May 21, 2018

Column: Saying (somewhat) goodbye to my first job

After two and a half years as a cart attendant at Laytonsville Golf Course, it's time to move on

This day is inevitable for every working human. Sooner or later, it will eventually come. Well, you like to hope so — not being stuck working a minimum wage job through your late 20’s, and should I dare say, 30’s.

Everyone should have vivid memories of their first job, where they earned their first paycheck.

For me, it was a cart attendant at Laytonsville Golf Course — buffing golf wagons and serving as part janitor, since we didn’t have janitors, to ensure everything was nice and tidy.

It’s not goodbye forever, but today marks the final go-around as a full-time employee at the golf course I’ve been at since March 2014. Talk about vivid memories, I remember my first day as an illustrious cart boy — it was joyful and unpleasantly gut-wretched, all at the same time (literally).

For employees, fountain soda was free. Yes, F-R-E-E. My cheap self, man, was I giddy for that free fountain soda. About a dozen cups of Mountain Dew later, I was barfing Niagara Falls into the pro-shop toilets. It was yucky. I’ll just leave it at that.

Mental notes were taken through the years, such as not to down 12 cups of Mountain Dew. Another one was to not exchange words with raging, ditzy parents that coddle their children in youth sporting events. Or other words, take the high road. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Long story short, my little brother, Ryan, was paired up with this kid in a PGA Jr. League match (Little League of golf) that whined about everything. And I mean everything. 

He complained, fussed, and whimpered. I had enough, and it reached the boiling point on the last hole, when the kid barked that one of Ryan’s golf clubs was illegal. His dad, the raging, ditzy parent, came unglued. He dropped F-bomb after F-bomb. Profane word after profane word. Remember, this is youth sports.

Oh wait, that explains it. Youth sports are alleyways for parents like him to show their true colors.

Woe is me, I fired back with the unfiltered jab, standing up for my younger brother that did nothing wrong, “No wonder why your son acts the way he does!”.

I shouldn’t have said that, but he sure needed to hear it. The dad then threatened to “take me into the parking lot and whoop my a$$”. Good ole’ youth sports. And this is golf, too, the “gentlemen’s sport”.

Alongside Mountain Dew binges and near-parking lot fights, I’ll never forget when then-National’s first baseman Adam LaRoche caddied for his son, Drake, in a U.S. Kids Golf Tournament at Laytonsville.

To the blind-eye, you would never know he was a professional athlete — dressed casually in an over-sized maroon t-shirt and baggy black sweats that sagged over his shoes — he even played in an MLB game that night. He said his polite hellos to the ones that didn’t recognize him, and even signed autographs to the ones that requested.

LaRoche was a gentle giant, and clear family man. Not many can say they caddied for their kid in a local golf tournament and slugged home run in the Major League’s all in the same day. LaRoche did just that.

This year, the two became a national headline when LaRoche walked away from baseball once he was asked to limit Drake’s time in the White Sox locker room. Drake was apart of any team his dad was on, making buddies with Adam’s teammates. He was respected in the clubhouse. For some reason, the White Sox didn’t want him around. LaRoche left $13 million on the table to spend more time with his son.

Outsiders stapled Drake as a brat, when in fact, he was nowhere close to it. I met Drake once, and in that moment, he was the one that approached me to say hello.

We all have memories from our first jobs. Those were mine. I also wouldn’t be where I am today without my generous bosses, Matt Jarvis and Steve Matheny. They allowed me to pick my work schedule to fit around the time needed to develop this media platform.

Without them, Maryland Sports Access wouldn’t be where it is today.

I have outgrown the cart boy role at Laytonsville Golf Course, and it’s time to pour all of my energy into sports journalism and Maryland Sports Access. I also am proud to announce I have landed a position with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. More details will soon follow.

My energy comes from the Lord Jesus Christ and I’m not afraid to say so.

Lastly, I am a dreamer. I have learned in my 20 years on planet earth that ambitious leaps of faith will need to be taken in order to bridge dreams with reality.

This choice, leaving my source of income at the golf course to pursue my aspirations, is a definite leap of faith. And I couldn’t thank the sphere of influences around me enough as I enter the next phase of my life.

We should all remember, life is a journey with one another, not a competition.

And, life isn’t complete without priceless memories from your first job.

Just don’t drink 12 cups of Mountain Dew in one sitting.

About Kyle McFadden 416 Articles
Kyle McFadden is a graduate from Linganore High School's Class of 2014, a sports junkie and general news-hound. He got his start as a sports writer in January 2014 for Linganore's student-run newspaper The Lance, where he wrote 13 articles. McFadden then launched his own blog in October 2014 called The Beltway Dispatch covering collegiate, local high school and professional sports. Formally known as The Beltway Dispatch, McFadden and Evan Engelhard merged respective platforms in June 2015 to make what is now Maryland Sports Access. With baseball, basketball and golf experience, McFadden brings ample knowledge to the helm of MSA. McFadden covers a wide variety of sports in football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and specializes in the collegiate and high school levels. McFadden volunteers his time at Damascus Road Community Church -- serving as a mentor to the youth, basketball coach at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and leads a small group of high school sophomores every Wednesday night. Although he's only been around journalism since January 2014, he's a high school sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun and freelancer for The Frederick News-Post. McFadden's work has also appeared in DMV newspapers The Aegis, The Capital Gazette, The Daily Times (Delmarva Now), The Hometown Observer, Howard County Times, Germantown Pulse and The Towson Times. He's also won two Mike Powell Excellence in Journalism awards and has appeared on The Best of SNO, which showcases top student work of high school and college journalists. McFadden currently studies at Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2018 to work on a bachelor's degree in journalism with aspirations to be a national college basketball writer.
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