For these last few days my son Scott, came to Harbour Ridge to play in the Member/Guest golf tournament with me. He is a wonderful golfer and a great young man. Unfortunately his back is broken trying to carry me. With great pain and personal reassessment, I accepted the fact that I stunk!
Not to be thwarted I rallied to participate in more intellectual activities like smoking cigars. drinking whatever and feeding my face. I was at the gym this morning at 5:30 trying to shed the effects of my debauchery. Stay tuned. Results in a month.
I drove my buddy to Fort Lauderdale at 6:30 yesterday morning. It is the only airport that has direct flights to Denver. During the hour plus ride we had a marvelous conversation as a son and dad are wont to do. We reminisced of the last few days and centered in not on golf but the participants.
Harbour Ridge is beautiful and understated in so many ways. It is a gated community but that is a bit of a misnomer. Scott surmised that Mom and Dad had found what they had been looking for, for many years. There are no pretentious people although I am sure there is plenty of money. This is no recitation of previous glories because it just doesn’t matter. People are comfortable in their skin. It is a great place to live.
We noted that several dads had brought their sons. To a man whether they were 30 or fifty, they were just genuine people. No attitudes. No arrogance. Maybe the old men were able to pass their modest ways down the food chain.
Our conversation drifted to try to find that certain something that was there. Scott noted that since he no longer was a member of a club, in some ways HR made him feel a little privileged. He wasn’t sure he was comfortable with that. We didn’t want to call it elitism because it really wasn’t. People were too down to earth. Maybe extraordinary takes on a different meaning?
He queried what was special about the whole club scene? For me it is the ability to be yourself and to expect something of your cohorts. Simply put, it is the expectation that people will live up to standards. Not of fame and wealth but of that little word called decency. You keep your shirt tucked in, you don’t wear your hat in the club house and you are respectful to members as well as staff. Act like a gentleman.
That may sound prissy to some and snobby to others. To both of us it meant good manners and a rare word in today’s world called civility. Webster defines it as a formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech. Is that restricted to the upper crust or top 10 or 20%? I think not. It is applicable everywhere.
Unless you live under a rock, you heard of the shenanigans of one Robert Kraft this weekend. We are treated to an endless barrage of tweets from His Hairness. “Me Too” has exposed the ugly underbelly of management throughout corporate America. There was the GM plant where racism is alive and well. Priests, doctors and coaches are molesting at will. The press hops on a story and then backtracks, sort of, when they realize they have it all wrong. Is this what we have become?
I have often talked about pushing boundaries. I love thinking outside of the box. But all that freedom has its casualties. We are no longer offended by the vulgar. It becomes common place. Crass is our new vernacular. I laughed as I told my son of what constituted a lurid verse in a song or an X rated film in our day. You can catch that most nights on today’s sitcoms. The eternal question is, have we gone too far?
Those who know me, can vouch I am not a prude. All of us have done and said a variety of things we would not do in front of our mothers. But I think we have to revise the lines we cross to not give wider latitude but maybe pull in the reins a little bit. As we pulled up to the departure curb it struck us both the word we may have been looking for was CLASS.
To our way of thinking you can have it whether you are a plumber or a banker. It can be in the men’s grill or local bar. It’s an awareness of what is acceptable and what is not. We can all have that touch of class. It is not snooty but decent. Let’s give it a try.
Ted The Great
Some of the most common Bad manners that are acceptable:
Cell phone conversations in public
Hats on in a restaurant
Foul language in public places
Bad table manners in a restaurant
Rudeness to staff. Forgotten words of please and thank you
Letting children misbehave
Classy People :
My Wife and Kids
Henry Aaron, Joe Torre, Mariano Rivera
Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jordan Spieth
Audrey Hepburn, Sean Connery, Matt Damon
George H W Bush, Sorry could not come up with more.