It's in the woods

August 1, 2009 

This might explain everything. It might explain why former Gov. Mike Easley was kind of an under-the-radar guy, why his people didn't have much to say about where he was and what he was doing when he was governor. Yes, yes, perhaps it's clear now. At least a viable explanation has emerged.

The News & Observer's J. Andrew Curliss reports that Easley, always a "man of the people" sort of fellow who loved NASCAR and took up guitar playing and liked coastal pursuits at his home in Southport (where as it's turned out, he spent a good chunk of his governorship) had another hobby he didn't talk much about. Golf was the game, and the very elite Old Chatham Golf Club on the outskirts of southern Durham was one of his hangs. This is no everyman place, what with a $50,000 joining fee when Easley became a charter member before his election as governor in 2000, and a $795 monthly fee, bigger than many folks' mortgage payments.

Could it be that the former governor kept things like schedules close to the vest because he didn't want regular ol' taxpayers to know he was hobnobbing with the swells?

But there might be another reason. Now, we all know how golfers are. They want to be thought of as skilled athletes. Amateurs dream of being professionals and tell fanciful tales of their low handicaps (the number of strokes amateurs are from par). And they never, ever want to acknowledge shortcomings.

Thus, our theory is as follows: Then-Gov. Easley had a horrible slice in his golf swing, and when he played Old Chatham, his ball would go into the woods, and he and the Highway Patrol would be gone for long stretches trying to find it. Hence the gaps in logs, and all the secrecy.

It might well be true. Golf does things to people.

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