Slim Whitman Invitational
2007 Champ - Rick Miller
As I sit here watching the Packer/Cowboy game I got inspired to begin writing the Champ's letter. Why? Because I was thinking about things that I love.

Of course, I love my family. I'm blessed with 3 kids,,, all of which are great in their own way. And I'm blessed with a wife that loves to golf, drink, and generally have fun. She's had to put up with me since High School. I may put her in for Sainthood.

But there are other things in my life that make it worth living. I love the Green Bay Packers! Although it's late in the 2nd quarter, the Packers are down 27-10 and Favre is hurt, it's great to be a fan of one of the greatest sports franchises in the NFL or for that matter, of all sports!

Another thing I love is getting together with friends. Friends that enjoy a good joke. Friends that enjoy a good drink. Friends that know when to have fun and when to be serious. Friends that love a good rivalry. Friends that you know will always be there when you need them.
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I also love the game of golf. A game that both men and women can play. A game that you can play when you're 4 or 104 (god willing). A game where you take the credit for a good round. A game where you take the blame for a bad round. A game where you can enjoy the great outdoors! No other game even compares. When I put some of the things I love together, you get the Slim Whitman Invitational Golf Outing.

I was asked to my first event in 2001 (A Slim Odyssey) by none other than Bobby Warren. Bob and I met Bill Buth in Fond Du Lac that first year and drove the rest of the way to Cecil together. Yes, 2 rookies in the car with the veteran. We walked into the Golden Sands just as the boys playing the practice round were finishing up. (We missed the practice round that year. I didn't have my priorities straight!) From that point forward, I was hooked.
Golfing, drinking, smoking, playing Sheepshead, cribbage, Liar's Dice, spitting, farting, burping. Arguhh, Arguhh, Arguhh! What a male bonding moment! The highlight of that year came during the Friday round. My group included Big Dan and Muley. I was nursing a hangover (of course). Big Dan and Muley were in rare form. Muley was wearing the 2 star baseball cap that Billy had given him as a bribe...I mean present. "Sir, Yes Sir" was ringing loudly at every hole. But at #17, Muley decided to relieve himself as Big Dan was teeing off. So naturally the place to do his business was on Big Dan's ball. Big Dan gave his ball a big salute and said "See Ya!" He tee'd off and hit a beautiful drive. I laughed so damn hard, that I fell on the ground. If there was any better initiation for a rookie, I'd like to hear it.

I've seen some very crazy things at the Slim since then. I'd like to mention them, but I'm forced honor "the code". I've also found out that this group has a lot of talent. We have singers, dancers, and actors. We have orators that give memorable presentations...even if they're about "Nothing". We have philosophers. We have an inventor that created a device to make Rubber Chickens. We have people who have $100,000 balls. And comedians! Oh boy do we have comedians.
But enough reminiscing. It's been 6 months since the Slim took place. This year's event felt a little strange. The Slim was absent many members on Friday due to Tommy's father passing away. Tom, I'm sorry for your loss this year. But again, the friendships, whether they were made 6 years ago or 60 years ago, are present at the Slim. All those Slimers close to the Randolph family needed to be at the funeral.

Also, Bobby, John, Muley, Big Dan, Rookie Rick, Gary and I all left Friday night to attend another outing on Saturday. There were only a handful of people that stayed on Friday night. Again, a little of the magic felt like it was missing.

However, I played golf better than I ever had. And that is what it takes to win the Slim. My handicap has been dropping since that first year, but so has my score. I really thought that I would never have a chance at the Championship. I can remember just a few short years ago when I put 3 in the water on #11. (Yes not 10, but 11)

But this year was different. I knew I played a pretty good round on Thursday, but I sure didn't think I could carry it in to Friday. When I woke up on Friday morning, I wondered how I got back to the Fireside? But I thought to myself, "I feel pretty good". How could that be? I drank more than my share of adult beverages Thursday night. And just a few short hours before I woke up, some pieces of the evening's festivities, launched into the sink, creating a porcelain plug. And now, not a sign of anything like that happening.

Playing 3 rounds like I did, really felt good. Ove has told me on a few occasions, "Your handicap should be set so that you have to play your best golf to win the Slim". Well, I did it. (but I'm still a crappy golfer). And until I lose this day job, I expect to be a crappy golfer. Yes, 6 months of being the champ. That means I only have 6 left before its stripped away and another champ is named.

This year, we celebrate the 30th Slim Whitman Invitational! Wow. Did any of the founding members ever think it would go on for 30 years? A lot has changed since that first Slim. Most of us are older (physically). There have been lots of marriages, divorces, career changes, retirements, births and even some deaths. We need to remember Mel, Geno, Bill, and Jonesey. The world has changed drastically. (No political statement here). But for a few short days in June, all of that is forgotten and the world is put on hold. I look forward to Slim week all year long.

The 30th is a big year. Most of the Slimers have been playing in the Slim for ½ of their lives. Yep, this one is going to be special. I think that the 30th should be one to remember. Maybe something special should be planned for Thursday night. Maybe a Road Trip somewhere. But something to make this one to remember!

I want to thank all the usual people that made this win possible.
1. Bobby - my sponsor. (He told me I was the replacement for Penis with a "D". He called me Dick with an "R")
2. John - my golf partner and past Champ for driving me to the Slim year after year. (He blew a .10 when we left Cecil Friday night)
3. Whorehound - Past Champ. Your gentle touch when you put the jacket on me will always be remembered
4. Muley, Ove and Rabs - The HC. F 'em. I'm screwed anyway. (No I'm just kidding! What would you like to drink Wednesday night?)
5. Scout for enforcing the Rules of the Game. Are there any gimme's?
6. Jim, Linc, Deb, and Liz, and don't forget that "F the Pro" Guy, Luke for putting up with all of us. (I'm looking forward to dancing with Deb again!)
7. And a special thanks to our Flounder. Stump, you make the entire year interesting with anecdotes, healthy living tips, theology lessons, news from the gulf, and once, in a while... a political message.

May everyone have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope to see all of you in Cecil on June 13th.

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