Golf & Duck Game Buddies
Bowlester Turns 60 by Gary & Carla Cumpston
There are so many stories it is hard to know where to begin.
When Randy and I first met about 15 years ago, we decided to take in a Duck football game. Leaving early in the morning, we had very little to eat and arriving at the game about 3 hours early for tailgating we realized we had a mighty appetite going. Not thinking in advance that tailgating for three hours might mean bringing something to eat, we went in search for food. We searched for a while but never saw anyone who would want to share their food with us. We did see a Williams Bakery hospitality tent with many happy and well-fed attendees and customers, however.
I looked at Randy and asked if he knew of anyone who worked at the Bakery or if maybe he was a client. Randy said, “No, but that does not matter, follow me, we can just act like clients and who would ever know.” “Ok” I said, so in we go.
Randy and I get in line for hamburgers. I am first and I say, “I would like a hamburger please”. A woman asks if I would like cheese and I said “no thank you” having a conscience about even being there. Randy is behind me. When it is his turn Randy says, “I would like a cheeseburger and could you make that a double with two patties”. The woman says sure know problem. I then grabbed a beer and Randy says “You only want one, take two and grab another for when we go into the game, we are sure to be in need for one there too.”
Well we enjoyed our burgers and watched as those other employees of the bakery looked at us asking, “Do you know those clients over there? No do you?” Our true friendship started on that day and Randy has been the “Bowlester” ever since.
THE MUSKETEER’S RIDE AGAIN
About ten years ago, four good friends created a tradition, the tradition of a day of playing golf, watching an Oregon Duck football game and plenty of drinking and partying along the way. In the beginning no one envisioned that this wonderful time would become a tradition, but we have worked at it and every year the Musketeer’s ride again.
The four friends are a diverse and emotionally unstable crew, but share a common bond when it’s time to suit up for the Musketeer game.The Musketeer’s are Bob Magers, Gary Cumpston, Greg Hathaway, and of course, the one and (trust us) only Randy Bowles. The other Musketeer’s look up to Randy. Not just because he’s older, but because he has shown us the ropes over the years. We each have a fond nickname for Randy, but mostly everyone knows that Randy is simply a “piece of work”who should have gone into radio broadcasting with that great quick wit and low deep voice that can be heard from almost anywhere.
At one time our respect for Randy got out of control during one of our Musketeer’s games when we formed the Randy Bowles Fan Club, and Greg Hathaway agreed to be the President of the Club. At first, the Fan Club was pretty successful, but the past few years have been pretty lean. Randy keeps saying it’s the economy, but we think he is only one big “incident” away from being back on top.
So what does a typical Musketeer game day look like? Well, back in the early days of the Musketeers, we would start the day playing golf and then jump in a car and speed down the freeway to Eugene just in time to catch the tailgater before the game started. The golf was fun, but Randy always won all of the money because he invented the game and the bet, and then kept pressing so that no one knew what was going on. But more importantly, the Musketeers decided we needed more drinking time before the game and the golf was getting in the way of that objective.
One event that we used to have was the long drive competition at the Albany Rest Stop off of I-5, another one of Randy’s ideas to line his pockets with Musketeer money. It made sense since we already had the golf clubs in the back of the car, the Rest Stop had an open field behind the restrooms, we were beginning to feel a buzz from the effects of a few brewski’s and there was a built in gallery of fans who were headed to the bathroom. But of course, Randy would always win the money and then wanted to double down and do it all over again. We all agreed that Randy plays some of his best golf after a few beers, especially at the Rest Stop.
Now a days we meet up at Bob Magers’ house in Tualatin, have a few Bloody Mary’s and hit the road. Randy always shows up a few minutes late with a case of warm beer, dressed in green and/or yellow, but never in any official “Duck” gear. But once he’s there, Randy is ready to play ball.
As soon as we get in the car, and make sure Randy isn’t driving, Randy asks, “isn’t it time for a road soda”. Randy will repeat that question at least 5 more times during the trip and is simply getting his game face on. He’ll go over the betting lines for all of the football games he’s bet on for the weekend, and smoke his cigarette with half of his head out of the window as a courtesy to the other Musketeers.
By the time we get to the tailgater with a lot of friends of the Musketeers, Randy is getting very excited about the game. He continues to drink beers, smoke and crack jokes to anyone that will listen. And if people he knows aren’t listening, Randy will make new friends who haven’t heard his material, and make them part of the party.
One thing that Randy always worries about is “where am I sitting”. Lately, because of the Ducks success, Randy and Gary have had “standing room only” seats. However, that has not stopped Randy from sitting on the 50-yard line. He has perfected a move that takes him from the losers section, in “standing room only”, to the expensive seats. Not only does he push his way into a place he is not supposed to be, but he makes friends with the people next to him. We know Randy isn’t real proud of what he does, but he always gets a big laugh out of it, and ends up with better seats than the Musketeers who have season tickets!
One of the ways that Randy makes friends in the stands, wherever he is sitting, is because of his notorious binoculars, known simply to the Musketeers as the “binocs”. These “binocs” look like normal binoculars, but they aren’t. Instead, they are nothing more than a decorated flask which allows Randy to skirt security to feed his alcoholic needs during the game. These “binocs” are pretty amazing….I mean they will hold a whole pint of Jack Daniels.
Of course, the people sitting near Randy, who don’t have a clue, are shocked to see a grown man “drinking” out of his binoculars after the Ducks have done something cool on the field. Now that the Ducks are playing good football and score a lot, Randy usually takes a hit off of the “binocs” after a score. But back in the old days, when football times were lean, and the Ducks didn’t score a lot, Randy got frustrated that he had no reason to take a hit off the “binocs”. So Randy came up with new rules…..first, it was you could take a “hit” if the Ducks got a first down. Then, when the Ducks weren’t getting any first downs, he changed the rule to anytime the Ducks had to punt. Suffice it to say, one way or the other, Randy Man found a way to polish off the ”binocs”.
After the game, win or lose, Randy is always ready to keep partying in the Musketeer tradition. Naturally, Randy rides in the back on the way home and has never been asked to be the designated driver headed for home. His chatter in the backseat boarders on a series of hilarious one-liners and has the rest of the Musketeers laughing so hard you can barely stand it.
By the time we get back to Portland we are already planning the next time the Musketeers will ride again. We promise to get together for BBQ’s and golf and watching the Ducks play on TV. But, there is that one time of the year, where the tradition carries on, and the legend of Randy Man only gets larger, and that time is the Musketeer Game.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RANDY……you are a legend and we value your wonderful friendship very much.
Greg and Judy Hathaway Bob and Cindy Magers
Some things never change by Pat Carey
I know there are many Randy stories, but the one that comes to mind that you may not have heard is where Tom Strader is sitting quietly in his office one day and is bothered somewhat with small noises outside of his office window. Out of curiosity he approaches the window and notices several golf balls rolling down the hill and toward his office. Now, fearing kids’ pranks or a problem at the course, he ventures outside and low and behold, it is Randy practicing his chipping up at the putting green and the result was balls rolling all of the way down the hill to the clubhouse. Some things never change.
Randy needs to learn how to chip….but I love him dearly. John