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January 12, 2010
My Favorite Golf Partner
You see, my grandfather was more than a grandparent, he was my best friend. And we formed this strong bond playing golf together. Usually at Portland Golf Course in the town I grew up in, Portland, CT.
But here's what's unusual about us becoming so close on the golf course: Gramps had really bad asthma. Yet the moment he stepped on a golf course - it disappeared! It was magical really. Imagine having severe asthma and finding sanctuary on a golf course.
And although many people knew my grandfather because of his jewelry store on Main Street in Middletown, CT.... what most people didn't know is that Bernie Fields was a very generous person. Now when I say generous, I don't necessarily mean just with money. I say generous because he also gave back so much of his precious time to the local community, especially when it involved children.
For example, he founded the first Big Brothers organization in CT. It's called Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, and he started the Ahern Whalen baseball tournament. Both are still going strong because of Bernie.
In 1980, he was recognized for all of his hard work with the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen Award in Cromwell, CT at the old Lord Cromwell hotel. I was just 11 years-old at the time, but I remember the event well. Any time an 11 year-old has to put on a jacket and tie, it's remembered.
But what I remember most about the event was seeing Gramps up on the podium. I clearly remember thinking that this man is larger than life. And to this day, I believe that he really was.
If I accomplish and do half the great things he did in his lifetime, my life will be a major success.
With that, I'd like to tell my favorite golf partner: "Happy Birthday! I Miss You."