These past few years I have had the privilege of chronicling the journey of a good friend, Jimmy Garvin.
Jimmy came to the Washington, D.C. area from a small town in Florida. His reason for coming to this area was to play baseball at Howard University under the tutelage of former major leaguer Chuck Hinton. Chuck befriended Jimmy, and when the latter suffered the fate of most fireball pitchers (blown rotator cuff), he stayed in this area and followed Chuck to the golf course.
He returned to Florida and went to work for Marriott, which started him on his journey. His work ethic garnered him a promotion which led him back to D.C. and his old friend, Chuck. Jimmy shared his time with his job and the golf course. As fate would have it, Jimmy got caught under the downsizing crush and he returned to Florida.
His time in the Sunshine State, however, left him with a yearning to return to D.C. After his return, he spent time doing odd jobs around Rock Creek Golf Course. This gave him some change to make ends meet, and he could play golf free during his off time.
Recognizing a diamond in the rough, Golf Course Specialist (the parent company) moved him to Langston Golf Course to join the grounds keeping crew. This led to the job of manager of Langston. His hard work and innovation helped him move up the ranks from manager to general manager to president and eventually a partnership with the parent company.
While his success was being enjoyed, he was contacted by a member (who shall remain nameless) of the D.C. Council, who proposed funneling funds into Jimmy’s youth programs.
However, it turned out that the money used came from embezzled funds. The law became involved and Jimmy’s shooting star came crashing to the ground.
Jimmy had his day in court, received a slap on the wrist and went about the task of repairing his life.
As fate would have it, a group of Black businessmen that included Van Jones, Henry Turner and Willy Blakney had purchased The Marlton Golf Course in Upper Marlboro, Md. They needed Jimmy, and he came on board and pumped life into that enterprise. He recently became a partner and his star began to soar once again.
In September, he will release his biography, titled, The Walk was Uphill. I am glad to see my friend back on track, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that none of this would have been possible if his wife, Lana, didn’t have her hand firmly on the whip.