@usga @TheMasters #Neighbors March 28

I started the Coach4aday blog in 2014 and have done daily posts on one topic for each year. In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and in 2017 it was “Colleges and Universities”.

The one consistent piece of feedback I have received with this blog is the 2015 series on “A Friend of a Friend”. Readers and blog followers said please bring it back. The stats also back that up with the number of views each of those posts received.

So in 2018 two things will happen with the Coach4aday blog; One I plan to collaborate with a friend named John Rancke and revisit some of those 2015 “A Friend of a Friend” posts and do some new ones with a slightly different twist. I write the posts on odd-numbered days each month and John handles the even-numbered days.

In addition John and I will write about things we both are interested which will include basketball, food, people, music, our granddaughters, and great stories.

If you want to follow the blog via email go to the bottom right of the post and click the follow button.

My twitter handle is @coach4aday2 if you want to follow the blog that way.
John’s twitter handle is @johnrancke if you want to reach out to him.


March 28, 2018 Augusta National & Rachel Place in Olde Camden Subdivision in Wilmington

Post written by John Rancke

When we moved to Wilmington, NC back in 2002 (may have been 2001, I’ve moved so many times I sometimes wake up and wonder what zip code is correct now)) we bought a nice little house in Braelin Court just down from a nice subdivision called Olde Camden. Roger and Mary Ellen Simmons (Mary Ellen Bateman Stephens, Lyle’s mom, one of the triplets- Pam, Mary Ellen, Jo Anne Schell) lived in Olde Camden. We bought in Braelin Court for a short term solution to our housing needs as we still had to sell our house on 26th Street in Lumberton. Our goal was Rachel Place.

It took about 18 months before we were able to find a house in Olde Camden on Rachel Place, just around the corner from Roger and Mary Ellen. We moved in, life was good. I got involved with the HOA board and became the HOA anti-Nazi. I was the resident’s friend not the old guy walking around with a tape measure and magnifying glass looking to cause chaos in the resident’s lives. I used to tell the residents, quit worrying about the little things, they’re not causing you problems except between your eyes.

Our neighbor across the street was an older gentleman named Vic. Now Vic didn’t like the HOA and the HOA didn’t care too much for him. But for some reason he liked me. I would walk over across the street and talk with him whenever we were both outside. He loved to work in his yard whenever he was in town. I was pretty much the only person in Olde Camden that would tolerate him.

Vic loved to travel, especially to the Far East. He was in his late 70s and had a girlfriend in Chicago that was a former stewardess and they would meet up and go to the Asian continent several times a year. Talking with Vic one day, he told me he had been in the Gas/Oil business in the Far East for years. He also told me he owned a large farm in Nebraska for many years. So, Gas and oil business, Far East travel and work in the late 50s, 60s, 70s, farm in Nebraska. It could only mean one thing. VIC WAS CIA. I mean, every movie about the CIA is based in the Far East and Nebraska would be the safest place in the United States to survive a missile strike from either direction. Plus his art display inside the house was unreal. I was living across the street from a spy!

He could have been, I never asked. I figured if I did I would never have the opportunity to ever eat another cheeseburger as my life would be snuffed out. Save me Jackie Chang!! So I will go to my grave convinced Vic was ex-CIA, although I’m not sure you can be ex-CIA. Join that club and you are in for life.

The Masters starts next week. Vic and I were talking one day a few years ago and I brought up the Masters. Vic then told me a story about his Father, Ike Grainger.


Ike Grainger was an investment banker and spent some time in New York. He was friends with Clifford Roberts, one of the founders of Augusta National. One of Robert’s friends came to see Ike Grainger looking for investors for building a golf course on the site of an old nursery in Augusta Georgia. Ike joined in and Bobby Jones had the money to construct the course.

So Vic’s father, Ike, helped get Augusta off the ground. I asked Vic if he ever went to the Masters over the years and he stated that he did and as a young man, he always stayed in the Crow’s Nest. The Crow’s Nest is the traditional spot for the low amateur to stay while at Augusta. My neighbor spent time in the Crow’s Nest.

crow's nest

What about now, you don’t go any longer? Vic stated he gave his tickets to his son, so there went my shot at getting to the Masters. I didn’t really follow-up on this story until a few days ago while thinking about a story for the blog. I googled Vic and a whole new story opened up. Vic’s father was a huge personality in the world of golf and lived until the age of 104.

Ike Grainger was Chairman of the USGA Rules Committee, Vice Chairman of the Augusta National Rules Committee, presented Arnold Palmer with his first Amateur Cup in 1954, and had an award (Isaac B. Grainger Service Awards) named for him and given to those deserving long time volunteers of the United State Golf Association.

Ben Hogan and Ike Grainger shown below

Hogan and Grainger

Now Vic never told me about any of this. He never mentioned the golfing success of his brother. It also turns out that one of the best amateur golfers in Wilmington, Walker Taylor, was a nephew and coached in one of the youth basketball leagues as a volunteer.

You just never know about someone until you talk with them and listen to them and are interested enough to dig a little deeper. I still think Vic was CIA!!

Gonna leave you some links to Vic’s father and his family. Arnie, we miss you and Augusta is Augusta because of you !!






The Roberto De Vicenzo score card and Ike’s prominent role in the decision and his statement about sportsmanship





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