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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rex and Rudy

When I caddied in the late 1940s and early 1950s at the St. Catharines Golf Course, St. Catharines, Ontario, I most enjoyed caddying for Rex Stimers, who usually played with Rudy Pilous. In those days caddies sat in the caddy shack until the caddy master assigned them randomly to golfers. But a golfer could request a caddie by name, and Rex often requested me in spite of the fact that I was one of the youngest caddies. I was about 13 or 14 when I caddied for Rex most often.

Rex was a popular sports announcer for our city’s radio station, CKTB. He was best known for his animated broadcasting of Junior OHL (Ontario Hockey League) games. Our home team was the St. Catharines Teepees. Some of the Teepees advanced to the National Hockey League.

Rudy coached the Teepees, and then became the coach who led the Chicago Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Championship in 1961. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985. A lefty on the golf course, Rudy matched up against Rex quite well, and both had a terrific sense of humor that took the drudgery out of caddying.

Both men treated me well and introduced me to hockey players who joined them on the course. Rex even treated me to rounds of golf at courses near Toronto and Niagara Falls, New York. It was not unusual to hear him mention my name, Jimmy Dyet, on his nightly sports broadcast.

Both men departed this life a long time ago, but I cherish good memories of them.

Men can have a lasting influence on kids for good or bad. Christian men can choose to mold kids into young men and women who will impact their culture for God. We don’t have to be preachers to teach the younger generation to do right and to honor God. We can demonstrate righteousness on the golf course, on a hockey rink, on a baseball diamond, on a basketball court, or in a classroom—wherever kids need role models. Proverbs 22:6 counsels, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

From Straight Down the Middle—Meditations for Golfers, © 2010 Circle Books, Winchester, U.K., Washington, D.C.