The Golf House of Tennessee

The Golf House of Tennessee
Vince Gill and his dad the Judge (Sculpture by Janie Stine LaCroix)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's a small world after all!!

On our way back from Vince and Amy's home, in a van supplied by the hotel, we had time to visit with other guest attending The Vinny.  It is a 30-40 minute drive (depending on who was doing the driving- "the youth of America" or "an oldie but goodie")  One of our fellow riders and his wife was from Charlotte, N.C.  I told them that I had a brother who lived in Gastonia, N.C.   They said that the wife was the golfer in the family.  They were talking about courses that she plays in Charlotte and I asked if she ever played at Gaston Country Club.  She said she was a member there.  I told her that my brother Irv Bonnin belonged to that club and that I had actually played there myself. 
The evening before, during the "event under the tent" when we were being entertained by all the performer on stage, a very nice young couple asked if they could sit at our table.  Of course we said yes and they stayed until it was time to take there little ones home to go to bed for school the next day.  I asked if he had played in the tournament and he said no, he was the manager of the course where the tournament was being held (and where the big tent was set up)  " The Golf Club" in Kingston Sgrings, Tn.  Later that night he came back and had a bottle of wine for each of us, as a thank you, for letting him sit with us.  The bottle had "The Golf Club" logo on it.  That was such a nice thing to do.  I do not drink wine, but I did appreciate his giving it to us.

Well, when trying to decide what to do with my wine, my first thought was to just give it to Janie.  Then when discussing how to get it back home on the plane, I said I would just give it to that nice couple, Jeff Hunt and his wife who we met in the van.  They had said they were driving back to Charlotte.  So, that night I texted him that I had a bottle of wine for them and he said he would pick it up at breakfast the next morning.
Later that night, actually in the wee hours of the morning, while Janie and I played with our Iphones, I had a much better idea for my wine.  I decided to get Jeff and his wife to take my bottle of wine to my brother in Gastonia, and leave it for him at the Gaston Country Club.  Janie had decided to give her bottle to them so they had one to keep.
They were very happy to do that for me and so all I had to do was just wait to hear from Irv and see how it all went down.  He loves riddles and good stories, so this would be a great way to surprise him.  I left a note with his name and phone number and then put that it was from his little sister.
Well, today I got a text from my nephew Paul Bonnin, saying that his dad had gotten his bottle of wine.  He was stumped as to how it got there. 
Just a while ago I got a phone call from Irv.  He said that mysteries sure can mess up a golf game. 
He was getting ready to head out on the course when the golf pro came running out with a bottle of wine and said that his little sister had dropped it off.  He said that the name was right, but there was no way I dropped it off a few days ago, without going to see him at his house, since I lived so far away.  And if I had done such a thing he was going to be really mad at me.
When he got home, he was talking about getting the bottle of wine and Paul was there and started laughing.  He asked Paul if he knew about this and Paul said yes, and told him where I had gone and how I had got it to Gastonia.  He was happy to get the wine, and I was so happy to be able to pull off a great surprise.  So, now I can add this last part of my story to my blog.  I did not want him to read that someone was going to be dropping off some wine for him.  It really is a small world after all.
Irv's remarks about his surprise...
"--It is going to be hot today--so I had first tee
at 8:00   I was about to get  on first  tee box when one of the new Pros came
running out carrying a bottle of wine. He said "your sister dropped this  off
for you"
You know golf is hard enough with out trying to figure out riddles.  No way any
of my sisters came this far and not come to the house. Told him to hang on to
the wine and after wards we would figure out  where it came from.
Must not have bothered me too much  2 birdies   5 pars and a very good
round.Then the  mystery deepens--No one in Pro shop saw any one bring in the 
wine.  Been there for 5 days.
I told them that Carol some how met someone  some where who brought the bottle. 

Now you know       Next I must find these people

Thanks again  Carol  "

Could things get any better??

I will admit that being able to attend this wonderful event made me feel like Cinderella!  How else could a small town girl, get to go to something so fun and exciting and see so many professional golfers and celebrities??   And be so entertained! 

On our last day at The Vinny, I slept in and rested up for the big event that night.  We were to be guest of Vince and Amy at a party held at their home.  Some might say that getting to do that is the icing on the cake.  And it is.  That was the crown on my little small town girl head.  Of course I had gone to the event last year, but still, it was great  just being there and getting to mingle with the stars and tour the beautiful home of Vince and Amy.  This year we got to go inside Vince's music studio and see his collection of guitars.  It was quite remarkable.  I met Nikko Smith while in the studio and told him how I got together with a group of couples every week and watched American Idol.  He seemed to think that was neat. 
                              Nikko Smith and me
                                                                           Vince's studio

You can see the guitar lined up along all the walls

One of the most talked about rooms in the house was the bathroom just across the hall from Vince's studio.  It can be best described as a golf bathroom.  It is filled with pictures and plaques about golf.  Golf pictures signed by some of the greats.  One of my favorites was a famous picture of Ben Hogan hitting a shot down the fairway with a large crowd on both sides of the fairway.   It was funny to see someone's reaction when you walked out of the bathroom after being in there for so very long.  It takes a while to read all the walls.  lol

There was a huge tent set up in their back yard and that is where the meal was being served.  The food was from Carrabba's.  It was delicious.  We sat a large round tables that would hold at least ten people.  We invited Steve Bartkowski and his wife to join us since they were walking around looking for a place to sit.  So we waved him over and he and his wife were a lot of fun.  He was such a nice person, kept getting us drinks and desserts and we got to talk to him and his wife for a good while.
Most of the night was spent just "star" gazing!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

More music from The Vinny, Sunday night under the tent

Jonathan Cain, keyboard player with Journey, played while his daughter Madison sang for us and then he played for Nikko Smith, Ozzie Smith's son, who was a made it into the top 10 on American Idol's fourth year.

