The Adventures of BJ and Tony Morris

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Sea Island, Georgia
June 2006
"The Marys"

We planned to go to our company golf tournament on St. Simon’s Island before we knew there would be a family reunion that weekend.   As we were planning for the tournament, we communicated with our buddy, Tom (aka “Mook”) about bringing his wife Christina to the tournament as he had in years past.
    “No can do,” he responded, “I have a family reunion that weekend.”
    “Okay”, we thought, “we’ll just do the best we can without them.”

We booked our accommodations.  Thursday night, we’d stay at the Best Western Island Inn and then move to the King and Prince for the rest of the weekend and the tournament.

In the weeks before the tournament, as the plans for the family reunion firmed up, Mook decided to invite our group to come by during the family reunion.  Granted, it was not OUR family reunion, but that didn’t matter to us, so of course, we accepted his invitation.  The reunion would include an entire weekend of activities on Sea Island, just a few minutes from where we would be staying for the tournament. 

Tony, Karla (aka “Silent Partner”) and I decided to fly to Jacksonville, while Bobby (aka “Booby”) drove his truck and John (aka “Woo”) rode his motorcycle.  JeRie (aka “Sister Rie”) had to ride down separately too so that she could visit friends and relatives on the way down.  We all met up at the Best Western Island Inn and relaxed by the pool until it was time to meet our new relatives at a cocktail party on Sea Island.  Five of us piled into Sister Rie’s car and Woo trailed behind on his motorcycle.  When we arrived at the reunion site, Mook’s sister’s house, our jaws dropped.  Mook’s sister, Mary Helen, had remodeled an old island home to be the most beautiful and elaborate home any of us had ever seen; think Architectural Digest.  It was situated right on the marsh and included a two story screened in porch.  Mook had made some delicious wine for the occasion, so we grabbed a glass and settled down on the porch to watch the sunset.  We visited with Jack (aka “The Man” or Mook’s dad) and Jean (aka Mook’s mom) as well as an assortment of cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. 

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As we were learning the connections between all of our various new relatives, we discovered that there was a number of “Marys”.  Mary Ann and Mary Helen were our favorites.  Mary Ann (aka “Retired Mary”) was celebrating the beginning of her retirement from a long teaching career. 

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It was at this point that we decided that if we were to fit into this family, we might need to change our names to Mary something. 

We were having such a wonderful time that we lost all track of time.  By the time we decided to leave for dinner, all of the restaurants in St. Simon’s had closed.  Even the Burger King had locked their doors 15 minutes before the sign on the door said they closed.  We finally found McDonald’s open and settled for Big Macs-to-go, which we ate by the pool back at the Best Western.  A snoring concert ensued after the six of us had settled down.  Karla said she woke up at one point humming, “The cattle are lowing…” 

Friday morning, Karla, Booby, Woo and I donned our golf attire, packed our bags, waved goodbye to Sister Rie and Tony and headed for the course for our practice round.  It was the most beautiful day I can remember on a golf course.  The temperature was perfect and there was a wonderful breeze.   The course had put a bucket of range balls on our cart.  Since Karla and I didn’t need to practice, we kept the bucket in the basket on our cart.  When we got to a hole where we would be hitting over water, we just teed up a range ball and wailed away.  Most of the time, we made it over, but there was one hole where we each put about 6 range balls in the water before we made it over.  The boys were too proud to use range balls, so they put their expensive balls in the water or the marsh.  Each time one of them hit a ball into the water or marsh, I would offer, “Range ball?” 

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When we finished the round, we met Tony and Sister Rie at our suite at the King and Prince.  We quickly donned our swimsuits and headed for the pool to cool off.  Mook’s parents, Jean and The Man, had a room that opened onto one of the pools and they graciously opened it to us as our hospitality suite.  Much to our delight, they had all manner of cocktails and snacks.   We played in the pool until it was time to get ready for the next family reunion activity.  We had a little trouble operating the shower in one of the bathrooms, but after two calls to the front desk, Booby finally figured it out (“On”), so we were all able to get cleaned up for the party.  I made nametags for each of us to wear to the family reunion.  We were “Mary BJ”, “Mary Tony”, “Mary JeRie”, “Mary John”, “Mary Karla” and “Mary Bobby”. 

Sister Rie drove Jean and The Man to the party.  I drove Sister Rie’s car with Karla and Woo while Tony drove our rental car with Booby.  When we got to the right turn onto Frederica, Woo (a little hard of hearing) piped up from the back seat and said, “Fred Erica, I never really looked at it that way until I heard Karla say it.”  Silent Partner hadn’t said anything, so we got a big laugh.  Frederica was pronounced “Fred Erica” for the rest of the trip. 

Mary Helen, Mary Ann and the rest of the family got a big kick out of their new cousins Mary. 

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Mook had rented a huge grill and was cooking the most wonderful smelling brisket and we enjoyed more of Mook’s homemade wine, and met more new relatives, while we waited for dinner.  When dinner was served, even Tony and I, discriminating BBQ judges, declared the brisket to be award winning! 

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We took the “Tour of Home” to see what amazing things Mary Helen had done with the place.  I think I counted seven bathrooms.  Can that be right, or am I counting some twice?  There were 3 dishwashers and two washer/dryers.  The house even had an elevator and maid’s quarters!  Exhausted from all of the eating and drinking, three of the Marys headed back to the hotel and to bed, but the other three went out to find the golf crowd. 

Saturday morning was the first official day of the golf tournament.  Sister Rie got up and packed our “lunch” for us and sent us out to the course.  Booby had an exceptional day at golf, while the others of us struggled along, wishing we had brought a bucket of range balls. 

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Mook and company were strolling past the golf course, saw us and strolled over just in time to see Karla win a new putter with her “closest to the pin” shot!

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Back at the hotel, it was another afternoon of frolicking in the pool and enjoying Jean and Jack’s hospitality suite. 

Late in the afternoon, we wandered down to the beach to find the rest of our new family enjoying the sunshine and waiting for the traditional family reunion shaving cream fight to begin. 

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I spotted the only infant in the crowd and latched onto it, thinking that I could use the baby as a shield to avoid being slathered with shaving cream. 

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It worked for awhile, but when they finally discovered my plan, it turned out that I was just helpless to defend myself as I tried to protect the baby.  Curious onlookers enjoyed the show.

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After the shaving cream fight, we cleaned ourselves up and went to the golf tournament dinner party.  After a delicious seafood buffet, there was dancing to music provided by a disc jockey. 

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It was not really our kind of music so we opted to go back to the room and watch The Blue Collar Comedy Tour.  Mary Helen and Mary Ann stopped by to get us to go out for a night cap, but we needed our beauty sleep. 

Sunday morning was muggy and buggy for those of us on the golf course.  It really affected our game. 

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Tony and Sister Rie headed over to Mary Helen’s for brunch. 

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Tony snuck up to the swinging bed to read his book while he waited for us.  We finished the round and headed for Mary Helen’s.  We got there just in time to change clothes, say our goodbyes and head for the airport.  We had to sweat the flight home since it was a bit tight, but some seats opened up at the last minute so we made it home. 

Another great trip and a great new family!

BJ and Tony Morris