Joseph Simmons Pickard

Good morning everyone and thank you for being here to celebrate the life our Dad, Joe Pickard. My name is Scott Pickard and I am the third of Betty and Joe’s four children: Carolyn of Grand Junction; Larry of Houston, TX; Scott of Champaign, IL; and Kay of Denver, CO. Joseph Pickard passed away just a few days before Thanksgiving, that wonderful holiday when we celebrate the many blessings we all share in America. In that lingering spirit of Thanksgiving, and now with the Christmas season ahead, our family wishes to say “thank you” to our Dad’s many friends, supporters, and caregivers that have made his life (and our Mom’s) so happy and peaceful since they moved here eight years ago.

We know there are many members of the First Presbyterian Church here today. Our family would like to thank you all for the friendship and fellowship you have given to our dad since he first became a member of this fine church. Joe Pickard was a man of softly-spoken yet unwavering faith which was the bedrock and compass guiding him through a resilient, successful, and joyful life. He loved this church and its congregation. Thank you, First Presbyterian members. And we must say a very special thank you to Pastor Tom Hansen for all that he has done to bring our family together during the passing of our mom, Betty Pickard, three years ago, and now our dad, Joe Pickard. Tom’s wise words and positive spirit have given our family comfort and peace during these times. Thank you very much, Pastor Tom.

And we need to thank everybody in our family who have traveled far to celebrate the life of Joseph Simmons Pickard: our dad, father-in-law, granddad, great granddad, and the leader and main event at all of our family reunions. The “Pickard Family Tree” that flows from Betty and Joe Pickard now numbers 37, soon to be 38 when a baby granddaughter will be born in February to Ryan and Caitlin Pickard of Houston, Texas. Our family has been reunioning someplace in the United States every other summer for the last 20 years. Just this last summer we were all together in Grand Junction at the Wine Country Inn. We had a great time and Dad had a great time with his 19 grand and great-grandchildren all around him. So a big Thank You to this wonderful family.

We know that there are many residents and staff members from the Atrium here today to pay their respects to Joe Pickard. The Atrium has been home to our parents since 2008. We want to thank the residents and staff for your friendship toward our parents, and Joe in these last three years since mom passed away. We want to thank the staff at the Atrium for their kind and caring services, day-in and day-out, which made it a comfortable and peaceful home for Dad. And as you all know, Joe never missed a meal, so that must say something! Thank you to all the residents and staff at the Atrium.

In particular, though, we need to thank Joe’s close friends – Marilyn, Richard, and Jim — who sat together every day to share breakfast, lunch, and dinner at what they called the “Happy Table”. You helped Dad get through a very sad time after our mom passed away. He so enjoyed your friendship and good humor each and every day. A heartfelt thank you to the Happy Table crew.

We know there are many family and friends here that have played golf with Joe Pickard at one time or another. We want to say thank you to his golfing buddies for all of the good times and fellowship you shared with him on and off the golf course. If you were lucky enough to play golf with Joe, you had to call all your penalties and make all of your putts, even if the ball was 1 inch from the hole! He was an exceptional golfer and it was, second to being with mom, his greatest passion and the most fun thing for him to do. At our family reunion here in July, he hit the ceremonial opening tee shot on the first hole and of course, he hit the ball right down the middle of the fairway. To my knowledge, that was — at age 99 — his last golf shot. In particular, we want to thank Josh Holmes for encouraging our Dad to enter the 2014 Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, UT, at age 97. And it is no surprise that he won a gold medal! Thank you Josh, and thank you golfing buddies for being such good friends to Joe Pickard.

There is a special couple here today that I think we all know: Carolyn and Dave Brown. Our family needs to thank Carolyn, our sister, and her husband Dave, for everything they have done for Betty and Joe Pickard, mom and dad, since they moved to Grand Junction in 2008. Carolyn and Dave watched over and cared for Joe and Betty and were best friends to them including day trips up to the Monument, or the Mesa, or the Book Cliffs; sharing meals at Grand Junction restaurants; libations at 5:00 pm at the Atrium or Snow Mesa Road; golf on Friday mornings; and cheering on the Broncos on football Sundays. They have simply been there for Mom and Dad every step of the way until dad’s final days. Thank you, Carolyn and Dave, for being the local “guardian angels” to our parents and doing everything you could to make their Grand Junction period secure, peaceful, and happy.

