Saturday, January 18, 2014

Goodbye Dear Donny (about Donny Kunshier)

A friend, my age, died recently and moved on out among the stars where he shall “forever sit, triumphing over death and chance and thee, O Time.”
by Charlie Leck

Donny was a good buddy. I liked him an awful lot. I met him through his marriage. His wife and my wife were good friends. We saw each other often as couples. Then, his wife divorced him. She was looking for rainbows and fireworks. She left him with the two boys and went off on an excursion of excitement. I was pretty pissed at her and still am. She’ll read this. She reads me occasionally and she’ll get her underwear twisted up over it. I don’t care. It just wasn’t right. – not that way! On the other hand, she marches to the beat of a different drummer and hears only that beat. Others are incidental in life.

I remained friends with Donny, but he was never really comfortable with the friendship. Somehow, he connected it to his marriage and it seemed he’d just as soon forget the connections. Nevertheless, my wife and I were helpful to him a couple of times when he needed it and we found it meaningful and self-fulfilling to assist him on those occasions. We probably got more out of the relationship than he did.

We saw each other somewhat regularly but it was always because we ran into each other and not that we arranged it. I did have him to my place to golf a couple of times but he never advanced any proposals to get together. We bumped into one another at golf events – at rules seminars and events associated with Minnesota golf.

So, our relationship laid fallow – untilled – over the years. It was there and it was pleasant, but it was certainly unfulfilled. Everyone likely has a relationship – a friendship – or two like this.

This was one very, very good man. He raised his sons and gave it enormous effort. They grew into good young men after the rockiness that most boys go through as they set off to sail their high seas. Donny gave the rest of his life to golf and to his work. You could count on one hand the things that were important to him: (1) His sons and his family; (2) His job and the company for which he worked; (3) golf; and (4) his golf friends. I’ve got a finger left over and don’t know how to use it. I’d like to use it to point to the name of another significant woman he found to share his life. He never did. He remained forever in love with the dippy broad who walked out on him. He’d never admit it (and some others might not either), but I’m telling the story and this story is mine right now.

I’ll go to a memorial service for him tomorrow. Guess what? It’s at a golf course where the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame resides. Donny was the curator and tender of Minnesota golf history (he was our official historian) and the little museum he set up is there at the course. It’s where we ought to gather to memorialize him. Jesus, I liked him. I mean it, sir! If you’ve got any pull, find him a neat spot there among the celestial bodies– a place from which he’ll look out over some beautiful golfing land.

Sleep well, dear friend, prince among friends, and be forever at peace!

The Minnesota Golf Association
posted an obituary about Donny on its web site
you can find it here).


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1 comment:

  1. Well done, Charlie. I remember your stories about your friend and am saddened by his passing. He seemed like the kind of guy that would do anything to please the ones he loved, even if the efforts weren't appreciated or reciprocated. I hope his ex reads my comment, too, because I share your sentiment.