A grand time was had by all

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 8, 2000

If you did not get to Cambrian Ridge for the 4th of July festivities, then you certainly missed out on some great family fun, all for free.

Starting out at 10 A.M., I was up there for the "Firecracker Scramble" golf tournament.

The weather could not have been better on the course:

the temperature was bearable ( although it reached the mid ninety degree mark) and the humidity was low, with not a cloud in the sky.

While the registration was going on for the tournament, golf carts were scrambling everywhere, carrying workers and supplies to all of the various concessions.

The most demanding commodity seemed to be the ice, and there were plenty of coolers in supply, chock full of bagged ice.

This was followed

in demand by the "Porta-Potty Lane", for obvious reasons.

The course staff was kind enough to supply me with a golf cart, so

my stepdaughter Fontana and I set out to gather all of the happenings on film and paper, prepared with sunglasses, cool drinks, and bags of sunflower seeds to snack on.

Now I know that to a 13 year old, golf can get pretty boring, but she hung right in there with me.

Those golf carts have the coolest devices installed on them:

GPS (Global Positioning Sensor) systems that link the cart and the course to a satellite, which sends back information to the display screen about your position from the pin, a map and information on the hole being played, and pro tips regarding bunkers, traps and hazards for that particular hole.

I even tried to fool the GPS once, by skipping from the Sherling to the Lob Lolly course, but the display changed to show my new location.

When we were sitting in one place for longer than a few minutes, the display prompted us to "Pick up the pace", too.

Amazing what modern science can do.

We also managed to meet up with musical group Sawyer Brown's Mark Miller, coming off of the green at the Canyon #9.

He commented that the course was "Difficult", and "Not being too kind" to him

There were a total of 51 "Colonial Trailways" buses that brought the crowds in, and my two daughters, Jessica (12-1/2) and Elizabeth (10) rode the "Blue route bus".

After the tournament, I got to speak to Country Music Star Marty Raybon.

Marty and I worked together about a "hundred" years ago, when he was a lumber sorter and I was a maintenance man at Structural Wood Systems.

Marty posed for a few pictures, and met with some fans outside of his bus before being driven away on a golf cart to the stage by Butler County Sheriff Diane Harris, and Reserve Deputy Cindy Wacha (who makes a really attractive deputy, but then, she's also my wife, and will probably kill me for that comment!)

The entertainment was a real hit with the crowd.

The opening act was a local blues band, "Tail Dragger".

Next up, was Marty Raybon and his brother Tim.

But when the stage manager for the group "Sawyer Brown" had the security tape removed from in front of the stage, and invited the audience to come all the way up to the stage, he didn't have to say "Ya'll come" twice.

Sawyer Brown was the real crowd pleaser, and lead singer Mark Miller was in his prime, with what he called his "Crazy Dancin", which drove the crowds wild.

The icing on the cake was the tremendous fireworks display, put on by "Pyrotechnico" from Orlando, Florida.

Pioneer didn't spare any expense with this, and Pyrotechnico claimed that the Fireworks in Greenville were more than the City of Orlando had put on for the same night (I can still hear all of the "oohs and ahhs" from the crowd).

The First Aid Station, manned by nurses from L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital, Greenville Fire-Rescue, and GEMS Ambulance,

was a frequent attraction to many suffering from heat-related illnesses.