Diary: Meet an 8-year-old lad who can recite poetry
If we thought our new friend Fraser Gemmell was a hoot, nothing prepared us for meeting his exceptional 8-year-old son Lewis. After all, how many 8-year-old lads do you know who can recite ancient poetry with expert aplomb?
By Mark Spoor, PGATOUR.com Coordinating Producer
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- We met up with our pal Fraser Gemmell again last night. He was his normal, jovial, inviting self. We also got to meet his wife, Eileen, a blonde, motherly type who shares Fraser's love of life and warm disposition.
Then -- we met Lewis.
Lewis is Fraser and Eileen's 8-year-old son. To say that this kid is exceptional is a little like saying Tiger Woods is pretty good at golf. How exceptional is he? He recited two Robert Burns poems to us last night.
Don't know who Robert Burns is? For those of you without the ability to Google someone, he's an 18th century British poet whose penned works including Cottar's Saturday Night, Holy Willie's Prayer, Address to the Devil, The Mouse, The Daisy, and others.
Here's a little sample of Burns' work:
But soon the sun broke through the heath
And lighted up that field of death,
When Bruce, wi' saul-inspiring breath,
His heralds thus addressed:--
"Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled--
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led--
Welcome to your gory bed.
Or to victorie!
Did I mention Lewis was EIGHT? What's more, he's also quite proud of the fact that when he's asked to write an essay, he always writes more than the teacher assigns. He also squeezes as many words as possible on a page, often using the space outside the margins.
He reminds me a bit of Macaulay Culkin -- in look only. He's also very good at mimicking the American accent. He had us in stitches with his favorite American saying "I want a cheeseburger," which his mother said he continued to say over and over last night while he was brushing his teeth before bed.
Ironically, Lewis hates cheeseburgers -- and chicken nuggets. They made him very sick once.
The Gemmells have homes in both Glasgow and Letham Grange, where we are tonight. When asked which locale he likes best, Lewis said Letham Grange. When asked why, he replied, "the smell."
Before Lewis left to go to bed, we had a staring contest (he now holds a 1-0 career mark in staring contests), I gave him my card and told him to send me an e-mail when he's done writing something that he's proud of. I also told him to look me up if he's ever in the states. He then shook my hand and said, "It was very nice to meet you. Goodnight." He repeated the line and the handshake (or hug for the ladies) for everyone around the table before going up to bed.
It was nice to have met you, too, Lewis.
After Lewis went to bed, we had a discussion about the Brits' opinions about American sports. They seem to be fascinated by American football, but at the same time they are frustrated by the fact that it has a stop-and-go quality to it. Baseball is OK to them, but too slow. For them, it's all about rugby or their version of football.
Speaking of football -- the European version -- our unscientific survey showed they are still fiercely behind David Beckham's foray into American soccer, but they aren't so much behind his foray into marriage to a former Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham.
They're also not behind our practice of shouting things like "you da man" or "get in the hole" after a player strikes a ball. They say it doesn't make any sense. After all, they say, how is someone going to hit a tee shot on a 600-yard par 5 into the hole?
Point taken. Talk to you tomorrow.