Dress codes at the golf course and bad restaurant seating give me the bell-bottom blues

Dress codes at the golf course and bad restaurant seating give me the bell-bottom blues

Thursday, August 21 2014

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

I hope y’all are good up there in Heaven. We are burning up down here in Texas. Well, maybe not “burning up,” but it’s dang hot! It’s funny, because people all over the world always talk about the weather, good or bad. Here in Dallas, we can ride year-round.
I actually rode on New Year’s Eve 1999, and I was riding my 1982 FXE Shovel when the millennium arrived. I wanted to be able to tell my grandkids that when the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, I was riding my motorcycle! Remember, some people were saying the computers were all gonna shut down and there would be a run on all the banks. Some even predicted the world would end. Yeah, well, thank God none of that happened, but I did have a bad headache that next morning.  
Hey, Grandpa, I don’t know if I ever told y’all, but I actually started a new hobby a few years ago that has nothing to do with motorcycles. Believe it or not, it’s golf. Yep, I’m a golfer and I really, really enjoy the game. I try to play about once a week, early in the morning. I can normally play in less than three hours.
I have to tee off at sunrise, ahead of everybody else, so that I don’t have to wait on some goobers in front of me. So when I do play, my schedule goes like this: I’ll come to work at 2 a.m., get all my paperwork done and head to the golf course at 5 a.m. This time of year I can tee off at 6 a.m. and I’m back at work before we open at 9 a.m. I think I enjoy golf because it allows me to escape, if only for a few hours, and focus on something besides my business, even though it’s only a short time. A three-hour round of golf to me is like a weekend off!
When I play golf, I don’t wear typical golf clothes … unless the golf course makes me. Most of the courses around Dallas-Fort Worth know me, and they let me wear my normal blue jeans and a Strokers tie-dyed T-shirt and boots. Sometimes, if they don’t know me, they make me wear them goofy golf clothes, but as soon as I get out of sight of the clubhouse, I change back to my street clothes. I don’t like to be censored and I don’t think I have to look like all them other golfers wearing their disco outfits.

Lately, I have experienced some profiling due to the way I look, and that doesn’t just happen on the golf course. Many times, my lovely wife, Susan, and I have been seated in the back of a restaurant, and we both know why. OK, so I’ll admit that nobody confuses me for a young Clint Eastwood.
When I was at a golf course in Santa Fe last year, we had to wear my disco golf clothes. The guy working in the clubhouse recognized me and blurted out, “Rick looks like a dropout from clown college!” I was wearing some Loudmouth American flag pants and a long-sleeved, tie-dyed polo shirt.
One of my pals thinks he’s being cute by telling people that I look like a cross between Jesus and Charles Manson. But that’s still no reason to be profiled by some knucklehead who works in a restaurant. It does happen frequently and it’s starting to get old. Maybe next time it happens, I’ll buy the joint and fire the offender! Yeah, well, maybe not.
Hey, Grandpa, I would love to have known you as a pal. I’ve seen the pictures of you working on your farm in Sayre, Okla., and I would like to have been around to help you. I’m not near as tough as you were, but I think I could still drive the tractor. What’s that? You didn’t have a tractor for many years? You plowed the fields behind a team of mules? Every day, seven days a week? Well, I think you’re the best dang Grandpa a boy could ever have, and I guess that’s where it’ll stay! I love you and Grandma, and I think of y’all every day.

Rick Fairless is the owner of Strokers Dallas, Strokers Icehouse, Strokers Ink, RF Custom Parts and now, Big State Fountain Grill.

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