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Chicagoetry: Five Boys On A Golf Course

FIVE BOYS ON A GOLF COURSE

for CDR Dan F. Shanower, USN
Feb. 2, 1960-Sep. 11, 2001

Me Speed and Dan
were in the middle
of the first nine

At Springbrook Golf Course,
Naperville, Illinois, 1977.
We

Sucked. We just wanted
to be together.
Speedy and Dan were

the first new friends
I made in high school, dorks
in the Awkward Age, coming

together from differing
junior highs,
House of Saints and Sinners.

Speedy: Sts. Peter & Paul.
Me: Lincoln.
Dan: Washington.

Over the rough, on the
next fairway, Rod
and Ken (Jefferson).

They were on the
goddam golf team,
Very Big Deal.

I remembered Rod
from when were on the Blackhawks,
the NHL team (Naperville

Hockey League). I knew
he didn't remember me, no
clue who. So, in character,

I start to
hassle him: "Good one, ROD!
Cool guy, ROD!"

Later, he told me his
first response was:
"Who IS that asshole?!"

It became
a familiar refrain!

Over time, we all
came together. When "Some Girls"
came out, we were among

the first in line
at Soldier Field, July 8,
1978.

We'd commandeered Speedy's
dad's lime-green Cordoba,
headed downtown at 2 a.m.

We often used Speedy's mom's
Dodge van, after school,
to Bizarre Bazaar in Old Town,

looking for Civil Defense jackets
and bootleg records (at the time,
I didn't know what a "bong" was).

Graduation: Speedy was
Valedictorian, Ken was
Best Personality, I was

Class Clown (Rod: "I thought
Dan was
funnier").

Rod became Most Successful.
Fast Forward: Rod is at Southern,
Ken has started a business, Speedy

is at U. of I., Dan
at Carroll College, Waukesha,
Wisconsin. My sister called

with the news:
"Speedy died." Aneurysm
during a touch football game

on the U. of I. quad.
Five boys became four pall
bearers and a first friend.

Fast Forward: I'm watching
"Good Morning, America," Sep. 11,
2001. They interrupted

themselves. A plane had hit
the World Trade Center, then we
all watched the second one

hit. I start channel surfing.
Jim Miklaszewski, at the Pentagon,
where Dan was now a Commander

in Naval Intelligence, says
something just hit
the building.

The next day, Rod
called with the news:
"Dan's dead."

"O strong dead-march you please me!
O moon immense with your silvery lace you sooth me!
O my soldiers twain! O my veterans passing to burial!
What I have I also give you."

We who remained drove
a van to Arlington, VA,
for the military funeral,

smoking joints and telling
stories. The Navy
bore pall

for us
all.

-

J. J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He can reached at jjtindall@yahoo.com. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.



Permalink

Posted on September 11, 2008


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BOOKS - Chicago For Dummies.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Sears Motor Buggy.


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