And finally, we have one last very big thank you to our mom and dad, Joe and Betty Pickard, for their gift to us of immeasurable value, which is the example of the very life they lived: two people who loved each other for 73 years as husband and wife, always together, never apart, building their story year by year of honest hard work, faithfulness, the joys of family, and ultimately the relaxed peacefulness of retirement. They have been like two stars in the sky always showing us the way, guiding us, inspiring us, teaching us, and comforting us. Mom and Dad, Betty and Joe, we love you, we thank you, and now, may you both rest in peace together.

sp

Golf


Friends for Life

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Theta Xi, 1967

by scott pickard

Back in 1967 when I was a freshman pledge at Theta Xi at the University of Illinois in Champaign, I had no idea that I would still be close friends with my pledge brothers 49 years later. Back then we were too immersed in the daily flow of being students at the U of I, pledges at TX, participating in intramural sports, dating, going to social functions, going to Illini games, and everything else that made up those glorious and unforgettable college days, to think about where we would be in a half-century.

Now say what you will about the good and bad of fraternities and sororities and their place in today’s diverse and politically correct world, I will stand by the fact that the friendships you will make at Theta Xi fraternity will be special and unique and as each year goes by you will appreciate that this is true.

My pledge brothers and I have come a ways since our days at the house: graduation, work, marriage, kids, grandkids, and now some of us retired. As the years have ticked by I’ve asked many alums about their experience at UIUC and most of them don’t come close to the bond and longevity of friendships we made at TX. So please consider my words as a voice from your future 50 years from now that if you and your pledge brothers work at it – because any lasting relationship whether it be family or friends or colleagues or girlfriends or wives, takes effort — you will come to cherish the same long-time friendships my pledge brothers and I do today.

There will be forces that will challenge your ability to hold on to these TX friendships once you graduate: working long hours, moving around the country (or globe) from one job to the next, and taking care of your marriage and family. These will be your top priorities during this period of your life as they should be. But my recommendation to you is don’t ever lose touch with your pledge brothers. It will be hard many years but all it takes is an occasional email or phone call to maintain the bond from year to year.

But the most important thing of all is when the various invitations come, show up! Nothing beats showing up, if you can. We all go through the same lifecycle of coming back for homecomings, birthdays, bachelor parties, weddings of fellow pledge brothers, then weddings of their kids, and then eventually, I hate to say, some funerals. Across all of these life events, being there is the greatest gift of respect and friendship you can give to a fellow pledge brother.

In 2016 my pledge brothers and I will meet up in Tucson, AZ for our 15th annual winter golf outing. We look forward to this event like no other. It is our annual “fishing trip” and it’s a great thing. We will have brothers coming from Arizona, California, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, New York, Virginia, and Florida. And God willing, we will be doing this for another 15 years.

Because my fellow brothers, at the end of this fraternal journey these friendships will be all you have left from Theta Xi. -sp

medinah

Medinah, 2015

LinkedIn posts (writing)

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How to choose a golf ball

by scott pickard

I’ve been a caddy and golfer since I was 12, and now I’m 66 and still chasing the game that I love so much. Throughout all of this time I prided myself as being a long driver and that’s always been important to me. And for some reason, I always thought it was about having the right ball matched to my swing. But the other day (I don’t know why I waited so long to try this) I bought a package of impact recorders and went to the driving range and shocked myself in my inability to consistently hit the ball in the center of the club face.

This is a terrific exercise for the average golfer because this is really the issue when it comes to hitting a long ball, not the golf ball itself. This simple technique allows you to experiment and iterate and fine-tune your setup and swing until you start to consistently hit the ball in the center of the club face and what you find is it’s not about the ball whether it’s low or high compression, but it’s about hitting the ball square.

