Now it’s gone. Soon they will build a church on the property. This is appropriate, I guess — or maybe it’s redundant. 

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Brookside gone

Now, it’s gone.

A boy and his father were about to begin their round of golf.

I was hitting balls at Brookside golf course early one Sunday morning when I noticed a boy of about 13 and his father walking toward the first tee.

Brookside was a scruffy little nine-hole affair, a place where you are as likely to see players in tennis shoes and T-shirts as Foot Joys and Izods. You would also see more tattoos there per hole than at any other course in the state. It is also the first place my father took me and my brother to play when we were little kids.

At Brookside, you placed your ball in a rack and it rolled down a metal ramp. When your ball was the first one in the ramp, it was your turn to tee off. Brookside also had two cups cut on every green. When everyone in your group was on the putting surface, you placed the flag in the other hole and putted out on your hole, i.e. the flag you played to.

I loved Brookside, and although I had not played the course much in recent years, it was my favorite place to hit balls. I loved the atmosphere there, the lack of pretension. It was an “honest” golf course. You got what you paid for, and you didn’t have to pay much.

Brookside was the place where I played my one and only round with my grandfather.

On the way to the course, Pa Paw, as we called him, told us that he probably hadn’t played in about 30 years but he used to play golf on a course with sand greens. At that time, there probably were not many courses in the state that had grass greens.

He brought his old, wooden-shafted clubs with him. I have no idea what happened to these clubs, but I wish I had them today.

By the time our ball came up in the rack, a sizeable gallery had gathered around the first tee, waiting their turn to tee off. I remember that Pa Paw took a mighty swing but whiffed his first shot. Then he whiffed again, but there were no comments or snickering from the onlookers, especially not from me and my brother, who realized that we might suffer the same fate.

Pa Paw took five or six putts on the first green. That was understandable when you realize it was the first time he had putted on grass. On the second hole, he smacked his drive pretty good on his first attempt and took only four putts.

This pattern of improvement continued on every hole, and in fact, he parred two of the last three holes.

As I watched the boy and his father approach the first tee with their clubs strapped across their backs, it struck me that a game of golf with your father and/or grandfather is a pretty good thing, especially at an egalitarian course like Brookside.

Now it’s gone. Soon they will build a church on the property. This is appropriate, I guess — or maybe it’s redundant. For a lot of us, Brookside was a church.

Gary King Oklahoma City

Just stop already

Perhaps we should shut down all sewer lines and septic tank systems, as they might leak and contaminate drinking water.

And the Sierra Club should walk to their protests to reduce air pollution and the need for pipelines and refineries.

This makes as much sense as banning pipeline construction.

Alison Petrone (News, “Rights fights,” Laura Eastes, Sept. 14, Oklahoma Gazette) says, “We have to start acting.” Perhaps it is time for protesters to stop acting like fools.

Mickey McVay Oklahoma City

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Gary King

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