Showing Gratitude for our Fathers and Forefathers

| June 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

It’s impossible for me to not realize the importance of the month of June. It’s when most of us take time to show gratitude for our fathers. My father was an exceptional human being and amazing father. I also know that he lived a hard life. He helped me to understand that hardships and life’s obstacles are just common day occurrences. You live and work through them.

He also taught me about common decency, responsibility, accountability, and the importance of hard work. He was a great role model. I often watched both my Mom and Dad take on leadership roles in the community and then share with their daughters their trials and tribulations and successes. They were very generous parents and members of society.

As I recognize my parents’ contributions, I realize that I am their legacy. They hoped and believed that I would “walk in their shoes and also be a contributing member of society.” It’s a big responsibility, and sometimes, a huge burden. Then I am reminded, we are caretakers of our world and should accept ownership of whatever exists around us.

As a sign of commitment to this legacy, I have served on numerous non-profit boards and am currently a trustee of the Old Town Chamber of Commerce. As most of you know, Old Town is a very active community and is the birthplace of San Diego. Though I feel fortunate to be able to contribute to this cause, I will admit that sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the challenges we deal with on a regular basis.

One of those challenges is to protect and improve some very significant historical sites: Presidio Park and Presidio Golf Course. Most of you probably don’t know that the “oldest” house in San Diego is situated on the Presidio Golf Course. The Casa de Carrillo was built circa 1810 and is a registered Historical Landmark.

All San Diegans should know that philanthropist George Marston (one of our City forefathers) was key in establishing and preserving the Presidio Park area. In 1932, Marston opened up the golf course. He restored the deteriorating adobe house about that same time.

Presidio Golf Course is one of the oldest par-3 courses in the country. It was built under the direction of notable golf course architect William Park Bell, who used the hollows and hills to provide a challenging short-game experience for advanced golfers without discouraging beginners.

Ironically, the roots to San Diego’s renowned junior golf program run through Presidio Golf Course. In fact, the course hosted some of the best junior golfers in the world from 1968-2002 in the 10-and-under flight of the Junior World Golf Championships. Phil Mickelson won a title there in 1980, Tiger Woods won in both 1984 and 1985 and Lorena Ochoa won in 1990, ’91 and ’92.

The city-owned course was operated by the Abrego family for more than 70 years. It fell into disrepair over the past decade under different management. New general manager Justine Lee has become the driving force behind improvements to get the course back in shape.

Recently, he had the 11th, 12th and 13th holes rerouted, the tee boxes improved and greens redone, fresh signage put in place and some equipment replaced, all indications of Lee’s desire to improve the course.

However, the biggest obstacle is that this historical site, as well as Presidio Park, are often considered step children of all other City golf courses and Parks. I’ve learned first hand as a resident of Presidio Hills, that very little resources (funds, materials and services) are committed to these sites. And, as a contributing member of the community, have also been involved in clean up and restoration efforts for these properties, including trash and graffiti removal.

The purpose of this article is not to complain but to site the fact that we (as a community) need to do more to protect and support these two very important historical sites. I’ve learned from experience, that our positive actions, with hurdles along the way, can lead to successful results. And, at our next Old Town Chamber of Commerce trustee meeting, I plan to reintroduce this to the representative from Councilman Chris Ward’s office. Thanks to my father and our City forefathers, we need to set the example for future generations.

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