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Keeping up with the Jones: A shot in the arm

By |  April 13, 2021 0 Comments
The Jones-Romero family smiles after getting 94-year-old Virginia (center) her vaccine. (Photo courtesy of Golfdom Staff)

The Jones-Romero family smiles after getting 94-year-old Virginia (center) her vaccine. (Photo courtesy of Golfdom Staff)

The big news in the Jones family came in mid-March when my wife and I received our second COVID-19 vaccines. I’m in my mid-40s (don’t laugh), and my wife is younger than me. We didn’t expect to have our vaccines so quickly, but like the saying goes, it’s all about who ya know.

In this case, I know Adrianne’s grandma Virginia, who celebrates her 95th birthday next month. I’ve known Virginia for a long time, maybe 17 years now, but to Virginia, that 17 years is a blip on the screen. I wasn’t a major player in her life until recently when her balance became less trustworthy. We’re practically neighbors as far as living in the country goes, so I’m the one who gets a phone call when she’s slipped and needs to be helped up off the floor. And, of course, I’m happy to do it.

Based on that new need, my stock has risen with Virginia. I even got a “there’s my hero!” from her when I arrived a few minutes after my mother-in-law’s call the other day. Anyone who can live 90-plus years in the difficult conditions she’s seen, that’s my hero.

I’ve been extra cautious with the pandemic based on my relationship with Virginia. It was a relief when we learned she could qualify family who were her regular caregivers for the vaccine. Our small group arrived at the vaccination clinic together. As we left, I asked these three beautiful ladies to smile for a photo, in celebration of a long, unusual experience that was now making a change of course.

I recall that for the first vaccination, I was prepared to be turned away at the door. There would be some snafu, some misunderstanding, that would prevent me from getting it. I didn’t want to get my hopes up and then not get it and be disappointed. It wouldn’t be until the shot was in my arm, I told myself, that I should believe it.

I was so grateful for the first vaccination. I’m not smart enough to know entirely what that first shot meant, but it felt like a step in returning to normal. Something I’m very eager for.

The second shot was different. I felt a tinge of guilt. I wondered which of my family and friends needed the shot more than me and when they might get it.

As I gradually told people of my second vaccination, everyone was supportive and happy. It meant maybe we could see each other soon. Maybe we can travel together or go catch a Royals game or see a concert. I’m in Cleveland as I write this, and Editor Christina Herrick informed me that Market Garden Brewery is so excited about the vaccination rollout that it’s offering a 10-cent beer to anyone who presents their vaccination card to the bartender. A 10-cent vaccination beer sounds delicious to me. Cheers!

I was invited to speak at the joint chapter meeting of the Southern Illinois GCSA and the Mississippi Valley Superintendents Association. It takes place June 21 at St. Clair CC in Belleville, Ill. I was thrilled to get the invite and quickly accepted. The speaking part isn’t what excites me. What excites me is that they invited me to come out and meet a bunch of people I don’t already know. This time last year, that was strictly verboten.

After a long shutdown of travel, meetings and shaking hands, I’m excited to get back out and meet some more people. Because like the saying goes, it’s all about who ya know.

This article is tagged with , and posted in Columns, COVID-19, Featured, From the Magazine

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a 18-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at

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