They called it the "Bob Hope-Howard House Golf Tournament," but it was Hope-less. Organizers of Monday's charity tourney at the Mesa Verde Country Club in Costa Mesa were certain the big guy would show. Instead, he sent his wife, Dolores. "He came down with a flu or a stomach ailment and he had a sty on his eye and he was just back from Vegas so he was real tired," explained Gloria Osbrink, who heads the local support group for the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles--the fund-raiser's beneficiary. Osbrink said she found out that Hope wasn't coming to the tournament shortly after golfers teed off Monday. "His agent called the club," she said.
Tee for $250
Thirty-one foursomes ponied up $1,000 each and a hundred others paid $50-per for a post-links filet mignon dinner in the clubhouse. Tourney organizer Osbrink, who co-founded the fund-raising group with Athalie Clarke three years ago, estimated net proceeds of about $70,000. Renown ear surgeon Dr. Howard House parked his clubs on the fourth tee and whacked one up the fairway with each group.
The 19th Hole
Buzzing in from the links at cocktail hour, the golfers left the sunshine and tree-spiked vistas for silent auction bidding in a lounge with a full-service bar a chip shot away. How did it go out there? "We were great," said John Parry, who played the "best ball" scramble round with Matt Schafnitz and Gary Boudreau. "I might as well start lying about it now. " Duke Cooper hunkered down at a window seat with his golf mates Chet Houston, Bill Dawson and Joe Van Der Meulen. "It's a nice, sporty course," Cooper said. "We tried to be sporty, too," Dawson added. Harry Boand and his wife, Jaynne, carded 74 with their Big Canyon neighbors Betty Jane and Dick Smith. Karen and Frank Amelio of San Diego kicked out the jams with partners Damian Seiler and Dan Chambers--a lean 60 on a par-71 course. "We went nuts," Seiler said. But that wasn't the only thrill of the day for the Amelios. "My husband had surgery (at the House Ear Institute) in '84, six months before we got married," Karen said. "I met Dr. House today and thanked him for my husband's life."
Famously nipped and tucked comedian Phyllis Diller--a former patient of the good doctor House--stirred the rubberneckers and shoulder-shovers in the crowd into action when she arrived for cocktails. She wore green knickers and a huge diamond "P" dangling on her neck, and she popped her eyes wide for every camera turned her way. For celeb-hunters, there were also singer/dancer Nanette Fabray, TV actor Claude Akins and a man introduced at dinner as "Don Porter--remember Gidget's father? Remember Sally Field's father?"
Faces, Part 2
JoAnne Stewart and Ron Osbrink co-chaired the event. Committee members included John Lusk, Sue Jarvie, Mary Lou Hornsby, Mary Ann Wells, Kay and John Turner, Tina Schafnitz, Anthony Montapert, Athena and Peter Pitchess, Woody Smith, Margaret Anderson, Anne and Bob Badham, Kim Cardenas, Patty and Harry Brown, Sandy and Gerry Brodie, Bill Rouey, Bill Russell and Barbara Glabman.
Called up to address the group during dinner, Dr. House took the microphone and said, "Can you hear me all right? I guess that's the first question I always ask."