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Heavy Metal in the Sandhills

Down the street from the Pine Crest Inn in Old Town Pinehurst, just a nine iron from the “Annie Oakley House,” is the residence of Gerald Seitz, his wife, Fransesca, and their children, Ellee and Nicholas.

Gerald , or Jerry, as his friends call him, decided early in life that his love of the arts would help guide him for most all of his career and life decisions. In fact, his love of art led him to while away the time drawing while waiting for his grade school bus and in high school, where he studied photography, painting and graphic arts.
He was admitted to Miami University in Coral Gables, Fl where he majored in sculpture and minored in “spending a lot of time outdoors,” because he felt that academics bogged him down and drained him of his creative energy. After graduating from Miami in 1972, he headed for Brisbee, Arizona to join the bohemian lifestyle of the local arts community, and soak in the expertise of his new found friends, particularly one C.W. Hill, a blacksmith who would eventually find fame and fortune as one of the greatest metal sculptures’ in the world. Jerry and C . W . would later corroborate on an incredible commercial project in the Caribbean.

Jerry was born in 1948 in New Jersey but was raised in Connecticut. He has always loved the idea of working with metal and has taken the time to learn the various disciplines that enable him to do it well. He’s an accomplished welder and blacksmith and, accordingly, has no qualms about taking on any size project. In the 80’s and 90’s he was the primary welder on many of our country’s nuclear power plants and he and his friend C.W. Hill designed an installed 700 feet of hand railing for a wealthy client in the Bahamas at a cost of $3200/foot!

Why does he have this great love for metal? In an early interview from his days in Arizona Jerry observed, “Metal is timeless.

Wood is beautiful, but doesn’t last as long as metal. I have a real love for steel. It feels good. It looks good. It changes naturally with the weather.” Today? Well, age has given him somewhat of a different perspective. He laughs and says, “I still think metal is timeless, but the older I get, the more I’m inclined to work with wood since I won’t be around to worry about it.”

Which brings us to a creative project in Pinehurst that combines metal and wood. In 2009 Jerry created an enormous version of a 1920’s wood shafted “Mashie” and anchored it in his front yard. The golf club sculpture is somewhat of a legend in Pinehurst.

Every day scores of people stop their cars, hop out, and one or two of them have their picture taken posing with the massive golf club.
During the U.S. Kids tournament, the “scores” of people a day turns to hundreds of people a day. All this is fine with the Seitz’s, except that Franny gets a little frustrated when her flowers that frame the sculpture get trampled.

The Seitz’s house in Pinehurst is one of three that they and their children enjoy - the other two are in Connecticut and Greece and Jerry has studios in all three. PGA Tour player Stuart Appleby rented the house (Jerry and Fran call it a cottage…) for the 2005 US Open.

Stuart missed the cut but he and his family were so enamored with the house that they stuck around for the rest of the week and took in the joys of the magical village of Pinehurst.

It’s been said that if you spend your life doing what you like to do, you’ll never really have to work. Jerry and his family are spending their lives doing what they like to do.

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Traditions Magazine, P.O. Box 1112 • Pinehurst, NC 28370 • Phone:843.251.6094 •This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.