Longevity is something to strive for. This becomes more and more evident to me as I approach that age where it's dawning on me how quickly a year passes, and I am reluctantly conceding to the idea that I am, as the saying goes, not getting any younger. At some point, the feeling of being totally bulletproof becomes a thing of the past and something you learn to associate only with law-enforcement standard issue. But then I begin to realize that, although I may have some years on me, I have a lot to show for it — both personally and professionally.

As I think about the GCSAA Conference and Show this month in Atlanta, I realize I have attended all but one of these “golf shows” since 1971. Wow. Thirty-two years and counting. That's got some longevity on it. More important than my being fortunate enough to attend more than 30 golf shows are the relationships I've built during that period of time. I have gotten to personally know many superintendents, golf course owners, manufacturing teams, lawn maintenance contractors and university experts who have worked in this golf and green industry their entire adult lives. I have superintendent friends who have spent their entire professional lives with the same golf course where their careers began 25 years ago as assistant superintendents. This is something we see less of in today's working and corporate world. I take my hat off to those superintendents and others who have demonstrated this kind of longevity.

My travels also have given me the opportunity to meet, compete against and socialize with individuals who have worked for turf equipment manufacturers for a long span of time. Some have worked for the same company; some have not. But they all have dedicated their entire working lives to this industry. I am also glad to have had the pleasure of working side-by-side with turf equipment distributors who are second- and third-generation owners.

There are also the private owners of golf courses I know who have been doing business for 40 or more years. And then there are my university friends. These experts have offered instruction to thousands of turf students over the years and, even after retirement, are still active in this industry. This longevity combines to give our industry a strong history while lending credibility to just how important we are to this business and it is to us.

As you continue to thumb through and read this magazine, be aware that this publication also qualifies under the category of longevity. Grounds Maintenance was first published in 1966. That means it has been serving the golf and green industry like a good friend for 37 years without fail, and will continue to be your how-to and resource for answers throughout your working career.

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