Stories from SHGCC Members

Ed Sarraille

I’ll always remember the trips with Marty and the “boys” to Ireland, Scotland and England….most of the big laughs we experienced would surely be quite difficult to incorporate into a mixed setting memorial. However, what I will always look back fondly upon is the leader of the pact reminding us after each country, each meal and each round how lucky we were to be there at that very moment of time and to be sharing it with such good friends. Marty repeatedly Echoing “How good is this”….will never leave my memory bank of great times and great friends. A guy with a big personality and an even bigger heart.

Ralph Hartnett

I joined SHGCC in 1988.  I knew a few friends but not many golfers.  I came to the club that first Saturday not knowing if I could get a game.  Walking down the ramp toward the range Marty was the first person to see me and

Introduce himself and include me in his group.  He was inclusive, generous, funny, and became a special friend over the last 31 years.  Traveling to Scotland for golf that Marty arranged with many friends led to some remarkable stories.  As roommates on the trip Mike Aymar and I started a putting contest on the second floor of the Colladon House putting down hallways,  fire escapes and Bedrooms at 1 am in the morning.  Joined by Marty and 4 other members of the trip,  dressed in nightshirts I might add,  after much noise and celebration we were confronted by the hotel owner owner and his dog to remove ourselves Back to our rooms as it was a bit late and we were disturbing other guests.  I am reasonably sure but I think he rejected our invitation to join in the contest.  

Marty was an organizer,  leader, conversation initiator, and friend to us all.   He knew and remembered OUR stories

Our children’s stories and was truly interested in how they were doing.

I will miss him greatly.  I’m sure God has a special golf game In mind for the MAYOR!!!!

Jeph Martin

    I really appreciate the fact that you included me in your email about the Celebration of Marty’s life. I was in touch with Marty several times during his long ordeal, most recently around the holidays. Marty was always gracious and positive about his situation and life, something I really respected. I know that it was not an easy time for both he and Mary.

   What is most vivid in my mind about Marty was how inclusive and friendly Marty was to me. Whenever I was around him he was genuinely interested in how I was doing and how my wife Zoe was. He had been aware of some of the medical issues that we were dealing with. 

   I also remember two golf trips that you and he included me in. I was really new to your group and was so pleased to be asked to join you in both the trip to Palm Desert as well the golf outing at Pebble Beach. Marty’s outgoing and inclusive personality made those experiences a lot of fun

John Nash

Early on, I had met Marty but had not grown that close to him, as he was a fairly new member of the club.  We got to talking about our careers –mine being in the paper business and his being in the water business.  At that time, a bottle of water was just starting to be a sought after item.  

Two days after this conversation, I came home from work and saw something on the front porch.  I went into the house and then looked on the porch and there was a carton of bottled water.  No name on the carton, but it was obvious where it had come from.  From that point on, every two or three weeks a carton of water appeared on our front porch.  I’m sure I’m not the only one to have received such a thoughtful gesture, but it has always impressed me how thoughtful this great guy has been over the years.  He will be greatly missed. 

John Salera

I met Marty in 1988 in the member/ guest fall invitational.  Marty was the guest of Al Worthington(?}.  He was interested in membership and apparently told he needed a wife.  Shortly thereafter he married Mary.  Soon he was a member of Sharon Heights, and the rest is history.

Fred Robanser

Many years ago I was looking into joining a private golf club. I looked into Greenhills and Peninsula golf club.

It so happened that one year during the Oak Leaf Invitational I was a guest of Larry Guy.

I had so much fun playing Sharon’s golf course and I really enjoyed meeting many of the members. Marty was President at this time. On a Saturday evening, during the party, I was walking up the stairs from the old club house. Marty was walking down the stairs. Marty stopped and introduced himself. It turned out we had much in common. I mentioned that I was looking at golf clubs Marty stated to me that I should consider joining Sharon. I stated to Marty that the initiation fee was a little too much for me at the time. Apparently, the fees were going up and up. Marty then stated to me that maybe he could help me get into Sharon. At the time there was a two year waiting list to get into Sharon. What happened next completely took me surprise. I got the call from the club and they said that I’m in and to bring a check to the office. 

Now I really don’t know for sure if Marty had any influence in this matter, but I remember Marty who could make things happen around the club. Once I became a member I really had great times with Marty. He will surly be missed.

