In the late 1970s in Lawrence, Kansas, I was hardly working. Every morning, when Linda left for her job at the Casbah Café and later, when she began teaching first grade, I sat down to write for at least two hours.
My meager income to date had often relied on skills that required my back, my hands, and my patience—but never my writing skills. During these morning sessions I began to write short stories, primarily because they were short. Seemed easier to write something short. I attempted that one true sentence technique ala Hemingway. I bought a copy of the Writer’s Digest and versed myself in the art of the submission. A few of my stories received hand-written rejection slips with words of encouragement from the editor or publisher. Being politely rejected was progress of sorts. Most of the stories were never sent to anyone or seen by anyone but Linda and a close friend or two. They currently rest in a file cabinet to my right.
In this age, prior to personal computers, a yellow legal pad and a #2 and-a-half pencil or a ball point pen were my writing tools. I sat on the same upholstered chair every day, in the same tiny house—that we referred to as the cottage—legal pad on my lap with scattered stacks of other legal pads and loose papers at my feet and on the surrounding furniture. At the end of the writing day, I would straighten the papers into a stack, which Linda referred to as “my piles.”
During this time, I wrote lyrics for a song that I finally recorded in June 2021. Have a listen:
Good piece on Hinsdale Golf Club. I started as a caddy there in 1966- probably a C -100 or something. We lived on Middaugh Rd which bordered the 11th hole. Many times I would jump the fence and use that green for practice. Early mornings would cut across the course to get to the caddy shack. I worked as a caddy from 1966 through 1970- went from C-100 to A-2. At the Caddy Banquet in 1970 was awarded caddy of the year surpassing Tom Collins who was A-1 that year- Doc having given him the number 1 slot prompted me to caddy 45 holes a day as often as possible to shoot for that caddy of the year title. Worked there through 1976 as I commuted to college Loyola University in the City. Worked as a starter on the course, a bar waiter inside the clubhouse and also as a bartender/ bar manager- I knew everyone one of the members and their history,
What the Hinsdale Golf Club experience did for my future was invaluable – I was able to make enough money from 1966 to 1970 as a caddy to pay my own tuition at a private Catholic school Fenwick in Oak Park- allowed me to hone my management tools for future job positions by managing a bar staff and provided me with a set job for six years as I worked 3-4 days a week to pay my entire college tuition on my own.
For me the Hinsdale Golf Club experience gave me the ability to develop a work ethic that has lasted for over 40 years.