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Comments & Curiosities: Fore! Oh wait, two! Maybe one

January 22, 2011|By Peter Buffa

It was golf, it was fun, and it was different, as in, real different.

Monday's Mesa Verde Charity Golf Classic & Awards Banquet was a benefit tournament for Costa Mesa United, the group that, along with Monday's golf fest, has doled out some $500,000 to youth sports programs around the city and played a critical role in getting Jim Scott Stadium at Estancia High School and the Olympic pool at Costa Mesa High School built.

There were Costa Mesa luminaries at every turn, including, but not limited to, Mayor Gary Monahan, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer, Planning Commissioners Sam Clark, Jim Fitzpatrick and Colin McCarthy, Newport-Mesa Board of Education President Walt Davenport and members Katrina Foley and Judy Franco, former Mayor Mary Hornbuckle, soon-to-be City Manager Tom Hatch and soon-to-be-former City Manager Allan Roeder, who was in danger of a record round, but the danger passed quickly.

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According to event organizer and Costa Mesa Councilman Steve Mensinger, the theme was "An Event at Every Hole," and boy was there ever. If I have played a round of golf with rock bands, skateboarding and martial arts demonstrations, Estancia and Costa Mesa High cheerleaders and athletes wherever you looked, and uniformed members of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines from Camp Pendleton greeting everyone on the 18th tee, I don't remember when that was exactly.

Add to that, the Ursini family's trademark smokin' barbecue and an al fresco martini bar and In-N-Out Burgers courtesy of super-realtor Valerie Torelli, who has more than enough energy to power a small city for 180 days. The post-hacking banquet honored the Segerstrom family, whose support for schools and youth organizations over the years has passed "remarkable," and is about to pull up beside "legendary."

But the bell ringer in my opinion was the camel at the sixth hole — and we're not talking about stuffed — complete with handler and belly dancers. You don't see a lot of belly dancers on golf courses, and even fewer camels. This one was pretty cute, for a camel. It was a young she-camel, and very well behaved.

Camel behavior is an issue with me because of my first encounter with one, which was in the Bronx Zoo, on a third-grade field trip. I was fascinated with my very first close camel encounter and climbed up on the handrail to get a better view.

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