Publisher’s Corner: There’s A Hole In My Bucket List Dear Liza, Dear Liza

J.B. Lester

Everyone seems to have a bucket list these days. Especially those of us over 60. I suppose as we approach our retirement years, we tend to think of our bucket list a bit more than we would at 25. But if a bucket list is truly a catalog of things you want to do before you die, then I guess anyone at any age can have one, because you never know… Two years ago the biggest thing on my bucket list came to pass. I was blessed with my grandson Jackson. Then just a few months later, I caught a foul ball off the bat of Jon Jay at a Cardinal Baseball game. Things were really looking up. I was marching down my bucket list throwing confetti into the air. Then I went in for a routine physical last year and found out I had prostate cancer. Ironically, we always had a saying in our family. No matter how bad things got we could always say to each other, “Well, at least you don’t have cancer.” Funny thing about testing fate, sometimes you get what you didn’t ask for. After a nuclear medical procedure, I have added another item to my bucket list, to be cancer free. That will be determined in November when I go to have my PSA checked again. Hey, guys, if you have not had your prostate checked, do it now. Prostate cancer caught early like mine, has an incredibly high cure rate. Ask your doctor about it, especially if you are over 50 years of age or even younger if you have a family history of prostate cancer. Take control of your health. Get checked right away!
Back to the bucket list. So with a grandson and a foul ball off my bucket list, I felt like I had gotten my share of good “bucket luck” for a while. And then the most amazing thing happened. No I didn’t come in contact with alien life or have dinner with Catherine Zeta-Jones. I was playing golf in the Webster Groves/Shrewsbury Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament at Westborough Country Club Sept. 14 and shot a hole-in-one. It was witnessed by two of my closest friends and one treasured acquaintance. (To quote Sheldon Cooper). You may at first think, so what, big deal. Especially if you don’t play golf. But put my happiness into perspective. I am 64 years old and have been playing golf for 40 years. Modern math tells me that I have played more than 2,000 rounds of golf in my life and in that time I have stood on the tee of at least 8,000 par 3 holes and thought for just a moment, “Will I ever get a hole-in-one?” My uncle Jim had one, my grandfather J.G. had one and my father-in-law Kay had one. My brother is still trying and my dad was a bowler. And now I have joined the hole-in-one club. The internet tells me the odds are 12,500 to one. And there is a lot of luck in getting one, I know. But this particular 6-iron shot from 151 yards into a stiff breeze, with the pin positioned just over a sand trap, was solid, straight and true. One bounce and in the hole. I always wondered how I would react if this moment happened. And while the others in my group jumped for joy and yelled, “It’s in, it went it.” I just stood in amazement. Dumfounded. A hole-in-one. Not as good as a grandson or being cancer free, but not too damn bad for an old fart like me.

Fore! I mean “One” ! J.B. Lester; Publisher