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The Golf Trip That Almost Wasn’t

by | Jun 1, 2024

It is 4:43 PM on Thursday, May 30 and the long anticipated trip to Scotland for 12 days of golf at Royal Dornoch, St. Andrews, North Berwick and others is about to become reality. The getaway week has been spent carefully packing clubs, clothes and all the necessities for the trip. We were getting ready to watch the NBA finals and have a relaxing dinner. Last thing to do is to get is the passport, which is the top drawer in one of my home offices. It’s the same drawer that always contains the passport and it is the first thing that is deposited there after an international trip for the past 30 years.

I enter the office, open the drawer and voila–no passport. All the old expired passports are in the normal place but the current passport is not. I know that I deposited the passport in that drawer when we returned from New Zealand, two weeks ago. It’s impossible that I didn’t do it. Panic begins to set in but I know that the passport has to be in the house except I have no idea what may have happened. I then query my wife who admits to having used the passport to obtain information for her application for a Chinese visa, as we have a trip there planned for the end of July. Okay, then where is my passport? She believed that she put it in back in the drawer but obviously she did not. We proceed to jointly panic, but maintain emotion as we begin to rifle through the kitchen, dining room, her office–it’s a big house and were coming up empty. I text my son, Ian, who had been staying in that room for a few days and he believed that the passport was in the drawer, but he didn’t differentiate the expired passports from the effective passport since he didn’t observe carefully.

Time is passing and there is no clue of what to do–Linda is starting to hyperventilate and I’m calling my friend to tell him that his partner for the Dornoch matches will be a no-show. The considerable trip cost, uninsured, plus using up a great deal of flight miles will be toast and I’ll be spending June in California instead of Scotland. Fortunately my friend is not home so the message isn’t delivered. Ninety minutes have passed and we have gone through just about everything. I call Carol, my administrator, and tell her that maybe Linda sent my passport along with hers to the company processing her Chinese visa and perhaps they forgot to mail my passport back. It made no sense to me that my passport would have been used in this way, but I was out of ideas. It was nearly 6PM so that office was not reachable and even if they had it, I would never be able to get it back in time to make tomorrow’s flight (Friday). I didn’t raise my voice or get angry since that wouldn’t unearth the passport, but I told Linda that if I wasn’t going to Scotland, she wasn’t going on her ocean cruise to Turkey either. Of course, this was an empty threat but she actually agreed that she was going to cancel the cruise. I wasn’t serious but I didn’t make any comment either. She was a wreck and we both recalled that this looked like Billy losing the Savings and Loan deposit in Jimmy Stewart’s Christmas film, It’s a Wonderful Life, while Potter stole it.

At about 6:10PM with the Mavericks destroying the Timberwolves on the TV in the background, Linda reached for her kitchen apron, which was hanging on a kitchen chair about eight inches away from me. She reached into the apron pocket and out popped my passport–the real passport. We couldn’t believe it–apparently she believed that she was wearing the apron while completing her Chinese visa application and was about to return the passport to the desk drawer when something or someone distracted her and that passport never made it out of the apron. At just about 6:20 my friend called back and I was able to relay this story, relieved and happy that my intended prior message was no longer necessary. Linda was still a wreck and demanded a stiff drink, which she hasn’t had in many months. I told her that this was really a happy ending that could have been tragic for my golfing venture and all the rest of it. How do you tell a group of golfers headed for Scotland that you lost your passport–even if the dog ate it? There still was no relaxing dinner as cooking turned to Door Dash and the Timberwolves got smashed by the Mavericks to end their NBA season.

It was a weird day with the Trump verdict, Nelly Korda making a 10 on a Par 3, and Phil Mickelson retiring from golf (maybe) and replacing Greg Norman (maybe) as the head of LIV golf. It was an exciting evening in the Bronson household with a positive outcome and we’re on our way to Edinburgh.




  1. Tim Doron

    Joe fascinating stuff glad it ended well for you.

  2. Ken Talmage

    Delighted you joined the trip!


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