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Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

    by Tom Kelley

January 21, 2021

Recently, a friend and I sat down and conversed about death. It wasn't a morbid conversation but a rather light hearted one as we talked about how scary death is to so many and how welcome others view it. Then he shared a nugget of information with me that I didn't know. "Did you know that Henry Ford had a bottle in which he kept Thomas Edison's last breath?" Oddly enough, it's true. Ford and Edison were close friends. When Edison died in 1931 Ford was at his bedside and caught Edison's last breath in a bottle and then capped it. He still had it when…  ( Click for more )

January 14, 2021

Back in 1988 I had some problems seeing. One evening, while sitting in the family room of the Bellville Church of Christ parsonage, I asked my wife what time it was. She told me to look on the VCR. I told her I couldn't see the VCR. Two days later I was at the eye doctor being checked and fitted for glasses. The eye doctor kept trying to fit me with a pair of glasses that I would either have to take off or look over top of in order to see the congregation on Sunday mornings while preaching. He sighed and commented that I would have to have bifocals. "But isn't seeing…  ( Click for more )

January 7, 2021

When George Orwel wrote the novel, 1984, he coined a phrase that has stuck with American parlance. "Big Brother is watching you," has been a standard quip for government over-involvement since Rowel's novel became popular. Businesses today have security cameras in place to watch their stores and business concerns. As one owner put it, "We don't just watch the bad guys we watch our own to make sure they stay good."

Satellite technology has improved by such measures that areas of the earth can be watched from outer space and movements monitored on the other side of the…  ( Click for more )

December 31, 2020

Wouldn't it be nice to be related to someone famous? According to all the family legends and the way back ties, my family in Ireland were direct descendants of King Miletious of the Celts. Of course, they ate the people they conquered and were basically known as being well down the evolutionary ladder. However, my grandfather did tell me, on several occasions, that the famous clown, Emmet Kelly, was a distant relative. When I would ask how distant, Pawpaw would wink and say, "Way out in California, I think."

Several stars are related to each other. Actress Holly Hunter…  ( Click for more )

December 24, 2020

William Shakespeare wrote a play with the title, "Much Ado About Nothing." In our world today we have some rather glaring instances of just that. Many things are overblown and made more extravagant and important than necessary. Kind of like awards shows devised by the people who will receive the awards so they can have a televised special to give out the awards and make money doing something for themselves. And people watch.

The old Cleveland Browns franchise is one of a handful of franchises that has won the National Football League Championship four times. But all I hear…  ( Click for more )

December 17, 2020

Coincidence. It's the stuff superstition is built on. Take for instance the odd coincidence of L. Frank Baum and his famous book, "The Wizard of Oz," when it went into production as a movie. The production was lavishly done with brilliant colors since it was being filmed in color rather than black and white. As such, the Wizard had to be outfitted in elegant looking attire.

A group of coats was purchased from a second hand store in Los Angeles. The most elegant appearing one was chosen as the one to be worn by Frank Morgan, the actor cast as the Wizard. During the filming…  ( Click for more )

December 10, 2020

For as long as I can remember I have been a sports fan. My father before me was a sports fan. Being raised in the state of Ohio, my teams were, of course, the Ohio State University sports teams, the Cincinnati Redlegs, the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Royals. You may be wondering about the Redlegs and the Royals.

The Royals were the old National Basketball Association team located in Cincinnati. They moved westward and became the Kansas City Royals (about the time that the baseball team of the same name began) and then on to the west coast to become the Sacramento…  ( Click for more )

December 3, 2020

Yesterday I witnessed one of those little life vignettes that often go unnoticed by most of us humans. As I was pulling out of the parking lot of our bank I saw three black birds standing around a piece of paper that looked to be about four inches square. The feathers around their necks were ruffled and they were seemingly challenging each other. One of the three flew away and the other two positioned themselves on opposite sides of the piece of paper.

They had evidently found the cast off remains of some sort of food product, probably a candy bar that had melted in the sun…  ( Click for more )

November 26, 2020

Some people were made to own a dog. Or should I say have a dog. The concept of ownership never really enters the true dog lover's mind. My brother-in-law, Terry Simpson, is the classic example of a person who is supposed to have a dog. Terry treats a dog with love and respect and, quite truthfully, spoils the living daylights out of them.

