25 Years ago on January 14th, I was finishing up the Annual Report for National Patent Development Company. The next day, I was scheduled to start shooting the American Stock Exchange Annual Report. It was going to be an elaborate 15 day shoot, full of special effects and snazzy graphics. But when I got back to the studio that night, there was a message on the machine that the entire shoot was cancelled. I was despondent. I had just lost 15 days at full fee, and the opportunity to make a lot of great new pictures.
I awoke January 15th to an unseasonably warm day, so I called 2 friends, both also self-unemployed photographers and off we headed to the golf course. It was cold, and I started miserably. I had a ten on the par 3 2nd hole, which for you non-golfers out there who don’t know about these things is about as bad it gets. I then parred the 520 yard Par 5 3rd hole and felt only slightly better.
I arrived at the tee on the 4th hole, a 149 yard par 3. I selected a seven iron, tried to clear my head of the cancelled assignment thoughts as well as the 10 on the 2nd hole and launched the ball towards the green. It bounced once, and spun into the hole.
A HOLE IN ONE!
I walked to the green and stared in disbelief at the ball. It sat comfortably in the hole, staring up at me. A lifelong dream answered. High fives all around and general exuberance. The rest of the round was a blur, my total score did not matter.
The tradition is that you’re supposed to buy drinks for everyone at the club when you make a hole in one. I was a little nervous about a huge bar bill as we approached the clubhouse. We got to the restaurant and their were only two other intrepid golfers sitting in a booth, finishing their lunch. They declined the drink offer, and I was off scott free. The middle of winter, it turns out, is a very good time to record an ace.
A hole in one certainly dulled, but didn’t eliminate the pain of losing 15 days at full fee. I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d rather have the money from the assignment or the hole in one. I returned to the studio high as a kite, but still aware of the next 3 weeks without any work booked. The message light was blinking on my phone machine, and one of the messages was from the Art Director at The Stock Exchange. She was extremely apologetic, and informed me that the Stock Exchange would pay 7 and 1/2 days full fee as a cancellation payment. High fives and general exuberance commenced once again.
A wonderful end to a very special day and clarity on the question, “Hole in one, or 15 day assignment”? The answer, easy. I’ve still got that hole in one, the money I’m quite sure would be long gone.
The Hole In One keychain - a gift from Foot Joy