And next year, we’ll ride to hounds

When I read my invitation to the Dalton School’s alumni golf outing, I initially thought it was a joke. Golf? For kids who grew up in Manhattan? Maybe for Scarsdale or Greenwich High reunions, sure, but how the heck were Daltonians expected to play a game that requires more square footage than a terrace?

When I went to Dalton, it was the least suburban, least plaid-wearing, least sporty school you could imagine. We had a few teams that played in Central Park, but Friday Night Lights it was not. You could take Modern Dance for gym credit, and you could even get out of that by signing a “Missed the Gym Bus” sheet on the Phys Ed department door. Back then, the gym was on 92nd Street, and you weren’t permitted to walk there from the main building on 89th Street because it was Too Dangerous to stroll the Upper East Side on a Tuesday morning. We’d scrawl our names on the “Missed the Gym Bus” sheet, then sneak out for coffee and cigarettes.

My only Dalton-related athletic memory is of one of my richer classmates who lived in a floor-through apartment on Park Avenue. Her home was arranged in a circle, around the building’s air shaft, and she once invited me to “go jogging” with her through the chintz filled rooms. She’d calculated how many laps made a mile.

So when did all these asthmatic Manhattanites learn to play golf? Am I the only one who didn’t assimilate to non-urban life after graduation? Or is it (egads) because I’ve never owned a country house? I asked a fellow classmate who, like me, pointedly avoids going anyplace that doesn’t have a lobby. “Golf. Feh,” she shrugged, “it’s just glorified stick ball.”

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