Sports Golf Golf is a declining sport, but why? sp What’s up with Tiger Woods? When will you shoot your age?  Is golf a sport? who cares, we love it in general: big hole golf | celebrity tournaments: Jalen Rose |  Fedex Cup | foot golf | golf cart GPS: CartTrac | handicap: formula | icons: The “Three Kings” at the 2015 Masters sp | magic | online game: http://pgacharitychallenge.worldgolftour.com, Virtual U.S. Open | PGA: pgatour | performance: priming | rules & etiquette: smartphone, USGA, videos | sand: soft sand, hit hard; hard sand, hit soft | social: topgolf | speed golf | soul of the game | top ten courses: Chicago | trends: mitigation banking, The Future of Golf | youth: Drive, Chip & Putt golf ball: I've been a caddy and golfer since I was 12, and now I'm 66 and still chasing the game that I love so much. Throughout all of this time I prided myself as being a long driver and that's always been important to me. And for some reason, I always thought it was about having the right ball matched to my swing. But the other day (I don't know why I waited so long to try this) I bought a package of impact recorders and went to the driving range and shocked myself in my inability to consistently hit the ball in the center of the club face. This is a terrific exercise for the average golfer because this is really the issue when it comes to hitting a long ball, not the golf ball itself. This simple technique allows you to experiment and iterate and fine-tune your setup and swing until you start to consistently hit the ball in the center of the club face and what you find is it's not about the ball whether it's low or high compression, but it's about hitting the ball square.      The important thing about selecting a ball is finding which ball feels the best and you perform the best when you're chipping and putting. So let this be your main criteria for choosing the ball and then just hit that ball (whether it's low or high compression) in the center of the club face and you'll get the optimum distance for your swing. sp tournaments: majors: British Open, Masters, PGA, U.S. Open | Ryder Cup: Ryder Cup, Ryder Cup Diary 2012 sp books/ movies: mentoring: Seven Days in Utopia | rules: Golf Rules Finder sp

Hit any ball square and it will go long.

The important thing about selecting a ball is finding which ball feels the best and you perform the best when you’re chipping and putting. So let this be your main criteria for choosing the ball and then just hit that ball (whether it’s low or high compression) in the center of the club face and you’ll get the optimum distance for your swing.

- sp -

The “Three Kings” at the 2015 Masters

by scott pickard

When I was ten years old, my family moved from Houston to Dallas, Texas, and my parents became members of the Dallas Athletic Club (DAC).  A couple of years later, they both volunteered for the 1963 PGA Golf Tournament which was held at DAC. My dad was a marshal and arranged for me to go to the practice session where three pros played with one amateur. So I followed them walking down the middle of the fairway (no ropes in those days) alongside Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus. I really did not understand the significance of who and what I was watching, and that these three men were the reigning “kings of golf” on our planet.

jack and arnie

Jack Nicklaus won the 1963 PGA.

I have a vivid memory of Jack Nicklaus hitting a driver off the fairway on a long par five, and back then with wooden club heads and the golf balls of the day, the ball would climb up into the sky . Nicklaus’ “driver-off-the-deck” fairway stroke made a loud “crack” as the golf ball shot out like a cannon and climbed up toward the clouds on a hot Texas afternoon, and then dropped down softly onto the green in two. It was magnificent!

Arnold Palmer hit a drive that started way out to the right soaring over the adjacent fairway, and then it turned left in a sweeping hook that brought the ball down into the middle of the fairway on the hole being played. WOW!

Gary Player hit one drive that took off low and skipped across and finally into the water. They all laughed including Player, so he re-teed and then blasted the next drive down the middle of the fairway. It surprised me that he made a mistake….. I didn’t know golf pros made mistakes!

I look back on that day with mixed feelings of awe and a little bit of regret that I did not fully grasp how special that opportunity was.  It was a milestone moment in my life as it opened my eyes and heart to the game of golf.

That was 52 years ago, and fast forward to April 9, 2015 (yesterday), as I watched the “Three Kings” perform the ceremonial first tee shots on the number one hole at Augusta National Golf Club to kickoff the 2015 Masters Tournament. Palmer, Nicklaus, and Player moved a little slower and a little less sure of themselves, each showing a little bit of anxiety that they would not muff their tee shots.  But in king-like fashion they striped their drives down the middle of the number one fairway to the delight and cheers of all the fans, including myself: still inspiring, still impressing, still showing us the way in the world of golf just as they did for me back in 1963.

