It’s been a week since the Memorial Service for my dear friend, Wayne Tanous, and thinking about how one can lose 40 plus years of a friendship in an eye blink.
Wayne was as close a personal friend as I’ve ever had in my life, and the bond we shared came about as a result of shared interests, and shared memories.
I can almost hear him as I write this saying, “Do you really have to do this?” He would smile, and all I can do is say, “Yes.”
Memories are what’s left, I guess, and as I was thinking about him the other day, I remembered many, but one pleasant one in particular.
As denizens of the Elbow Room, the old Elbow Room, for most of those 40 years, we shared a lot of laughter with the regulars who used to gather there in the evenings, and on Saturday mornings.
Now, Wayne never played golf, except for trying once or twice in his life, but when Tiger Woods came on the scene, it captured his imagination, and he would watch any tournament Tiger was playing in. He and I were both fans of Tiger, as was Danny Undem, the owner of the Elbow Room. Willie, who managed the joint was not, and that led to a lot of good natured banter about Tiger with Wayne, me and Danny.
Wayne had a birthday coming up, and I had an idea. Tiger had won 8 majors at the time, and there were bobble heads of Tiger for each one. I raised a few bucks from the guys, and bought the bobble heads.
The plan was to wrap each one individually and give them to Wayne one at a time for his birthday. Joanie and I wrapped each one, albeit crudely, and on a Saturday morning, I took the box of the bobble heads to the Elbow Room making sure I got there before Wayne.
After we had a crowd, Willie went back to the storage closet and got the first bobble head and gave it to Wayne. He was surprised, and got a good laugh out of it. Then someone else came back from the storage closet and gave Wayne another one. This went on until we had given Wayne all eight of the bobble heads one at a time, and he couldn’t believe it.
I also had contacted a friend who made a ND license plate with Tiger’s name on it and gave that to Wayne as well.
The anti-Tiger banter from Willie to Wayne and I continued after that for years, and Wayne gave as good as he got, after all, it was Willie and it was the Elbow Room, and he loved it.
Thanks for the memories, Wayne.