Old Age & Treachery Will Always Overcome Youth & Skill
Old Age & Treachery Will Always Overcome Youth & Skill. Herb Hilburn was the central region manager for I&SE for many years. He was a big Texan, field engineer, father, family friend, boss and a so-so golfer. He loved to play golf, but he was far from a scratch golfer. Herbie and his wife Inez would play golf with my parents and the Steinway’s (who lived next door to Herbie. In the central region we would have a huge company meeting at a resort in the Lake of the Ozarks called Tan Tara. It was a gigantic sprawling lake resort with lots to do. I feel sorry for the management because once a year about 100 drunken field engineers would descend upon the other guests and hotel staff. Wives were invited and many girl friends were smuggled in. These were all the engineers from the field offices of: Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City and Omaha. A list of some of the names I can still remember (forgive the spelling) are: Herb Hilburn “Herbie”, Ed Rankin, Wayne Vandergriff, Muggs Norris, Mel Black, John Micha, Steve Ritter “mumbles”, Pat Bauer, Frank Ross, Paul Steinway, Kelly McGrath, Earl Player, Bill Sissel, Dave Cathey “the rabbit”, Monty Waters, Bob Balsbaugh ”flush king”, Charlie Alexander, Wayne Hetzel, Bob Bell, Brian Shulty, Tom “madman”Manzella, Kevin Wigel, John Garret “catman”, Paul Pennington, Mark Stalens, George Jongling, Bruce Gouche’, Marvin Sindell, forklift Bill Brown, Kirk Doughty, Dave Pemberton, Dick Todd, Phil Todd, (no relation) Owen Zinkey, Barry Sibul and many more I can’t recall. We had a keg on wheels that we would roll from party to party. Managers were very careful not to get too close to a pool because they would be unceremoniously tossed into the pool with shoes, watch & wallet. Muggs was one of the victims. This was payback time for being sent on some lousy field assignment.
That sets the scene for the annual golf outing. One year Herbie had a bad knee and couldn’t play. You can’t keep a good Texan down, so he parked his golf cart at the tee of a par 3 hole. As each engineer rolled up, he would ask them for one of their balls. You couldn’t say NO since he was the manager of the entire central region. Then he explained to everyone in the foursome that they were challenged to a “closest to the pin” contest for $5.00 each. All of the young buck engineers figured, we can beat this white haired old man, no problem. We have youth and skill on our side and the old man is wearing a cast! Here is where the treachery fits in. This was no ordinary par 3. The green was about 100 feet below the tee and out of site! You were literally shooting off of a cliff. Most golfers (myself included) would hit way over the green because from the edge of the cliff, it looked like the green was far, far away. The secret was to simply use a pitching wedge to barely chip over the edge of the cliff, then gravity and physics would do the rest. Herbie was always careful to shoot last as to not give away the secret. After each shot everyone would look over the edge of the cliff to see where (in the rough), their ball went. Herbie would gently chip it over the cliff and land his ball close to the pin at which point he would put out his hand and collect $20 bucks from everyone in the foursome. By the end of the day he had several hundred bucks! Plus, he was smart enough to use your ball so he never had to go and retrieve his ball. So this proves the theory that, Old Age & Treachery Will Always Overcome Youth & Skill.
Last modified Thursday, Feb-17-2005 02:27 PM