“Okay, guys, line up,” coach Johnson bellowed. “ You - Smith - at the head of the line, start the count by shouting out ‘one.’ Then Williams, you’re ‘two’ and so on down the line. Even numbers will be shirts and will cover this goal. Odd numbers will be skins.”
“Three, four, five…” the boys ahead of me counted.
“Hurry up, Richard, or we’ll miss the trolley.” Mother tightens her grip on my hand and tugs me up the hill on 68th Street. “Imagine the fun we’ll have.”
A fly drops from the morning sky onto the mirror surface of a lake. Twitch, twitch, concentric ripples expand with each movement. She flips right, moves left, circles right, and dances left. A fish appears under the fly. He sucks water through torn lips. Each gulp brings the fly closer. He examines the fly only to swim past to deeper water. She wiggles and begins to lift from the pond. He returns, lingers, and swallows the fly.
Like tranquil whitecaps float on a sea of green, chickens bob and dip, bob and dip as they scratch and peck for food on a hillside pasture. “How many chickens do you have?” I ask.
She bounded across the abandoned 36-hole, 400-acre golf course. I hadn’t expected an encounter on my October walk. She couldn’t be with the bank, could she? They foreclosed on the property ten months ago. Perhaps she was a guest at Loon Lake Lodge like me? Sam, the former owner, invited his lodge guests, adjacent lakeside condo owners, and the general public to walk on the golf course when players were absent.
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a coach, musician, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.