Woodinville resident played on PGA Tour
Written by Derek Johnson, Special to the Weekly
Frank Harned today. Photo courtesy of Ginette Didomenico
He rubbed elbows with 20th century icons
A young Frank Harned eagerly bought a copy of the Erie News-Times, anxious to read the latest story about the great golfer Ben Hogan. As a little boy growing up during the Great Depression, that newspaper was his only connection to the outside world, and to his hero. Hogan was dominating the U.S. Open during those years and thrilled spectators with his astonishingly accurate short game.
Harned obsessed over Hogan, and even cut out a large picture of the golfer to tape to his bedroom wall. In time, Harned’s life journey eventually led him onto the PGA Tour. He would cross paths with icons of the 20th century like Jack Nicklaus, Joe DiMaggio, Tony Bennett, Joe Louis, Arnold Palmer… and even Ben Hogan himself.
Now at 84, Harned resides at The Creekside retirement community in Woodinville. At 6 feet tall and burly, Harned still looks strong. But old age has taken its toll on his legs, robbing him of the mobility needed to play golf. As he gingerly takes a seat and begins recalling his early playing days, his eyes are alight with the same fire and determination that sparked him in his youth.
“My father gave me my first set of golf clubs when I was twelve. I would walk about five miles to the Glenwood Golf Course. I would caddy for golfers for 65 cents a round. And then I began playing. I knew I was going to be good, because I had five or six close friends of mine, and we pushed each other in competition. We met every day at the corner field next to the reservoir. We played tackle football, baseball, basketball against the garage, and that’s why I got good when I took up golf, because I had gotten good at the other sports. I always tell people that when you play several sports it helps you become a good golfer.”
The future seemed bright for Harned, because by his mid-teens he was already one of the best players in Erie. People took note of his exceptional play around the greens; the chipping, putting, pitching and sand shots. He seemed destined for golf, but life had other plans for him.
As Harned came of age, World War II still raged on. He went to Mississippi to train as a pilot, but before his training was complete he was shipped to the Philippines. For the next few years, he served as a sergeant and saw friends killed in action. But finally Japan folded, and Harned returned to Pennsylvania to spend three years at Gannon College, with an education sponsored by the U.S. Military.
While dominating on the Gannon golf team, people recognized his skill level as being on par with that of the world’s best golfers. When someone told him how great a place Miami was to live and play golf, Harned transferred to the University of Miami. The kid from Pennsylvania climbed aboard a bus and two days later found himself in the warm Florida sunshine.
“Oh, I had a ball,” Harned recalls. “They had no idea how good I was, but they quickly found out. We went undefeated that year and won our conference championship. It was such fun. Miami had everything. Sunshine and beautiful girls. I was so involved in sports though that girls came a little lower on the priority list.”
When his time at Miami came to an end, Harned began teaching and playing sectional tournaments. For several years he won with regularity throughout Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He took club pro jobs at a few country clubs. He made a name for himself. And finally, the opportunity to play on the PGA Tour arrived. At the age of 27, Harned was invited to play in the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif., with another surprise in store.
“I saw that I was paired with Ben Hogan [for the opening round],” Harned says. “I couldn’t believe it. He had been my childhood hero. I had his picture on my wall above my bed all those years. And now I was going to get the chance to play with him.”
But as Harned nervously approached the first tee to begin that day’s round, he quickly saw the experience would be bittersweet.
“Hogan never said one word to me, not hello or goodbye. Not one damn word. I was trying to talk to him and he wouldn’t say anything. His mind was strictly on Hogan, nothing else. I was terribly disappointed. But I was a stranger to him. To me he was the number one man. He was the best. It was such a disillusion to be with him on the course and yet be ignored. But he was such an exceptional golfer. His short game around the green was as good as anybody’s.”
Harned made the cut and played all four days, shooting a 311 and finishing 43rd. For his efforts, they awarded him a check for $180, a far cry from today’s PGA winnings. On the other hand, Hogan ended up in an epic 18-hole playoff for the title, finishing second to little-known Jack Fleck in one of the biggest surprise wins in golf history.
Over the next decade, Harned played in many more tournaments and was considered one of the top 100 golfers in the world. He played in The Masters and finished 55th in the 1960 PGA Championship. It was rarefied enough air that he got to rub elbows with some of the most famous people of the 20th century. He became friends with golfing icon Arnold Palmer, and got to play with such legends as Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino.
“Sam Snead said a few words to me,” Harned recalls. “He made me feel better than Hogan did. You just played along and maybe have a drink with him after and have a few words then. I played with Nicklaus. I was paired with him. That’s when he was ‘Fat Jack’. He was powerful. He outdrove me by 30-40 yards. He wasn’t much of a talker either. Now Lee Trevino, he was known as ‘The Merry Mex’. Now he was a talker! That guy loved to joke around while he played golf.”
