A few days ago, I rode down to Richmond with William H. Darden and Norvill Jones of Reynolds Metals, and Edd Hyde, who is retired from Reynolds and probably plays more rounds of golf a year than Jack Nicklaus does.
When chairman of the board David P. Reynolds called the annual meeting of stockholders to order, he began his presentation by saying, "First, the good news."
Was he going to tell us that we made a lot of money in the first quarter? Heck, no. With the automobile and construction industries enduring hard times, the aluminum business must suffer with them.
The good news was that a mother duck and a half-dozen ducklings had on the day before arrived in the lovely pool around which the Reynolds administrative building is built, and had set up residence there for two hours. a"We all watched delightedly as the mother duck moved about with the ducklings strung out behind her," Reynolds said. "Then she decided the pool across the street was even nicer, so she paraded them over there as all traffic on Broad Street came to a halt until they were safely across. I'm afraid we didn't get much work done during those two hours."
On the way back to Washington I found myself reviewing that pleasant interlude and thinking about a contrasting incident that Hyde's golf stories brought to mind -- the report that many months ago a local golfer had killed a goose with a golf club.
This week, a friend phoned to suggest that I call Dr. Herman F. Bernstein, a retired dentist. "Ask Herman about the goose at Woodmont Country Club," he suggested.
"Oh, no!" I said. "Don't tell me we've had another goose killing."
"No, no," was the answer. "Herman doesn't kill them, he feeds them."
I called Bernstein an asked him to tell me about the goose story.
"The goose stuck in the drain culvert?" Bernstein asked. "Some members had heard a goose making a lot of racket the day before, apparently because he was in trouble of some kind. I know most of our geese, and I was concerned. About 40 or 50 geese arrive here right after April first each year and head for the same nests they left the year before. They're like old friends, and I feed them. I know them and they know me.
"I went out looking for the goose, but it was getting dark and I couldn't find him. The next day, I heard they had found the goose. I went out with Tony Marlowe, and our head pro, Joe Howard and Mike Simmons.
"We found that the goose had fallen into a drainage hole. He was about eight feet down, trapped there because his wingspread is so great that he couldn't spread his wings to fly out. Mike began crawling down head first while Joe Howard Held Mike's heels and Tony and I held Joe. Mike got the goose out, and I think the honking that followed was meant to say "Thank you." How do you guys find out about such trivial things?"
Well, if we report on the unhappy incidents I think we have an obligation to report on the happy ones, too.