Irene barks but doesn't bite too badly

        I spent most of today sitting in an easy chair watching the tall pines and maple trees in our rain soaked Connecticut backyard for signs they might topple toward the house.  Not even close.  Tropical Storm Irene left her hurricane designation somewhere south of us, and as I write this at 4 p.m. on Sunday, the sun is shining through intermittent clouds and the wind is more zephyr than gale force.  Although our Governor was prudent in warning citizens to stay off the state roads last night as the first bands of Irene arrived, my wife and I were two hours from home at a wedding in Fishkill, NY.  We had planned to stay the night but with the prediction of power outages in Connecticut and no guarantee we could get back home to son, dog and dogsitter until Monday, we left the wedding at 10 p.m. and made a, thankfully, uneventful drive home through intermittent downpours of short duration.  Like the storm today, the drive was a pleasant surprise.

        As for the wedding, the bride and groom, their families and friends seemed non-plussed, despite the defection the night before by the band, which did not want to risk being stranded for the night in Fishkill.  Fortunately, a friend of the bride is a DJ whose own gig at another wedding on Saturday night was cancelled, and he drove through the early morning hours Saturday to get to the wedding site to set up.  He did a great job of DJing on little sleep (ahh to be young again).

        There was a slight golf component to the wedding, which was held at a beautifully situated venue called The Garrison, about 75 minutes north of New York City and overlooking the Hudson River far below.  I knew nothing of The Garrison and was surprised to find a stunning looking golf course on site, open to the public and with weekday green fees of just $65, cart included.  The first tee was about 30 yards from the front door to the banquet hall, and I snuck out just before dark to stand at the back of the tee box.  Off to the right lies the Hudson, which seemed carved out of the surrounding mountains as it makes its way north a few miles toward West Point.  The par 4 hole drops straight down before taking a dogleg to the right, with a few strategic bunkers placed near the elbow by designer Dick Wilson.  If the rest of the golf course is anything like the opening hole, it should be a treat.  The golf course opened in 1961, the reviews I've read today are uniformly good, and I look forward to a round there soon.  It would be especially beautiful when the leaves change color in October.

        I hope any of you on the east coast were treated as well by Irene.

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