The galleries in those days were smaller and the crowds would walk down the fairway right behind the golfers. Sometimes famous dignitaries would accompany them or schmooze at the club house afterwards. Harned met the likes of singer Tony Bennett, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, and the iconic boxer Joe Louis, The Brown Bomber.
“Joe Louis was a very nice man,” Harned says. “Tony Bennett was my favorite singer and it was great to meet him. And Joe DiMaggio, he was married at the time to Marilyn Monroe. He was very gracious.”
Once Harned’s PGA days were over, he became a club pro and taught lessons for the next two decades at $50 an hour.
“I loved playing golf any time of day. Early morning or into the dark. It’s a wonderful game.”
Harned moved to Woodinville recently to be closer to his daughters on the west coast.
Sometimes when golfers ask him for advice to help their game, Harned offers up an unconventional gem.
“I tell people if you really want to be a good golfer, get some clubs, but don’t hit a ball for a month,” he says. “With a ball in front of them their mind is completely on that ball.
“But if they practice without a ball, their focus will be on the follow through. There is no ball to distract them from focusing on what’s important. A good golf swing is no different than life in general; you need to have proper follow-through.”
Derek Johnson is the author of Husky Football in the Don James Era, Bow Down to Willingham and The Dawgs of War, which tells the story of the Rose Bowl season of Woodinville’s Marques Tuiasosopo. These books are available at www.derekjohnsonbooks.com.
His latest book, Bow Down to Willingham, is now available for Kindle at Amazon.com for $9.99.
Local teacher makes his words come to life in new short film
Written by Deborah Stone
Brendon Fogle is a proud new papa. And “SYNC” is his baby – a short 8 ½ minute film he wrote, produced and directed last summer while on vacation from his job as a teacher.
Pictured from left to right is actor Ethan Seneker (Bobby), Director Brendon Fogle and actor Roy Ketterer (Grandpa). Courtesy photo.
A hometown boy, who attended Chrysalis School in Woodinville and graduated from UW, Fogle is new to the filmmaking industry.
He has always wanted to make movies, which is one of the reasons he chose to major in creative writing in college.
As a student, he worked on several films, but once he completed his degree, his life changed directions.
“I got married and then I had a family,” he explains, “and I had to get a job that would give me a stable income, so I went into sales.”
Four years ago, he got into teaching to provide him with a more predictable schedule so he could be around more for his kids.
He now teaches English, drama and film studies courses at Chrysalis School in Woodinville, a private, independent school for grades K-12.
“My parents founded Chrysalis,” says Fogle, “and I graduated from there. It felt natural for me to return.”
Once he began teaching, he resumed pursuing his interest in filmmaking, learning more about the field, volunteering on projects to get a feel for being on a set and writing his ideas for a script.
His students and the relationships he has had over the years with his own kids, his parents and his grandparents provided the fodder for his project.
“I noticed how my students were always walking around with headphones and they appeared disconnected from the world,” explains Fogle. “I knew they were listening to their music and that got me thinking about how it was before all the iPods and other devices were invented. I remembered my father playing his records and what a physical, tactile experience it was — holding the records, the smells they had, the memories associated with each of them. You don’t get that relationship with an iPod, but yet the iPod is portable and allows you to take your music with you everywhere.”
In describing “SYNC,” Fogle explains that the theme focuses on bridging the generation gap between a teenage boy and his grandfather with the help of a bond they form over music.
The project, which took two 12-hour days to film, used local cast and crew.
It was filmed in the theater room and offices at Chrysalis School last July. The cost was $3,000.
“Funding was a challenge,” admits Fogle. “I pitched the project via a website and got people to donate whatever they could with the incentive of various reward or perks, like receiving credits as a producer, a poster signed by the cast and crew, a copy of the film or a record from my personal collection.”
The process of making the film proved to be incredibly satisfying for Fogle. He felt that it went really well considering it was his first attempt and that he was under a serious time crunch. He enjoyed working with the actors and crew, most who volunteered their talents for the project.
“I can’t thank them enough,” says Fogle. “They helped make my story come to life. It was so exciting for me to see the story that I had created, the words that I had written, come to life and then become a movie. I loved every part of the experience and it just makes me want to do more.”
Now that the local man’s “baby” is in the can, the next step is to submit it to upcoming film festivals in the hopes that it will get shown to as many people as possible. Fogle has already shared the project with close friends and some film industry folks in the area and the feedback he has received has been very encouraging. He notes that people seem to really like the message of the story.
“It’s something that has broad appeal,” he comments. “I see it as a drama with humor rather than a comedy.”
