Jean, Alan’s fiancée and lover of many years, asked me to say a few words today. I would like to talk about Alan. I would also like to talk about Alan and “geyser golf”. And, finally, I would like to say a few words about Alan and the people he loved.
I had the pleasure of driving in a golf cart for four years with him each summer and fall. Alan Moutran was the perfect gentleman. He was quiet, well spoken, erudite, level-headed. He did not exaggerate. He wasn’t loquacious. He never got mad. He never had an angry fit. I never saw him throw a club. I never even saw him mad at himself.
He loved everything about golf. He was a student of the game. He loved it with passion. He honored the game. He loved its etiquette. He read up everything dealing with golf. He loved to learn about the latest equipment. He couldn’t play too much. For him golf was the constant pursuit of perfection. He loved to practice.
He always wanted to pursue the perfect stroke, the perfect swing, the perfect follow-through. And he enjoyed watching others play the game. He wouldn’t correct you. He was too much the gentleman. He would simply say to you something like “ you lifted your head” or “ you didn’t follow through”, in a matter of fact way. It was not a criticism.
Which of course brings me to my next point: Alan and “geyser golf” on Tuesday afternoons. And of course the fundamental question we all asked ourselves: why did he play “geyser golf” with us on Tuesdays? I should clarify that “geyser golf” is golf for people with very high handicaps, like George, Rodney and myself. Alan really was lowering his standards playing with us. At one point we thought we had perhaps singlehandedly lowered his golf game!
I know from Jean that the one issue he complained about was that we played so slowly. I’ve thought about this for quite a while and it bothered me until I realized it was so obvious. Alan would take 3 or 4 or 5 shots to get from the tee to the hole. We could take 6, 7 or 8 shots. Alan with his refined swing would hit from tee to fairway to the green and into the hole. Unfortunately though for him he never enjoyed the beauty of the course, like we did. We had the pleasure of seeing and savoring every aspect of our lovely course: the trees, the bushes, the heavy grass, the flower beds, the sand traps, in and out of bounds. You see we know the course. He never had the simple pleasure of having to walk around for 5 or 6 minutes just trying to find your ball. So yes, damn it, we were slower than him! But he enjoyed the camaraderie and our weekly bet –which happened to be a round of drinks, and our conversations after the game!
I’m sure we will find in time a fourth player. But it will be another player, never a substitute.
Finally, I would like to say a few words about the people Alan loved. Meredith and Melanie, not a week went by in the summer and fall that your father would not give us an update on both of you. He just loved the two of you so much. He was so proud of your accomplishments. He wanted us to know everything about you. And he loved spending time with you.
Meredith, you were his first-born, his special girl, that extraordinary relationship between a first-born and her father. He talked about how competent and self-assured you were, your wonderful work in higher education.
Melanie, he was so proud of you when you went to Taiwan, how you were determined to become fluent in Mandarin, and how recently you got a big job in New York City precisely because you could speak Mandarin.
Brett and Leah, and, indeed, all of Jean’s family, you all knew how giving Alan was, and how much he cared for each one of you.
And there was no better son than Alan to his mother, who is still alive.
And, Jean, you simply were the love of his life. He loved to talk about your every success. We all knew -and, indeed, were reminded if by any chance we had forgotten- that there was no librarian in Litchfield County more successful and respected than you, and certainly the best fundraiser of the lot. He couldn’t wait to tell us that you were in line to be chosen as one of the most influential 20 people in Litchfield County last year, but we were not to mention it to anyone until it became public news. He loved you dearly. He was happy and complete with you.
And to all of us here, our hearts may be heavy, but Jean and his family wanted today to be a celebration of Alan, his wonderful winsome smile, his kind, penetrating eyes, his softspoken voice, his dry sense of humor, his passion for the game of golf, and always and ever a gentleman on and off the golf course.
You will be missed, dear friend, but you will never be forgotten. We love you.
I would like to conclude with a quote from the Irish writer, Sean O’Casey:
“I have found life an enjoyable, enchanting, active and sometimes a terrifying experience, and I’ve enjoyed it completely. A lament in one ear, maybe, but always a song in the other. And to me life is simply an invitation to live”.
Alan would want all of us to toast his life and, for us, to accept each day’s invitation to live life to the fullest.
In conclusion, I wish to offer a toast to our dear and always beloved friend, to Alan!
Torrington County Club
November 2, 2013