• Leigh Gerstenberger

Brother Lawrence in the Locker Room

Brother Lawrence lived for 80 years in 17th century France spending most of his adult life as a kitchen worker and sandal maker. While other luminaries of that era (Blaise Pascal, Madame Guyon and Francis de Sales may be better known) none of them or their accomplishments out-shine those of a simple monk who understood the holiness available within the common business of life.

While Brother Lawrence spent his life as a lowly cook and cobbler, he left the world a legacy that has endured over 400 years by the way in which he lived his life.

Last week Diamond Run Golf Club paid tribute to Albert “Mickey” Graziano who had served as the Men’s Locker Room Manager since the club’s founding in 1975. Mickey was a fascinating, larger than life personality. Legend has it that for years he caddied on the PGA Tour which resulted in him developing personal relationships with golfers and celebrities from around the world. In evidence of this fact, today the locker room walls display a treasure trove of signed photographs wishing Mickey well from luminaries such as Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Payne Stewart, Lee Trevino, Greg Norman and Nick Price, just to mention a few.

To the chagrin of some of the club’s members if a visiting team was in town to play a game against the Pirates, Steelers or Penguins, invariably Mickey would be contacted for a tee time so that a few of Pittsburgh’s opponents could get a round of golf in before they went to work at one of the downtown stadiums or the arena. As we gathered for the first Mickey Graziani Memorial Golf Tournament, a friend told a story of Smokey Robinson popping into the pro shop one day and simply asking, “Where’s Mickey?”

While perhaps best known and admired by his celebrity network, Mickey treated everyone like they were a celebrity to him. He knew, recalled and used your name from the moment he met you. Whether he saw you daily or once every six months his greeting was always the same. For me it was, “Hey Mr. G., good to see ya’ how have you been?” Whether speaking with Mickey for three minutes or three hours, you always had his undivided attention. You were his sole focus. He made you feel like the most important person in the room.

As tributes were shared about the impact Mickey had made in the lives of those assembled, multiple individuals commented on how he had taken them under his wing and mentored them. Several people comment on the fact that they would not be where they are in their careers today had it not been for the impact Mickey had made by pouring himself into their lives. A modern-day Brother Lawrence.



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