Fogle plans to use this project as a way to demonstrate his skills. He adds, “I want it to be my calling card to show what I can do so that I can get to make more films or work on bigger projects.”
Currently, he is looking to expand on another short script he wrote and make it into a feature film. The subject – hoarding.
“It’s something I’ve been fascinated with,” he explains. “But, it’s definitely more of a grim, adult-related theme.” Fogle’s dream is for filmmaking to become his primary career. And if he is successful, the first actor he’d like to work with would be George Clooney. “To work with a talent like that would be incredible!” he says.
Local women share philanthropic efforts in Africa at upcoming fundraiser
Written by Deborah Stone
Kathy Lambert never expected that her experience in Africa would affect her so profoundly.
Kathy Lambert shares some teaching techniques with the teachers at Lenana Primary School in Kenya, Africa. Courtesy photo.
The local woman, who served as a state legislator for many years and is currently a member of the King County Council and King County Board of Health, traveled to Kenya last June with representatives from WorldCOMP.
She went at the request of her friends, Richard and Valerie Vicknair, founders of the international relief organization.
Since 1979, the couple has made over 25 trips to Kenya.
In the early days, their work was typical missionary evangelism.
This changed over the years, as they realized that the problems in the region were very complex and called for multi-dimensional and transformational thinkers who would be able to help the people find solutions to the deeply rooted social problems, health issues and economic challenges of the nation.
The couple began enlisting the support of Kenyan nationals to work with them in a collaborative process. Today, WorldCOMP acts as a catalyst to inspire, equip and train Kenyans to solve their own problems.
“It’s an amazing organization,” says Lambert. “The Vicknairs had been talking to me about it for several years and they had encouraged me to visit with them when they went over there because they wanted to get to know more people in the government. With my experience and involvement in government, they thought it would be an ideal way to make some of these important connections.”
Lambert explains that WorldCOMP works in a number of cities and rural areas in Kenya.
Its primary focus is in Nairobi, Kisumu and Kakamega, cities that are surrounded by slums where tens of thousands of people live in deplorable poverty and violence.
The organization’s projects are varied and include teaching literacy, feeding children, helping HIV/AIDS infected families, assisting widows through microfinance programs and working with juvenile offenders in rehabilitation efforts.
During her trip, Lambert was able to see firsthand the appalling conditions that are considered “normal” for so much of the population in these areas.
“It broke my heart to see the children and how they live,” she comments. “The poverty is horrible – more extreme than you can imagine. These people live so close to the edge every day. Kids die, disappear, get sick and starve because they don’t have enough food or medical care, or they become victims of violence.”
She adds, “Their living situations are so harsh. Most don’t have indoor plumbing and they are forced to share a bathroom facility that they must walk to from their homes and stand in line to use. And basically the sewers are open trenches in the middle of the slums. There are no building codes, so you know that the structures are unsafe.”
Despite the difficult conditions, Lambert was surprised to find the people to be warm, kind and caring, and always impeccably clean. She was constantly taken aback at their compassion and their generosity, and the manner in which they treated her during her stay.
She says, “They have nothing, yet they will give you everything, and they were always inquiring about my health and how I was doing.”
One of the sites Lambert visited was the Shikusa Boys Detention Center, where several hundred teens live in a work farm environment that until WorldCOMP’s involvement was more of a forced labor camp. The organization came in and helped to set up vocational training and recreational programs, as well as a school on site. The changes in the boys have been remarkable, according to Lambert, and the whole place has undergone an enormous transformation.
“These boys now have hope,” says Lambert. “They are learning skills they can use when they are released. They see that they can have a real future.”
Also on the itinerary was a trip to the village of Kimbo to officially dedicate the new Kimbo well, a joint project between WorldCOMP, the Kimbo Church and the Kimbo community. In a village without water, this well is a welcome addition and now thousands of people will have a fresh and clean water source to use on a daily basis.
A definite highlight for Lambert was a visit to one of the schools that WorldCOMP has helped to establish - the Lenana Primary School, located in the Dagoretti slums.
Education is of particular interest to the local woman, as she used to be an elementary teacher in the Monroe School District.
At the school, she spent her time reading to the children and helped to organize the library, as well as worked with some of the teachers, sharing a few teaching tricks they could use with their students.
“I donated over 300 hundred of my own books that I had used when I taught school,” says Lambert. “I had kept them in my garage all these years, knowing that someday I would find the perfect place for them. When I delivered them to Lenana, everyone was overjoyed and it brought me to tears. They viewed the books like they were gold.”
Lambert developed a connection with the school and plans to return there next summer to continue teaching the teachers instructional techniques.
