WICKS AND JEANETTE BUSHMAN WICKS
Interviewed Wick’s Douglas Home
John & Charlaine Shack
The following autobiographical material was largely prepared by Carl
Wicks and edited with additional information by John Shack placed in [ ].
of Carl and Jeanette (Jean).
I was born in Douglas,
Michigan, on April 4, 1921. I went to the Douglas
Elementary School on Center Street from
grades one through eight and from there went to Saugatuck High School
and graduated in 1939. I then attended
Western Michigan College of Education [now Western Michigan
University] for one year
and played golf for the school team. I
had to withdraw after a year because of the need for hernia surgery.
In the Spring of 1941, I got the opportunity to go to work
sailing [on oil tankers] on the Great Lakes [in various technical and
engineering capacities], which I did for 13 years steady and four years in
relief. In 1944 I went to Maritime School in New
London, Connecticut. I was graduated with an engineer’s license and
was shipped to California. There I began my ocean sailing. My first trip was as second engineer to Hawaii which lasted six
months. My second trip in the Pacific
lasted 13 months to the day after docking at 32 different ports and hauling
many different cargos, returning via the Panama Canal and ending in Norfolk, Virginia. After a six weeks leave, I sailed from New Orleans and made a five month trip to Antwerp,
Belgium and back to New York, ending my
career in the oceans. [Carl tells a story of a near miss by a
Japanese torpedo while sailing in Bougainville
Strait in the South
Pacific during the war. Because his ship
was carrying no freight its draft was high, allowing the torpedo to go
harmlessly beneath. It was during this time in the Pacific that Carl
accidentally met a friend, Bob Warren, from Fennville.]
In April, 1946, I went to work for Standard Oil on the tanker Red Crown in the Great
Lakes. In 1947 I went to
work for Hutchinson Company on the McGeon,
which I had to quit in June for health reasons.
In 1948 I went to work for Texaco.
I got married in 1949 […to
Jeanette Bushman whom he met in1948 in a
Wisconsin port on a blind date. They will be married for almost 60 years]. I quit at the end of 1953 after buying
Hickory Hills Country Club in Chilton,
Wisconsin at an auction. We opened there in February 1954 and ran that
[course] until January 1960 when we moved to West Shore Golf Club in Douglas. I bought West Shore
at my 20 year high school class reunion in the summer of 1959 from Harry Randle
who had previously owned a golf course in Chicago.
[When asked how he was able to finance
these golf course purchases, Carl explained that he made very good money as a
ship engineer with no opportunity to spend, so he saved a considerable amount
during his maritime career.]
[In 1962 Carl and Jean
bought a 4-place Stinson Voyager airplane which they both flew until the birth
of their son, Dana. The Wicks moved from
their West Shore CC home many years ago to a lovely
house situated on Wade Bayou with water views from every window. Carl can still be found at West Shore
many days playing cards with local friends.]
About West Shore CC
West Shore CC was an old orchard from which the golf course
was created by George Kingsley in 1916.
George Ferry, who owned a small 9-hole sand green golf course at Ferry
and Campbell Road,
helped to design and build the first 9 hole course at West Shore. Part of the original house on the property
was remodeled into a 10 room lodge near the clubhouse. I caddied at West Shore
from 1931, when the club was expanded to 18 holes, until 1936.
The building across from the golf course (Center and Ferry)
was a restaurant and gas station. I ran
the gas station during the summer of 1936.
Mrs. Heisted ran the restaurant in the 1960s. Now that property is owned by West Shore.
Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalf, and Duke
Slater, all athletes who competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, were some of the
notables who played our course.
[Carl was very active in
the community. He served five terms as village president of Douglas
and three terms as village trustee. In
1975 he was appointed to the Saugatuck advisory board of Citizens Trust and
Savings Bank by the bank’s board of directors. He commented that during his
time in office the village acquired Schultz
Park and boat ramp and
installed sewers in the village.]
Family Genealogy (see “The Wicks Family: From the Wicks family
Bible” for more detail)
[Carl was the second
oldest of four boys of William Fernando Wicks (1885-1960) and Sarah Coxford
(1893-1968). His brothers were Robert
Dickson Wicks (1916-1992), Jack Harris Wicks (1928-1996), and Frank Arthur
Wicks (1930-2007). The family’s earliest
recorded ancestor is Fernando John Gottlieb Wicks (1824-1906) who married Anna
Christine Friederke (1826-1904).
Carl and Jean have three
children: Paul (1954) with grandchildren
Megan (1987) and Gregory (1990); Carla (1956) with grandchildren Jared (1986)
and Kyle (1989); Daniel (1967). Daniel won a gold medal in golf at the 1995
International Special Olympics held at the Yale University Golf Course in New
Carl further reported that his grandfather, Fernando Wicks
(1857-1929)had been the night supervisor at the Douglas Basket Factory. ]