Oscar and Pepe Salazar
Locker Room Attendants of Westchester Hills Country Club, White Plains, NY
Many country clubs aim to be “family” clubs, but few can back that up with a real family like the Salazar brothers at Westchester Hills Country Club. The duo has worked in the men’s locker rooms at the White Plains institution since the 1970s. Pepe runs the downstairs lockers, Oscar the upstairs. The two keep up a friendly rivalry that carries over into constant banter about which New York–area sports teams are best. Pepe roots for the Yankees, Giants, Knicks, and Devils. Oscar the Mets, Jets, Nets, and Rangers.
Last year, when members of the club learned that the then 65-year-old Oscar was battling cancer, they staged an outing to both honor his years of service and raise money for the education of his three kids. More than 120 golfers signed up for golf, dinner, raffles, and other fund-raising festivities, held in the newly renovated clubhouse. Oscar and his family greeted participants as they arrived, exchanging stories and posing for endless pictures as the golfers checked in. “This is like my second home,” Oscar said. “The members are like a family.”
Pepe concurs, pointing out, “I know so many members who were kids when I started here. I used to chase them out of the locker room, since kids aren’t allowed. Now they are here with their own kids!”
The Salazar brothers have a simple job description that Pepe explains this way: “You learn about people’s problems. Sometimes they come not just because they want to play golf, but because they want to get away from problems at work or at home. They want to talk to somebody. I make them laugh—that’s my main thing.”