Bill Harrington was destined to be the MTA grounds manager even before the grounds were purchased. Picking a manager is not easy. The qualifications are many. We wanted someone that was likeable, got along with people, self-motivated, knowledgeable in the shooting game, responsible, has a wife that was willing to live on the grounds, and had other income so the amount the MTA could pay would not create a hardship. Bill fit all of this criteria.
Bill was an easy-going, friendly person who loved to hunt quail, most years heading back home to Missouri for a couple of weeks, at a time that would not interfere with his grounds keeping job.
Like quite a few shooters, he started at the Auburn Heights Conservation Club, a club that brought us a lot of good shooters, including Joe Morgan and Denton Childers, the later won the Grand in 1968 with a 100 straight. League shooting was somewhat sponsored by General Motors Coach in league form. GMC has a plaque on our grounds as a field sponsor ($1000). Bill got along with the local people in Mason and was a good MTA ambassador. He and his wife, Fern, had their own trailer, a nice garden, flowers, etc. When you sit under or see the line of trees along the firing line, Bill and Fern planted and watched over them.
In 1967 Bill was made Shoot Manager, taking time off from work at GMC to do the job. Bill was put on the board in 1966 and elected ATA delegate the same year. Bill was manager of the Birmingham Gun Club for three years. His experience with running shoots, taking care of equipment and traps helped. When Bill became manager of the MTA, President Art Hickey asked him to resign as director so that we would have no conflict of interests. When you arrive for the first shoot in the spring, you could rely on the clubhouse being clean and repainted, and the same with the bathhouses. Bill passed on April 19. 1974 after a bout with cancer. He was laid to rest in the Mason Cemetery. Bill was very difficult to replace.