Yesterday/August 11, 2015/ I had the good fortune to caddie for these two young men at a Special Olympics golf tournament here in Tennessee. The young man on my right is Jeremiah Doane from Senatobia, MS and Andrew Williams is on my left from Chattanooga,TN. They played their 18 hole round in 3 hrs. What a privilege I was given to caddie and spend my day with them. LA
Below is something I wrote a couple years back.
I retired from the United States Golf Association in late 2002. Shortly thereafter my wife and I moved to Franklin, Tennessee, which is just outside Nashville. At that time I had no particular plans other than to slow down, relax, and enjoy life and the grand kids. At the beginning of 2003 I accepted a one year employment with the Special Olympics program in Nashville. It proved to be one of the most fruitful and fulfilling times of my life. My basic responsibility with the organization for that one year was that I would be involved in their various athletic programs, in particular their golf program.
One of the programs we did that year was a weekend golf camp held at the Tennessee State Golf Association facilities and golf course. Special Olympic athletes from all over the state came for a weekend golf camp. They were housed, fed, and cared for at this facility. We spent the total weekend with them, eating, sleeping, and helping them with golf skills for these days.
The first afternoon of camp I was with a group, and I gave one of the athletes, Kenny, a set of golf clubs that the Tennessee State Golf Association had provided. He was so pleased, but the best was yet to come. Most of our time there Kenny was “attached at the hip” with me. Late Sunday afternoon when the athletes were leaving, Kenny came running up to me. Kenny had his golf clubs with him and he handed them to me. “Thank you, Mr. Larry, thank you.” I looked at Kenny and said, “No Kenny, these clubs are yours to keep and take home; you don’t have to give them back.” The look on his face was one of puzzlement. I don’t think I will ever forget what he said next. His answer to “No, Kenny, these are yours,” was “Mr. Larry, you don’t understand; nobody has ever given me nothin’.” I walked Kenny to his bus to go home and told him what a good time I had and wished him well. As the bus pulled from the parking lot Kenny held up his clubs and waved.
The following week I received a hand written letter from whom else but Kenny. On the outside of the envelope he had drawn two stickmen. By one of the stick men there was an arrow pointing and it said “Larry.” The other stick man likewise only said “Kenny.”
I ask you, “Who do you think got a better lesson in life that weekend?” Let me tell you, I know the arrow points to stickman Larry.
“It is not enough to give the handicapped life; they must be given a life worth living.”