Come for the Golf (Or Not) … Stay for the Good Times

-OMPAClassicLogoby Mary McDonald-Lewis, 1st Vice President, OMPA

Me, I’m not a sportser. Call me the Gutter Queen. Or “She Who Picks Dandelions in Right Field,” but I’ve never grokked athletics. I do love the salty snacks, though.

And the camaraderie. I like that a lot.

I dig the friendly competition between folks playing anything having to do with getting balls of various sizes into various containers, whether netted or mitted or flagged. At the OMPA Classic I especially love the laughter and good times outdoors. How bloodthirsty we are about croquet, and how gosh-DAMN good some of our golfers are.

Best of all: connecting with my pals outside of sets and stages and base camps. In our business we’re always on the run. Come quitting time, there’s no local bar we go to once everyone wraps. A 24-hour Pancake House, maybe, but at 4:00AM most folks just want to get home.

But at the Classic? Well, it starts by putting my very full “to-do” list on hold for half a day. (Guess what? Other than Amazon losing a sale or two the world keeps on spinning without my nose in a computer screen for a few hours.) Then donning comfy clothes (and maybe grabbing something strappy and sassy for our dinner). After scanning “how to hack croquet” one more time, I head toward fun.

Folks smile, stretch more, stand a little taller at the Classic, you know? Maybe they ”make the game interesting,” too. Hell, we’re out from under the fluorescent lights, off the teetering riverbank or the very hot set, and in Oregon’s gorgeous countryside. That’s reason enough to grin!

Then it’s time to play. Maybe you’re a foursome of old pals. Or new friends (and you don’t know this yet, but it’s gonna be awesome) who you’ll team up with on Tom Hanks’ next gig, shot right here. Lay the groundwork for that right there in the sandtrap.

Next it’s the auction (step away from that vacation cottage in Manzanita – it’s mine, damn you) and whether you’re driving up the price so the guy you lost to pays a premium for it, or you’re drooling over the tasty wine collection, it’s all for a good cause: keeping OMPA fiscally sound, so the organization can work for all of us who love, and make our living by, this industry.

We all clean up pretty good for dinner – I don’t know about you, but as cute as you are in your cargos, Lord do I love a man in a spiffy Hawaiian shirt and slacks. And breaking bread around those big tables, we’re reminded again: we’re all in this together. That means we look out for each other (we’re good at that here) and OMPA looks out for all of us.

Turn off your phone for a day. Come laugh with me at the OMPA Classic. And watch out: the Gutter Queen just might take ya out on that fairway.

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