Some golf news first. My dream of playing on the senior tour will not be realized any time soon after shooting 12 over par on that beautiful piece of real estate that overlooks a city skyline, and the river that runs through it. Three putting was a big part of the problem, but when you add a four-putt to the mix, well, dreams do die hard, as some other hacker with a Scottish accent probably said long ago.
“How in the world did you four-putt?” you ask. I made a great five-footer for a double, is my answer. On that particular hole, the number one handicap hole, I was on the green in regulation and feeling kind of cocky. Three strokes later, I was burning from within and waiting for someone to say, “That’s good,” before my sixth stroke. However, nobody uttered a sound – not Randy “Here comes the judge” Morley, Jim “Hawkeye” Hathaway, Mark “Kingbossdaddy” Davis, or Chock “I’m flippin’ out” Walden. So I did what any competitive hi-handicapper would do – I sank the putt. Generosity on the golf course is like good tomatoes in January.
The next day, I had moved on – for the most part. It helped that it was my 35th wedding anniversary. But it was actually in 1975 that KM and I had our first date. I took her to see “Shampoo” at the old, wonderful Heights Theater. Warren Beatty as a hairdresser.
So, we’ve been together, as a couple, for 40 years.
Forty may be the most meaningful number throughout man’s existence.
In religion (and early meteorology), rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights. When they left Egypt, the Israelites wandered through the desert 40 years. Goliath challenged the Israelites for 40 days before David walked out to meet him with a slingshot. King David ruled 40 years. In the New Testament, Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights before he was tempted in the desert. There were 40 days from his resurrection to his ascension. Today, Lent is the 40 days before Easter. In Islam, Muhammad was 40 when he received the archangel Gabriel’s revelation. And Muslims also believe that one who assists a blind man for 40 steps becomes worthy of entering heaven.
Back to sports, in major league baseball, teams have 40-man rosters. To gauge speed, athletes run a 40-yard dash. In the weird scoring of tennis, 40 is the third point scored in a game. And 40 was the great Gale Sayer’s number.
Also, after the Civil War, the plan was to offer freed slaves 40 acres and a mule. South Dakota was the 40th state to join the Union. If you need a quick nap, try 40 winks. A Monopoly game board has 40 spaces. You have a hit song if you make the American Top 40. Women are pregnant for 40 weeks. Ali Baba overheard 40 thieves saying where they kept their treasure. A workweek is 40 hours. Negative 40 is where Fahrenheit and Celsius correspond. When John Lennon turned 40 in 1980, he wrote the song, “Life begins at 40.” He was killed in December of that same year.
Anyway, that’s about all I know about 40. I guess in five years, when KM and I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, I’ll buy her a ruby, that year’s anniversary stone. And maybe I’ll play golf the day before as well, and try and break 40 on the front nine and back nine, unless I’m playing on the Senior Tour.
We’ll see. Until then, it’s 40 days at a time.
Happy five years before 40 anniversary, KM.
Jay Edwards is editor-in-chief of the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.