Randy has always considered himself Royalty, but in reality he can sometimes be a P_ _ _ _!! And who is your Indian friend?
We’ve had so many good times together over the years, who can remember them all? The football parties, golf outings, volleyball trips, BICT parties and dinners at the hindquarter, to name a few. How can you be 60 already? You’re just a kid at heart.
Here are just a few of our stories.
Randy and Cathy became our neighbors and later our “house guests” in January 1978. Randy in his infinite wisdom removed the wood stove from the middle of his living room to prevent their infant son, Drayton, from getting burned. The following week an ice and snowstorm hit the area and our power went out. Couldn’t go to a Motel because we couldn’t get our car down our steep driveway.
That evening the doorbell rang and there stood Randy, Cathy and Drayton, and a couple and their little girl, friends visiting from Denmark. They were shivering in the cold. We invited them to join us around our roaring fire. We cooked Gourmet meals on our camp stove and sat huddled around the fire and sang songs as Cathy and her friend played guitars. We had many laughs and jokes were told, as you can imagine with Randy around. Cocktail hour, which arrived earlier each day, found us with sufficient ice for our drinks by breaking off the icicles from the house. We had more fun than if we would have been there alone! What a 5 days!
Sometime in the ‘70’s Roger Baker, Craig Fergus, Tom and Randy were in Sun River for a golf outing. They had a nice, friendly gambling game going. Baker and Bowles are known to have a few beers on the golf course. As was the case this day. They got to the 17th hole, Par 3, Randy had honors. The sign says it is 138 yards to the green. He took his 8 iron and hits a perfect shot. Unfortunately it landed 42 yards short! He was flabbergasted! They informed him that it was 182 yards from the back tee, which they were playing. Typical of Randy, he wanted to hit the ball again because no one had told him it was 182 yards and not 138 yards. But, the guys told him that according to the Royal and Ancient golf rules he could not hit again. His request was denied. Baker and Tom won because of his bonehead play.
At the volleyball Nationals in Dayton, Ohio Randy had a fake phone with an authentic ring. Remember, this was before everyone had a cell phone. During a timeout, Randy triggered the loud ring. Randy answered it and handed it to the Referee saying, “it’s for you”. The Ref was dumfounded!
Here’s to you, Randy on your big 60! And wishing you many, many more fun-filled years.
In love and friendship,
Tom and Marilyn Becic
RANDOLPH WELLINGTON BOWLES A Friend for all Seasons
By Philip White
In the spring of my life, when everything was still fresh and new, and all things still seemed possible, a tall, crazy guy came into the locker room and my life — and was to become my best buddy and a major influence throughout the seasons of my life.
He’s a loveable, energetic guy, who loves all of life and whose motto should be “Hail-fellow-well-met” — who believes strongly in the loyalty of friends and works hard at maintaining those ties — even if you sometimes shake your head at the outcomes.
On the evening of the 1977 ice storm, Randy and I had been at our favorite watering hole, and I, of course, needed a ride up the hill to home. Randy, being the ever present friend, agrees to run me up the hill. But being a true friend, he agrees (after much pimping) to take me down the steep hill right to my driveway. Randy’s better judgment did not get in the way of trying something — well, as you can imagine, Randy’s car got stuck and he couldn’t get home — nor did he really want to, since he had no power and we did. Poor Cathy and Drayton, but “the King lives on in luxury”!
The spring of our lives found Randy and I sharing many adventures that only two good buddies with beautiful bodies can enjoy — after all, as we’ve always said, “You’ve got to love yourself first, before you can love anybody else!” — and we practice that to the hilt.
Volleyball often took us on the road for tournaments, and our obsession with always “be styling” really came out. We would go nowhere ‘til our morning routine was complete, which took awhile with only one bathroom. One particular Vancouver, BC tournament, Randy’s image was shattered when he tore a muscle in his calf. He was moaning and groaning and I, the ever-helpful friend, suggested that the DMSO would get him well in a hurry. In addition, we heaped the “Red Hot” ointment on also, which caused a huge reaction and swelled his leg like a balloon. Not very stylin’ Randy. Again, poor Cathy, as we deposited him back home for recuperation.
As the spring of our lives turned to the “heyday” or summer of our lives, and in spite of many snafu’s, our friendship grew. During our best years, Randy really helped me get the store going. He was not only a fabulous customer — he was a great bird-dog — always sending new customers my way and talking up the store to anyone who would listen.
