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In the Sandtrap Lounge at the Gearhart Golf Links. Looking out to the course, established in 1892, and watching the hooks and shanks, which are not observable symptoms of an oozing venereal disease. Drinking a good golf-type drink, gin and tonic, of course from the well. Thinking about golf, an alleged sport I used to play well before green fees cost more than a Rolling Stones concert and it became unacceptable to stuff your bag with ice and Pacific Northwest lagers then brewed in the Pacific Northwest. This is an excellent 19th hole. Big windows, high ceilings, soaring wood beams, spacious, solid, pretty waitresses, impeccable service, good grammar spoken, nice selection of spirits, a layout where the bar is the center of attention as it always should be in a lounge. A fantastic place to compare stock portfolios--if I had one. Yeah, in the Sandtrap, thinking about golf. They say Tiger Woods is a hero--for playing a Viking pastime a few strokes better than other golfers. His limp performance in the Augusta National/Master's controversy should rule out any hero status for Tiger. He is about endorsements. Had he wanted to, one press conference and a threatened boycott could have buried the plaid pants/Trent Lott attitude in his sport for all time. You want heroes in sports? Jackie Robinson. Larry Doby. Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Hank Aaron. Curt Flood. Ali. Tiger? Toothless. And while we're on the subject of heroes, let's talk about an Oregon one, actually a coastal one, a Gearhart resident. His name is Dr. Bob Bacon. He was honored this last summer at a ceremony marking the 35th anniversary of the Beach Bill, you know, the landmark law that politicians and environmentalists like to take credit for. At the ceremony he told a brief, modest story that blew Governor Kitzhaber's lengthy, oral valentine to himself about handling the New Carissa far, far away. It was the summer of 66' on a clam tide that it all began. Tom McCall wasn't even governor yet. A couple picnicked on a beach in front of a Cannon Beach motel. The motel owner emerged and told them to leave, something about trespassing and private property. One of the couple's children was a student in Dr. Bacon's class at OHSU and he recounted the episode to Dr. Bacon and mentioned how upset his parents were. Dr. Bacon was galvanized and he and a select few organized a group to protect Oregon's beaches. "My role was to trigger a lot of public response," he said. His group did just that and some of it came in the form of threats to petitioners, threats about doctors losing jobs, and the reality of $100,000 in political cash (this is pre disclosure and Watergate-era campaign finance laws) coming from a cabal of California developers drooling to despoil Oregon's beaches. "It is the story about the Beach Bill that will never be written," said Bacon, who might have added that every coastal lawmaker voted against a law that now practically defines the state. I wonder how today's coastal lawmakers might vote on such a piece of legislation? No focus groups, consultants, paid staffers, coalitions, web sites, just a nearly stealth grass roots campaign, many back door moves, and an ingenious use of free media. All three strategies eventually thwarted the private confiscation and eventual fencing of Oregon beaches in the disputed dry sands area and led to the passage of the Beach Bill in 1967. Particularly effective was a line drawing shown on television depicting a fence around Haystack Rock. It apparently shocked many Oregonians. "People went nuts," said Bacon. Dr. Bacon, I'm in the Sandtrap Lounge in Gearhart. Not sure you drink. But if you do, order a gin and tonic on me. Forget the house swill and make it a call brand. Yes, even Tanqueray. Make it a double. Order a steak too, the choicest cut. I honor you sir.
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