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  • Bill Chastain


Up in the air during a recent flight to Cleveland, I sat across the aisle from a man of the world. Recognizing an opportunity, I tapped into the wisdom gushing from this fountain of knowledge.

From what I gathered, he traveled the country installing telephone systems as part of a three-man crew. For a visual of this gentleman, picture a hybrid of Charlie Daniels and Larry the Cable Guy.

The first choice morsel he delivered came when the flight attendant took his drink order by tapping away at a think pad: “I was taught to write with a wooden dowel that had a carbon center.”

About the available food on the plane: “Ten dollars for a god-damned sandwich and they don’t have the roast turkey. What in the hell is a Havarti wrap?”

Finally: “Can you imagine if we were driving in a UFO? We’d be there in 30 seconds.”

I’m sad to see Tiger Woods playing the way he’s been playing. Does his showing at the U.S. Open signify that he’s finally hit the bottom? I don’t know about that, but I’ve got to question why he doesn’t try playing in more tournaments. Competing more often might allow him to rekindle the old spark.

Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi wrote: “Forget about Jack Nicklaus; Tiger Woods couldn’t beat Jack Nicholson on the golf course right now. … Speaking of Tiger, there are reports that he is trying to get back together with ex-wife Elin Nordegren. I’ve got a better idea: Get back together with ex-swing coach Butch Harmon.”

Bianchi never fails to entertain. He remains one of my favorite columnists.

One of the things I missed from Father’s Day yesterday was having my father fry fish, which became his custom. He would always offer that the bass we ate “slept in a lake the night before.” Translation: He caught them that morning.

We’d sip a few cool ones while we watched the end of the U.S. Open. All the while Dad would keep his eye on the clock so he could have the fish ready at the allotted time. Once he got down to cooking, he’d crank up his Coleman burner and black frying pan.

Experimenting with the temperature of the oil in the pan, he’d begin with the hush puppies and work his way toward the friend fish filets. Meanwhile, Mom fixed the cheese grits, coleslaw, baked beans, sliced tomatoes and iced tea. My mouth waters thinking about that Father’s Day menu.

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