Lost My Pacifier

Forty years ago, I had some golf lessons from a local PGA teaching pro – Gene Worthington. Gene had been born in San Francisco in 1903 and came to the Chicago area in 1906 — after the earthquake.  He was inspired to become a golf pro while caddying for the famed amateur Chick Evans — founder of the Evans Scholars Foundation.

One Saturday, I popped for a 9 hole golf lesson from Gene.  We got a cart (Gene was in his mid 70’s) and we teed off.  For each shot, Gene gave me a bit of guidance and post-shot commentary.  As we rode down one fairway, Gene began talking about what he remembered of San Francisco.  Little snippets of cognizance.  “But” he said “there is one thing that really stands out in my mind about the train trip to Chicago.”  I looked at him as he steered the cart.  “I remember that I lost my pacifier.”  This wonderful septuagenarian went on to describe in glorious detail how – as a three year old – he felt great trauma when he lost his pacifier.  His countenance darkened “My parents told me that the train conductor had taken it.  But I knew better.” 

When our daughter Lauren was born, I always kept that “lost my pacie” story in the back of my mind.  Little people still have great memories. . . . .    

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