Chapter 7: “Skimming Stones at Pebble Beach…”

CHAPTER 7 – “SKIMMING STONES AT PEBBLE BEACH…”

“ …Every voice along the shoreline
Standing still within time…

… Bless the children for they are the light”

PRAYER
Written by Corey Hart
From CELINE DION A NEW DAY HAS COME

SUMMER TIME!!! HEAD’EM UP AND MOVE ‘EM OUT…NEXT STOP: Grump’s and Chick’s cottage in East Marion !

Sister and I and my wife Louise and the 5 monsters are headed East.

“Can I ride with Aunt Junie?”, says the daughter as she hops into Junie’s wagon. Four ladies in one vehicle and the macho men in the other . We’re on the Long Island Expressway … cruising past the Riverhead Raceway… around the large traffic circle and onto Roanoke Avenue, a rural country road.

“What’s THAT SMELL?!”, I blurt out…“DANZO, did you lay one?!”, knowing full well we were passing acres of cabbage fields.

“How COULD you, Dan??!!!”, Jay sympathetically butts in as the older brother. Cousin Weevie is in agreement, “Dan, that was a real “STINKY BOY. …We couldn’t blame it on the Bijon, Perrier , so we did the next best thing, we blamed it on the Redhead! Dan settles down and we all laugh hysterically.

We make a quick right turn onto Sound Avenue and in about 10 minutes a sign appears on the left:

“ STRAWBERRIES
FRUIT            PIES
BRIERMERE FARMS”

The old green sign by the front door says “OPEN”.

Junie pulls into their driveway and I follow…We always stop here on our trip East to load up on some tasty morsels.

“It’s BRIERSCHMEER, Paulie!!!”

“Get Your Big Schmeer, Here…and stuff it in your brassiere, Sister!”

Welcome to Long Island Wine Country!” says the sign –acres of grapes are growing as we drive by…Palmer Vineyards, Martha Clara Vineyards, Bedell Winery, Macari Vineyards, Pindar Vineyards …so many wines… “Hey , Weevie, CORK this!!!!” – typical male humor. “Sister, what’s a Jewish girl’s favorite wine?” “I wanna new MERCEDES!!!!, Brother”…as we’d collapse into more hysterics…

And this means, Pebble Beach Farms is around the corner. YES, MONSTERS, WE HAVE ARRIVED!

“Louise – Sister! I’m taking a mile walk down to the monster boulder. Who’s coming?” Everyone, of course! Rachel and Lauren are collecting sea glass –blues and greens. The guys are skimming rocks. There is an endless supply of skinny pieces of brown shale that are perfect. Stevie and Dan toss in some huge clunkers to hear that kerplunk sound as the calm water sends out nipple after nipple…Excuse me, I meant to say “ripple after ripple”.

“FIRST ON THE BOULDER!” – The monsters and I climb five feet and sit down. If a brassiere is an over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder, it must have taken a Victoria’s Secret model Size Double D to drop this puppy here. And all along, I thought it was glacial movement. There’s a bigger one 10 yards away lapped by the waves. Too bad we can’t jump into the water for a quick dip but the Portuguese men-o-war have arrived. The eight of us turn around and make the walk back. We pack up the towels and head back to feed the kids dinner….

The Monsters are re-energized and ready for more. “Sister – Weezle – load ‘em up. It’s miniature golf time!” We by-pass the busy, village of Greenport by turning on Moore Lane. We make a right onto Route 25 and go 2 miles. There’s the sign :

DROSSOS MOTEL
SNACK BAR
MINIATURE GOLF
HAMBURGERS
FRIES     SHAKES      BUCKET OF CHICKEN

The “BUCKET OF CHICKEN” appears in the shape of a chicken. The picture of the softee ice cream beckons. However, it’s not the food that matters now …the game is the thing. We plunk our money down and grab eight different colored golf balls. We are so blessed that this is not Shinnecock because we play as an Eightsome and nothing will keep us apart.

