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A Rolex or a Diamond Ring? – part 1 (by Norm Hammond)

Norm Hammond is a member of FBC with a unique story. Today he begins a three-part tale of a Rolex watch and the trouble that it caused.

Some telephone calls we receive are telemarketers to solicit money for charity of for some commercial purpose. Most telephone calls are for routine information and are soon forgotten. Others, however, can be welcomed because of some significant information received. There are still others which are welcomed for the information which is communicated and have ramifications for the rest of your life.
   
Such was a phone call Doris received at home from George Kriel at the Indianapolis Chemcentral office the week of August 11, 1992. George needed a golfing buddy to attend the Jarco Supplier Outing on Wednesday, August 19, 1992 in Jasper, Indiana. Since I was playing golf with friends at the time of the phone call, Doris said yes without consulting me! It was very presumptuous of her to say yes without consulting me even though I was retired. But under the circumstances I was not really angry. Doris had made a commitment for me and I was obligated to fulfill that commitment. I called George to confirm his request and thank him for it, turns out that George, the manager of Indianapolis was going to accompany Jim Williams to the Jarco Golf Outing in Jasper, Indiana on Tuesday, August 19th. Jim Williams, one of George’s salesmen had been selected to attend management training in Grand Rapids, Michigan which meant George would have had to go alone unless I filled in for Jim. I realized that it would be a great sacrifice for me but one must not let down a friend when asked to help them in a time of real need.

   
So George asked if I could drive down to the Indianapolis plant on Tuesday morning. We would make a leisurely trip with some sales calls on the way down to Jasper. I left home early Tuesday morning and arrived at the Indianapolis plant about 9:00am. After some coffee and conversation with George we traveled to Terre Haute and made a sales call at MAB Paints with a luncheon. MAB Paints used to be Smith-Alsop in my Terre Haute days. After lunch we drove to Bloomington, made another call, and then finished the day driving to the Holiday Inn in Jasper to stay there for the night. Jasper is an old town settled primarily by German/Austrian descendants. Looking at some of the buildings and especially at the churches you can easily see this southern German/Austrian influence.
   
This golf outing was called the Annual Sales and Suppliers Golf Outing. Several companies hold such outings for an opportunity to invite customers and their salesmen, as well as key suppliers and company personnel to socialize and explore opportunities for closer business relationships. Jasper rubber had invited Chemcentral, Indianapolis as a key supplier to the festivities. Although George and I did not attend the cookout on Tuesday evening, we did attend the golf outing on Wednesday.
   
The gold outing was played on Sultan’s Run Golf Course. The name of the gold course came from a very successful show horse named Sultan. Sultan’s owner owned the land on which the golf course was built. Before that the golf course area had been Sultan’s pasture field, thus the name of Sultan’s Run. It was a relatively new course carved from Southern Indiana’s rolling hills and creeks. The fairways were sodded with Zoysia so the course, was in excellent shape. George and I arrived early at the course because the format for the outing was a scramble with a shotgun start. Our foursome started on hole number eighteen. George started in a foursome on hole number 16 and so on. It is called a shotgun start because when all golfers are in position on their starting holes the pro fires a shotgun that can be heard over the whole course. In a scramble format each golfer his off the tee in any order.
   
The foursome moves up to their ball positions and decides which ball is best located to hit and all hit from the same place, this in continued until one of the four balls is in the cup. Score is kept by counting each of the best shots until the ball is in the cup. Jasper Rubber had had their golf outing for 30 years and no one had ever been successful in winning any of the par 3 hole-in-one prizes. There were two high school girls near the tee on number 12. They were observers to confirm any hole-in-one, should one happen that day. There were prizes for whoever was closest to the pin on all par 3’s. The special prize on hole number 12 was a Rolex Oyster Day Date model wrist watch. Crafted with solid 18 karat gold and jeweled chronometer workings, it is the epitome of fine wrist watches…

Check back on Friday for the second part of Norm’s story.

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