Photo: Courtesy of the Kelowna Golf and Country Club.

C H A P T E R 7

There is an obscure Paul McCartney tune called “Average Person”
from his Pipes of Peace album about coming across average people
and finding out what they really thought about. I figured that
I was that person. No one would pay a lot of attention to me
in a movie line, nobody was really interested in what I did for
a living because it was basically ordinary. Of course, I thought
that I had smarter, prettier kids, and a beautiful wife. I spent a
fair amount of time in the yard, mowing the lawn after picking
up the dog crap that I hoped wasn’t too soggy. For the most part,
my friends and I were all regular guys that played a game of golf
that was run of the mill.
At the last class reunion, I heard of old classmates that got
heavily into the drug scene, some of them selling, some of them
dying from overdoses. Others had become very successful in
business. My current friends and I, however, were just regular
guys, doing the routine things that most mainstream people do.
We dreamed about having all the money we needed to live the
lifestyle we all felt we deserved.
When we got together for drinks we had a ritual. We didn’t
have swords like the three musketeers, so we would just raise our
glasses, clink them together, then pronounce: “To life! Our way!”
Another ritual was our Sunday morning golf game. Almost
every Sunday during the spring and summer, we would be the
first ones off the tee at the Kelowna Golf and Country Club, rain
or shine. The earlier the sun would come up, the earlier we would
be on the first tee, allowing us to finish early so we could get on
with our days with the families.
Depending on the time of year, Saturdays were reserved for
coaching one of the kids’ sports teams, taking them to piano
recitals, mowing the lawn, or going on hikes with the dog. We
had managed to join the club when membership had not cost
an entire year’s salary just to get on the waiting list. We weren’t
great golfers—at best, we could be considered intermediate. This
Sunday was no exception. Bob Tarleton, Dan Kramer, Harry
Bentley and I had teed off just after 6:00 a.m. The sun had just
eased over the cliffs that partially surrounded the lush green
grasses of the beautifully landscaped course.
We really enjoyed each other’s company, friendship and
camaraderie; the game was secondary. There were times that
it got a little tedious, and I was never the most gracious loser.
Some people, including my wife and kids, said I could be more
insufferable when I won. As we headed to the tenth tee box, there
was an announcement over the PA system that there was a call
for me. I headed to the pro shop, listening to the sarcastic banter
from my friends behind me.
“Don’t forget to pick up a loaf of bread and quart of milk on
your way home, honey bunch,” offered Dan in a high, mocking
voice. I could hear the other two snickering as I entered the
pro shop.
The new pro at the club had been the pro at my dad’s course
when I first learned to golf, back when I was ten. When Sean
Metcalfe had taken over at the Kelowna club, I had walked up to
him and asked if he remembered me. He of course had no idea
until I explained that I was the son of Gerry Porter, and that I
had met him when he had been working at the Quilchena Club
in Richmond, where my dad had been a member for decades.
“Morning, Chris,” said Sean.
“Morning, Sean. Which line is my call on? Probably some
customer who wants me to re-rush his rush job that I rushed for
him last week only to find out that it has already been delivered.”
“Actually, I think its Trish. Probably needs you to pick up eggs
and a loaf of bread, when you’re done with the game.”
“Great! Not you too.”
“You can take the call in my office. It’s on line one.”
“Thanks,” I said as I headed in. His desk was cluttered with
tournament notices and pro shop invoices. A box of courtesy
score card pencils was laying right in the middle of the desk. I
reached over the box, picked the handset out of its cradle and
punched the flashing button for line one.
“Yes dear, what do you need? I’ve already been told milk, eggs
and bread.” I paused, waiting for Trish’s response to my sarcasm.
I already knew it was a little more serious than that or she would
never have bothered me on the course, but I was not ready for
the bombshell she was about to drop on me.