SportsTurf

June 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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www.stma.org June 2017 | SportsTurf 33 When Jim joined the faculty of Texas A&M in 1975, Doug Fender was executive director of TPI and doing a great job of leadership in the water battle. Jim continued to be supportive of TPI and its initiatives, now with the opportunity to repeat much of the same research he had conducted, but this time on warm-season grasses. "That gave me the background to write the different books and the experience to work with turfgrass groups in all climate zones around the world." It took longer for him to get the industry to use the term turfgrass, instead of grass or turf, Harriet reports, "Grass was something that many would smoke. Turf was related more to horseracing than the other usages. Turfgrass is more specific. Later, after the industry started using turfgrass, the artificial turf people latched onto the word turf. Now we need to say turfgrass or natural grass to differentiate it from artificial." CONSULTING WORLDWIDE Jim and Harriet have had many unique experiences linked to his international consulting. Generally, Harriet is a silent partner during the meetings she attends, but there are exceptions. Jim was working with golf courses for the Italian Golf Federation in Rome, Italy, when their primary contact received a phone call from those in charge of the newly renovated stadium in Milan that was to be dedicated at the start of the final World Cup game in 1990. Jim says, "They were having extreme problems with the turfgrass. My contact told them, 'I have Dr. Beard here and can get him up there tomorrow.' I didn't want to go just to get my name associated with a disaster, but the next day Harriet and I were on the high- speed train from Rome to Milan. We went to the stadium and found they had killed off all the turfgrass by accident in December and the new seed was about ½-to-1-inch tall. We adjourned to the conference room with about 16 professors and groundskeepers and city officials around the table with me. Harriet was sitting over in a corner. They explained they had a subirrigation system but the ground was frozen so they couldn't get water to the surface where the turfgrass also was frozen. Then they said, 'We had to do something, so we rolled it.' Harriet moaned and all of them looked over at her." They have been to Japan many times and report the Japanese are always gracious people. Harriet says, "It's customary to take gifts and I'd often take something unique from Texas. One year we'd spent the summer in Michigan. People suggested taking cigarettes, but I don't approve of smoking. We had grown a huge crop of zucchini so I took zucchini bread. It was like taking gold; everyone loved it and told me they hoped I would bring some again next time. That was my gift for a couple years." Jim reports Harriet was sometimes "illegal cargo" in Japan as women were not allowed in lots of places. "We had dinner one night with a very revered person and his wife and asked his permission for Harriet to accompany me to an exclusive, male- only club in downtown Tokyo. He said no. When we arrived the next day, they separated us and took Harriet away as we had expected. But instead of entertaining her at a different location, they took her up in the freight elevator and rushed her down the hall to the dining room to join me. Apparently our contact's wife had said yes to our request." Sorting through so many wonderful memories, brought back another favorite, a trip to South Africa Jim had to persuade Harriet to make. He had gone ahead for a couple weeks of lecturing. "So I took off by myself to join him," says Harriet. "Once the plane landed in Ghana, people in uniform boarded, brandishing their guns. We all just sat there and waited until

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