No one seems to know exactly when Jim McGee, Dale Harris, Don McKinney
and Jim Nordquist became a regular golf foursome at The Dalles Country
Club. It happened too long ago.
“I think we were just put together one time, like any other foursome,”
says McGee, the senior member of the group at age 85.
However it happened, the four have been playing the course together for
decades, They’re all longtime members at the well-kept nine-hole
layout just west of town on the old Columbia River Highway, where it seems
they might enjoy zinging each other with stories and good-natured ribs
as much as their golf game together. They’ve all lived in the area
for decades and raised their families here.
They’ve something else in common, too. All four men are either current
or former patients at Mid-Columbia Medical Center’s Celilo Cancer
Center. And while getting cancer is an experience they all would have
gladly skipped, they’re grateful for having the innovative, highly
rated care of Celilo’s skilled staff nearby.
“They’ve really treated me well,” says Harris. “It’s
been everything you could want.”
Harris, 81, is recovering from some intense radiation therapy at Celilo
during the winter to reduce tumors in both lungs. And McGee, who has battled
both prostate and bladder cancers during the last decade, is just as high
on Celilo, too.
“They’ve got some great people there,” he says. “And
I think I’ve been treated by everyone here at one time or another.”
Cancer treatments have kept Harris and McGee off the golf course, but Harris
recently felt well enough to start playing again, and McGee – who
also receives kidney dialysis three days a week — is thinking about
a comeback, too.