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You’re Too Old

Today was a special day for those who have… let’s just say, past their peak. Or at least that’s what some people might call them.

Today, Sunday, 23 June 2013, was the final round of the Travelers Championship Golf Tournament in Connecticut. But first let me go back about 3-1/2 months. I was in Florida to celebrate my brother’s 70th birthday. He was playing in the Kenny G Pro Am as part of the Honda Classic Tournament. My brother was teamed up with a Ken Duke, a professional golfer that I had never heard of. But when we walked around the course with Ken, his caddy, my brother, and a couple of other amateurs, we got to know Ken and his caddy Chris Carpenter. They were the sweetest guys. Ken was raised in Arkansas and now living in Florida. Both men came with that down-home humor you find sometimes from good-old boys. Both Ken and his caddy made us feel welcomed and entertained us the whole time. Yes, my brother wasn’t partnered with Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy, but we had a great time and none of us would have traded Ken for any other pro. To top it off, their team came in 5th out of 50+ teams.

A little “tsk-tsk” came from behind me and I turned to see my Muse, Willow, shaking her head with an upturned lip.

“Very endearing.” Willow applauded as she walked up to me. “It must be fun to reminisce, but is boring the Readers a new facet of our Blog?”

“It is not boring.”

“Says you.” She flopped into her overstuffed leather chair, a fixture now in my room.

I needed a deep breath to continue. “I was just giving some background for the rest of the story.”

Snorting is not very lady-like, but then Willow isn’t– I guess I should watch what I say as she may be reading this.

“The Readers needed to know the background so they would understand the rest of the post.”

She rolled her eyes, but then looked at me waiting.

“As I was saying, we really got to know Ken Duke, so my wife and I started following him during each tournament. I was surprised when I checked the PGA Tour website this morning and saw that Ken was tied for 6th place going into the final day. Not that I didn’t think he was a good golfer, but he normally ends up in the middle of pack, though he has finished in the top ten this season.”

I guess I got Willow’s attention because she sat up and stared at me, asking for more.

“We sat and watched him as he moved up the Leader board until he was in first place. We cheered like crazy when he finished the 18th hole and the only other golfer that could catch him had a very difficult chip from off the green. And when the golfer chipped the ball in to make a birdie and tie Ken, our hearts sank.”

Willow sucked in her breath as if she couldn’t believe it. Just like we couldn’t.

“They started the playoff on the 18th hole, but they tied. So they had to play 18 again. And–”

“And what?” She sat forward.

“’Ken won.” I said sitting back with a grin.

“Yeah!” She cheered.

“But that wasn’t the best part.” I wanted to really reel her in now.

I could see that I better finish before she strangled me.

“Ken joined the PGA Tour in 1994, nineteen years ago.” I stared at her and leaned forward so she couldn’t miss what I was going to say. “ In a sport dominated by young stallions who, in some cases, aren’t even old enough to drink, Ken won his first tournament at forty four years of age. This is quite an accomplishment considering a player  Ken’s age or older, hasn’t won a tournament since 1995, eighteen years ago.”

Willow laughed and fell back into her chair. “That is fantastical.”

“Yes it is.” I nodded happy that she felt the same way I had. “This is what brings me to the title of this post.”

“I thought you just explained that?” She had a confused look.

“That was just the setup for what I wanted to say.” I laughed, then I couldn’t help and become serious as I thought of how this all impacted me. “I have wanted to write novels for over 40 years, but never made this dream come true. Last year at age 59 I started my current novel. A lot of people would say, ‘You are too old’, but lots of people had faith in me. I saw a story on TV this morning about a 76 year old grandmother who started writing novels six years ago. What she called “Erotic Romance”, though others might call it something else. She has written 150 books in the last six years. Another story I saw last week was about an 80 year old woman who was marrying a 91 year old man she had known sixty years ago. But what I picked up on was that she had decided to start writing 15 years ago, when she was 65, and already had a dozen books to her credit.”

“That’s impressive.” Willow nodded her head in appreciation.

“It is. And having turned 60 this year, to those people who would say I am too old to start a writing career, I would ask them to read the 76 year grandmother who writes porno books. Well maybe not. But there are lots of examples of people who made it big later in life. The greatest example of an artist becoming successful late in life is Grandma Moses who started painting in her 70s and kept being productive until she turned 100.” I had to breathe deeply again to overcome my own feelings. “As I said there are lots of examples of artists, both writers and painters, who have been successful late in life– and I plan to be one of them.”

P.S.
I am doing everything I can to get the word out about my writing, and for those of you interested, I am now on Twitter, putting out (and not every 5 minutes) updates on my progress and a snippet or two from the book. Check me out @PeterCruikshank

Also check out the Sample of the book. The first Three chapters can be found at Fire of the Covenant

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