Note: Eddie Manderville, the ironman golfer from Theodore Wirth, died on Thursday at age 88. He was the proverbial "beauty.'' Here's a column from April 8, 2001, with Eddie talking about his golfing pal Harvey Borseth, when Harvey died quickly after being diagnosed with leukemia.
Eddie Manderville and Harvey Borseth had completed a round of golf on a summer day a couple of decades ago. They were in the parking lot, settling up, and then Manderville said: "Let's go to such-and-such a course tomorrow."
`Borseth shook his head and said: "I can't. I absolutely have to work tomorrow.''
Manderville took a step back, stared in amazement at his friend and said: "Wait a minute. You own a company. You own a nice little company. There are seven people working for you. You're the boss. How could you possibly have to work rather than play golf?"
Eddie says Borseth had an epiphany at that moment. '`You're right,` Harvey said. "I'm the boss. What time are we playing?''
For the record, it never had been a case where Harvey wasn't getting out much. It was just that at this moment Eddie helped him to realize Borseth Delivery Service would still function without him violating all that was sacred by missing a round of golf.
"I met Harvey more than 30 years ago, when I was lucky enough to win the Gross Invitational," Manderville said. "Winning the Gross Invitational was standard procedure for Harvey. He couldn't figure out who this guy was who beat him. So, he came over to Wirth looking for me."
Borseth and Manderville discovered they had this in common: low handicaps and a fondness for playing golf for money.
"Harvey liked to gamble, and I liked to gamble," Manderville said. "Harvey was a poor loser, and I was a poor loser. Most of the time, we were partners, but there was the game within the game.’’
Borseth and Manderville were public course players for most of their lives. There was a period when they were members at Rolling Green Country Club.
"We would be out in the parking lot, arguing about who owed what," Manderville said. "Somewhere in that ruckus, a calm voice would say, `What time are we playing tomorrow?'"
Borseth was a big man who hit it far off the tee his whole life.
"Yeah, he hit it long, but he could also hit his irons and he could chip," Manderville said. "Most of the time, Harvey was a good putter, too, although there were a couple of spells he was putting poorly.
"Harvey never wanted any advice on the course. Any problem, he was going to work it out for himself. With Harvey, he played his game, and you played your game."
During one of his putting "spells," Borseth went to the long putter.
"Yeah, but every time he pulled that putter out, Harvey turned bright red," Manderville said. "He'd say, `I'm so embarrassed to have this thing. I'm too young for this."'
Borseth and Manderville played out of Bunker Hills before Rolling Green, and later out of Hollydale. They had been Rush Creek members in recent years, along with a wily group of cut-throat low-handicappers who played daily.
"We played partners a lot against guys like Joe Dargay and Bob Lucas," Manderville said. "Low ball. You better make some birdies in that group, or you'd be handing over some cash at the end of the day."
Manderville is Black. He started playing golf 42 years ago.
"There weren't a whole lot of Black guys playing golf in the city then ...still not many when I first met Harvey," Manderville said. "I can tell you this: Harvey Borseth was as color blind as any person you could ever meet. We had lots of arguments, but there was never a racial word uttered by Harvey in 30 years of playing golf with him."
Manderville made some friends in Kansas City. You can play golf there in March. Eddie would lead a Minnesota delegation of golfers that often included Borseth.
"We were down a couple of weeks ago," Manderville said. "All those Kansas City guys wanted to talk about Harvey. They were shocked and sad ... like everyone else who played golf with Harvey."
Borseth had retired to Tucson in December, 1999. He was a member at Tucson National.
"He would call me on the cell phone from the driving range and say, 'Eddie, this is paradise...they even have new range balls,"' Manderville said.
Borseth was diagnosed with leukemia last fall. He called Manderville and his many other Minnesota golf buddies to tell them. Three weeks later, on Oct. 30, Borseth was dead at 61.
"It's such a terrible thing," Manderville said. "Harvey finally was where he always wanted to be."
"Tucson, Phoenix, Florida ... wherever," Manderville said. "He was someplace where he could play golf every day."