She missed the Masters Golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., last weekend.
In Bobbie Jo Hall’s house in Sangerville, the Masters was always a worthwhile event.
Golf was her favorite sport, and when she died at age 51 last Tuesday morning after a courageous two-year battle with colon cancer, things will never be the same at the Piscataquis Country Club in Guilford, a place that was her second home for a number of years.
How she loved to play that course. Her husband, Rick, a scratch golfer, was her companion out on the winding, hilly nine-hole layout, but there will be no couples golfing action for him this season.
Oh, they will miss her there. And now, duties such as a position on the PCC’s board of directors, or groundskeeping chores such as mowing, weeding, planting flowers, aerating greens at the end of the season, and taking care of those greens will all fall to someone else.
Bobbie Jo also held the position of president of the country club for several years, finishing her duties in 2007.
I first met the likeable lady when I married into the Hall family 24 years ago. Rick’s sister, Shelly, my wife, another good golfer, has tolerated all this sports stuff from me for nearly a quarter of a century.
Bobbie’s dry wit and her captivating charm won a lot of folks over, and, of course, there was all this golf.
Bobbie was eulogized and remembered last week, and, my, did they turn out in droves to pay their respects to her. She loved golf, but it was her husband Rick and her son Dale who garnered most of her attention.
Oddly, I really got to know BJ — her nickname — after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Anyone who didn’t know her really found out about her character when a reporter from the Piscataquis Observer asked her last year about coping with the rigors of the illness.
“I’m fighting it,” she said, “in hopes that my struggle will help someone else.”
And my, did she fight.
No one told her what to do and when. She ran the show from start to finish. I never heard a complaint, and if you were in her presence, you saw her calling the shots – just like out on the golf course – feisty, spirited, and always smiling.
They’ll be gathering soon at the Piscataquis Country Club. Golf will be played. Stories will be told.
But there will be one smiling face missing. BJ’s husband Rick will hit his long drives off the tee while others look on in amazement at the distance he gets. Scratch golfers like Rick, who shoots in the 70s, always make me scratch my own head. Prodigious swingers often have an iffy short game. Not this guy.
The former Piscataquis Community High School of Guilford star athlete will find it lonely this spring.
BJ brought a lot of goodness to a lot of others.
Her view of the Masters this year was actually a heavenly one. Amen Corner gave her a different angle coming from the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes. Oh, those magnolias must have been spectacular from that distance. She took it all in and smiled. No more pain. No more IV drips. Just heaven, which is what she brought to everyone here on earth who had the privilege of spending any time with her.
30-Second Time Out
Like most springs, I get asked my predictions for professional baseball in 2009.
I’ll limit this year’s to the American League East.
I think the Boston Red Sox will win their division. I think the Tampa Bay Rays will finish second. I pick the New York Yankees to finish third.
Here’s why on all of this.
The Red Sox have too much pitching. The Rays still have a lot of young talent pending all the upcoming free agency. Although the Yanks have improved their team, they still have too many weaknesses and too many holes in their lineup.