RAVENSWOOD – Francis Brookhart did a lot of driving last week. Don't feel too sorry for her, though. After all, she was at The Greenbrier.
Oh, and did we mention many of those she was transporting just happened to be professional golfers.
"I worked in players' transportation," said Brookhart, who was still beaming from her third year as a volunteer for The Greenbrier Classic – a stop on the PGA TOUR. "We had a fleet of a hundred Fords and they were all brand new."
Brookhart's decision to become a volunteer was a rather simple one. "I love The Greenbrier," said the Henry J. Kaiser teacher. "I always feel like a princess when I'm there."
Transporting the professionals, their wives, caddies and the VIPs has allowed Brookhart the chance to meet some interesting people the past two summers. (Brookhart worked in merchandising her first year).
"The attitude of the pros is very impressive. Most of them are so physically fit, thin and tanned," she said. "They are so good inside and out. With the exception of one, they were all truly humble and are wonderful sportsmen."
Brookhart's week started on Tuesday and ended on Friday. She had to attend a wedding over the weekend that kept her from working the final two rounds of the Classic, which has become the premiere sporting event in West Virginia.
She just hasn't met people, but made some nice friendships. Last year she transferred golfer Webb Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champ, to his destination. "He was like 'Yes Mam and No Mam.' I asked him where he was from and when he said Charlotte, I about wrecked the car."
Charlotte is where Brookhart grew up. She attended Myers Park High School before attending the University of South Carolina.
"He (Simpson) is a wonderful Christian and I told him it makes me proud to know you," she said.
After their brief encounter in the car, Brookhart later that evening decided to write Simpson a letter and reiterate her feelings about his faith.
This year Simpson was coming off the driving range and Brookhart spotted him. "I said, 'Hi Webb' and he turned around and said, 'Hey Francis.'"
This year she spent time with Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey who shared the lead with Johnson Wagner following the opening 18 holes of play. Gainey and Wagner each carded scores of 8-under 62. "He's just a sweet country boy."
Gainey finished at -3 for the tournament and in a tie for 41st.
One golfer Brookhart picked up during her stay at The Greenbrier was set to pop the question that evening to his significant other. "I can't remember his name but we had a nice talk."
Brookhart is getting ready to embark on her 36th year in the classroom. She is a Title I reading and math teacher at HJK. She taught two years in North Carolina and one in Germany, which is where she met her husband Bill, who is a Belpre, Ohio native. He interviewed with Kaiser Aluminum when he left the service and that is what led them to Ravenswood.
Page 2 of 2 - When she greets her newest batch of students next month, they will have plenty to share about what they did during their summer vacation.
Francis Brookhart will have just as much fun telling them about another spectacular week she enjoyed on the grounds of America's Resort.