Tuesday, August 04, 2009

My hometown's big day in the sun

This weekend the sports media will be focused on two very popular sporting events. The football Hall of Fame induction and game, and The WGC Bridgestone Golf Invitational.

The cool thing is it will all be centered around my hometown, Canton, Ohio.

My son and I will actually be there this weekend so he can goof around with his grampop and his cousins. The closest we'll get to golf will be playing the miniature golf course I grew up on, and the closest we'll get to the football inductees will be watching them drive down Main Street for the Hall of Fame parade.

Growing up in Canton was just as you would imagine how Midwestern life would be; hardworking...mind-your-manners...be home for the family dinner-type people. Ohio folk are big on tradition...the Hall of Fame being full of traditional events throughout the week, parades, rib-offs, balloon lifts, car shows and the like are scattered throughout the week in my hometown.

The golf tournament was called The Firestone World Series of Golf back in my day. I caddied in the pro am once with John Cook...what a thrill! As a kid, I was able to get anyone's autograph that I could by shoving a program in front of them. My idol at the time was Curtis Strange. Getting his was momentous. Nicklaus, Palmer, Player...you name it I got it during that tournament.

My Dad was employed for Firestone during that time...he worked on the corporate jets at their hangar at the airport. He would tell me stories of the players and celebrities flying in for the tournament: from Chi Chi Rodriguez to Don Meredith...that Firestone would fly in for the weekend. I thought my Dad had the coolest job when he told those stories during dinnertime.

As I've grown older, I have forgotten those rich traditions. I even forgot these events were this weekend when I booked our flight! But the memories will come flooding back, as the stories will be told to my younger generation...my son.

...we'll reflect, gathered around a small dinner table in my tiny hometown of Canton Ohio, while the whole wide world peeps in for a look.

Thanks for reading. Keep it in the short-grass,



Freed Mark said...

Great story and experience you had

golf magic said...

I enjoyed your story really brightened up my day