We saw in the previous just how important it was for Dave Pack to show the world he was a descendant Kings and Queens. The extraordinary lineage of remarkable humans is what Dave was born into. Dave has had the most successful corporate leaders, military officers, and famous writers in his lineage.
David Pack was blessed to be born into a remarkable and diverse family of corporate leaders, military officers, literary authors, winning salesmen and successful entrepreneurs, as well as others who brought an unusual sense of cultural training and refinement. Most important, it was an extended family whose men and women exhibited special strength of character and vision, often in the midst of severe trials, which would prove to be a continuing theme even to the present day.
The diversity of relatives, with such varied backgrounds of experience that influenced him, afforded a young boy an interesting childhood, to say the least.
Part of the reason Dave expects his members to fund his lifestyle, is to live the lifestyle his parents raised him up to believe he deserves. From enjoying country clubs and golfing, the well to do lifestyle is the one he seeks to preserve to this day.
While her husband’s family had often lived a hand-to-mouth existence during the Great Depression, Jane’s family had never gone without. Her father’s entrepreneurial skills enabled the Crowls to afford a beautiful home and exclusive country club membership, even during trying times for the rest of the country.
Ran and Jane desired the relative peace of a typical suburban lifestyle. Hence, they joined the Shawnee Golf and Country Club in the summer of 1953. There young Dave and his siblings attended club events and spent his summers swimming and later occasionally golfing. He also did some caddying to make extra money. He would wade in “hog creek” (the nickname for the Ottawa River cutting through the golf course) to find golf balls for use or sale.
A Family of Golfers
Golf seemed to be in the family’s blood. His Uncle Frank was a “scratch” player—he routinely shot par for 18 holes, and would often play 36 holes before lunch during high school summers. His Uncle Bill, also a very good golfer, oversaw the construction of golf courses at each of the three naval bases he commanded (in Pensacola and Jacksonville, Florida, and Brunswick, Maine). Again, he served as President of the American Golf Foundation for two years during the late 1960s, interacting with all the well-known professionals of that time.
Because he grew up listening to his uncles’ golf stories, young Dave took an early avid interest in playing golf at the club. But learning the game was not easy, and his mother was very particular about the way her children played. From the outset, Jane felt it was important that her son learn to golf properly, using her secondhand clubs. For several years, she allowed him to carry only irons in his golf bag. This was until she was satisfied he had learned how to “chip, putt and use long irons.”
Starting from age nine—when he shot a whopping 216 for 27 holes on the very first day he played—Dave was not permitted until age 16—seven years!—to use a driver to tee off. Nor could any woods be used. Jane challenged her son to use his size and strength to compete with and equal his friends who were using woods. While this embarrassed her son when he played with his friends, it also taught him a lesson in skill development and overcoming.
“I loved playing golf growing up. It was a game played at one’s leisure, meaning only on occasion, rather than another team sport like football, so my father and mother did not mind me playing. Many of my friends did, and my parents made sure I understood that I knew I was playing a ‘gentleman’s game.’ This meant understanding that there were points of ‘course etiquette’ to be followed at all times. This sport was a good discipline. My sons also grew up to love the sport. But it does take a lot of time I no longer have.”
“You have us”
Golfing introduces another element of his childrearing. Whenever Dave talked to his parents, no matter the issue, about what “the other kids’ parents allowed,” his parents, particularly his father, would repeat, “We’re not trying to run a popularity contest. And besides, you’ve got us, not ‘other parents.’” Ran and Jane Pack never yielded to the peer pressure their children experienced.
Enjoying a country club was not the only thing the senior Packs imparted to their children. As Dave grew up, his father taught him to become “street savvy,” meaning to “smell what’s really happening,” and helped his son acquire broad, real-world experience. This was another constant theme in the home.
Through Ran’s sales career, he had learned to successfully communicate with a wide variety of people; he was truly considered a master salesman. Both he and his wife worked together to teach their children the ability to communicate with “every kind of person.”
These skills contributed to the unusually strong bond that father and son shared until his death. Although Ran Pack was usually gone for one to three days on sales trips, young Dave treasured each moment spent with him while he was home.
In addition to becoming a good communicator, Ran taught his son to develop a strong work ethic and to be self-motivated—to “demonstrate industry.” Every summer, Ran required all three children to work in the yard for at least half an hour every day—an iron-clad rule!—before swimming or playing with friends. Ran Pack encouraged his son to spend his time wisely. If Dave ever complained that he was bored, his parents invariably replied, “There is always something to do. Be creative and find something. Read a book. Build something. Play a game. Shoot baskets in the yard by yourself. Play croquet by yourself. Play ping-pong with each other.”
From the time their children were young, the Packs wanted them to learn the value of maintaining an active mind.
Prosperous Fifties and Sixties
Considered a medium-size, peaceful Midwestern city by most, Lima, Ohio, was in reality quite prosperous. It was headquarters for companies such as Superior Coach, Lima Baldwin Hamilton, Lima Locomotive, Standard Oil and others.
In the 1950s, Lima high school residents had a saying: “There are the north end boys, east end boys, south end boys—and the rich boys.” The wealthier residents generally lived on the west side of town.
The Packs lived in a beautiful, two-story brick home, uniquely designed and with a slate roof, French doors, and wide windows and shutters, at 2222 West Spring Street on Lima’s far west side, an established neighborhood, but just one block from open fields. Though the Packs lived comfortably, they were not wealthy like almost all others in the neighborhood. Ran and Jane were very careful not to spoil their children.