On Thanksgiving Day, I’m reminded of things for which I’m thankful, like:
▪ The last time I saw Arnie, we shared a hug. It might have been the wine, but I cherish the memory.
▪ Having been married to the love of my life for six decades. And if I can remember to turn off lights, put gas in the car and take out the garbage, we might make it another.
▪ Live oak trees that have been standing there in Southern soil for a hundred years or more, silently telling stories of bygone days.
▪ Memories of churning peach ice cream on a summer afternoon.
▪ The chance that Tiger will thrill us again.
▪ Home, where the heart is, with friends in the house. Neighbors chatting about the weather and the grass. The thump of a basketball in a driveway.
▪ The squeals of little kids playing. Forays of deer and rabbits through the backyard.
▪ The genius who invented fried chicken.
▪ Michael Jordan. My owner can beat your owner.
▪ A college campus on a football Saturday, one of sports’ sweetest moments, played out to the blare and the drumbeat of fight songs and alma maters with ancient, funny words that are not supposed to be funny.
▪ Sitting on the steps near sundown, shadows growing long, and listening to the silence and thinking how blessed I am to live on this street, in this city, in this country, to have the family I have and the friends I have and all the years of memories I’ve saved up for when I get old.
▪ The expectation that the Panthers’ Luke Kuechly will be back soon and as good as ever. Meanwhile, all together now, “Luuuuuke!”
▪ Lounge singers, street musicians, songs that we danced to back when.
▪ That lady in the choir who hits all those impossibly high notes. Don’t try that. You could get a hernia just thinking about it.
▪ Country songs like “Hand Me The Pool Cue And Call Yourself An Ambulance.”
▪ The Head Shop, where I get my ears lowered. It’s like going to your favorite bar, but with coffee.
▪ The elections are over. Now hush. And pray.
▪ Golf, even the kind of wrinkled golf I play now. Because of the game itself and the companionship and what Agatha in the book “Golf In The Kingdom” described as “the splendor o’ the world.”
▪ Our not-so-young ‘uns, our in-laws who I wouldn’t trade for a band of angels, our grandkids, Molly with her citywide award for civic service, Jake with his Cedarwood Club golf championship, and I don’t know what all. Pull up a chair and I’ll tell you about it.
▪ Stock car racers. They are so good at what they do, they make the scary look almost easy. We’re going to miss Tony Stewart, especially his perfect nickname, “Smoke.”
▪ The Checkers doing things on ice skates that can’t be done.
▪ Having known Gary Graham, one of my all-time favorite golf buddies, who passed away recently, taking with him a lot of sunshine.
▪ Winter nights when there’s basketball to be watched, every game seeming more important than it probably is, but that’s just us.
▪ Ron Rivera, the man and the coach.
▪ The Carolinas Golf Association honored Xan Law, inventor of the ill-fated hip chip and one of the most delightful people this city has ever known.
▪ Cold nights when the Hornets are heating it up. Hot nights when the Knights are home, with all the familiar and treasured sounds of baseball filling the air.
▪ The Charlotte 49ers’ football team is getting there, where it aims to be.
▪ The PGA Championship is coming to town.
▪ Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we get it right for awhile. Crank up the carols, (but, as I’ve said before, not Twelve Days Of Christmas or that one about the little drummer boy) turn on the lights. It’s never too soon.
And please pass the turkey.
Ron Green Sr. is a retired Charlotte Observer sports columnist.