When he was 85, Paul B. Good told his son: Let's go see the Rockies.
His son was secretly petrified. Mr. Good had had a pacemaker for 20 years.
"So I run off and take a CPR course," said the son, Jerry Good, now 68. "I figure we're going to be out in the boonies and I'm going to have problems."
But, no problems. Only a grand time. And what a son thought might be a last hurrah with Dad turned out to be the first of 10 annual adventures.
In St. Petersburg, Mr. Good was a driving force behind Kids and Kubs, the Harlem Globetrotters of senior softball. He was the longest-serving president in club history. And he may be best remembered for taking his aging, ageless team to Midwestern locales where visions of Florida still include old coots on ballfields, swinging for the fences.
To hear Jerry Good tell it, Mr. Good hit a home run as a father, too.
"We were terrific friends," Jerry Good said.
Mr. Good died Nov. 16. He was 98.
Stocky and strong, Mr. Good was a talented athlete. He played semipro basketball before becoming a stockbroker, and until joining Kids and Kubs at age 75 was still shooting his age in golf.
His reflexes were cat-quick, honed by years of tapping out Morse code in the brokerage business. A few years ago, four generations of Goods tested themselves with a gizmo that measured reaction time. Great- Grandpa, in his mid 90s, still proved the fastest.
Off the field, Mr. Good was easygoing, said Kids and Kubs vice president Clarence Faucett. But when he stepped between the white lines, "it was a different ball game." One photo shows a man in his 80s, bat on shoulder, staring toward the pitcher's mound. The caption says, "Throw the damn ball!"
Mr. Good the softball guy was so intense, he recruited players for tournament games.
Mr. Good the father was best man at his son's wedding. The pair played golf together for years. Their road trips took them to Utah, New Mexico, the Smokies in Tennessee.
Mr. Good's own father worked him hard clearing land in New Port Richey. They didn't talk much, didn't play much. Mr. Good told his son, "I was going to be different for you."
As a kid, Jerry Good recalled, he and Dad played catch every day. As soon as Mr. Good got home from work, they would get the mitts and hit the yard.
Dad never said, "I'm too tired."
Ron Matus can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8873.