NOTE: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 3:03 pm. Michael Wranesh, 94, passed away Monday at Country Manor Nursing Home in Carthage.
As I was investigating the history of Gouverneur Country Club, I learned that a current Hailesboro resident, Mike Wranesh, was there when it first began in 1930. Mike and his wife, Jane, sat down for coffee with Nancy and I and reminisced about those early days – it was delightful. During the conversation, Mike indicated that his brother John had participated in a writing class and had written an article about those early days.
What follows are excerpts from my conversation with Mike and Jane and e-mails from John. In addition, the article written by John is presented in its entirety. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
The Wranesh boys were born and raised in Hailesboro during the depression years. They were caddies (in the days when members employed caddies). They "learned the trade" at the country club and learned a whole lot about people, golf etiquette, and even learned the game along with the members.
Mike was born in 1918 and was 12 when he started working at the course - initially picking weeds and then later as a caddie. He then left Hailesboro in 1936 to work as a sheet metal worker out of town for $1.00/hour which it those days was very good money. He also recalled working on the first addition of the Dolan Annex (part of the current high school) for a fellow from Vermont who had the contract.
When the Army called, he dutifully served which resulted in a cut in pay at $21. dollars a month. After the Army, he returned to Gouverneur for a job at the Borden’s milk plant where he remained for 28 years. He fondly remembers working with Bob Dygert and together they “ran the place. ” Mike claims Bob was the better golfer while he concentrated more on business of the day.
John Wranesh who lives in Ann Arbor is 6 years younger then Mike. Currently he spends some time volunteering at the Veterans Administration Ann Arbor Healthcare Center and assisting with some historical aspects of his old bomb group--The 457th Bomb Group Association.
In 1999, he was a member of a “geriatric” writing group associated with the University of Michigan that met every Friday for a couple of hours. As his weekly "assignment” John chose to write about the early day of Gouverneur Country Club as his topic of choice. That writing can be read in its entirety later in this article.
He commented that he had a lot of fun visualizing the scene and the wonderful characters (and hopefully any of the descendants of the characters will be understanding). Today he still enjoys the game of golf while playing with lightweight flexible graphite shaft clubs and once in a while gets a 225-yard drive and occasionally sinks a long putt. Both Mike and John remember older brother Joe from Richville as being the “great golfer.” He and Ray Cassidy from Edwards were always partners. The record shows that together they were a formidable pair.
90 Country Club Road, Gouverneur, NY 13642
We have reciprocal agreements with many local golf courses.