In Other Words

Anniversaries & Tee Times

WE’RE JUST ONE WEEK AWAY FROM OUR 107th Anniversary edition. think of it!
107 Years!!
The newspapers have operated continuously throughout that time frame, making them among the oldest businesses in Imperial County. And they are still keeping people informed of what is happening here on a regular basis.
I was struck with that amazing thought last week when I was driving over to Imperial for the Open House for their newly remodeled city hall. I covered Imperial council meetings, and almost everything else, for about six years from July 1, 1990 through about mid-1996. And here I was tooling along Worthington Road one more time.
Back then, Worthington was a pretty deserted road, especially after dark. Seeing a handful of cars in the 10 mile stretch from Holtville to Imperial could be considered rush hour.
Everything was farmland, wherever you looked. There was no Hwy 111 freeway to speed  people from Calexico to Brawley and on to Palm Springs. It was a two lane road where one car traveling less then the posted 55 mph could hold up six to 12 cars all by itself. And accidents were plentiful.
So, we have progressed. And so has Imperial. It now has some modern schools built in the last six years and now a new city hall. The new one combines the charm of the old one, with plenty of changes. Like offices for everyone.
When I came there the council met in a Chamber directly behind the reception desk at the front of the building. They later moved to the old continuation school and later still to their current location. All the while the city kept up a program of dynamic growth that made it among the fastest developing communities in the state. It was mostly housing, due to the proximity of El Centro. But it added enough to get the community providing more services, including a recreation department and even a splash pad.
There were some businesses too. The Border Patrol expanded its facility east of the city.
Unfortunately, like every place else in California and the country, the economic collapse of 2008 left it with an eroding economic base and greatly devalued houses.
But they have continued to provide much needed services to the community and could serve as a good example for the rest of the Valley on how a city should be run.
They have had several good city managers and administrators who continued  this forward thinking. It starts with a good plan and then you have to stick to it. No matter how much a city would like to vary from it.
Well, those other places are learning lots of short term lessons these days. It’s nice to see one city that has continued on the right path. Perhaps some of the others should be making pilgrimages there to see how it can be done.
We won’t be here in 107 years, but wouldn’t it be nice if the city and its new city hall were still there.
WITH THE BARBARA WORTH COUNTRY CLUB NOW under new ownership, we hope it will be returned to its past glory in very short order. But who knows how long that could take or what is necessary to do that?
Golf has always been a fascinating game with lots of status and snob appeal built in. But it also has a “common man” appeal that brings out a large, financially digressed following. The latest issue of Golf Magazine lists some of the differences in costs between “rich golf” and “”every man’s golf.”
For instance:
You can buy a custom made golf cart for $52,000 complete with built in refrigerator. Or you can pick up a used one online for less that $1,000, if you’re of a mind to have your own. You can also rent one for about $6.00 at your favorite course.
Then there’s lessons. If you want a lesson from David Leadbetter, who helped Nick Faldo, Greg Norman and Ernie Els achieve stardom, you can lay out a cool $10,000.  Or you can contact a PGA Professional this month, who is offering free advice  who might be part of a program to provide a free lessons those who need it. Or you can just ask one of your playing partners. You’ll find you will get plenty of free advice, whether you need it or not!
Then ,of course, there are those fabulous links. You can pay as much as $500.00 (cart included) at the top snob courses in the land. Or you can pay $14.00 at Desert Trails in El Centro during the summer months. Cart also included.
You can get caviar and champagne at Miami’s Turnberry Isle when you reach the nine hole turn. Or you can have a hot dog and an Arnold Palmer drink for about $5.00 anywhere else.
A ball marker can cost you $2,758 from Tri-Mark golf. Or you can use a penny off your dresser and accomplish the same thing.
And, last but not least, you can play a round including Bill Murray at Pebble Beach for $17,000 during the AT&T pro am. Or you can  pick up a playing partner at your office, who will throw in free advice, for the price of a beer when you finish.
As you can see, golf covers all aspects of the economic spectrum and could be called the most capitalistic of games. Golf course mobility and status increases with one’s ability to pay. But if you can’t pay, you can still play.
Give it a try, you might like it.