balls out



     day after day, i see him sitting on his front porch, hours at a time, as i walk downtown and back. always perched between the 2 white lions, and looking over his little kingdom – a perfect, green lawn, mowed just so, with soldier-straight rows of plants and flowers – everything manicured and dead-headed and edged and aligned and watered and fertilized. he wears a polo shirt, 3 buttons done up, always the color of a sherbet, neatly tucked into his crisply-ironed and belted shorts, and on his feet are spotless white socks and shoes. i see his sign, carefully hand-printed – ‘3 golf balls for 1 dollar.’  

     he always nods and smiles as i walk by, a silent sentinel. one day, i walk up to meet him, to buy something, to ask him his story. he slowly approaches me, a bit shy, and tells me i can search the basket to find the ‘best ones’ and then just come back to the porch to tell him how many i have and he will trust me. 

     as i go up to the porch to pay him, i notice his mustache is as perfectly trimmed as his lawn. he’s an older man who carries a quiet and gentle pride about him. there is one leaf on his perfect lawn, showing his humanity.  he smiles with his eyes as he tells me he’s done this for a few years, won’t reveal how he gets the golf balls, or anything else about his interesting business, only that it’s his hobby. he lets me take a picture but doesn’t want me to use his name or his face.

     i can see it’s his simple joy, and more important than any money he makes, it’s his way of keeping in touch with the world.  he values the conversations he has with people who stop by throughout the day. he has lived a full life and now is enjoying sitting quietly between the lions and watching the world unfold before his eyes. 


It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling. 

Mark Twain


52 responses »

  1. Hi Beth. 🙂

    What a sweet man and look how tidy everything is! My sons friends dad lived right next to a golf course. He would go out in his buggy in the night and retrieve the lost balls. Lol Hope you had a great day. Hugs Paula xxxx


  2. I was expecting an array of naughty jokes there but I like this a lot better, and what a great story you have revealed my sweet friend 🙂 Now all we need to know is where he gathers his balls from, hey and no wicked remarks either or else? 😉 lmao

    Have a fun rest of day K S Beth 🙂

    Andro xxxx


  3. I liked that you wrote about this man in a respectful way. You showed his dignity and his way of connecting with the world. I liked this post a lot, more than the pictures, because your words were so touching!


  4. What a great story. You treated a man many might see as eccentric in a very respectful way. The picture caught my eye and I couldn’t resist reading the story behind it. 🙂


  5. Your posts should be required reading for all of humanity–so wonderfully spun and they say so much (w/out preaching) about how to live a good and decent (and fun 🙂 ) life. Well done, Beth. And good luck starting back at school.


  6. I loved this one! We lived right smack near a golf course when I was growing up except our backyards had the ocean view and my friend’s had the golf course view. Beside a few strays in our front yard… we didn’t get as many strays as the neighbor’s across the street. If you guys aren’t near a golf course… I am curious how he fills his orders! LOL.
    Thanks for sharing!


  7. I love this. My grandad kept his yard the same way. I love your interaction with this fabulous old gentleman. I can feel the joy and pride he takes in caring for himself and his place. What a wonderful way to stay connected with people. Such a blessing. Thank you for sharing!


    • it must take a certain personality type, interesting the number of people who recognized someone they knew who was similar. i agree, it is a lovely way for him to stay connected )


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