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  • Just before Father's Day I came into free tickets to the US Open. My father likes to golf and I thought it would be a fun event to attend, but I didn't know anything else about it. When I told him I had tickets for some tournament and, did he want to go?, I learned that this was the big kahuna of tournaments (and yes, he wanted to go).

    We went all-in. We bought sort of matching commemorative hats, and wore our own golf clothes. He even brought a special pair of shoes that he keeps in the box so they will remain sparkling white. Still, in the country-club atmosphere it was pretty clear that we were not the norm. We wore jeans in a sea of khakis, and brightly-colored shirts that could handle a day of walking the course, no filmy fabrics best suited for a cart ride. We certainly met the dress code (and honestly I think we had way more fun than all those too-cool, nattily-dressed folks), but in our enthusiasm and attire we stuck out.

    We took advantage. If you're marked as the riff-raff, you might as well own it, right?


    So we poked around where we weren't supposed to be. A crew was busy setting up the ESPN Sportscenter booth. Dad and I paused, looked at each other...yep. Let's do it. We walked around to the back & found a gate left open. Tsk tsk, someone should be more careful! As we walked through it, a man walked out of the structure to have a cigarette. My father called up to him, could we poke our heads in and take a look at the set? No dice. I tried my luck:

    "Please? It's his Father's Day present..."

    A long pause. One more extended "please" and he stubbed out his cigarette and waved us up the staircase. At the top he told us we'd have to be quick and as unobtrusive as possible, and that he'd take our picture at the desk. And he did.

    Score a point for the riff-raff.
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