Thursday, July 31, 2008
We all like to stay in our comfort zones. We get complacent – do not try new things.
You might recall a couple of Christmases ago when my family bought me some golf clubs.
I’d never played golf before but I requested the clubs. I needed some recreation and figured I’d gotten too old for softball and basketball.
A few times that year I’d drive out to our church property and hit some balls. I wanted to try it without any spectators – to first check out my own potential.
I could tell I still had that softball swing.
I went pretty regularly for a couple of months, then the clubs started gathering dust in the carport.
The next Christmas rolled around, and the gift from my employees here at The South Reporter was golf lessons, along with a gift certificate from Kirkwood National.
It was cold then, so I just tucked the certificates in my desk drawer.
Then I few weeks ago I called Michael Maholm, who had been assigned the tough task of teaching me how to play golf.
My first lesson went well, except for the excessive July heat. Those sweaty hands even made the golf club go airborne once on one of my mighty swings. He then asked if I had a golf glove, which I did.
He is forcing me to give up my softball swing and my softball bat grip. That’s tough and a bit awkward.
After lesson number two, he hasn’t given up and I haven’t either.
Problem is one swing looks great – the ball goes far and straight – and the next time it goes far right or far left. And a few times in between I’m still missing the ball, too.
Just like my high school baseball coach told me – “Keep your eye on the ball,” Michael said time and time again.
Lesson number three may come this week, if I can work it around the forecasted triple-digit temperatures.
After lesson number four, I guess I will decide whether or not I want to continue my pursuit of the golfing game or let those clubs start collecting dust again.
I asked Michael last week if he thought I was going to “pass” the lessons or not.
“Everybody needs to play golf,” he said.
I stepped out of my comfort zone again last week. I’ve always preferred being behind the camera, the one taking the pictures, rather than the one in the photos.
Coach Clifford Brown at Holly High and his wife Sheran (manager of KFC) are two of my good friends. Wednesday morning of last week, Sheran called and said a national TV commercial for KFC was going to be filmed at her store. She wanted some newspaper coverage, possibly later that day.
She called back at 8 a.m. Thursday and said they had called her at midnight (the night before) and said they’d be arriving about 8:30 a.m. with taping about 10 a.m. She was in a bit of a panic – not much time to prepare – and said she also needed some customers. She was going to call photographer Lawrence White and a few others.
Sue Watson went out to cover the story for The South Reporter, and I had a few appointments but said I’d come out about 10 a.m. to check out the action.
I thought when I arrived they’d be rolling.
Come to find out they were introducing a new product – chicken strips in the Colonel’s original recipe – and this was the first KFC store to issue the taste tests.
I hung around, never passing up a chance for free food, but not intending to be put on the other end of the camera.
But before all was said and done, yours truly, Lawrence White, Andre’ DeBerry, David Beckley and others turned into KFC “movie stars.”
I told my family that if I actually hit TV in the KFC commercial, my career would likely be taking a turn toward the big time.
They’re not packing their bags.
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