Jeff Garrett is 32 but has 16 years of experience in his field of expertise because he started working on sod/turf farms when he was a teen. Garrett worked on his father’s farm on weekends and summers while he attended the University of Tennessee. Since graduation, he has worked full time with his dad, an arrangement Garrett says is a plus. “I get to hang out with my dad everyday, and that’s cool. He’s a nut like me. He is someone I look up to, He has worked hard, and now he’s doing well. It couldn’t happen to a better guy.”
• If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?
“Travel the world. Go to every continent and see everything from the Himalayas to the Great Wall of China. I would love to see Australia. I would have my own plane and crew, and my wife and I would travel the world.”
• Do you think there is life on other planets?
“Yes, but do I think we’ll discover it in our lifetime? I don’t know if our technology will be able to go to the extreme of space to see what’s out there. I don’t believe we’re the only living beings in the universe.”
• What do you hate?
“Dishonesty, I hate a thief and somebody who is not honest. I’d rather somebody slap me in the face than look me in eye and lie to me. I’ve been stolen from and lied to, and that’s not a good feeling, especially from someone you trust.”
• What was your first car?
“A 300 ZX five speed, and I ran it. I got arrested for doing 120 up the Interstate when I had had my car three months. My mom wanted to bury me, and my dad laughed and laughed. My dad picked me up and said, ‘You must have been in a hurry,’ and my mom stared right through me.”
• Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
“Half full. I’m a half-full kind of guy, never empty.”
• What’s your favorite television or movie quote?
“I love ‘Caddyshack’ when Chevy Chase says, ‘Be the ball. Na-na-na-na.’ ”
• What are you guilty of?
“Probably being too honest and forgiving. I let people get away with things when I probably shouldn’t be nice. I’m probably too laid back. If it gets to a point where I get mad, that’s a problem.”
• Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
“My dad. He gets up every day and goes to work. He has a desire to make himself better and a desire to give to other people, and he always puts everyone before himself. His work ethic is unbelievable. Nobody has that anymore. He has passed on a great trait in the way he’s impacted my life and work ethic and desire to do better for myself.”
• What’s your favorite all time song?
“Any 1970s or 1980s Big Hair rock and roll. The ’70s led the way to the crazy 80s. The 80s acts weren’t as talented, but they made up for it with big hair.”
• When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“A lawyer. I remember mom would watch ‘Court TV,’ and I would picture myself in the courtroom. I wanted to help people, and, at that age, I thought that would be best way to help people by either getting people out of trouble or getting people into trouble. Then my grandmother told me I was going to hell because she said every lawyer goes to hell. That deferred me when I was in high school. My grandmother is still kicking wide-open at 93.”
• With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My paternal grandfather. I miss him probably more than anything. He was just like me. I even have the same hair and cowlicks. I had spinal meningitis and almost died when I was 1. My dad was worried about money because I was at Vanderbilt Hospital for two weeks. My papaw called and said, ‘I’ve got two farms. I’ll sell them both. That’s my only grandson. Make sure he’s OK.’ He didn’t have to sell the farms, but my dad cried when he told me, and I have never forgotten it. They lived through the Depression, but my grandfather was willing to give it all up to make sure I was OK.”
• What is your favorite material possession?
“My Malibu ski boat. There’s nothing like summer on the lake. I work out in the heat all day and can’t wait to jump in the water.”
• Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?
“A lot. I was the jokester and prankster, all wrapped up in one.”
• If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“As much as I’ve heard my family talk about it, I would go back on the day JFK was assassinated.”
• What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?
“Stewie on ‘The Family Guy.’ ”
• What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Always be honest, and good things will happen to you.”
• What was your most embarrassing moment?
“I don’t get embarrassed. I’m the guy naked on the roof at the party. It’s not a party until the naked guy shows up. I’m that guy.”
• What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Spontaneous, because I’m willing to anything whenever and wherever as long as it involves fun. That’s the secret to being ‘That guy.’”
• What is the best book you've ever read?
“I read the memoirs of John Daly. He lost everything he owned three times. He had it all.”
• What is your passion?
“My passion is my family -- my wife and, hopefully, my future children. I want to build a nest egg for my wife and me and my future children and work so hard that one day I won’t have to do much but play with my grandkids.”
• What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?
“I’d like to get a master’s degree, but now I’m so busy with work. Maybe one day. I’ll be the old guy in class.”