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Master greens of the
Pebble Beach, on the California coast, is just one of
the hundreds of courses that
Graeme Baxter has depicted.
COSTCO MEMBER Graeme Baxter holds a
unique spot in the world of golf. Baxter is the
official artist for the British Open, the Ryder
Cup, the Presidents Cup, the U.S. Open, the
Masters and the Bob Hope Classic, as well as
the PGA Tour and the European Tour.
Born in Scotland in 1958, and now living
in Palm Desert, California, Baxter studied at
the Glasgow School of Art and was a fine-art
dealer for a decade, until he came to realize that
his hobby of painting golf courses could be-
come a full-time profession (his first painting
of the Old Course at St. Andrews sold for about
$1,000). As his popularity grew he was com-
missioned to paint courses around the world.
of golf history,” he explains of
his paintings and prints,
which are available to the
com). “Whereas other artists
often try to present a perfect
image of a course, with
almost airbrushed precision,
I want to capture a more
natural feel of the course.
“It’s simple,” he continues. “I have a pas-
sion for golf, I have a passion for art—in my
paintings, I combine the two. It did strike me
that it wasn’t a bad way to make a living!”
And make a living he does. His painting
of the 2000 British Open sold for more than
$450,000.—T. Foster Jones
MY DAUGHTER and a friend, both typical
struggling college students, had gone to get
a hot dog at the West Des Moines, Iowa,
Costco Food Court. Upon ordering, they
began digging through their pockets for the
change and realized they did not have $1.50
between them. It was then that a gentleman
behind them stepped up and offered to pay.
He said he had been in their shoes earlier in
his life and someone had paid for his meal.
Some months later, I was standing in the
line at the Food Court when the man in
front of me did not have enough cash to pay
for his piece of pizza. Remembering the
good deed done for my daughter and her
friend, I stepped up and paid for his pizza.
Looks like Costco is not only a great
place to shop, but also a great place to “pay
it forward” for our fellow shoppers!
Carol M. Tripp
“MY ‘EPIPHANY’ BEER was a
Belgian Trappist Chimay ale back
in the ’80s,” recalls Matt Simpson
wistfully. “I was completely smitten.
Belgian strong ales were just totally
different from the American and
English pale lagers I knew, and it
was a mind-blowing experience.”
Simpson, 43, is the owner of
Atlanta-based The Beer Somme-
lier. His expert knowledge of beer
pairings and styles and beer judge
certi;cation (only about 3,600 are
active judges) have made him a
sought-after speaker and presenter.
Simpson, who launched his
com) ;ve years ago, explains his
motivation to be a suds sommelier.
“I love beer—its social aspect, its
superb ability to pair with foods,
its fundamental taste,” he says.
The Costco member started the
company just as craft beer was
beginning to boom in the last
decade, a trend still much in progress today.
S TEVEN LAI T
Simpson hosts tastings and
events, creates beer recipes, teaches
Beer Education 101 at Emory
University, is a corporate consultant,
assists in beer festivals around the
nation, writes about beer for various
publications and handles other beer-related projects as well. He has even
launched a Beer Expert app that
draws from a database of more than
300,000 beers, resulting in up-to-the-minute pro;les.
CHRIS A RUSNAK
While Simpson drinks beer only
one or two nights a week, he has
some 3,000 bottles in his beer cellar
and some 20 to 40 “distinctly different bottles waiting to be drunk”
in his three refrigerators. He says his
credo is to “bring craft beer to the
masses, not to those who are already
beer lovers. I like to bring my cellar of
expertise to your table of knowledge.”—Irene Middleman Thomas
88 ;e Costco Connection AUGUST 2011