In my foolish youth I was persuaded to join the N.C. State Rugby Football Club in which I attempted not to get hurt while earning Bachelor of Science degrees in both electrical engineering and mathematics. Unfortunately, I was not entirely successful and I shall be plagued by the remnants of those rugby injuries until the end of my days. Just to wind down a bit after graduation, I took up a less strenuous activity, decompression diving on deep shipwrecks hours sailing off the North Carolina coast. Many of those ships were victims of Nazi submarines and one, U352, was a Nazi submarine. At the time I had moved to Northern Virginia to take up my current employment at Delta Electronics, a manufacturer of equipment for radio stations, and I briefly became president of Virginia Divers, a now defunct club that ran the dive charters in North Carolina and other locals. When the club dissolved, I gave up diving, tried tennis and racquet ball for a few years and went back to my long term interest in golf.
When my father was long retired he said, "It takes fifty years to learn how to play golf." The late and well liked Bobby Bower, first professional at Springfield Country Club, taught me golf fifty years ago in the days when you could still play with a pilot who flew fighters in World War One. Unfortunately, I think my father's statement may not be accurate or perhaps some of us take a little longer. However, I still get invitations to play from friend who think I am a good golfer. I try to explain to them that a good golfer is one who doesn't curse too much and hardly ever throws a club. Furthermore, my handicap says I am not so good; the truth is my friends are even less good and I am only good by comparison. Still we have fine times sharing the experiences and lore of golf. I only wish it were possible to have another round with my father - the way he was before ALS took him.
Of course, as I suspect with any Mensan, a stack of books on a variety topics occupies my bedside topped by reading glasses when I must sleep. These books both inform and distract. Prior to 2009, I had sadly experienced the decreasing size of my circle of friends and colleagues as more and more passed beyond this world. The books were not enough to prevent dwelling on the fact that I knew more dead people than live ones. Yet in 2009 I experienced one of my most fortunate occurrences that involved a remarkable woman and my psychologist aunt who recommended I join Mensa. When I first heard of Mensa in college, I though the people who belonged to such an organization must all be egotistical and that I could never join such a group. OK, I was wrong and now I have many fine friends. I thank all my new Mensa friends for making my life better. I hope I can reciprocate.