The first one I remember is Tootsie. Tootsie was an outside dog but Terry did everything but bring her into the house almost every day. Of course he fed her, but it's the way that Terry treats a dog. He talks to them like they…  ( Click for more )

November 19, 2020

Covington, Virginia, has long been one of my favorite places to visit. My wife was raised in that area and still has family (five brothers and a sister) in the county there. This past week it was my pleasure to return to Covington for a revival with the good folks at the Highland Chapel Christian Church. It is always good to share with them. They have proven to be a very sincere and dedicated group of people.

During the course of the four days of revival I was constantly on the go there in the area. Driving the local roads is (no pun intended) a real trip. The roads are so…  ( Click for more )

November 12, 2020

I have several friends with whom I play golf. Oddly, out of the ten or so of us you would think a couple of us swing alike. We don't. The golf swing is a lot like hitting a baseball. The object is to make contact in the best way you can. That way varies from hitter to hitter and it varies from golfer to golfer. The bottom line is not whether your swing looks like the classic fluid swing of, say, Ernie Els, but whether or not it works.

From Arnold Palmer to Ray Floyd to Lee Trevino to Jim Furyk, winning golf swings are dramatically different. Arnold slashes at the ball.…  ( Click for more )

November 5, 2020

Back in 1973 my wife and I were ministering to the White Oak Christian Church on White Oak Road in Bath County, Kentucky. One weekend we had had an extremely large amount of rainfall and the area around the church building was flooded. We were staying with Charles and Mamie Denton (Charles has since passed on) for the afternoon that Sunday. I had decided to take a nap in the afternoon. Charles, Mamie and my wife, Becky, decided to take a ride and look at the flood waters.

He was floating on a piece of wood in an area that was flooded when the little group found him that day.…  ( Click for more )

October 29, 2020

Yesterday I heard a term I hadn't heard since the last time I talked to an old friend of mine. One of our church men, Donald Clark, and I were playing golf and talking about different things as we played. He was telling me about a friend of his that had been through a few husbands that were less than stellar and had made the comment that she guessed she was just a "jerk magnet."

The first time I heard that term was years ago while talking with a high school classmate of mine who had had a couple of failed marriages and a few stormy relationships in between. She looked at…  ( Click for more )

October 22, 2020

Last evening, while my wife and I were returning from worship service, we saw a scene that brought back a reminder of gentler days.  As we turned off Sebree Road outside of Stamping Ground, Kentucky, and onto Long Lick Pike we saw a man and his daughter sitting on the bank of a pond fishing.  It was one of those postcard picture moments that you wish you had a camera to record.  With that simple vignette floods of memories came to my mind.

My dad loved to fish.  It was his favorite thing to do when he had time off.  Often were the times that I would be…  ( Click for more )

October 21, 2020

Last evening, while my wife and I were returning from worship service, we saw a scene that brought back a reminder of gentler days. As we turned off Sebree Road outside of Stamping Ground, Kentucky, and onto Long Lick Pike we saw a man and his daughter sitting on the bank of a pond fishing. It was one of those postcard picture moments that you wish you had a camera to record. With that simple vignette floods of memories came to my mind.

My dad loved to fish. It was his favorite thing to do when he had time off. Often were the times that I would be awakened at 3:00 A.M. by…  ( Click for more )

October 1, 2020

Before last Halloween life was truly good. Funny thing. The only thing that has changed has been the presence of two little children who are the loves of my life. My grandchildren came into being on Halloween. Since that day I have been on cloud nine as a grandfather living from day to day waiting for the opportunity to spend some time with my grandchildren.

For several months now my daughter-in-law has been attending a class on Wednesday evening at the local college in Georgetown. She has been dropping the kids off here at about 4:30 P.M. and then getting them somewhere around…  ( Click for more )

September 24, 2020

In early 2004 my wife and I were searching for a place to buy in Georgetown, Kentucky. We decided for Georgetown against Stamping Ground (the area close to the church at which I preach) for a number of reasons. One was the absence of houses which we thought would fit our needs in the Stamping Ground area. Another was the price of existing houses in Stamping Ground compared to their condition. The third was location.

