Three things learned from Hector Mejia

By |  February 14, 2012

Last week while I was at Pebble Beach, I took an early-morning ride along with Hector, a member of the crew at Pebble for 15 years. Here are three things I learned from Hector:

1. To catch gophers, you need to read up. Hector was tasked with this duty at Pebble, and at first he had no success. But there’s a library near his house, so he read two books on the little pests. Hector says there are two keys: you have to catch them on the first try, because after you start messing with them they’ll stay hidden; and you need to set the traps when their burrow is fresh. That helps.

2. Celery is the worst vegetable to work on in the fields. You have to work in mud, and it doesn’t matter if it’s raining outside. (If you’re working lettuce, you at least get a break when it’s raining.) Plus, crates of celery are heavy. Think about that the next time you’re chomping on some celery and peanut butter…

3. It takes getting robbed twice before you start to think you might die. Hector had a gun pulled on him twice while he worked at a liquor store. The second time, he asked the guy, “Are you serious?” and the robber unloaded a round into the ceiling to prove how serious he was. Shortly after that, Hector asked a friend if he could help him get a job at Pebble. 15 years later, he’s still there, and he loves it. After all, there’s no celery, and gophers never pack heat.

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