Ohio guys sticking together

Rick Maurer, left, and Jack Nicklaus, right, met at the Mayfield Country Club in the 1980s.

Growing up in South Euclid, our three sons, Jeff, Mike and Rick, came to appreciate the proximity of what was then the Mayfield Country Club. When the time came for them to seek part-time jobs, they found them at MCC as caddies, bus boys, ground crew and waiters. Our daughter, Michelle, preferred office work elsewhere.

The boys appreciated the money they earned but they appreciated even more the opportunity they had to play golf at the club during off hours, becoming very good at the game over time.

While Jeff and Mike became experienced waiters, their younger brother, Rick, preferred the outdoors and worked on the grounds crews maintaining the golf course. He was thrilled one year when the great Jack Nicklaus – who was born in the Columbus area and attended Ohio State – played a charity round there with club members. Rick met the gracious golfer and had his picture taken with him. Even better, two years later, in 1985, when the “Golden Bear” returned for another charity round, Rick met him again and was able to walk the course with him as he played, answering Jack’s questions about the course and its care.

While hospitalized this March fighting the cancer he was diagnosed with last December, Rick again heard from Jack. Jack, after hearing of Rick’s challenge, called him almost immediately, leaving a message, when Rick receiving treatment could not answer his phone. Jack told Rick that he had heard of his cancer and wanted to wish him well, recalling their meetings and walking the MCC course. He also told him that he would be back in touch, saying Ohio guys have to stick together at times like these.

Rick regretted at not being able to take the call but then realized he had the call recorded and could listen to it often and play it for others – a great morale booster. It’s wonderful when two great guys get together again – especially when needed the most.

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 10:02 AM, 05.30.2012