The “Dirty Gig” — the disaster recovery job that pays a portion of the travel bills for this blog — has once again taken PingWi-Fi to Florida. There wasn’t a blog from the other recent visit, but just a few months back we were doing our thing at Kennedy Space Center … adventures ranging from an insider’s view of a space lab designed to grow potatoes in space to an actual rocket launch. But … we were pretty tight lipped about the space center, for obvious reasons.
This time the Dirty Gig took us to Miami … to The Doral Golf Resort & Spa just outside Miami.
Hmmm … do I have any Doral stories? File this under a blog about nothing … because, yes I do.
First, some background. You see, I take great pride in the fact, that although I am now insanely allergic to cigarette funk as my buddies will tell you, I learned to print my name as a child by looking at my dad’s cigarette pack back in the day – K E N T.
As David Alan Coe wrote, “If that ain’t country, I’ll kiss your …”
Being a wiseacre even back then as a kid, I was also fond of quoting that cancer sticks’ ad slogan, “Happiness is sharing your Kents.” Ha … I remember making my first custom t-shirt — a white undershirt on which I had hand printed that slogan with a Magic Market. (The t-shirt designs I craft these days are every bit as intricate …)
Ha! It get’s worse … sometime around my ninth birthday, a new cigarette was introduced and its name was pronounced very similar to my first name … a name I have never used and frankly don’t even know why my parents bothered to put it on the birth certificate … nevertheless, no matter how much I disliked the name, it was fun to say that I was named after not one, but two cigarettes. “My name is Doral Kent” (actually Darrell … yes, close but no cigar).
On the topic of Doral/Darrell — recently I lost a good friend who was probably the only person who ever called me Darrell without making me mad. Tongue-in-cheek, because he knew I hated it, he would call me The Darrell when he joked about me being such a goofball. He made fun of everyone and everything, and so when he called me Darrell with that bizarre sense of humor, even I thought it worked.
So as much as I abhor the name Darrell … I did enjoy a good smoke pun or two in my day.
As a kid, I also thought that the golf tournament was named after the cigarette brand … I mean, if they named my butt after a cigarette, why not a golf tournament? The Doral Open, which dates back to 1962, was a PGA Tour event played at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa until 2006. The Doral tournament was snuffed out with the introduction of The FedEx Cup and the World Golf Championship, fyi. (And the WGC is now played on The Blue Monster course at Doral …)
Actually Doral cigarettes were introduced later, in 1969, or so the Internet tells me. Thank goodness I never knew their old slogan nor did I ever print, “Taste me” on a t-shirt, or anywhere else for that matter … If you Google, I think you will find that the other ponytailed guy, George Carlin had his way with that old slogan in a famous comedy routine. Enough said.
Now I am pondering if Doral smokes are to the East Coast what Newport smokes are to the West Coast. Deep thoughts …
I digress …
So, the Dirty Gig landed near Miami at one of the most storied courses in golf … And we were there at perhaps the most interesting time in its history … a time of transition … huge changes afoot. You see the property was recently purchased by The Donald.
No doubt the staff from the groundskeepers to the club pro were just waiting to see who would hear that famous Donaldism, “Yur Fi-yed!” Sidenote: One person in the entire organization commented on my long hair. That was the outgoing head of operations who complimented me on the do … LOL … the guy who I most expected to be tre conservative — impeccably dressed in his perfectly pressed golf slacks, brilliant golf shirts with perfect hair and a golden tan told me “too keep growing it … never grow up.” Yes! Instant BFF.
Although I never played a round of golf, I now know the property inside and out … including the password protected Doral Wi-Fi network, as well as the wide open hotspot at the coffee shop — Java Zone and The Blue Monster Gift Shop from which a few lucky followers scored souvenirs. Nice!
Anywho … I gotta wonder what name changes and branding might be in store for The Doral as The Donald takes over. The new regime took control of the property on June 10, and we witnessed some of the changes … including some Trump sightings.
But it remains to be seen what the redo will entail, although Trump sources told me not to expect a chance to review the new and improved property for another 18 months. I can wait …
By the way, the news release from the Trump team states the property was acquired for $150 million — which I think is a steal for the real estate alone … not to mention the storied brand and the rich history of the golf course.
Hopefully, The Darrell will return to The Doral, The Donald willing.
Know what I saying?