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For Our Family, Easter was ‘Desert Classic’ Time

Aunt HazelFrom about 1968 or 69, to the mid 80′s, my moms side of the family would gather at our house on North 62nd Street in West Richland every Easter. We didn’t golf in the desert at first, me and my cousins would run a  muck for two days and have a blast, while our parents drank some beers and visited. In the early seventies there were so many people making the trek to our house on Easter, we had to find something for all of these people to do for three days, thus the birth of the Desert Classic. Across the street from where we lived was all desert(Where Tapteal Elementary School is now) at first it was just two holes dug into the sand. You would hit your ball up, then back, person with the lowest score won the pot. In case of a tie, you dropped another dime in the pot, and we went again. This to became to crowded very fast, you may have 10 or more people playing at once. So the next year we had 5 coffee cans, flags made of wood stakes with socks nailed to them, there was always lot’s of sand, sagebrush and cheet grass. The Desert Classic was always held on Saturday, with all who wanted to play paid their quarter and it was a blind draw to see who your partner was. Let the cheating begin. Not everyone who came to our house played golf, but you can imagine driving by our house and seeing 50 to 60 people walking around the desert with golf clubs. The rules from the beginning were very simple. No tees, one club, you couldn’t kill anything living. This came about because some angry golfers were blaming sagebrush for their bad shots, and turned an eight iron into an ax, that’s a no no. Things really took off when my dad had his new garage built,aka, the club house. Now we could golf all day, and drink a few beers and play dice and poker all night. We counted 104 people at our house one year. Family, Friends getting along playing a little desert golf. I can still see the dust flying, balls being lost forever in a sea of weeds, and taste taste your warm sand filled beer in the red Solo cup. We all got older and the Easter golf went away, my folks sold the house, but nothing will ever erase the memory of laughing so hard for three days your sides hurt on Monday. Or remembering family members who have since passed, and how they impacted your live, even if they didn’t know it. I drive by the old house where I grew up sometimes and I can still feel the spirit of Easters past. By the way, the picture is of my aunt Hazel, Love you,Fat Fart.

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