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John Reitman

By John Reitman

Holidays are a time to reflect and be thankful

Scott Les Chander has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. His outlook is a reminder to take nothing for granted.

TurfNet thought it would be interesting to learn what people are thankful for, so we asked several people to share their thoughts.

112422thanks2.jpgLes Chander, superintendent at Terrace Park Country Club in Milford, Ohio, did not hesitate to share a story about his family and the support he received from his employer that gave him the time he needed to deal with the situation.

"This year I am thankful for time and support. Earlier this year my father suffered a heart attack the Thursday before our scheduled Spring aerification. He lives alone in upstate New York and had just undergone hip surgery. A close friend was staying with him to aid in his recovery and thankfully he was able to recognize that my Dad's pain was not the typical hip recovery pain. He rushed him to the closest hospital where they were able to stabilize my father as he waited for a bed in Syracuse to open up. He had time and thankfully support from a close friend.  

I flew out the next morning after running through a test run of our aerification practices. My brother and I were hopeful that he'd have a quick stint put in and would be back in action as my dad was a very healthy person. A weekend turn around at worst. Boy was I wrong. 

After tests we found out that it was way worse than we wanted it to be. The fact that he was still alive was a miracle. He had almost 100% blockage in his arteries and his mitral valve was leaking. He would need open heart surgery and the success rate wasn't exactly great. 

Thankfully I had the support from my club and our team. I was told not to worry about PTO, however long I needed to take would be covered. I had support, they gave me time with my dad. Our team knocked aerification out of the park, in my absence. I had support from a top notch team.

Thankfully my dad made it through the surgery and has recovered. While many things are different, he is able to continue living the life he wants in the place he wants to be. As we sit here packing for our trip to visit him for thanksgiving, I am grateful that my family has this time to enjoy being together. It's been a wild ride and I couldn't have done it without the support of our team, my club, and my amazing family."

Bruce Williams
Brandt Consolidated

"I have so many things to be thankful for but I will select a few that stand out.

Growing up in a family that owned a golf course (my grandfather), I guess I was destined to make greenkeeping my career. 

I am thankful that I had a father who set a good example for me to follow in being a good superintendent and taking on various leadership positions.

Most of my friends are in our industry, and I am thankful for their help and support throughout the years.

I am thankful to have mentored 164 young men and women that became superintendents and succeeded in our industry!"

Rick Brandenburg
North Carolina State University

"I am thankful for a second chance. 

I am thankful that I survived a serious bout with malaria and the septic shock my body experienced from the treatment for the disease. I am thankful that following weeks in an ICU, I could return to a normal life. 

I am thankful that 5 1/2 years after this event I can reflect on that time and the appreciation I have developed for the sunrise each morning and how life can change in the blink of an eye. 

I am most thankful that as a result of this life-and-death experience, I have become intentional on a daily basis to be a better person than I was the day before. I am very grateful for that reality check and the motivation to be better. Every day."

Brad Klein
Golf industry journalist

"I am thankful for being able to make a living at a game that has been a lifelong fascination. I fell in love with golf and the feel of a golf course at the age of 12 and have never lost that initial sense of magic.

I am thankful for professionals on the maintenance side of golf who are uncommonly collegial, supportive of my efforts to communicate their craft, and ceaselessly patient in explaining to me their technical expertise.

I am also thankful that superintendents continue to evolve and refine their practices and the extent to which they have, as a whole, embraced environmental balance and sustainability." 

Matthew Woodcock
Old Erie Golf Course

"Thanksgiving usually is the end of the year for us. I am certainly thankful for the community that we have built our business in. 

Our customers continue to show us that they are part of our "family". I am also thankful for this industry and the number of people I have in my rolodex that would answer my questions and even show up within 30 minutes to help with aerification. We truly work in the greatest industry." 

Alan FitzGerald
LedgeRock Golf Club

"This might be the toughest assignment I've been given….. especially with the don't use the typical family and work.

I've had a long think and spent my entire time on yard work yesterday pondering it. Am I that ungrateful for stuff?

The one I kept circling back too is my staff and how they've stuck through it through Covid, and still are there every day to support me even through this hot summer."

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