Hallowed Hills of Augusta
Father’s Day is still a long ways off, but Jon Carras, a producer at CBS’ “Sunday Morning” and a frequent participant in Washington and Lee University’s Media Ethics programs, has written a touching piece for The Huffington Post about his father, George, who was W&L’s director of corporate and foundation relations.
Jon’s story focuses on a cherished tradition—watching the Masters golf tournament on T.V. with his dad. He writes, “For many years, we watched together, taking in the tranquil beauty of Augusta National Golf Course and listening to the birds chirp and announcers speak in hushed tones as the world’s best golfers walked the lush fairways and greens that are nestled among the Georgia Pine trees. We imagined sitting together at Amen Corner—the famed three-hole intersection that’s left golfers weeping tears of both jubilation and pain. I always vowed that one day, I’d take my father to the Masters and sit at Amen Corner. But to do that, I needed more than a few prayers answered along the way.”
George, who retired from W&L in 2011, suffers from a rare degenerative nerve and brain disease that is slowly crippling his body. “I’ve struggled immensely with how to cope with the fact that no doctor can help him,” Jon said. “It’s so painful to watch your hero—someone so invincible to you—struggle so mightily.”
In 2014, Jon made hotel reservations and managed to secure tickets to the famed tournament. “As a television producer, I wanted to ‘produce’ a Masters experience that would take him back to why he fell in love with the golf tournament 50 years earlier.”
It was a highly successful trip. George, using his electric scooter, rode around on the course, saw Tiger Woods and watched Masters legends Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player start the proceedings with ceremonial tee shots. “We talked about life, family, sports and on and on.” Jon added, “The man who taught me about the hallowed hills of Augusta when I was a boy was home. And I was with him. Just as we’d always hoped.”