This week is a big annual happening in our sleepy little area: the A T & T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am–a glamour event on the golf tour offering a chance to stare or even mingle with famous golfers and celebrities. For me, mostly this means more traffic.
Years ago, my kids thought it was really cool when I was asked to be a volunteer at the official tent hosting the players –where they relax in private between rounds. The perks sounded perfect—including a ticket to a night of entertainment provided by the celebrities who were playing (regulars include Vince Gill, Kenny G, Ray Romano) All I had to do is work 4 shifts during the week, and buy each year’s new outfit (surprisingly expensive: See Cluttercast) .
My first morning was typical—they call it “Crosby weather” because the tournament, held in mid-winter, was founded by Bing Crosby. I slogged a couple miles from my car through the muck and mire and pouring rain to the tent where I would be working, consoling myself with each muddy step as I pictured myself pouring hot chocolate for Kevin Costner or shmoozing with Bill Murray.
I arrived at the tent and found out my assignment was slightly less glamorous. My job–for the next 6 hours—would be in a tiny room in the back of the tent….where I might actually touch a few celebrities and golfers—as they handed me their muddy golf shoes which I was supposed to clean off. It was like the old joke about being in show business — I was the guy who cleans up behind the elephants.
What I remember about that first day is mostly my bad attitude. Can you be fired from a volunteer job?
Fortunately they gave me a job better suited to my abilities and attitude: for the next few years I was the volunteer stationed at the entrance, delegated with keeping out people who didn’t belong inside. Also fortunately I’m not easily intimidated by celebrities or anyone else—- I was now the bouncer. And other than a few embarrassing moments, such as refusing entry to Jerry Rice, (who I didn’t recognize at the height of his career) I got what I wanted in the first place: my kids thought I was the coolest mom in town.