Georgetown is close enough to the church that I can be into the area within minutes. The subdivision we settled in is in a growing area of Georgetown that we were…  ( Click for more )

September 17, 2020

Aaron Harang, pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, had to know that his start was going to be a rocky one as he faced the St. Louis Cardinals. Standing on the pitching mound for the Reds, he was clearly shown wearing a baseball jersey that said he played for a team in "CNCINNATI." Somehow the company that made the jerseys for the Reds misspelled the city on the front of Harang's away jersey leaving out the first "I".

The Reds lost that game by the score of 5-1. No doubt the blown city name on the front of the jersey will take the blame. Hey, the players will be stand-up guys…  ( Click for more )

September 10, 2020

I learned to play golf on a course that was fairly wide open and totally grassy. That same course is still being played although it was rerouted and changed somewhat. It is still totally grassy and pretty much devoid of bunkers. There are a few but not as many as other courses. It makes the course play relatively easily and gives the golfer a very aesthetically pleasing surrounding.

Then there's Bent Tree Golf Club, near Sunbury, Ohio. The first time I played there was the only time I played there. I felt like I was in a demilitarized zone. There were so may bunkers…  ( Click for more )

September 3, 2020

One week ago today 74 year old John Meeks had surgery to repair a broken hip. Last Saturday he walked from his bed to the door. That may be only about twelve feet or so but it was a monumental accomplishment for John. His new hip has a new ball joint and several accessories that regular hips don't have. Those additions usually signify pain in the joint when it is first being used.

John's steps were not big steps. In his former life he would have covered those twelve feet in just a few strides. Friday it took ten steps with a walker, each one bathed in pain and stress.…  ( Click for more )

August 27, 2020

Many things can strike comedians as being funny. The way someone eats a bagel, the look on a schoolboy's face during recess or the hemline of a dress on a beautiful woman can catch their eye and they're off to the races to describe it in a way that tickles somebody else's funny bone. Some of their routines have become almost iconoclastic, assuming a place in the comedic lore of a generation.

Golf has taken its share of shots from the great comedians. From George Burns to Bob Hope to Johnny Carson, at one time or another they have all taken their best shots at…  ( Click for more )

August 20, 2020

This past Monday I renewed one of my yearly rites of spring. I watched the first home game of the Cincinnati Reds baseball season on Opening Day. Opening Day has long been one of my favorite times of the year. It's all the excitement for the coming season of baseball, the hopes and dreams, the fruition of the long winter months of negotiations with new players and the inclusion of what are hoped to be key figures in a run to the World Series.

Already this year, the newest Red has proven his value. Joe Randa, picked up from the Kansas City Royals of the American League,…  ( Click for more )

August 13, 2020

Tom Selleck has never really been a box office bonanza but he has been in some interesting films which strain the realm of possibility. In the movie, "Her Alibi," he plays a divorced writer who falls in love with an accused murderess from a family of Romanian clowns. He becomes her alibi against the murder accusation because he feels she is the answer to his need for the subject of a new crime novel.

As her alibi, he takes her to stay in his home in his guest suite. During the course of their intereaction she asks him about his former wife. He responds by telling the young…  ( Click for more )

August 6, 2020

Destinations. We all have, at some time, set out for a specific detination. If you belong to AAA you probably obtained a "Trip Tick" from them to help you get to your destination. Nowadays there are all sorts of computer programs and websites that can help us plot our way to even the most remote and insignificant of destinations. However, there are those who leave the destination determination to someone else.

In 2003 David Facey of "The Sun", a tabloid in London, England, had his paper book his travel plans for him to cover the Masters in Augusta, Georgia. He followed all…  ( Click for more )

July 30, 2020

The great singer, Beverly Sills, was once asked about what spurred her to be the accomplished vocalist she had become. In the course of her answer she said, "You may be disappointed if you fail, but you're doomed if you don't try." I wonder if she played golf. If ever there was a sport which combined disappointment tainted with impending doom, it is golf.

Perhaps the best scripture that can be associated with golf is Romans 7:15. "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do." Golf is a game…  ( Click for more )

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