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Bogey Boggs
by Eric Miller

Bartlett Barrington Boggs should have personified the phrase “to the manor born." With a name like that, how could it be otherwise?  Alas, that is exactly what it was: otherwise.

You see, Bartlett was a whoops baby: unplanned, unexpected, and unfortunately a tad bit unwelcome. Bartlett's father, Butley Butterstone Boggs, an over-the-top ne'er-do-well, who spent his life chasing his dream of fame and glory, which was wrapped in a golf ball, thought Bartlett should be called Bogey. His thinking was impeccable: he was the sixth of five boys, making him one over par on a par five hole. One would presume that Mom might have had other leanings; however, she thought the idea wonderful, since she was enamored with Humphrey Bogart, none other than the silver screened Bogie.

And that is how Bartlett  became forever known as Bogey, a moniker which neutralized any aristocratic nuance left in Barrington, and which spurred Bogey to become one of those one name people like the original Bogie, as well as others like Cher, Sting, Madonna, Bono, Ishmael, Liberace, Oprah, Spock, and Tarzan.

Ironically, Bogey wasn't interested in irons or woods, drivers or putters; or holes in one, eagles, or pars. He wanted to be a writer, which if you think about it, is somewhat related to being a golfer. After all, word counts are similar to stroke counts. Chapters are separate entities, like golf greens, and they are both linked collectively, in a book or on a fairway. The first letter of the first word of each chapter is the drive off the tee, and the last letter of the last word in the last chapter is the final putt.

Bogey felt like he was scarred with divots, but he persevered and followed his dream. He didn't complain when his balls didn't break in the right direction on the greens, just as he didn't complain when he was getting his balls broken by agents and publishers. For a guy who never used a caddy, he was surrounded by catty experts who told him that whatever he would write would be wrong.

But Bogey did find his groove, as he tapped his words, birdied his pages, and published a book named "Bogeyville,” which topped the charts for more than a year. The book was made into a movie, for which Bogey, himself, wrote the screenplay, and in which he was cast in the lead. He wished that his Mom could have been at the film’s opening night, and at the Academy Awards several months later. And on that special night, dressed in a tuxedo, he looked  like “to the manor born.” With his Oscar held high, as he stood before his peers, he gave thanks to his parents for naming him Bogey, and then he cried out: “Don’t shoot for pars. Don’t settle for bogeys. Fly on the wings of birdies and eagles to reach your dream.”

As he walked from the stage, his smile was as big as a divot could be.