Monthly Archives: July 2012

Bible Translation Stirs Controversy

This is a fact, folks, there’s a new translation of the Bible out and of course, among hard-core Bible-thumpers it’s causing a lot of controversy. . . but I say, if the King James version of the Bible was good enough for Jesus then it’s good enough for me!!!

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Queen Elizabeth at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies

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Another Columnist I Miss…

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God, I REALLY Miss This Woman!

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My Heart Is On Cape Cod Today…

Today is the 8th Annual Gary Philbrick Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament being held at the Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds Golf Course in Marston Mills on Cape Cod. It’s going to be a good day for a golf tournament. The forecast is for a sunny but windy day with a high of around 77°F.

Gary Philbrick was the pro at the course from the day it opened until his life was cut short at the age of 55 after losing his battle with cancer in 2005. He was also my brother and I miss him.

Gary was the middle brother of a brood of seven boys. He was one of those rare people for whom it would be difficult to find someone who would have anything bad to say about him. He was really a “people person.”

Gary loved sports from an early age and he was good at them. He was an All-Star Little League catcher and excelled at tennis in high school but his real love was golf.

He went to a small college in Ohio for part of a semester when he got out of high school. As he told it, he and some friends went out one night and really tied one on. He said, “it was the weirdest thing. I blacked out, and when I woke up I was in a rubber room and dad was looking at me through a tiny window. I thought it was some kind of a dream but it was all too real. I’d been expelled and on the whole ride from Ohio to Orleans dad didn’t say a single word. It was a very long ride. For the next couple of weeks every time I’d come down for breakfast, mom would burst into tears. After a couple of weeks they sat me down at the kitchen table and said, ‘well, now that you’ve ruined your life and embarrassed us so we can never face our friends again, what to you intend on doing?'”

“I’m going to play golf,” I said.

“‘Don’t get smart with us, young man,’ they said. ‘We’re not talking about what you want to do today, we’re talking about what you’re going to do with the rest of your life.’

“Play golf,” was his answer and that’s what he did.

He apprenticed at a country club in Connecticut in the summers and came down to Florida in the winters in the late ’60s to attend the PGA school. He and I also caddied together in several of the LPGA tournaments back then. Let me tell you, those ladies bags are heavy.

When he received his PGA club pro membership he returned to the Cape and was the pro at the Dunphy’s Resort Hotel and golf course in Hyannis where he reigned for a decade or so before taking over the Cranberry Valley course in Yarmouth for several years. He then became the first pro at the Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds course.

He was the Vice President of the New England Professional Golfers Association from 1992-96, President of the Cape Cod Chapter of the N.E.P.G.A. in 1984, ’85 and ’87. He was the director of the Doreen Grace Fund Golf Tournament for the Foundation of Brain Injury Research 1985-94. and on the Board of the Cape Cod Golf Association. He received several awards including Golf Professional of the Year in 1993 and 1996 and the National Golf Founders Achievement Award in 1993, ’94 and ’95. In 2002 he was awarded the prestigious Bill Strausbaugh Club Relations Award by the New England Section, PGA, “For Untiring and Distinguished Service to Golf Facilties and to Fellow PGA Members in the Field of Employment and Club Relations.”

He met, and married a young nurse who worked at the Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Dianne Ruest.

They had three great kids, Ian, Lindsay and Tracy. I’d say they were great kids even if they weren’t my nieces and nephew. They inherited all the best traits of their parents.

Gary was a great father. I don’t know what his parenting techniques were, but I vividly remember an incident from a family reunion years ago. We were at the dinner table. Gary was sitting at the head of the table. I was to his left and Tracy, the youngest, then about five years old, was on his right. Tracy got a little fussy about something. I don’t think anyone else noticed it. I don’t remember what it was she did or said but I do remember that Gary quietly said, simply, “Remember what we talked about.” And that ended it.

He and Dianne loved to dance. They took ballroom classes and one room of their house was cleared of furniture so they could spend evenings dancing together.

If there was any doubt how popular Gary was it was dispelled at his wake. On a bitterly cold February evening hundreds, literally hundreds, of people stood shivering in a line outside the funeral home before they could get inside to pay their respects. And golfers still come to his resting place and leave signed golf balls in a hat beside his marker.

The 2005 Cape Cod Open was dedicated to his memory and each year there’s fierce competition at the Open to win the coveted Gary Philbrick Trophy for low-scoring professional golfer.

The Gary Philbrick Memorial Scholarship was established to assist college students who wish to have a career on the links.

Gary Philbrick was my brother. I was always proud of him and I miss him very much, especially today.




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Thank you, I’m honored…

I’ve been living here in Boquerón for nine months now. Everyone knows the old gringo and they’re all friendly. Walking up to the bus stop everyone says “hello” in English, and one man always says, “hello, mister.” Carlos and Fulvia’s little girl says “Hi” since I told her that’s how friends greet each other back in the States instead of the more formal “hello.” But one never really knows how you’re accepted into the community until something like what happened yesterday occurs.

Half way up the street towards the main road is the house of Lleya (Jaya) and her husband. They are the local dealers in the barrio for the gas everyone uses for cooking, though you’d be surprised at how much cooking is done outside over a wood fire. Lleya and her husband, Carlos, always have a smile and a wave for me as I pass by their house and she is always telling me to “drop in anytime.” In Spanish, of course.

Yesterday was Lleya’s 63 birthday and she was having a party around noon time. I’d been invited a couple of weeks ago. In the morning I made a cherry-blueberry dump cobbler* to take with me. What surprised me when I arrived was that except for her eight children and their wives, husbands, their children and Lleya’s lifetime friend, Alicia, I was the only one there outside of her family. She loaded me down with a plate of food I couldn’t have gotten through in two days, free-range chicken, rice (of course), salad and half an avocado.

My cobbler was actually a big hit. It was served along with the birthday cake and ice cream and I know that nearly everyone had a second helping of it and I saw two young boys hit the pan for thirds.

I have to admit that I spent most of my time talking to Alicia. She had been married to a gringo and lived in the States for many years. When we discovered that we’d both lived in New Orleans for many years the conversation was filled with references to Cajun cuisine and music. One of Lleya’s daughters speaks English quite well, but for the greatest part of the afternoon I tried my best to follow the Spanish conversations and I received compliments on how well I spoke the language though I think it was mostly flattery.

I definitely enjoyed the afternoon and feel honored to have been invited and accepted into the group.

* Cherry/Blueberry Dump Cobbler

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 can each of Mussleman’s cherry and blueberry pie filling (which is more than the 32 oz of pie filling called for in the original recipe)
1/2 cup butter

Heat oven to 350 F. Melt butter in a 13 x 9-inch pan. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and sugar in mixing bowl. Pour into pan. Add the cherry pie filling to the batter in the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Batter will form crust on top of cobbler.

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She’s One Wise Woman

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