Joe Merkert

I was very fortunate to be a friend of Marty and his wife Mary My wife Also Mary we’re both from the Bronx NY we live on the third hole at SHCC and we’re privileged to store his beer on the third on Sat morning in my back yard If necessary he could also call me from the fifth he they need to be refilled.

Tom Jones

1. How he got us on the field for a home Michigan football game and actually got us to go through the “Tunnel” with the team onto the field.

2. When Marty & Mary were remodeling their PB house, they used our PB house since we weren’t there often. After a while, I would meet people at MPCC who were surprised that I owned the house since they had just slept over there as friends of Marty  

3. When Marty first joined SHGCC, I was on the driving range and he came out to the range and started introducing himself to each individual on the range….the “Mayor Of Sharon” had arrived.

Bob Ferris

Not sure how funny this is, but in 1992 I was president of Sharon.  The board had previously adopted some “dress code” regulations, including one that stated that any shorts that were worn on the golf course had to be within 4 inches above to knee (i.e., no short shorts).  Marty and his group were on the 13th green and I was coming down number 12.  Marty walked over to me to say hello (as he was prone to do everywhere) and I kiddingly mentioned that his shorts did not appear to be in compliance with the regulation.  He looked at his legs and said: “ right!”  He then proceeded to drop his shorts and walked back to the 13th green and putted out in his underwear.

Mike Aymar

–  Two fairway rule.  I assume this legend started at SHGCC.  All sorts of extensions to this story.  Like being in a tournament with Marty and constantly being “reintroduced” to other players, who might be even more than 2 fairways away.  Picture Marty taking off in the golf cart with his fortunate (or unfortunate) guest to see someone Marty wants to see.  The conversation always starts with “Mike, you remember Bob”, and “Bob, you remember Mike”.  Of course, neither Mike, nor Bob (or whoever), don’t remember anything, but act like they do to keep Marty happy!

–  Golf trips I took with Marty to up and down the west coast, from Seattle to Scottsdale, and points in between. We flew privately a lot, and one of the services we used for a while was Sentient, which was an aggregator for private plane owners.  Once in a while we would get a plane that didn’t quite match up to Marty’s size, both girth and weight….  Made for some interesting boarding and unboarding at times, and infrequently having to leave some golf bags behind on the return trip after Marty would invite someone to fly home with us.

–  When you setup a golf game with Marty, you never knew who he might bring along as a last minute surprise. Happened often at Spyglass, with one of the happy such times when I was able to meet Norm Wesley!

–  Playing with Marty in the First Tee.  First story.  We were playing in the tournament with John Bland, a very friendly guy, and at some point Marty questioned a read by John and John pointed to his own bag and said “I’m the pro, see my name on the bag!”  Second story, we were playing a practice round with Tom Watson, and while making sure he played the correct ball he found Marty’s ball and shouted out “Who in the hell is playing a Noodle?”

–  The lost treasure of unpaid ‘debts’ to Marty.  Marty was grand central for favors – tickets to games, concerts, etc…/ help with getting kids into schools/ help with getting kids jobs/ etc….  Somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind he built up a huge unpaid wealth of future favors he might ask for in return.  Most of these favors were never requested and are now lost to antiquity!  

–  Although I joined SHGCC after the era of raging tailgate parties and “mystery trips”, I have heard of many. Bob Paul, Tom Jones, and Mike Kelly would probably be great sources of this stuff.

Dave Miller

I offer some thoughts of special memories Bebes and I have of time with Marty.   Others, of course, will speak about Marty and golf as well as his unique gregariousness that served to bring everyone into his world and to feel liked they belonged there.

In my case, special memories flow from times around the piano where glasses were being lifted and singing old rock and roll tunes took place place.   The night of the President’s Ball honoring Marty’s election as Sharon Heights President stands out among those many occasions.   It was a special night for sure that rang in a very different way of honoring our Presidents and, for understandable reasons, in a way that hasn’t been repeated since.   We were in the grill making music until well after 3:00.   I have played a lot of gigs in my life in a lot of upscale and not so upscale joints.   Never before (or since for that matter) had my tip jar been filled with a bra.   That beats cash any day!  Not much more need be said about that evening which for Marty was another opportunity to make everyone feel they were an integral part of his family.

Collected by Bob Paul

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