Randy was a featured model often in The Phillip Stewart ads. He was always looking his stylin’ self and the store became his second home. In fact, when I turned 40, Randy was a big player — leading the pack in that zany ‘Men Only’ celebration night starting at the store. By the time the 50th rolled around, Randy helped Carol plan and MC’ed the party at the MAC — our other home. Of course, Carol nearly killed Randy before it was all over. Typical Randy, two minutes before the party starts, comes in with his assigned slides — but they have not been ordered or put in the tray. Never plan ahead.
Randy was a great support to me during stressful times as well as fun times. As my life changed, Randy was instrumental in opening a new chapter of my life.
When Carol and I got married, Cathy and Randy stood up for us and helped us celebrate that very special time in our lives. He again led the charge at the reception with a fun and witty recap of times gone by.
Kids grew up, beautiful bodies aged, hair turned gray and relationships changed, but through it all, Randy was right there. As we enter the fall of our lives, time has become more available for fun times and more laughs.
On one of our travels together, the four of us went to Scotland and Ireland, and what a time we had. Randy had lost his golf clubs before we ever left the states, and his wallet before the money ran out. But, in his typical style, you can’t get mad at him — only shake your head and let the good times roll…
A late evening return by train from Edinburgh found Randy driving the Van. We turned here and turned there, trying to follow our “bread crumbs” back to the B&B — but 15 minutes later found ourselves right back at the train station. “Holy shit” exclaims Randy, “we’re right back where we started!” No shit, Sherlock….
At Bally Bunion, we had a lovely golfing afternoon. Cathy and Carol had their rental clubs returned, their shoes changed, hair combed, and in the Van awaiting the guys who needed to merely walk to the Van. They waited…..and waited….and still no boys. Cathy went to investigate as dusk was setting in. There the boys are, sitting dejectedly on a bench. “What’s wrong?” she asked warily. “I’ve looked and looked, and my wallet is no where to be found. We’re going to have to re-walk the course to find it”. Cathy, rolling her eyes, offers “Let me look through your bag again”. Out comes the jacket, –Plop– on the floor falls the wallet. “But I swear, it wasn’t there when I looked!” exclaims a bewildered RB — yet again.
As we look forward to the winter of our lives, I cherish the thought of growing old with my buddy. We’ll slow down a little, but not too much — we have too much pride to let THAT happen! No sitting on the bench feeding the pigeons for us! Maybe sitting on the bench showing the girls our beautiful bodies, but no pigeons for us.
More laughs, and new eventful sagas to tell at his next wake. I know we’ll have a lot of golf, more travel, a lot of toasting and boasting, One thing I know for sure, he’ll still be my friend– for all seasons.
Story by Joe Moran
“Randolph Wellington Bowles III”…………………..is how he introduced himself to me the first day I met him. I do not actually recall but he may have added “Stay close to me if you want learn everything”.
He was reading the Sunday paper in the kitchen of the Army Reserve hall where I had just joined as a buck private. Randy had been in the military for 2 years and he too was a buck private. A buck private cook! (Tough place to get promotions? Not for most!)
During our illustrious military campaign together we introduced, practiced and perfected many of the covert ops that are practiced (nay copied) by many secret, government agencies throughout the world even today. We were on the cusp of invention of how to get away with anything you wanted. Randy was the master. I the student, a grasshopper.
To this day I still profess “when I grow up I want to be just like him”. And with no second thought I share with you the secret to his secrets:
When you decide to do something….do it! If you decide you have done enough military things by 10:00 in the AM, then leave! If you felt you needed a beer at 2:00 in the PM, then go get a beer! If the Songbird must be caged, then capture her heart. That was Randy’s MO….. Military Operation, Motus Operandi, Making Out, Moving On. It all fit!
While we were attending summer camp for 2 weeks (sited at Sears Hall on SW Multnomah Blvd. and at Portland Community College) keep in mind that this was the military and this is where they chose to have us do annual training……in our home town, where we knew all the bars, all the women and all the ways to do exactly what we were not supposed to do. Further bear in mind that this is the same military unit that some time later actually scheduled and held a 2 weeks summer camp at Treasure Island in (no, not Las Vegas) San Francisco Bay just 2 miles from downtown San Francisco. Was that a bad idea on their part or what?
But I digress…………….back in Portland, I had the privilege of accompanying Randy to the Hindquarter Restaurant in Lake Oswego where and when he met a fresh young singer billed as Mary Catherine Lunsford……….an angel to whom Randy gave the “Songbird” moniker. During this 2 weeks stint our daily, military newsletter kept the entire military machine up-to-date with each of Randy’s visits to see his “Songbird” at the HQ. (Sorry, for you military purists that is The Hindquarter not Headquarters). The Author of that letter was Sgt. Jim “Otto” Homolka. He helped promote (that is to encourage and not to indicate Randy was promoted) Randy’s pursuit of what we thought was the unobtainable. Members of the unit were actually arriving each evening at the HQ just to see Randy in action. We were all there to find some action….but it was Randy who found all the action he could ever handle.