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THREE KINGS: Palmer, Nicklaus, Player kick it off at the 2015 Masters.

Golf is so much more than just a game for most of us golfers. It becomes a golden thread that weaves its way throughout our entire lives. That must be true because several weeks from now, I will be playing golf with my dad to celebrate his 98th birthday and just as Arnie and Jack and Gary do when they play golf together, dad will be trying his best to beat me, and me him.  It has always been that way with us, father and son.

I can only hope that my son and I will be doing the same thing 30 years from now.

- sp -

Golf is a declining sport, but why?

by scott pickard

It would make sense to me that there are more golf course failures in climates where you don’t have sunny weather year-round, versus the warmer climates in the west, south, and southeast. But the bigger driver of this trend is that the younger generation is not adopting golf the way it was with my generation. From their perspective it takes too much time, it’s too difficult a game to master, it costs too much, it is not a good match to their attention span, it’s low on the “adrenaline meter” (think Grand Theft Auto and extreme sports), and, it’s simply what “they” did, not what “we” do.  That being the case, this trend will impact all regions eventually.

Sports Golf It would make sense to me that there are more golf course failures in climates where you don't have sunny weather year-round, versus the warmer climates in the west, south, and southeast.  But the bigger driver of this trend is that the younger generation is not adopting golf the way it was with my generation. From their perspective it takes too much time, it's too difficult a game to master, it costs too much, it is not a good match to their attention span, and it's low on the "adrenaline meter" (think Grand Theft Auto and extreme sports).  That being the case, this trend will impact all regions eventually. sp in general: big hole golf | celebrity tournaments: Jalen Rose |  Fedex Cup | foot golf | handicap: formula | magic | online game: http://pgacharitychallenge.worldgolftour.com, Virtual U.S. Open | outings: player grid sp | PGA: pgatour | performance: priming | Ryder Cup: Ryder Cup, Ryder Cup Diary 2012 sp | rules: smartphone, videos | sand: soft sand, hit hard; hard sand, hit soft | social: topgolf | speed golf | soul of the game | top ten courses: Chicago | trends: mitigation banking, The Future of Golf | youth: Drive, Chip & Putt questions: When will you shoot your age?  Is golf a sport? who cares, we love it books/movies: mentoring: Seven Days in Utopia | rules: Golf Rules Finder sp Biosphere natural capital | Philosophy | Entertainment

golf is low on the “adrenaline meter”

sp

On “leadership” when it’s not

by Scott Pickard

On the occassion of Ted Bishop being ousted as president of the PGA of America after sending an insensitive tweet directed at Ian Poulter a day earlier:

I guess I’m not as complementary of Bishop’s “leadership” in the midst of the storm. His letter takes accountability, but he still uses it as blatant self-promotion on the way out the door. You and I have both seen so many “leaders” and politicians that are incorrigible self-promoters and/or hacks caught in their own screw-ups and scandals (but really, this isn’t a screw-up, it just reveals who he is or he would not have said it) and they never really apologize and just keep moving forward either in a state of denial or perceived invincibility.

Sports Golf When will you shoot your age? Is golf a sport? who cares, we love it in general: big hole golf | Fedex Cup | foot golf | handicap: formula | magic | online game: http://pgacharitychallenge.worldgolftour.com, Virtual U.S. Open | outings: player grid sp | PGA: pgatour | performance: priming | Ryder Cup: Ryder Cup, Ryder Cup Diary 2012 sp | rules: smartphone, videos | sand: soft sand, hit hard; hard sand, hit soft | social: topgolf | speed golf | soul of the game | trends: The Future of Golf | youth: Drive, Chip & Putt courses: top ten: Chicago books: Golf Rules Finder sp Entertainment | Equations | Change | Unequivocal | Gaming | Family My guess is, it’s not the first time Ted Bishop has made eyes roll among his staff, constituents, and most importantly, his board of directors. You notice there wasn’t much hesitation in the board’s response. For just once I would like to hear one of these guys (like Blagojevich, Clinton, Bishop, Christie, and the list goes on and on), say, “I screwed up, all my fault, I’ll take what’s coming to me, goodbye,” and just leave it at that.

sp