                                                          Madison Cain
                                     Madison Cain with her dad Jonathan Cain
At the beginnin of the video Gary Mule Deer stands up and leaves the table.  His hair is crazy!!

                                                  Jonathan Cain and Vince Gill
         Nikko Smith singing with Jonathan Cain on Keyboard and Vince on Guitar.

                                               Rudy Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers
                                                Rudy Gatlin singing "Houston"

                                                        T Graham Brown
                                     T Graham Brown singing "Dock of the Bay"
                                                            Steve Cropper
                                       Steve Cropper singing "Midnight Hour"

                                                           Matt Gary
                                              Matt Gary "It's a Beautiful Life"
                                                              Diamond Rio
                                      Marty Roe singing "Meet in the Middle"

                                                           Dan Tyminski         
                                          Dan Tyminski "Oh Brother"
                                                             Lisa Hentrich
                         Lisa Hentrich, wife of Pro football player Craig Hentrich
           Brooke Pernice, daughter of pro golfer Tom Pernice.  Brooke is blind
                                      and she writes and sings her own music.        
                                     Brooke Pernice, "Love the Life I'm Living"
                                   Brooke Pernice, song about Waylon Jennings
                     Mckenzie Wazner, daughter of Vince's keyboard player Pete Wazner
McKenzie singing "Memory Go Round"

Vince Gill
                                            Vince Gill singing "Red Words
                                         Vince Gill, "Red Words" part two.                             

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday at the tent as the golfers came in for awards

                                    This is the biggest tent I have ever been in.

                                    Every event had a great bar set up and wonderful
                                    food by Outback
                                       Ozzie Smith (Cardinals/Padres baseball) and me.
                                       He is player who did the backflips in the outfield
                                    Rudy Gatlin (Gatlin Brothers) Me, Gary Mule Deer
                                    and Dan Tyminski (songwriter, "Oh Brother")
                                    Matt Gary, up and coming new singer.  We
                                    really enjoyed his music. (his music is on youtube)
                                    T-Bubba Bectel, comic and a really great
                                     Me and Steve Bartkowski (Atlanta Falcons)
                                    The Vinny trophy with the names of all the
                                    pro golfer winners and Vince's guitar with all the signatures
                                    of these past winners.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday afternoon and entertainment that night

                                    Tent for Sunday night dinner by Outback and
                                    entertainment by Vince and Amy and a whole bunch
                                    of other celebrities to be amed later
                                          Entrance to the tent

                                           The Vinny's Payne Stewart Trophy
                                                  by Janie Stine LaCroix

On Sunday afternoon we took one of the hotel cars out to "The Golf Club" in Kingston Springs, about forty minutes away from Franklin.  It is very beautiful countryside with very curvy and hilly roads.  It looked like someone just carved a long winding road out of nowhere and then built a beautiful course.  The tent for the event was the biggest I have ever been in.  It was decorated so beautifully and the theme was "Mad for Plaid".

We found a table as close to the stage as we could get and settled in to watch as the golfers made it in from their first round.  Jack Nichlaus played with the junior golfers that day, and when they came in he signed autographs and took pictures with them.  He didn't sign for anyone else.  I was lucky I got the picture I got.  I just scooted in through the crowd of photographers and stayed low and got the shot. (Short people got some reason :)

                Jack Nacklaus with a Jr golfer

Outback restaurant was set up at one end of the tent and served steaks, bread, green beans and salad.  There was also a bar set up.  Cheesecake was served for dessert.  It was all so delicious.
After everyone was finished being served, Vince got up on the stage and started the entertainment for the evening.  His first song was "One More Last Chance".

                               Vince Gill
 Vince is a great guy and talks so sweet about Amy. He talked a little about the death of Amy's mom on April 30th, and how she brought her mom to their house when her time grew short.  He wrote this next song about Amy.

Comic Gary Mule Deer performed a really funny routine and then sang one of Johnny Cash's songs and featured Vince Gill on the guitar.

Con Hunley
Con Hunley sang "Georgia On My Mind".  He sings that song better than anyone I have ever heard before.   Well hear for yourself...

Mac Davis sang "Lord It's Hard To Be Humble" and "In the Ghetto"

Mac Davis

                                           T-Bubba - Comic

Amy Grant closed the show that night.  She talked about her mom and one of her last request to her was that she never stop singing.

                               Amy Grant
Amy closed the show singing El Shaddai featuring Vince on his guitar.  Awesome!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friday Night music with Vince Gill and the Time Jumpers

Vince is just right of the center of the stage
sitting and right in the middle of the spotlight.

Saturday night's Paring Party

The night started off at the hotel with a silent auction and wine tasting.  After that, we were in the banquet room for the dinner and announcement of the golf teams.  The theme of the party was "Bring on the Bling".
Everyone was shimmering and shinny.  We had our dinner then Vince Gill was introduced and he welcomed everyone and thanked his volunteers. 
Vince is playing with a new band called "The Time Jumpers"  and they play really old time country music.
The highlight of the night for me and also for Vince was the arrival of Jack Nicklaus.  He brought one of his clubs to be auctioned off durng the live auction. 
The band played some really beautiful songs that made me want to get up and dance.  The band is full of some veteran musicians and all were showcaed.  Vince did some songs that he wrote.  It was all great.
                                         Me, Janie Lacroix and Rosie Shetler
                                              Wine bottle with The Vinny logo
                            Janie, Daryle Lamonica and his wife Mary Jean and Me
                                          Scott Hamilton and his wife
Vince and his band
Vince and Amy going into ball room at the Paring Party

                                This picture was from the party on Saturday night.
                                     Me, commedian T-Bubba,Rosie and Janie