Dean Shares Story of His Favorite Summer Job

Dean Shares Story of His Favorite Summer Job

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dan Innis, dean of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, remembers Harry while recently mowing his small Portsmouth backyard.

Dan Innis, dean of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, remembers Harry while recently mowing his small Portsmouth backyard. (courtesy photo)

Dan Innis, dean of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, shared the following story about his favorite summer job with UNH Today. We would love to hear from additional UNH faculty and staff members about their first or favorite job. Send submissions to Erika Mantz at erika.mantz@unh.edu

My favorite summer job was working at the Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Ohio, while I was in college. I was in maintenance and mowed greens virtually every morning and then did everything else imaginable the rest of the day, from fertilizing to putting new roofs on shelter houses and fixing leaks in the sprinkler systems. I was there for six summers.

Perhaps the most interesting day for me was spraying bag worms on trees with a fellow named Harry. I was dressed in a protective suit with a mask and looked like a space walker! I was carrying a long-distance spray hose that trailed behind a tractor-pulled tank that Harry was driving. I walked behind, spraying up into the trees that had worms.

As the day was drawing to a close, it became clear to me that we were not going to finish on time. Being a type A personality, I was beginning to get agitated about it, and Harry noticed. Harry was about 65 years old and I was probably about 20 years old at the time. He stopped the tractor, which caused me even more concern. Harry got off, walked back to the sprayer and leaned on it. He smiled and relaxed. I said, "Harry, we are not going to get done!" He smiled even broader and said, "I have been here for a long time and I have learned a lot. But one of the most important life lessons I have learned is this: Do what you can...and the hell with the rest." With that he told me not to worry, we could finish tomorrow, and we did.

To this day I often remember Harry's wise words. His simple comment put things in perspective for me that day...and every day since. Sometimes the greatest lessons come from unexpected places.

Originally published by: 

UNH Today

Written by Erika Mantz, UNH Media Relations