Stories By Mike Kelly

Since our families lived in Illinois, we spent holidays and vacations together in California. Some great memories were created and forever attached to memory. Growing up in Chicago you learn … and funny ways to travel.

  Free parking means pulling into a nice restaurant in the city and pulling up to valet , smiling and saying see you after dinner. We walked in the front door and out the back and then reversed our steps upon returning. Marty had to check the place out previously. We were doing this once in a Chicago restaurant and he ran into friends with the owner of the restaurant at their table. When we returned the owner stopped us and told us never do that again at least in his restaurant. Then he smiled. Marty offered in return to come to California to play golf at his club. Outside I said to Marty that his offer was invalid since he did not belong to a club. He responded by saying that he met the president of Sharon Heights and based on a first meeting he would join Sharon Heights. I asked him where that course was.

  Cab in city means Marty will get a ride home. The solution was giving the driver half of a $100 bill now and the other half if he was picked up to take him home.

  Drinking California Chardonnay in Paris France gets a interesting response. In those days Marty loved California Chardonnay and that was what he requested be it Paris, St Barts , Ireland or Columbia  South America. The responses were as expected unsatisfactory.  In Paris the waiter responded that they do not have California Chardonnay in France so Marty studied the wines and ask to bring two different bottles of white wine to the table. The sommelier brought the wines to the table with much enthusiasm. Marty requested that the bottles be put on the table whereby he poured a small amount of each wine in the same cup. Marty drank the combo wine glass and told the sommelier that this blend tastes like California Chardonnay and he should remember for the next time someone asks for California Chardonnay. The sommelier left very confused and no further assistance was forthcoming. Marty said he was glad he help resolve this problem for the sommelier.

  Golf in a foreign country means one plays all day ie 27 or 36 holes of golf rain or shine. In Scotland we played for a week in all day every day rain. Marty brought a pair of golf shoes from home and purchased two more pairs in Scotland and all the shoes were thrown out at the end of the week. In Ireland, in the 90’s , each player would play with two balls on each hole  so we could talk about playing 36 holes a day. 

  Once in Scotland after 36 holes and heavy dinner and drinks we were exhausted and went to the rooms about 11pm. We got a call about midnight from our trip leader about a “come as you are NOW putting contest“ on the hotels 4 th floor overlooking the entry way.  Marty came in his fancy Tommy John underpants ONLY with his putter several made Marty look over dressed. Everyone’s first putt missed the hole and several balls rolled past the hole and went loudly down the four flights of stairs bouncing off the walls and windows reaching the main lobby. The Scottish owner in a kilt and his sheep dog came up the stairs to see this sight. The sheep dog had Marty’s golf ball in his mouth. The owner asked us to check out in the morning.  In the morning as the bus driver was loading unexpectedly our bags onto the bus WITH THE OWNER AT ATTENTION NEXT TO THE BUS Marty shook his hand and told the owner he would ship him the finest bottled water in the USA , Black Mountain, for a year. The owner was smiling when we left. Of course when you, we , us received bottled water at our house after an evening with Marty we knew this apology was from his heart but most of the time we never remembered the incident. 

  We went with couples to Dublin for the millennium. December 31,1999 was a party of the century where we spent the evening with 300 people from 20 countries at the Irish ambassador’s home. Marty provided a wonderful toast hoping each of us and our families enjoyed long heath and continued enthusiasm for life. He and the Marine corp members of our Group sang the marine hymn Halls of Montezuma. It was a beautiful way to begin the millennium with this song however the 4 gentlemen including Marty singing the song were standing on the dinner table  shouting out the song. This was soon joined by other tables standing on their table singing their countries anthem. Very special when the Irish Ambassador come over to thank Marty for his words.

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