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I've been going through photos of past USWDGC's in Peoria as I've been putting together photos and video for the Women's Nationals - The Peoria Years DVD. Anyway, this was a little anecdote that I remembered from 2005. The picture below of Elaine King is actually from 2007 but it reminded me of this encounter from 2005. Let me start off by saying that Elaine is a true sports professional and I have the utmost respect for her as a disc golfer, a human being and even a Canadian.

I took pictures at all of the Women's Nationals or USWDGC every year that it was in Peoria. I happened into that "job" quite by accident. I say "job" because I was never paid...it's more like a hobby. Rick was looking for someone to take pictures for Disc Golf World News (this was before they dropped the "News" part of the name) and he called Jim Klem who was President of our local disc golf club, Discontinuum, and asked Jim if he could take pictures down in Peoria. Jim said that he could not but put me in touch with him.

At the 2005 USWDGC I wound up wearing an orange polo on the last day, Sunday. I looked like the great pumpkin! However there was a reason for it. I had dressed for comfort and did not bring any polos. Old Man had said he would have a staff shirt for me to wear because there might be media there on Sunday. I figured I'd wear my staff shirt if there was any local media on Sunday. Old Man asked me what size to order for me and I said 4X. When I got there they gave me a 2X. So, on Saturday Old Man asked us all to wear our staff polos on Sunday for the local media. Since my belly button would show if I wore my staff shirt (NOT a good look for me!), went shopping for a polo. I should point out at this point that I am well aware that I don't even have a belly button...I have a belly CANYON! My wife has pointed out several times that it is very scary looking...she always imagines that just about anything could come flying out of it at any time...perhaps a misplaced cell phone, bag of Doritos or a small woodland creature. So, I went to Walmart and bought a 4x polo. Problem was that Walmart had only 1 short sleeve polo in 4x in stock (it was late September and they were blowing out all the short sleeve stuff), and, of course, it was orange (although I only paid $4.95...thank God for Chinese sweat shops!).

No one says anything to me about it all day until the second to last hole in regulation play. The top pro women's group was on a backup hole and I was taking candid pictures of the women talking and waiting and hanging out. Then Elaine comes up to me and says "Jon, do you think maybe you might have thought to wear a different color...maybe a dark green or something in the earth tones?" Even though she was a little bit annoyed with my shirt, she still said it with a small smile on her face and we all had a little chuckle. She did seem sympathetic when I explained that it was the last shirt that I would have worn but I wore it over the option of wearing the midriff bearing polo!

Elaine missed the 2006 USWDGC but in 2007 I saw her walking past me down the fairway and we made eye contact and I tugged at my brown shirt and said "Elaine, how's this color?" I have no idea if she knew what I meant but she smiled and gave me an approving nod. Or it might have been one of those "Just smile and keep on walking past the crazy camera guy!"

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Comment by Jon Brakel on August 27, 2008 at 11:47pm
That's kind of like when an upper player got "stuck" playing with the little girl at Kensington doubles. Of course the little girl was World Champion Kelsey Brakel!
Comment by Bruce Brakel on August 27, 2008 at 10:22pm
In 1992 I got off early from work one day and decided to play a round at Firefighter's before league started. When I got to hole 1 there was a woman at the first tee. She said, "Do you know your way around this course?" I said, "Yeah." She said she played a few holes and then realized she was on the back nine. I offered to show her around if she wanted. So we played the course. Towards the end I mentioned that she was pretty good, better than the best woman players in our league. I asked her if she played tournaments and she said, yeah, she was practicing the course for a tournament and did I know how to get to Riverbends. I suggested she ask Gayle because I knew how but I had not learned the names of the roads. Then she said, "Oh, my husband just pulled in the parking lot. He knows how to get to Riverbends." So I walked over to the pavillion and Gayle says, "Do you know who that was?" And I said, "Some Canadian chick named Elaine. I showed her around the course." "Dude, that was Elaine King. You just played a round with Elaine King." "Yeah, I think she did say her last name was King."

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