The Star-News


Bubba and buttermilk skies

Sat, Feb 22 2014 12:00 PM Posted By: Richard Peña

Last Sunday I was sitting at my barn’s deck, trying to get inspiration but mostly thinking of the prison movie I had seen the night before.  The title was “The Big House,” and one of the characters dramatically crossed out the days on the calendar as they passed. He was, of course, counting the number of days left until his release.  We could have crossed out last Sunday and we were, in no way, incarcerated.  To us it was just one of those days that made us jump as quickly as we could to the next one and see what it had to offer.

A couple of generations ago the songwriter, Hoagy Carmichael, wrote a ditty titled “Ol’ Buttermilk Sky,” and Sunday’s sky seemed to fit the bill.  In the heaven’s defense I would have to say that it was more “butter” than “milk” but the reader gets the picture.  It was a time that makes one wish that a pleasant rain storm would hit the countryside even if one were planning a picnic or, for that matter, a round of golf.

To, perhaps aid in this quest for that earth-shaking subject matter I did watch a bit of the weekend golf tournament but discovered that it was as bad as buttermilk sky.  The pros were playing in Los Angeles in what we used to call

“The Los Angeles Open at Riviera,” but which now carries the name of some insurance company.  I was trying to look for names that I recognized but, alas, I came up empty.  I felt a tinge of excitement when I saw the name “Watson” but our hopes sank when we see that he batted left-handed.  On top of that he went by the name of “Bubba.”  I really wasn’t being fair in ridiculing this young athlete.  Bubba hits a long ball on top of being an expert around the greens.
Speaking of lefties the San Diego area has its own golfer who hits from the port side in Phil Mickelson, who is a better than average player.  We think that when Phil was first etching his name in the bevy of greats he should have copyrighted his swing.  No, that would be the same as copyrighting buttermilk sky.

We leave buttermilk sky Sunday and go on to President’s day that is more to our liking.  We sometimes wonder how two days just 24 hours apart can have so many differing characteristics.  One is ugly and the other quite pleasant.  But, like the poet said, we must take the bad with the good.

President’s day is, of course, one of the good ones.  Some of us will recall that it hasn’t always been the way it is.

There was a time when we observed Lincoln’s birthday on the day of his birth, Feb.y 12 and Washington’s on the 22nd.  A few years ago, someone in government said let’s combine the two and make things more pleasant for everyone.  No one seemed to object but it is my conjecture that if old Abe and George were still around there would have been some disagreement.

Actually the idea was to give everyone a three day holiday every February instead of just once in a while. I remember those once in a while years when one of the birthdays fell on Friday or Monday.  Here was a three day weekend and we did not have to manipulate the calendar.

We were still in the school business in those days and we had a golf playing group who liked to travel.  Our destination was the Barbara Worth Country Club in El Centro, a garden spot in February if there ever was one.  I think even Abe and George would have approved.   

By the way, we see by the Monday papers that Bubba Watson did win the L.A. Open and he won it with class.  I guess we are going to have to change our allegiance from the old guard to a new crop.  Bubba seems like a good individual to get us started.


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