The Caddy

by Nicholas S. DiMasi

The sun rises above the peaks of the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire in the town of Bethlehem. It shines its light on the two dormitory buildings housing the seventy boys who live there.  The thirteen year old boy sleeping in the lower bunk of a two bunk bed cubicle opens his eyes.  He climbs out of bed and, immediately, starts making his bed with hospital corners, straight and stiff.  The bed is so tightly made, that you can bounce a nickel on it. He proceeds to the bathroom and shower room to do his morning ablutions. There are at least twenty five sinks to choose from, and, of course a shower room that can hold fifteen at a time.  After returning to his bunk, he puts on the uniform: blue hat, grey jersey with the name of the caddy camp, grey kaki pants. Now, he steps out in front of the buildings of the camp, to gather with the other seventy boys forming a circle around the flagpole.  As the American flag is raised, he stands at attention, removes his hat with his right hand and holds it at the left shoulder, his hand being over his heart.

Then he and the other boys recite the following:

“The day returns and brings its petty rounds of irritating concerns and duties.  Help us to play the man.  Help us to perform our duties and responsibilities with laughter and kind faces.  And in the end, bring us to our resting beds, weary and content”.

He then proceeds to the squad to which he has been assigned to for the week, whether working in the kitchen, the dining room, cleaning the bathrooms, or sweeping the dormitories.  After the work, and after breakfast, he walks the one mile to the links, and awaits his turn to be assigned to a golfer.  He caddies eighteen holes, and then returns to the camp for lunch.  In the afternoon, he repeats the process and caddies another eighteen holes.  After supper, he will either use the hotel pool to swim, compete in sports at the camp, walk to town for a movie, or return to the links to play golf until sunset, depending on which day of the week it is.

Late at night, he returns to his bunk.  He is weary but content. He has performed his duties very well today.  He has played the man.