I’m proud to say I had the pleasure of getting to know Ophel during my time as a sportscaster at KLTV back in the early to mid-1980s. A nicer man you will never meet.
Ophel was the golf pro at the old Garden Valley Sports Resort, and as a golfer myself, we struck up a relationship, which included him helping me with my golf game. It also included a series we worked on together, a week’s worth of golf tips that aired on the nightly sportscasts.
Aside from being a kind and generous man, it didn’t take long for me to realize how gifted he was at hitting a golf ball. I used to marvel at the smooth rhythm of his swing. It was amazing how accurate he was, shot after shot. I, like Pat, and Phil, and the countless number of others who took lessons from him or saw him play, also wondered why he wasn’t making a handsome living on the PGA Tour.
We eventually talked about it, and in typical Ophel fashion, he was gracious about the course his life had taken, and how different it could have been had he been afforded an equal opportunity. And, he talked about his days as a caddie, and meeting Ben Hogan, whom he admired so much and patterned his own golf game after. That accuracy and that draw ... just like Hogan.
I once jokingly told him I would love to be his caddie out on the Senior Tour. I’m convinced he could have competed, with some fine-tuning and focus, and I think he probably felt that way too. But his life’s course had been charted.
He had a wife and family, and eventually opened a driving range, where he patiently and gracefully helped hundreds and hundreds of East Texas golfers improve their games.
Best golfer who never played indeed, and one of the best humans, as well.
THANKS TO ALL FOR PARENTING SYMPOSIUM
Approximately 115 participants heard a panel of local experts present a tool kit of information to help parents and caretakers of children gain a greater understanding of the Autism Spectrum and how to deal with the day-to- day struggles at home and at school. To the audience, roses for aspiring to become better parents, teachers and caretakers of our children, and for giving up most of a Saturday to do it.
Roses to those speakers: Wilson Renfroe, psychologist, Clinical Associates; Ray Scardina, M.D., child and adolescent psychiatrist with Trinity Mother Frances; Christi Sowell, parent; and Sarah Halle, M.A., licensed school psychologist for TISD; for their truly outstanding presentations.
Thanks to The University of Texas (at Tyler), which provided the site for the symposium at the Robert R. Muntz Library. Thanks also to Sandra Pridgeon, librarian, for securing LIB 401 for us, Daniel Spurlock for facilitating the physical arrangements, Jason Newland, UTT AV Tech, for providing the microphones, and Jason Scott, UTT education student, for technical support.
Raves to the generosity of Jim Ayers and Behavioral Innovations for providing the refreshments. Thanks to The Speech House, At Home Healthcare, LearningRx, Longview Therapy Center, Behavioral Innovations, and the Andrews Center for providing information about their resources and services for parents of special needs children.
Special thanks to the PSC Corporate Sponsors, Southside Bank and At Home Healthcare, who help make all of the PSC programs possible.
An extra bouquet of long stem roses to the PSC staff: Shelley Judd, executive director; Julee Renfroe, autism network coordinator; and Shirley McLeod for their support and collaboration in expediting PSC’s annual fall symposium.
Chair of Parent Services Center Symposium
PLEASE CONSERVE WATER
All of these stated the problems a lot of areas are having with adequate fresh water supplies. With the growing population, water problems will grow.
Recently we had four to six inches of rain, maybe more in some areas. It was a long, soaking rain that penetrated in the ground. No one should have to water for a week or more, especially with the cooler weather. Yet you can drive around and see sprinklers going off all over, especially commercial properties.
Tuesday, I was walking down the new Earl Campbell Parkway and noticed sprinklers soaking the median and the streets. People who water out of the lake water indiscriminately.
A lot of sprinklers come on every day. I am not sure what entity wrote the article in the paper, but they do not lead by example.
Fresh water is scarce in areas. The level ground water in the aquifers is shrinking. The lakes have been low, and some are still low. Our area is OK now but that can change as we all know. We all have to do our part. The government and business need to lead by example.
We need to save the water for the future.
LEARNING TO PARALLEL PARK IS OVERRATED
Today’s young drivers are made to learn how to do this type of parking. I say the chances of ever using it in real life are very slim. I, however, still remember the fear of having to learn it. I speak not of just my own fear, but the fear felt by my parents about rather or not I would wreck the car or someone else’s car during the process.
Seems in this fast-paced world, it would be much more important to make sure our children learn how to enter and exit the super-fast express roads. They should learn to merge without putting others in danger.
Parallel parking has been dead for years. Let it rest in peace.
Mary Jo Zurn