On Sunday, our golf course had its grand opening and the feature event was a “skins game” between the teams of former KU basketball coach Roy Williams and Randy Towner and current KU coach Bill Self and Notah Begay, the course designer. I wanted to go and I didn’t. In a way, I was still mad KU didn't get into the final four this year and Roy left town on the red eye out of Lawrence eight years back, but I decided to forget the past mostly because my grandson wanted me to watch him dance with the Royal Valley Singers and Dancers.
With those intentions in mind, I went to watch and right off I was verbally assualted by a couple of tribal members. They didn’t ask how I was or to go to hell but they asked why I was there. I guess they must perceive themselves as the new Potawatomi elites. I always went to our functions here on the reservation and never had to explain why I was there, but it is stupid stuff I have to deal with at times. With not much choice, I shook those words off and concentrated on better things like watching my grandson dance and listen to the speeches. And I visited with other tribal members who weren’t like those two and started to enjoy the day again.
At first I was only going to watch them tee off on the first tee and go home and do some yard-work, but my grandson wanted to watch the match so I decided to do the walk. I did my best Forrest Gump imitation standing there watching them t-off and Channel 27 had a shot of Roy Williams teeing-off, the camera panned the crowd and that folks is how I got on the evening news and where else but on an Indian reservation could that have happened?
I normally get a cart when I get on the course and kinda wondered if I could walk the nine since it is about three miles or so, but I did. I enjoyed watching Self and Williams along with Notah Begay and Randy Towner. Let me tell you, they are excellent golfers. I'm glad I went. My grandson Pat ko shuk and some other kids got a free shirt from Notah Begay. The shirts were provided by his sponsor. The kids were also interviewed by some television station but I haven’t seen the clip yet. The kids, of course, didn’t know which station it was.
Now remember now I said I forgot the past, so I shook hands with Roy Williams as he walked by and he said “I saw you on tv in my room at the casino.’ They have a short piece about the tribe on the television there and in that film clip I talked a little about the history of our tribe. I thought damn he picked me out of this crowd. That exchange told me he was a people person who can remember names, faces and events and bring them up in a later conversation, which also indicates to me he has a top-of-the line personality. He’s probably an asset to North Carolina in fund-raising too because of this trait.
Plus after the match he took pictures with my grandson and his friends. So did Bill Self. That is great public relations and for the people who watched this event will have some memories to last for a little while.