Cleaning Golf Balls

When all moved from Marble Falls we rented places Oak Hill, on Highway 71 out west of town. Madeline and I had our own mobile home. At the same trailer park in a rented trailer was Jimmy Palmer, Glenn Lewis and Jeff Carter. They mostly comprised my crew at that time.

In the summertime of 1972 were working on a project at Lakeway. We were helping build a condo project, one of the first ones at Lakeway, which was a fairly small community in those days.

One part of our project called for us to drain a pond at the golf course, which was adjacent and install a drain line out of the bottom so it could be drained and cleaned occasionally.

When we pumped all the water out of the pond, we found a treasure trove of golf balls that had accumulated over the 10 or 12 year life of that golf course. We had to spread out all the nasty silt from the pond bottom in an area to let it dry. All 3 of those guys, Glenn, Jimmy and Jeff went nuts collecting those balls. They appropriated a few plastic garbage cans from heaven knows where and filled them up. Three of them if memory serves me.

Some of the golfers had told them that once they were cleaned that they were very marketable as practice balls. So they hauled them back to the trailer park and when most everyone went to bed, they took them to the washateria to give them a bath. They dumped about a half trash can of balls in each washer and poured in a bunch of washing powder and set them off.

They described the thrashing and jumping around that those machines did. That was until they just locked up. Then they spent the better part of the night trying to gather all the balls up and cover their tracks.

There were a very unhappy pair of park managers. The three ball washers never admitted to what they’d done. It took several days to get all the machines up and running again.

The washing didn’t get them very clean so I think they only got about a nickel each for the golf balls. It wasn’t exactly the lucrative venture they had hoped for.

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