As we talked, one by one Rick’s employees began to file in to work. One in particular stood out in his approach to work that day. This fellow, white hair and about 70 years of age, got out of his vehicle and approached the building in an unusual manner. He kept pumping his fist as if he had just won something and raised his arms in celebration as he greeted his fellow workers.
I asked Rick, “How do you get your employees so excited about coming to work?” Rick replied, “It is a Butler thing. He is still celebrating Butler’s wins in the NCAA tournament. Jerry is a Butler graduate.”
Let me introduce this Jerry guy to you.
Over the years, we have been fortunate to have many wonderful people come to Trigg County to live. Unfortunately, too many times we don’t get to know all of these good folks well enough. One of these treasures is Mr. Jerry Hudachko and his wife Sandi.
Jerry grew up in Streator, Ill., and Sandi in Galion, Ohio. They both graduated from Butler University in 1963. Obviously, they have been ecstatic about Butler’s NCAA tournament run this year.
After graduating from Butler, Jerry owned his own pharmacy in Streator for several years. It is interesting to note that Jerry has not missed a day of work in 46 years.
When he began to consider retirement, he was think about moving north. His son, an airline pilot, told his dad about these beautiful lakes he often flew over in western Kentucky. The rest is history as Jerry and his wife moved to western Kentucky to live on Barkley Lake.
As I interviewed Jerry about what Butler University meant to him, his voice resonated with pride. Jerry pointed out that Butler has a really good basketball tradition.
“They are in the Horizon Conference, but they have always played a lot of Big Ten schools.” He remembered a time when Butler was in a tournament with Purdue, Indiana and Illinois and won the title. Butler also won a couple of National Invitation Tournament titles.
Jerry also related how much legendary Butler coach Tony Hinkle meant to the university.
“Hinkle was a three-sport coach. He coached football, basketball and baseball. Hinkle Field House is named after him. Hinkle Field House is also the gym where the state championship game is played in the film Hoosiers. The star player in Hoosiers was a movie version of the real-life Bobby Plump. Plump led Milan High School to the Indiana State Championship. That inspired the movie Hoosiers. Where did Bobby Plump play his college ball? None other than Butler University.”
At this point in the story, we need to make something clear. Jerry Hudachko and his wife Sandi are not bandwagon fans. They have been consistent Butler fans over the years. Jerry often listens to the games on the Internet and still attends a game every now and then.
He has heard from many of his fellow alumni throughout this magical season. One of them is Tom Meeks, the recently retired director of rules and competition for the Professional Golfers Association Tour.
“He called me early in the season and told me that we had an outstanding team. He said you won’t believe how good these guys are,” said Jerry.
Congrats to Jerry and Sandi on their Alma Mater’s success. If you walk into Save On Drugs anytime in the near future and see a man in a white coat dispensing medicine with a smile, now you know why. It is a Butler thing.
OT: Butler lost by two in national championship game.
Double OT: Jerry along with Rick and Bob Clement have served as great mentors to many young aspiring pharmacy students in Trigg County. One of the most recent was a young man named Zack Wright. THANKS!
Enthusiasm Makes the Difference Mike Wright is the head coach of boys basketball and cross country at Trigg County High School. Emails concerning Coach’s Corner can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.