I’m not a golfer. Oh, I hacked now and again, but after probably seven holes, my scorecard disappeared in some pocket. I even remember once, and please know it was a family event, golfing at midnight with fluorescent golf balls. The owner of the par-3 course was related, somehow. I remember the frustration. My two sons, Matthew and Andrew, didn’t look at it like their “why are we doing this?” bad view father. Rather, they found the hilarity.
The fact that I’m not a golfer isn’t Gary Wiren’s fault. Gary and his wife, Ione, were members of my second congregation in Eugene, Oregon, circa 1969-73. Ione loved to serve dinner, each of which was good. She had a unique style, at least to me, of recording her meals served, when, to whom and what was served. In a catalogue system. That would have been 1971 for our first dinner with the Wiren’s. About a year ago I asked Ione [she and Gary live in North Palm Beach] if she could tell me what she served the first time we were her guests. She didn’t hesitate, “Yep, if you REALLY want to know, give me a few minutes.”
I really didn’t, but couldn’t deny my interest. She knew!
Back to Gary, whom I call Wiren and to him I’m Miller.
Gary had earned his phD from the University of Oregon. Of all things, his thesis had something to do with how to drive a golf ball. Really. The Miller’s and Wiren’s became dear friends. One day after our worship, Wiren said—his candor somehow was always positive, in a way—“Miller, no one likes a pastor who’s overweight. I’ll be at your house tomorrow at 6 a.m. We’ll take a jog together.” He was serious; I wasn’t. Still, we jogged, which was more popular than riding bikes. That’s saying something.
Wiren did offer to teach me golf lessons. I thanked him but lamely said I didn’t have that kind of time. Fortunately, he didn’t say how often I drifted the McKenzie River in my new drift boat. Hey, a friendship is a friendship.
Well, I now know declining Wiren’s offer was a mistake. He’s in the Professional Golfers Hall of Fame and the Professional Golf Teacher’s Hall of Fame.
There‘s a more important point to all this, so stick with me. Wiren and I are not on the same political page. He’s the golf pro for Trump Golf Clubs. I’m not. Yet, we honor our differences. I so respect him. And yesterday, in a letter to all his clients, he sent the following note. I laughed and laughed, making it clear, may we NEVER lose our humanity, our values and our sense of humor. That’s all this blog is about, to celebrate my wonderful friendship with Wiren, no matter our differences. And to know we should never lose our sense of humor. And, I bet. Were I in North Palm Beach for a dinner with Ione and Wiren, with such skill, Ione would serve me the same pork roast she featured in our first Eugene dinner.
Time for some humor:
HUMOROUS QUOTES, INTERESTING FACTS AND SOME COACHING POINTS FROM DR. GARY WIREN.
“I’m not saying my golf game went bad, but if I grew tomatoes they’d come up sliced.” Lee Trevino
“My wife always said she wanted to marry a millionaire. Well, she made me a millionaire…..I used to be a multimillionaire.”
Chi Chi Rodriguez
“In thirty years, we’re going to be in our nineties We’re going to play three-hole tournaments for $900,000 and the one who remembers his score wins.” Bob Brue, on the Senior Tour
“I would rather play Hamlet with no rehearsal than play golf on television.” Jack Lemmon, Hollywood actor
“One of the advantages of bowling over golf is that you seldom lose a bowling ball.” Don Carter, Bowling Hall of Famer
“I can airmail my drives. But sometimes I don’t get the right zip code.” Jim Dent, One of the PGA Tour’s longest hitters
“My game is bad I have to hire three caddies —-one to walk the left rough, one for the right rough, and one down the middle. And the one in the middle doesn’t have much to do.” Dave Hill, PGA Tour
Jack Nicklaus’s pro career certainly didn’t get off to the most auspicious start. His first paycheck for finishing
tied for fiftieth at the 1962 L.A. Open was only $33.33.