The Post-Journal

Hardenburg Has Lifetime Of Achievements

Golfer Sheridan "Sherd" Hardenburg shot a 74, one stroke over his age, during play in the Ben Bishop Memorial Tournament at Moon Brook Country Club not long ago. That feat dusted off memories of a lifetime of association with sports, including 35 years in the Jamestown School System, related to athletics and athletes.

Still lean and fast-stepping as when he caddied at Chautauqua Golf Club at 12, Hardenburg, a retiree, gazed into space reflectively as memories came flooding back. "That was something, caddying at Chautauqua where I got 90 cents for 18 holes and sometimes a dime tip," he grinned, adding, "But it was good experience." Caddies now average about $3 per hour.

Today, Sherd's trophy cabinet sags with 90 awards, mostly for golf. His successes through the years read like the old New York Yankees ploughing through the American League.

Numbered are seven Ben Bishop Tournament Championships, the New York State Moose Championship played at Maplehurst CC, the S.I. Munger Memorial Title in 1940 at Chautauqua, and various other flight titles in the same event for four years. Then there is six Optimist Club Tournament Titles, Turner A.C.'s top trophy twice, plus the Clayton Webeck Memorial Championship once and the indoor putting crown for the March of Dimes three times. Also, there's the Chautauqua County Senior Men's Tournament Championship seven times, a tournament on which he served as chairman for nine years.

He qualified for the state amateur, playing at Poughkeepsie, Elmira and Moon Brook. At Moon Brook, his home course, he won or shared first place in 15 tournaments listed in the club's annual schedule book over a period of years.

"I was privileged to play in 30 member-guest tournaments at various clubs, also to have been a member of the Jamestown Municipal Golf Course Committee for 35 years," he recalled.

Golf has lured the former educator to far places, both as a player and spectator - like Sunset Country Club at St. Petersburg, Fla., where former Moon Brook pro Toby Lyons was competing. Then he headed for Ohio and Jack Nicklaus' new Muirfield Course. There were trips to North Carolina, too, with Fred Raymond, Paul Lilly and John Rishell for 12 years. Raymond is now deceased. At Muirfield, he followed such personalities as Nicklaus, former president Gerald Ford, Bob Hope, Jackie Gleason, Glen Campbell, Arnold Palmer and Chi Chi Rodriguez, the latter two being his favorites, both as golfers and personalities.

Some men play a lifetime of golf without scoring a hole-in-one. Hardenburg has registered three. His first came in Wisconsin on sand greens while he was attending LaCrosse State Teachers College. His second was at Chautauqua in 1950 while playing with Harold Houck, long-time athletic coach at Salamanca, and Bob Ingerson, a coach at Springville. His third was at Moon Brook on number 17 in 1962. His partners were Si Goldman and Dan Lincoln.

Golf often creates amusing incidents and two of Sherd's aces did just that.

At LaCrosse, he turned around at a tee and faced the president of the college, who stared questioningly because he knew this young man was supposed to be at school taking a test. Of course, the prexy himself was supposed to be at his office, so this mellowed the situation considerably. "I'll give you an 'incomplete' on the test because you're playing basketball and football. This will give you time to finish the test," he told the young class-skipper.

"Si and Dan were pretty good talkers," Hardenburg related in describing his third ace. "They were yakking away and paid no attention when I teed off. My ball hit inches on the far side of the cup, caught reverse English and rolled in. We got down on the green and Si asked me, 'Where's your putter?' Our caddy started to say something but I grabbed him and signaled for quiet. Finally, I told Si I don't need a putter. I'm in the hole. They looked incredulous then walked over and looked for verification. We all had a good laugh."

Hardenburg was born and raised at Chautauqua where he competed in high school athletics. He played on the basketball team that defeated Fredonia three straight years for the county title and went to Buffalo for the sectionals during a period when there was no such thing as classifications. One year, the Indians tied with Jamestown for the conference title and lost in the playoff at the State Armory in Jamestown.

Also in high school, Sherd ran the 100 and 220 for the track team. He won his specialties in the county meet and went to Olean for the sectionals where he won the 100 and finished third in the 220.

At LaCrosse, Hardenburg played basketball, was co-captain and was named all-conference guard one season. He was also starting halfback on the football team, which one season won the conference title as did the basketball team, and he was number two man on the tennis team.

After graduating from college he worked one year on the City Recreation staff at Milwaukee but the Depression caught up with that job and he returned to the Jamestown area, playing considerable basketball and baseball with the Mayville Barbers and Chautauqua Merchants.

He joined the Lincoln Junior High and Jamestown High staffs in 1935, serving 2 1/2 days weekly at each place. He was an assistant coach at JHS for one season then returned to Lincoln to coach all sports.

His wide experience as a contestant and coach naturally led to officiating. He served as president of the Chautauqua County Basketball Officials Association for eight years and refereed both basketball and football for 25 years, which included calling 'em in the Buffalo cage playoffs 10 years. He also handled girls' sports as an official and served in the same capacity for six-man football along with Phil Albano.

Hardenburg married a Fredonia girl, Dorothy Rynalski. They have two daughters. Sally is with the Federal Reserve Bank in Buffalo and Linda is now Mrs. Gary Mattison. They have four children and reside in Wooster, Ohio.

Hardenburg's years at Chautauqua Institution where he caddied and later served as waterfront director for swimming in the lake, brought him in touch with some wordly-known people. One of his favorites was Mrs. Thomas Edison. She and Mr. Edison were at Chautauqua in this instance to observe the anniversary of the light bulb. They made other trips, however, to the famed institution on Chautauqua Lake. During one, Hardenburg was assigned the job of canvassing each house or cottage to learn if residents possessed gate tickets. At one house, Mrs. Edison answered his knock. Sherd apologized for disturbing her. She and other famous personalities were guests and were not required to have tickets. Mrs. Edison took it very well then, with a twinkle in her eye, she said, "Young man, I'd suggest you go through the house and check two characters whom are talking out there in the back yard." Hardenburg followed her instructions and interrupted a conversation between Mr. Edison and Henry Ford, the automobile magnate, much to Sherd's embarrassment and Mrs. Edison's enjoyment.

Hardenburg's man-of-action career covered other activities not elaborated here. They included president of the Optimist Club, president of Turner Athletic Club, member of the board of directors of the American Red Cross, also for American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), instructor for the Red Cross water safety program, chairman of the Soap Box Derby when the kid's gravity buggies used to whiz annually down the East Second Street hill, vying for a start in the nationals at Akron, Ohio. Then, too, Sherd helped Charlie Glover lay some of the foundation for Little League baseball here and served as vice-president of the American League when the program was formed.

At Chautauqua, too, he met one of college football's most famous coaches, Amos Alonzo Stagg.

When we talked to Hardenburg recently, he was outside splitting wood to prepare for winter. He had just one complaint. He said Old Man Winter is rapidly hoisting the "closed" sign on area golf courses.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.