The following piece was written by Mike McGuire

I’ve known Jack Nicklaus since I was a little kid when he was a “Golden Bear” on his high school golf team at Upper Arlington (“Golden Bears”) in Columbus, Ohio. This is where he got his nickname, the “Golden Bear”.

Often after I finished a loop as a caddie at Scioto Country Club and was waiting for my mom to come and pick me up, I would watch Jack practice and sometimes even shag some balls.  He was a machine, I have never seen any other golfer hit the ball time and again the same way; it was absolutely amazing!  I followed his career from Upper Arlington High School to Ohio State to the Professional Golfers Association tour.  He was also a Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity brother with my older brother Terry at Ohio State.  There are lot of other stories here, but for another time.

Ohio State Head Football Coach, Woody Hayes lived just two blocks from Jack and I lived another couple of blocks from Jack and as I always say; all three of us lived within the shadow of the “Horseshoe” Ohio Stadium.

So what part did they these two famous sports figures have to do with the Fastener Hall of Fame one would ask?  Well I am going to go back a little bit to 1976 when Jack was building Muirfield Village for his Memorial Tournament, now held every June.  Capitol Sales, our family fastener distributorship was furnishing all the fasteners for the construction of the golf course and this is when I heard about Jack going to honor a person every year, i.e. kind of like a PGA Golfers Hall of Fame, thus the Memorial Tournament.  This was five years before the first fastener show, but I just cataloged the idea in the back of my mind along with the idea of starting the fastener show. 

Come 1980 when the idea for a fastener show started to evolve, the only real goal was to see if the idea would work and be successful enough to do it a second year.  1981, with 99 exhibitors and a lot of lookers, the show was successful and this is when I went to Jim Bannister and Gloria Crase and said I wanted to add a Fastener Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony to honor those individuals who have contributed and built the fastener industry.  1982 we had our first Hall of Fame induction ceremony with seven honorees which is still the largest class.  If you go to the fastener show website and review the Hall of Fame classes I believe you will agree this first class was like the 1992 American “Dream Team” in basketball at the Barcelona Olympic Games.  This class really helped to set the tone of the Fastener Hall of Fame and the second, the third, the fourth class and beyond were all outstanding groups of fastener leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. 

Yes I selected the first class, but I always got input from other fastener people around the country like Leo Coar (Distributor’s LINK), Cecil Couch (Nucor) and Bob Lehman (Pacific Warehouse Sales).  After the first induction, I always asked the Hall of Fame Honorees for their input and suggestions and this became a great source for future honorees.

This is where Woody Hayes influence came into play.  1966, winter quarter at Ohio State I took an “Elective” course titled “Coaching High School Football” taught by physical education professor Woody Hayes.   You would think it was all about football, but in reality it was more about philosophers in particular Ralph Waldo Emerson and military history, very little football.  I had a lot of great and well known professors while at Ohio State, but Woody was the best teacher I ever had, period.  He even had us turn in our notes for grading; I received an A+ and still have that notebook!  But one of the best lessons Woody taught us was to “Pay It Forward”.  This came from Waldo Emerson, “You can never pay back so you should always try to pay forward.”  Woody expressed it as “The beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of the original benefactor.”  This became one of the most important factors in the criteria for the selection of a Fastener Hall of Fame Honoree. 

I personally have been a benefactor of many people “Paying It Forward” over the years while in the fastener business.  One story I like to tell was when my dad hosted the first NFDA meeting at our family distributorship; that being Capitol Sales in Columbus, Ohio on a rainy, cold, nasty January Saturday morning in 1969.  After this meeting, the NFDA held four meeting a year and usually visited a distributorship (sometimes a fastener manufacturer) for the membership to learn about how others conducted business.  At this meeting my dad opened up the office and warehouse for all to see and learn how we purchased, sold, inventoried, priced, processed our accounts payable and receivables…you name it, it was all open for discussion. My dad was “Paying It Forward” to the new NFDA organization.  That meeting set the tone for members to share their knowledge and learn from others to improve and make their businesses more profitable.  But, back to my story; after having breakfast at the local Holiday Inn and when we were all leaving to go to Capitol Sale for the meeting, Jim Rayburn, the founder of the NFDA said, “I want to ride with Mike”.   How well I remember that ride and the advice and comments Jim made to me, I have valued them for nearly 50 years now.  Mr. Rayburn maybe didn’t know it, but he was “Paying It Forward” to a young (21 year old) man who had just returned from Viet Nam and was very wet behind the ears trying to learn and hung onto every word he heard from the members of the NFDA. 

Many people think “Paying It Forward” means a financial donation, which it can be, but giving ones time, advice and working hands-on can be just as valuable if maybe not more so.  I strongly believe all the Fastener Hall of Fame members and future honorees will have “Paid It Forward” in the fastener industry. 

So, Jack Nicklaus is responsible for the idea of a Fastener Hall of Fame and Woody Hayes for a major factor in the criteria to why one should be honored.


Fastener Expos, The Fastener Museum