Pickle 1947 - 1988 "Pickle Open" Vollrath Park, Sheboygan, WI The "Pickle Open" Disc Golf Tournament is held each year during June in memory of a man who deserves the recognition because of his unending dedication to the sport - Michael O. Mueller. I (his wife, Patricia) am appreciative and yet surprised that this tournament has endured more than 25 years. On most weekends Pickle could be found standing on the south lawn of Vollrath Park's bowl near the 18th disc golf basket. Anyone who knew him would remember that one of the things he did best was talk. He was a very outgoing and gregarious person. Most people, not all however, admired his ability to speak his mind, give his opinion, provide suggestions. In addition to talking with golfers at the conclusion of their game it was also time to practice foot bag and pick up litter in the park.
Honoring Pickle's memory for over 25 years
Dedicated to promote disc golf
Was on the team to design Vollrath Park's course
Gained permission to use/staff The Shack, Vollrath Park
Role of disc golf tournament director (serious, creative, high energy, fun)
Many years helping to maintain Vollrath Park
Inspiration to young people
Pickle, director of disc golf tournaments
When he agreed to sponsor state-wide tournaments in Sheboygan for Pickle the emphasis was on fun. In addition to the two-day competition, challenge, and fun to participants in the tournament Pickle sponsored:
How many Pickles in the jar?
How many no seeums in the container?
Who can tell the best tournament "sob story?"
What number (between 1-100) was he thinking?
How much does my wife weigh (yeah, my least favorite)
Who can throw the disc closest to Pickle on a stick?
Who can throw the farthest backwards, through their legs?
Who threw the disc farthest across the bowl?
Shotgun starts (over Lake Michigan to start tournament play.
Another reason our tournaments were fun was because some of our closest Frisbee friends were invited to my parents house with an indoor pool, sauna, and hot tub. There were always a couple of tents in the yard. (p.s. Parents not wealthy--swimming simply a priority for our family).
After a tournament Pickle always made sure the tournament results with lists of winners and pictures was publicized in our local newspaper. He developed a good working relationship with the staff including coverage on the front page and sports section.
Frisbee Tournaments: In the beginning
(Disclaimer: I am horrible at remembering time frames/dates so that will be lacking in recounting my memories---Mrs. Pickle.)
For many years the Wisconsin "Frisbee" championships were held at Vollrath Park in Sheboygan. Pickle and I began attending this event for the crowd pleasing dogs' cathching Frisbees. Although fun to watch and admired for the participants' practice, patience, and talents to train these dogs we developed an appreciation for people throwing Frisbees.
State Championships at Vollrath Park
Men's and women's freestyle
Shirts and disc sales
Food and refreshment
Pickle started competing in Guts. From his performance for his team he was quickly given, by competing team members, the nickname "Hands." He was excellent and an asset to his team for blocking points. After many bruises, broken finger, and sprained toes he decided to make the switch to disc golf. He started competing in the Senior Division (35+), and won some trophies. Within a year he decided he was more comfortable competing in the Men's Open division.
Pickle travelled and competed: Alabama, California, Canada, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, and Tennessee
Alabama and California were both World Disc Golf Championships that I am proud to say Pickle and I also competed.
Favorite Disc Golf Locations
Our favorite Disc Golf location was West Park, Joliet, IL And, of course, Brown Deer Park, Milwaukee, WI. Joliet because the participants were predictable and many, many became our friends. In particular, Rocket and Nancy welcomed us into their very interesting home They were caretakers of a large, two-story home with a wrap-around porch. All of the furniture, mostly antiques, were the owners who lived in New York. They wanted their hometown house protected with Rocket and Nancy living in their home.
Parties most memorable Halloween
Glow in the dark play at West Park
Pumpkin carving contest
Disc golf logo contest
Because of very special people The Elsners: Jim, Paula, John, and Marie Brown Deer Park was also very special for us. We were referred to as the Wisconsin Group among our Frisbee friends. The Elsners always attended our tournament and we in turn always attended their tourneys. We were all very excited for Marie when she won the World Disc Golf Championships in California.
Pickle died (1988) from a blood clot to his lungs; he was 41-years old. We were married 17 years and together for 21 years. Although we did not have children we filled our lives with a few special young people through disc golf.
Marc Nelesen, Chad (Louie) Ramos, Shiloh Ramos, and Chon Ramos were very special to both of us relative to disc golf and personally.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to Dennis and Patti Wield for keeping the memory alive.
In Memory of
Michael Oscar Mueller