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Life at the CDA Resort - as seen through the eyes of its caddies and other personnel

Procrastination. It isn’t just a word, it is also a behavior, one which is characterized by a repeated deferment of actions or tasks until a later time. Its earliest found usage was located in a 17th century sermon created by a man known as Reverand Walker. I did not know this man, but if I had, he would most likely have killed me. You see, he believed that it was a sin to procrastinate. I however, disagree. Procrastinating to me is more like, well, perfecting. I’m just taking my time to ‘perfect’ this story for all of you to read. I kick down the door labeled deadline and burst into the world of laziness where I am free to perfect anything I wish. Like this story.

The summer is officially gone. The weather is about to change and we’re all about to be faced with the cold, bitter white blanket known to many as depression. The warmth of the fire and football on the television is all too good a reason to do absolutely nothing with your day. With all that to look forward to, I’ve taken some time to interview some of the forecaddies that work with me at the Coeur d’ Alene Resort. I can’t imagine anybody out there has time to read another 700 words about something that I have to say so how about something that a variety of people who carry a variety of personalities and a variety of various vicious thoughts that should be kept in a vestry? The ‘V’ key just broke off.

I’ve met a lot of caddies while working at the Resort. Rich Mast is a special one indeed, for he is my father. Okay, not really. But he looks as if he could be my father. Rich is a 42-year-old pacifist who loves the movie Eraserhead. Not only does he look like a surprised parent, but also a retired NFL linebacker. The guy is huge! Not fat huge, like, if King Leonidas would have lived another, oh, let’s say 20 years huge. I asked Rich what he thought of our golf course out here and he simply replied, “it’s like Disneyland with a lot of grass.”

Another interesting gentleman that I somehow came into contact with is a Mr. Edward Hernandez. He goes by Eddie. When he isn’t caddying, he works as the caddie master. He has a neat desk, a variety of CDs, and nice a little booster seat that is not made up of phone books, but of neatly folded towels. Eddie has worked at the course on and off for 10 years. I asked Eddie what he thought of all the caddies as a whole and, being a caddie himself mind you, he explained to me that “they are all a bunch of misfits and malcontents with joi de vive.” Apparently joi de vive is French for “full of life.”

I don’t know what I’m going to be doing for the fall so I asked Eddie what his plans were. “No clue, lookin’ for work so if ya got anything, call me up at the golf course.” Yeah, that didn’t really help me much. He has traveled down to Las Vegas in the past to work at golf courses there for the winter but he likes it here more. He says, “Coeur d’ Alene embodies kindness, community, sincerity, integrity, genuineness, serenity. Vegas embodies the exact opposite, except Vegas has excellent restaurants.”

After I talked with Edward, I was fortunate enough to run into a certain Jacob Eckstein. I don’t think I’ve ever gone a day at work without hearing this guy laugh. A chuckle with a side of Red Bull and you have Jake Eckstein, who insisted that I call him X-Tiz so that he could remain anonymous. “The best thing about being a caddie is meeting cool people and being on a badass golf course,” exclaimed Jake before he was about to head to the first tee in his extra small jumpsuit. I was wondering why he was wearing such a revealing piece of clothing and he explained to me, “It makes me faster, more aerodynamic.”

I even went behind the scenes to find out what other people thought of us caddies. Ron Miller works at the guest services counter and he is also in charge of the bag room. When asked what he likes about his job he said, “The people that you work with because of all the good personalities and that they are cooperative.” Even though everyone at the golf course is very different from one another, we all get along for the most part and it’s just a fun environment to be a part of.

Brandi Meeks is a beverage cart girl out there and she likes the caddies. “I love them, all of them. Especially Dustin Gannon.” She really said that for the record. Actually, she insisted that I put that in there. She has also heard her fair share of pick-up lines from golfers. “Here’s my room key,” being one of them. She wouldn’t disclose to me any others.

Dan Bright is a first year caddie. I swear to you that every day I see Danny, he is wearing a different pair of college basketball shorts. He has to have at least 365 pairs. I talked to Dan and asked him if he liked his first year out here, and with a slightly tilted hat he replied, “It’s a good time. Meeting new people and hanging out with the caddies is fun. Half of them are awesome, half not so awesome.” Would he recommend others to try and become a caddie? “Yeah, I would. It’s a good experience.”

Chip Haugen is a caddie who came here from Vegas but when I asked him which was better all I got was this: “         .”

A lot of caddies have various jobs and hobbies that they do in the winter after the course closes and some, like myself and Mr. Hernandez, are still looking for something to do this winter. Travis Gentle already has a job that lasts through the winter. He works with kids at a rec center in Spokane called the Tamarack Center. Nick Haas has it all planned out as well. “I hunt. Huntin’ season and steelhead fishin’, baby.” The thing he likes the most about working here is “the hour and a half that you get before your round to hang out with the caddies.”  

A lot of different personalities make for some interesting conversation. It is a lot of fun to hang out with the other caddies because they are always, or for the most part, pretty upbeat with a good attitude. I’m not working at some fast food place with a bunch of guys who hate their jobs. These people like what they do, and have fun doing it, which makes the caddie program at the Resort pretty fun.

Another interesting suspect you can find wandering the fairways of the Resort is Bob Ciccone. Bob is 59 years young and runs around the course just like all the other caddies. Well, except Alex Day, who kinda walks the course. Bob’s been a caddie for eight years so I asked him what he thought the biggest change in the course had been since the first day he started. “The caddies don’t get as many perks. Now we have to walk in from the maintenance shop and we used to be able to park in the lot, and we don’t get to use the driving range anymore.” He seemed pretty upset about the driving range privileges so maybe my boss will read this and have a change of heart. It’s almost Christmas after all.

Then I asked Bob what his favorite memory of working here was and he had a pretty interesting one. “One day I had four Canadian guys take off their clothes and swim from the lady’s tee box to the floating green. The they putted in their underwear.” I’ve only been out here for two years now but I’ve never seen anything that would come close to as sweet as that!

So there ya have it. Now you know a little more about what it’s like working at the Coeur d’ Alene and you know a little bit about the messed up people that I have to deal with every day. :)

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Dustin Gannon Dustin Gannon says he's a writer because his mama owns a newspaper. At all other times, he's a sportsman, writing both the Sno Biz column, when he's working at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in the wintertime, and Fore! Play, when he's working at the Coeur d'Alene Resort golf course during the summer.

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