In the meantime, she wants to raise money to help give the 350 children at Lenana two meals a day.
Currently, they receive only one meal, lunch, which consists of beans and a banana.
“These kids are so hungry,” explains Lambert. “They go to the school on Saturdays just to get fed. I’d like to be able to raise enough money, at least $12,600, which would be enough for all of them for one year to get breakfast plus some other staple, like rice, added to their lunches.”
In this vein, Lambert, along with Woodinville resident Lucy DeYoung, is holding a fundraiser to bring awareness of the plight of these children to the public.
“I’m going to show slides of my trip,” comments Lambert, “so people can see what the situation is like over there and if they want to get involved on an international level, WorldCOMP is a great organization to support. The money donated goes directly to the people in need and not to the government. She adds, “I know we have needs in our own country, but I think it’s important to note that here in the U.S. every kid gets the opportunity to go to school. Over there, that’s not the case. What it really comes down to is the fact that people can’t move forward without food and education. I take heart in knowing that what I am doing to help this organization is having a real impact and working to make a difference in people’s lives.”
What: Fundraiser to help feed children at the Lenana Primary School in Kenya
When: October 14, 5-8 p.m. and October 15, 3-5 p.m.
Where: Woodinville Heritage Museum (14121 NE 171st Street)
For more information: (425) 861-7725 or (425) 408-1820
Contributions can be mailed to: P.O. Box 1138, Woodinville, WA 98072-1138.
Gladiator Rock’n Run billed as a test of courage, stamina and grit
Written by Deborah Stone
It used to be that a marathon was the race to test your mettle, but recently, a new type of challenge is making waves. It’s the Gladiator Rock ’n Run, an extreme obstacle-based race that’s designed to be difficult, but as organizer Dan “Nitro” Clark says, “not impossible.”
A muddy couple struggles to complete “Mud Madness." Courtesy photo.
Clark, a fitness expert and consultant, who once starred on the popular reality T.V. show “American Gladiators” is the man behind the race.
He created Gladiator Rock ’n Run as an adventurous opportunity for people seeking a different way to challenge themselves. “I believe there’s something inside each of us looking to get out, explore, conquer and really live,” explains Clark.
“This event speaks to that need. It’s about getting out of the cubicle — standing up — claiming your right to have frickin’ fun and owning it. I think what we all really want out of life is more life. My hope is just for a weekend I can bring that experience to people.”
The first Gladiator Rock ’n Run was held in Orange County, Calif., in December 2010. It proved to be wildly successful, leaving participants wanting more.
This year, a total of five events will be held with Seattle now joining the list of sites for the first time.
Next year, Clark plans to have up to a dozen Gladiator Rock ’n Runs across the country.
“There’s been such an overwhelming response of athletes and weekend warriors looking for the ultimate thrill that it’s hard to keep up with the demand,” comments Clark. “But, I want to expand slowly so I can make sure to continue to bring an amazing experience to all participants.” The upcoming Seattle area Gladiator Rock ’n Run, which will take place at Pacific Raceway in Kent, is expected to draw 4,000 – 5,000 people with another 2,500 spectators. Those entering the event will have to navigate 14 obstacles (plus one bonus obstacle and a “nightmare mystery”) over a 3.15 mile course.
The obstacles have names such as “Wrecking Ball,” “Stairway to Heaven,” “Mud Madness,” “Terrible Tires,” “Cargo Congo Climb,” “Buddha’s Burden” among others.
Participants will slither on their bellies through mud, scramble up cargo nets over massive cargo containers, race through fiery flames, dash through a series of giant swinging balls and scale tall walls.
Clark notes that the event has attracted on average the same amount of women as men.
He adds, “All ages, sexes and sizes compete. The only requirement is that they need to be ‘Gladiator Tough’ and have an appetite for adventure with a desire to live the dream.”
He emphasizes that the event is a race, but it’s also a personal challenge with the goal of each individual to do the best he/she can to complete the course. And if you need another reason to participate, Clark says, “The money we raise is going to a good cause – TACA, Talk About Curing Autism, a national organization dedicated to supporting families affected by autism.” He adds, “I chose this to be this year’s charity because I have three friends with kids that have autism. It motivated me to try and do my part and raise funds and awareness for the cause.”
The last Gladiator event raised $15,000 and increased exposure for TACA with features about the organization on FOX TV, FOX Sports Radio, ABC Radio and three articles in the Orange County Register. Clark encourages everyone to enter the race to test their courage, stamina and grit.
“Dare to be different,” he says. “Accept the challenge and release the gladiator/goddess inside of you!”
What: Gladiator Rock ’n Run
When: Saturday, October 29
Where: Pacific Raceways in Kent
Registration information: www.gladiatorrocknrun.com.