“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Fergie Jenkins has been an acquaintance of mine for nearly 50 years.
No, we’re not best buddies. He likely doesn’t remember the first time I met him, rather, I am sure he wouldn’t.
I was about eight years old and Fergie was on a book signing tour. He was making a stop at a book store in London and stopping by was on my mom’s to-do list.
Two things my mom loves: books and anything Canadian.
So to have Canada’s all-star pitcher then of the Chicago Cubs in town and signing his new book, it was a match made in heaven. It didn’t hurt that I loved playing ball, too.
It was at that fateful meeting when Fergie related a story to my mom which I would regret for several summers. My mom asked him what he did in his hometown Chatham to build strength and condition.
Fergie told a story about his dad unloading cord after cord of firewood in front of him – well, the raw material for it anyways – and Fergie job was to chop it up with axe. Back, shoulders, legs, they’ll all get in great shape fast.
So summer after summer six, eight cords of wood got dumped in our laneway. My job, chop it up, organize it and fill our two-car garage with it….did I say my mom also loved sitting by the fire in our den. Oh ya, that and a cup of tea…forget about it.
In more recent years, I have interviewed Fergie many times.
Often over breakfast at Grimsby Sub Shop or over a burger at Teddy’s. Whenever he is in town he would often show up at community events just to participate in the goings on of his home away from home.
For this edition of ClubWest I had the occasion to chat with Fergie again as he took a break at his 25th charity golf tournament.
He is now 75 years old…a lot more miles on his odometer than when I met him as a child.
Yet, his passion and drive is the same, just his focus has changed.
Before he was worried about shutting down Major League offences, now is worried about generating funds to help community groups of all shapes and sizes.
He estimated the Foundation has generated more than $5 million since it was formally launched in 1999 and Fergie himself show no signs of slowing down…and more power to him.
Thanks for your years of dedication to our community, Fergie!
Publisher, ClubWest Magazine