Outside Nashville, Tennessee, September 19, 2009. Leon Wolf is trying to starve me.
I’ve been living for 16 hours on a diet of Bushmills, Guinness Stout, and sunflower seeds. But at least I’m on the golf course. The rain is coming down now, but it will clear soon. My companions are Leon and his son, who are just learning the game, and who, in their eagerness to get out and play, have somehow neglected breakfast.
Leon is a tall stoic man, whose face seems to always show the hint of a bemused smile. His clubs are too short for him. Like many new players with good athleticism and some background in baseball, he is constantly fighting encroachments from muscle-memory of the baseball swing into his golf swing. Once he manages to develop a repeatable swing with that big frame, however, I predict that he’ll be able to really spank the ball.
The previous night, which also included Caleb (decked out in a magnificent three-wolf-moon shirt), Bill, and Erick, was a bit rowdy, I fear. Mrs. Wolf is indeed a generous-hearted woman to put up with it. The Guinness was flowing. Leon and Caleb kept up a constant exchange “your mom” jokes. We talked some politics. We embarrassed ourselves playing Wii karaoke. No doubt video of me trying to sing Gwen Stefani will surface one day.
My previous meal, concededly, was a fine Southern dinner, family-style, with abundant fried meats and vegetables, hush puppies, squash soufflé, beans, slaw, cornbread and banana pudding. Oh yes: and all you can eat. So we all ate our fill.
But that was 16 hours ago, and here we were, as the sun peaked out to add warmth to the oppressive humidity. I stood there on that steamy golf course and thought, “Leon Wolf is trying to starve me.” Twice he had “forgotten” to swing by McDonalds, as I suggested. He would “forget” a third time before the morning was done.
The second night we enjoyed some local Mexican cuisine. The Wolfs warned us that this particular restaurant often features “very bad live Mexican music,” but this night there was a dude with a guitar singing country songs. Only in America can you go to a Mexican place and hear Johnny Cash covers and even a few chords of “Freebird” (at our prompting).
Leon goaded me with insults into a race to see who could finish his margarita faster. Bill enjoyed a Dos Equis in a huge chilled mug. Some drunk behind us harassed a couple ladies until the manager kicked him out, offering profuse apologies as the singer annoyed Leon with Dylan tunes.
All in all it was a fine weekend in Nashville, thanks above all to the hospitality of the Wolfs.