be interested in this same position, as well.

On paper, I’ve got as good a shot as any with my experience and abilities. I started in the field of journalism in late summer of 1984 and save for a two-year hiatus where I dipped my toes into the world of education it’s all I’ve ever known.

This August will be my 32nd year as a journalism. This October would have been my 10th anniversary being employed by my current employer.

April 13 will be a brand new day and as of this writing I can’t tell you what it’s going to be like.

Will I get up and go to work?

Or will I sit down at a computer and grow more and more depressed over the prospects of finding a new job in the ever-gloomy field of my chosen profession, which I love today as much as I ever have.

To coin a term from this world, It’s a jump ball.

I’ll apply. I’ll hope to get an interview. I’ll try to knock it out of the park.

Then somebody I’ve never met until that day will show me the way to go.

I started this post with Sam Cooke’s title of his 1964 song. I end it with Frost’s final lines.

“I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence; Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — … “

Well, that’s to be decided, isn’t it.

And come April 13, that will have made all the difference.