The Bandera Courier
Bandera Courier
Thursday December 14, 2017
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Bad weather doesn't affect 'mailman' Charlie Thomas

Charles Prokop

After enduring about a year and a half of drought without experiencing a rain-out, the Good Old Boys golfers last month were hit with three straight weeks of tournament-day rain, accompanied by some bone-chilling winds. Two of those three outings at the Flying L course in Bandera had to be cancelled and in the other most of the contestants, drenched like drowning rats, after only a few holes picked up and beat a hasty retreat to warmer and dryer accommodations.

A forecast of rain showers for last week Monday's tournament almost made it four in a row, but when early-morning patches of sunshine began appearing, a few of the faithful decided to give it a go. It was the day after Christmas so only 13 yule-tide survivors had enough left in their tank to make it over to the Flying L in Bandera. Weather-wise the day started off okay, the cold temps mitigated by the friendly sunshine. Then, curses, a gusty norther blew in unannounced and sent golf shots flying every which way except straight.

Like a good mailman, no repugnantly bad weather will keep Charlie Thomas from completing his appointed rounds and making the game of golf look so deceptively easy. As we've pointed out so many times before, Charlie is blessed with a beautiful no-hitches-bared golf swing that is the envy of all who watch him in action. That swing and a feathery touch around the greens serve him well as he lives in the luxurious and exclusive 70s and low 80s neighborhoods.

Despite the windy conditions last week, the 59-year old Thomas cruised to a two-over-par 74 that netted 34 Stableford points. However, because he was needing a robust 30 points (amassed from previous low-scoring performances) he netted only a puny two points above his lofty handicap.

Still, the two points were enough to tie for first place in the affair with Dr. HC Day, the 93-year old phenom from Boerne who sacked in two points from his 96. Some would argue that the little Doc's 96, at his age, was not far removed in astonishment from Charlie Thomas' 74. Jiggs, as he's been nicknamed, was a general practicioner in Boerne for 35 years.

Only two other Charistmas survivors managed to improve on their Stableford handicaps, and even there by only a single point. Ted Brown of Bandera and Bill Szuba, a New England refugee hunkered down in Bandera to ride out the winter, got in on a bit of the prize money. Brown, built like a Green Bay Packer linebacker, shot an 85 and Szuba a 91. Points were worth $10 each.

Marshall Patton, the gentleman-scholar from Bandera and one of the really good old Good Old Boys, celebrated his 84th birthday on December 28. The elder-statesman whose background includes cowboying in Oklahoma, varsity football for Oklahoma State University, professional bronc riding and bulldogging, authoring two books and many articles about his career and enjoying the past few years playing golf at the Flying L in Bandera, was feted by his wife Betty Brister and a dozen close friends on Dec.28. A serious heart condition has kept him from playing golf in recent weeks but he is firmly resolved to get back to it early in 2012. His many friends certainly wish him God speed on that.
SO LONG FOR A WHILE: Your correspondent here has decided to take a four-month sabbatical in order to devote more time to several other writing projects that keep begging for my attention. Those would include some writing promised to the Castro Colonies Heritage Association for its project to compile a second volume of the History of Medina County, my hometown area.

The plan is to return to this corner on May 1. Meanwhile, reporting on the doings of the Good Old Boys Golf League will be in the capable hands of Charlie Prokop, one of the elite players in the GOB League who did a fine job of reporting while yours truly recuperated from rotator cuff surgery last year. Charlie's illustrious resume includes a doctorate in psychology and a stint as chairman of Trinity University's psychology department.

I'd like to wish all of you readers, golfers and also the staffs of the newspapers which have been carrying this column for the past 15 years, a really happy, healthy and productive new year. Of course I would enjoy hearing from any of you at