Now that brief introduction was to set the stage for the story about Randy that I want to share.
Again it was military. Again it was summer camp. Again it was with Randy. Randy was (I think) once again a buck private after a short stint as a corporal. (I think the reduction was caused by cutbacks in military spending.)
Summer Camp at Camp Roberts, California-Situation:
Randy is a cook with the 364th Civil Affairs unit of the US Army. I was pressed into service to be the ranking Non-Com (don’t worry about what that means as it was and is not that impressive or important). I had now been in the military 3 years to Randy’s 5 years. I out ranked him by 3 or 4 grade-in-rank (military talk for “Randy had a problem with dealing with military protocol”.)
Location: We arrived at this hotter-than-hell location half way between somewhere and Paso Robles, CA. So hot that during certain hours in the heat of the day it was forbidden to be in certain exposed places for fear of heat stroke or exhaustion (it was also a good idea to keep certain personal things from being exposed as they would get singed).
Stipulation: The first day on location we were assigned the obligation to man the officer’s mess hall for meals 3 times a day, seven days a week. We split these duties with 2 other reserve units. Randy, Pat Sweeney and I (thee were several others but this story is about Randy) managed to negotiate with the other units that we would be on duty for alternating days leaving part of two days in a row with free time. Now we further negotiated that we would take 2 days in a row and then switch with another unit taking their day of obligation and before you knew it we had 4 days in a row off duty. But we agreed to take the first 2 days (Saturday, the day we arrived after 4:00 pm and too late to provide meals and Sunday when no one would be around to have to feed.)
We rented a car for our stay and decided to drive to Paso Robles for a sight seeing tour and beer. We found the beer. In a small, hot cantina we happened on some of the local farm workers playing pool and our bashful Randy immediately got into the play. After having completed the break one of the local patrons addressed Randy, “Senior, what do you have (referring of course to the ball numbers….solid or strips, big ones or little ones)”? Randy responded, “I have the big ones, you know the ones with the strips!” (Helping with the language barrier no doubt) to which the competitor lashed back to Randy: ”Si, I know the strips are the big ones, what do you think……I just got off a lettuce truck?” ( I have never seen Randy laugh so hard to learn there is a pecking order in the lettuce fields and being on the truck must be like being a buck private!).
Now the rest of the story…………..
Randy, Pat and I having maneuvered 4 straight days of time off sped off to Capitola, California which is located next to Santa Cruz, CA where Randy’s parents lived. Capitola is where the Bowles family had a cabin over looking Monterey Bay. That is where we were stuck for 4 days at a time (we actually had to return for a 2 day stretch to complete actual military obligations at Camp Roberts).
After setting up camp at the cabin we set off to recon the local terrain. A case of beer and to the beach to watch Randy play volleyball for……….well as long as the case of beer lasted. That evening we patronized the local hot spot known as “The Crow’s Nest” at the marina. Good food (we heard). Well what a night it turned out to be. Randy, Pat and…………
Memo from Craig Fergus
It was my third year of playing golf and I was about a 17 handicap.
Randy asked if I would like to be in his member guest tournament for the small fee of $150.00. I was excited and said ok. We had one practice round. It was the first or second time I had ever played at Oswego Lake.
At the Thursday night dinner we were into the cups and made several confident bets after playing a good practice round earlier in the day. The game plan was an early breakfast, and hit a few range balls before the shotgun. Arrival time was 7:00 AM. I
arrived about 5 minutes to 7 the next morning and got a table for Randy and me. I waited about 35 minutes….no Randy. I decided to eat and after breakfast…still no Randy. Panic started to set in as I approached the starters table . . . ALONE!
They told me that we would start on the thirteenth hole. I had no idea where that was. I could not call Randy because he had a private number. At about 3 minutes to 8 an assistant pro steered me out to the 13th and I was in a complete panic because it was best ball. I bogged the 13th and went to the 14th, and after teeing off we all see Randy being carted up to the 14th where the other two players allowed the idiot to tee off. He promptly sliced on into the trees and recovered with a triple bogie…after getting the story that it was a sleep deprivation problem. I started chasing him with my driver and thinking of the bets we had made the night before!!!
Needless to say we got our asses kicked. What a wonderful first member guest tournament!
Click here to read The Book of Wellington Part 6