HE SAYS:

I have mentioned that we are a very competitive family and that sports have been a big part of our family activities in “Sports Are A Reflection Of Life”; however, I failed to mention that the game we played the most often together as a family and with great competitive spirit was golf.   I don’t mean the version where the players must negotiate vast tracks of well manicured grass at exclusive country clubs.   I mean that much more intricate game of miniature golf that is played with great finesse as well as fine tuned eye hand coordination and motor skills.   In miniature golf you have more to contend with than some sand or a pond; you have to deal with such things as windmills, dragons and sliding trap doors as you traverse the booby trapped course.

Miniature Golf with our children - 1993

Miniature Golf with our children – 1993

Miniature Golf with our children - 1993

Miniature Golf with our children – 1993

Miniature golf became a big part of our Jersey Shore vacation experience and from the beginning we would find the time to play almost every day.   When my children were very young, I would patiently teach them the finer points of the game and as they got better the competition became more intense.   As they were learning the game, I would give each child a handicap based on their age and level of skill in order to keep the matches fair and competitive; however, even the handicap became a bone of contention.   As my children got older, they would invariably complain about the size of someone else’s handicap if that player was playing better than expected.   The handicaps have long since become unnecessary and, eventually, as the students became the teachers and could, on any given day, beat me, the matches became especially competitive with the gauntlet being thrown down at the beginning of every match.   Annemarie decided early on that she would rather be the official and impartial score keeper than be part of this competition.

The Champion Match - 2000

The Champion Match – 2000

One year, we decided to raise the stakes at one of our family matches and, inspired by a movie the children liked, we all agreed that the losers would bow down and say “we are not worthy” to the winner.   I will not reveal who won on that particular occasion but suffice it to say it was one of the children and the whole victory display was videotaped for posterity.   Just this year, when Annemarie, Julia and I went to the Jersey Shore in June to check on the condo, Julia challenged me to a head to head match at our favorite and quite difficult miniature golf course.   The competition was intense and after a well played match Julia emerged the victor.   At her request and in homage to that one match many years earlier, I bowed to her in deference to her greater skill on that day.   She posted that picture on Facebook with the caption “It’s a tough life always winning.”

Julia's Facebook picture - June, 2012

Julia’s Facebook picture – June, 2012

We have had many guest players join us on our family miniature golf matches and we always welcome friends and extended family to join in the fun.   Many of these guest players have been very good and, on occasion, even win the match; however, at its heart, every match is still about the family competition that is miniature golf with the Cardamones.

Our children with some guest players

Our children with some guest players

On Monday, Joe begins his two part story about his personal experience with identity theft in ”Who Would Want To Be Me? (The Beginning)”.  

WHAT DO YOU SAY?