The summer of 1970, I think between 6th and 7th grades, we lived in an unincorporated area called
It was an idyllic life for an urban transplant like me.
I had a summer job as a caddy at Algonquin Country Club. I found out my dad used to take the bus out here from the city to caddy when he was a kid. He worked at the Westboro Country Club too. I had to walk through that golf course to get to school.
I remember walking through it coming home from
My friends and I used to hide in the woods, run out and steal golf balls as they landed on the fairway. Sometimes we’d set up a limeade stand on the last green. We discovered if you ask for donations instead of posting a price you made a lot more money.
I was only a B caddy at Algonquin being younger than the others. It was really hard carrying those huge golf bags, especially if they went the full 18 holes. The course had a policy of no tipping so I only made money off the guests from out of town. When I got back to the caddy shack I’d lose every cent I made pitching quarters at the never ending game out back.
In those days kids ran wild until around at night. A neighboring township called
I was probably 2 miles from home walking on a poorly lit sidewalk. I looked down as a street light cast a round spot light on 2 folded fifty dollar bills. My heart stopped.
I did a quick scan of the dark silent neighborhood. Not a soul in sight. Not even a lit window. I grabbed the two bills and ran for my life.
Fantasies of an electric guitar, lessons, maybe a studio and a tour bus grew in my mind. A hundred bucks was the same as a million to me.
It felt like hours of running through deserted streets. I made it to the golf course. At the other end I came to a hill. Train tracks ran across the top. There was an old arch stone cave with a keystone at the top that read 1927. I ran through the creek that ran through the cave. My legs were cold and wet but I made it to my house.
I ran up to my room, hit the light switch, shut the door, jumped into my bed and pulled the two bills from my pocket.
I unfolded them and read, “Tired of throwing your money away on taxes?” “Vote for Dr. John L. Gaskanett.!”