Country Club Rises from Ashes

I wasn’t exactly a country club kind of guy. Tennis, for me, involved more ball chasing than volleying. Golf swings were too close to the scythe Dad had me swinging clearing brush alongside the highway.

Dad put me to work one summer doing construction work (the only time from the time I was 12 until I retired in 2008 that I didn’t work for a newspaper in some capacity). He sold it as an opportunity to make some money, but it was his way to demonstrate that college was better than hard labor under the hot sun.

Form oil is nasty

One assignment was to unload lumber off trucks coming in from the job sites. The worst job was humping 4×8-foot sheets of 3/4-inch plywood that had been used as concrete forms. Those unwieldy hunks of dead trees weighed almost as much as a scrawny 16-year-old.

I’d have to unload them from the truck, stack them, use a wire brush to scrape off any concrete that was sticking to them, plug any holes with corks, spray them with form oil and then stack them in bins that were frequently over my head. The form oil was nasty stuff that was designed to keep concrete from sticking to the plywood. It was designed NOT to come off.

As luck would have it, the one time a date invited me to a pool party at the country club was a day when I had spent all day unloading trucks. I could barely raise my arms, let alone swim. I was afraid that I’d leave an oil slick on the pool no matter how many showers I took. The pool and I survived, but I don’t recall being invited back.

I didn’t spend much time shooting these pictures. I was afraid someone might recognize me and hand me a scrub brush to clean off the oil stain I had left 40 years earlier.

This was probably not the building I was in for that swim date. The Missourian had a story that the original building, which opened in 1921, burned on a cold, sleety night Dec. 11, 1963. It’s likely that I had been in the old two-story building.

The Country Club has a spiffy website with some impressive pictures. The site says the formal opening of the new clubhouse was held exactly two years after the old one burned. It became the first 18-hole golf course in Cape.