I am referring to the Soap Box Derby and how I got in it, along with a couple of my indomitable buddies. It was a contest from the beginning.
We had to go out and get our own sponsors from which we were to secure $100 for our kit.
You were strictly on your own, no help from any elders.
I was fortunate as a youngster to have one grandfather a mason/plasterer and the other a carpenter. They allowed me to follow them around on-the-job and pick up nails and scraps.
My brother and I benefitted from this, as we were good at building tree forts and helping our step father build our house out Poco Farm Road. I
In the soap box derby I won my division. I’ll never forget speeding by all those bails of hay on my right!
When Akron time came, I felt I couldn’t afford to go. I had to caddy. I spent my money on stocks and caddying was very competitive. You had to be there to get a job. Some days you waited from daybreak until 4 p.m.
In those days there were 150-plus caddies scattered around Williamsport. There were six grown men who caddied.
Some families contributed six kids and from Dutch Hill alone, one could count about 50 kids. The golfers we caddied for influenced us for life and the friendships cemented among the caddies still remain.
Thank goodness there were so many kids eager to work.
I think we were all blessed somehow to have had that experience. A number of lawyers and doctors came out of the group of caddies, not to mention good businessmen, Christian family men, community leaders, and on-and-on.
A bonus was a majority of us met national figures like Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Tom Weiskopf, Chi Chi, Ken Venturi, Arnold Palmer, etc. A few golf pros cam out of our group and a lot of good golfers! Gee. It doesn’t get any better than that.
President of Lycoming Creek Business and Merchants Association