I’ve lived in the Kansas City metropolitan area for 22 years now. By far, it’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one place consecutively. For the second time in those 22 years, one of my friends from the last place I lived (the Quad Cities – IA & IL for those unfamiliar with the area) has come down for an extended visit. The first to make the trip was the wonderfully talented and somewhat clairvoyant, Jim Loula. Jim, if you’re reading this, I still have the white blanket you left and it awaits your return or my next trip back to the Q.C.’s. But you knew that already. The second one to visit is an equally long-standing friend, Jason. We broke into the casino business together back in ’91. Before you ask, no, this wasn’t an Ocean’s Eleven-type scenario. That’s simply casino lingo for going through gaming school and becoming a dealer (Blackjack, Roulette, or Craps). I digress.
Jason is here to participate in the 34th Annual Kansas City Wide Open, which is a PDGA-sponsored event. Like the casino business, we started playing disc golf together at the same time and even played in a few tournaments before I moved here to Kansas City. I used to own him in our weekly competitions, but now I can’t hold a candle to his ability. So, when he asked if he could crash at my place during the KCWO, I couldn’t say no to hanging out with an old friend. Since he was going to be busy with the tournament for the bulk of the time, I was happy to be his caddy since I would just embarrass myself if I were to join the PDGA and try to play in a tournament. Hanging out has rekindled my enjoyment for playing disc golf and I even went so far as to upgrade my discs from the 20th century to brand new ones from the 21st century. Again, this isn’t about me, so I digress once more.
We’ve spent the past two days playing (caddying) Swope Park, Blue Valley Park, and Bad Rock Creek – where I finally got to test out my new discs and a whole new throwing style, yikes! Today we hit 29 holes and that was only limited by the waning sunlight and our lack of desire to hunt down hole 12 and beyond at Bad Rock Creek (seriously, you need better signage, Stocksdale Parks). I’m begging out of tomorrow’s 8AM start at Waterworks Park mostly because I have no desire to walk that park in the rain. So far, each day Jason’s made improvements to his game as we talk over his lines, plan of attack, and other strategic elements. I have been tweeting using #TheCaddyMakesTheDifference (I still can’t believe that isn’t trending in the KC Twitterverse) and I hope I’m not just deluding myself with the thought that I have something to do with his progress. Regardless, it’s been a majestic weekend spent traipsing over hill and hill and hill and dale.
I can’t wait for my third Q.C. visitor and only hope it doesn’t take another 11 years (on average) for that to happen.