“I was a caddy through junior high and high school.  After awhile, having observed my skills and how I could read the greens, some of the local golfers asked if I wanted to give the PGA tour a shot.  There were some golfers that I knew who had connections with the PGA and I was able to be a caddy and go on tour.  My first caddy experience was the 1970 Bing Crosby Pebble Beach Pro-Am where I was a caddy for the guy who finished 4th.  Being a caddy in the southern states where discrimination really existed, African-American caddy’s had a very difficult time renting a room.  This was between 1971-1975.  When a black caddy wanted to stay at a motel or rent a room, they were told by the manager that there were no rooms available.  But, when a white caddy wanted to stay at the same motel, of course there were plenty of rooms open for them.  However, the white caddies would let the black caddies stay with them in their rooms.  I have seen the confederate flag in southern states, I’ve been called “boy” and even the “n” word.  But, I must say that the west coast and the midwest are night and day from the south.  I saw a lot of things while I was a caddy that are, to this day, too difficult to share.  I don’t have to know that there is hatred in someone’s heart to be aware that there is discrimination, I can tell by their body language.  Even right here, where I work, I see it.  I have worked here for nine years, but when I get into an elevator and there is a female resident inside, they say good morning Eddie and then turn and cover their handbag.  While walking through the garage, performing my inspections, and residents see me they won’t get out of their car until I pass by.  Interestingly enough though, these same people will come by my desk and give me a gift card or some baked goods.  Probably because their conscience got the better of them.  The truth is these folks have learned to feel this way.  It’s better, but discrimination still exists.”

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