Hole # 1 is straight out – The Rose Garden.. Danzo, the Fiery Redhead goes first and launches one off the rubber mat. It careens into the wood railing . His cousins, brother and sister are smiling. “Take a mulligan, Danzo!” This one sails onto Hole # 2. Everyone is laughing harder. “Take another!” says his mother. This could be a very long round.

We make it uneventfully through “Over or Under”, and “Loop-the-Loop”. Each of us shouts out our score at the end of each hole and I pencil in the number on the “Tick Tock” scorecards. Typically, one of the kids gets a hole-in-one on any given hole and jumps for joy. But Danzo is ringing up a lot of four’s and five’s where par is either two or three. We’re looking at a huge number, here, folks, and his temperature is rising. Then we come to the monster – an absolute killer, Hole # 6, “The Circle Shot”. It has a 90 degree dog-leg left with three tunnels and plays to a raised green . The hole sits on top of a mound in a slight depression . Hit the ball too lightly and it rolls right back to your feet. Hit the ball too hard and it rolls up over the mound and comes down the other side where you face the identical shot except from the opposite side. Hit it with just the proper pace and direction and the ball climbs the 4 inch hill, rolls down toward the cup and dies into the hole. Nothing to it if your name is Loren Roberts, the “Boss of the Moss”. Instead, we have Lauren Kaneti, aka “Eeshie”.: Her full nickname is “Eeshie – Peeshie- Poshee – Pushee- Better Watch Out or I’ll Goosh Your Tooshie”, but that was a tad long so I shortened it to a mere Eeshie. Her approach putt is a marvel as she snuggles it down to the base of the mound. Her next putt is all feel and it’s just the perfect speed as it drops for a birdie 3.

Louise, myself, Sister and the other 3 cousins settle for not too stellar 4’s, 5’s, and 6’s. But what is happening to the Danzo? He’s up to EIGHT and shows no signs of stopping!

“What’s the count, kids, on that last sucker?” I query.

“Five”, says Danzo.

WHAT????!!!!” protests the other 4 cousins in unison.

“Five”, says Danzo.

“I have to give you at least an eight on that one Dan…sorry but that’s the game…”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” was the response in an ear-piercing crescendo as his putter rose into the sky.Shades of Mrs. Doubtfire cooking in the kitchen with her boobies on fire and the pot bubbling over, but I knew right then that he was “going to blow” and I prayed to the Lord that I never get reincarnated into a roll of Astroturf…Ouch, as the putter came smashing down to leave its mark for all eternity on those treasured felt fairways!!! None of us could believe it at the time and the madder he got, the more we laughed. We’re such a sympathetic group. But Danzo had 12 more holes to recover his composure. He would later have a hole-in-one and settle down to the Danzo we love. It must be something genetic in redheads.

Onto the final Hole, Numero 18, the “Clown Hole”. It’s set up just like skee ball we used to play on the boardwalk in Long Beach. It reads:

“BALL IN MOUTH – deduct 2
BALL IN EYES — deduct 4
FROM TOTAL SCORE
_________________________
BALL IN NOSE WINS
A FREE GAME!”

It’s the only Par 1 on the course because you hit the ball only once at this hole. There’s a catch-all return below the clown face that channels most of the shots back into the office. That’s where all eight balls would go today. The Monsters didn’t appear too upset at not winning a free game – why should they worry? They weren’t paying anyway!

We walk around to the front food counter. “Who wants a thick shake float?” says sister. We’ve all worked up quite an appetite. Golf is a tough sport!

We wave goodbye to Gus and Min. They and their daughter Elaine own and operate this wonderland for 25 years. The immense joy from watching families and couples play on their miniature golf course keeps them going. They are grandparents . Their parents were born in Greece but they have never gone back. Louise and I had honeymooned in Greece in 1971. But sometimes you are drawn back…

On June 17, 2003 I would go back – not to Greece – but to “THE TICK TOCK MINIATURE GOLF” course.The bump was gone on Hole #6. I played just one hole –Hole # 8, The Pin Ball hole. Sometime’s the shot is blind and this hole was. I didn’t see it drop in. I wound up with a hole-in-one.

“Quit while you’re ahead!!!” Gus shouted out to me.

So I did…