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Dad says chance of lifetime is worth skipping church

Posted: Sunday, April 12, 2009

I will not be in church today. It will be the first time in my life I will miss an Easter service.

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My dad likes to tell a story from when he was in college, about the friend of his father who called with an extra ticket to The Masters Tournament's final round, which fell on Easter Sunday that year.

My grandfather, a Methodist preacher who died before I was born, told my father to take the ticket, that he might not get another chance.

My dad had numerous opportunities to attend The Masters after that Easter. He went to work for a bank and was rewarded with numerous trips to Augusta on the company's dime, but he hasn't been back since leaving the bank for seminary 20 years ago.

I called my dad to tell him I'd be covering my first Masters. My dad, now a Presbyterian pastor, retold the story of his Easter trip and told me what his father told him more than 30 years ago.

"Enjoy it," he said. "You might not get another chance."

So, I won't be in church for Easter. For the first time, I will be working.

A veteran journalist from The Augusta Chronicle stopped by The News-Times office last week. I asked whether he was going to get out on the course.

"No," he said. "After this many years, it feels like work."

It's all new to me, I told him. I'm glad for the opportunity. Like my dad, I hope it won't be my last time.

Gymnasts on top

The awards keep rolling in for Hayden's Gymnastics.

Hayden's gymnasts competed in the Georgia Level 8-10 state meet March 23-24 and had two athletes qualify for regional competition.

Quinnlyn Diehl dominated level 8 events, winning first on bars with a score of 9.5, first on vault (9.55), second on beam (9.35) and was first all around.

Level 9 competitor Jasmine Brown took third place overall and was first on bars (9.10) and first on floor (9.175).

Boat show coming

Hayes Marine will hold its second annual in-water boat show next weekend.

On Friday and Saturday, the sales and service center in Appling will play host to a fishing demonstration and boat rides. A number of vendors will participate, including the Army Corps of Engineers, Bluewater Marine, Coast Guard Auxiliary and Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The free event will run from 11:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday.



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