In today’s world of cynicism and political correctness it’s hard to believe random acts of kindness really do exist! You see, I always have heard stories of this happening to other people but I never thought it would happen to me. Well, thanks to Paula Creamer and the USGA for restoring my optimism that people really care and really do perform random acts of kindness.
My story begins about 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 8, 2012. I woke up with anticipation that I would be attending the U.S. Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, WI. (Note: see the word “I” in the sentence) I had asked my daughter, Elizabeth, on Saturday evening if she would be interested in joining me at the championship and she really didn’t think it would be any fun….thanks to her mom and some coaxing it was a day she will never forget!
As we headed to Kohler for the championship, a 5-minute drive from our house, she and I were talking and I asked her is there was anyone she would like to see in particular. I was not surprised to hear her say she wanted to see Paula Creamer. I am positive that it had nothing to do with her golf game; sorry Paula, but my 8-year-old only knew that you always wear pink, which happens to be her favorite color.
Once we arrived at Blackwolf Run, the first thing we needed to do was see what time Paula was going to tee off because that would tell us when we might be able to catch a glimpse of her on the putting green or the driving range before we moved on to some other player. As luck would have it we wandered over to the putting green and within 5 or 10 minutes of waiting, her caddie arrived with Paula’s bag so I told Elizabeth, ‘hang tight it won’t be long.’ A few moments later I spotted Paula coming out of the clubhouse and told E that she was coming. Her comment was, “wow, she’s pretty and I love her pink shirt and bow in her hair.” We watched her eat her banana and roll a few putts. Since the attention span of most 8-year-olds is pretty short, unless it involves the Disney Channel, E was ready to move on and go find a treat. We spent some time on the first tee and then moved over to the 9th green to watch a few players make the turn. I told Elizabeth I wanted to head back to the first tee so I could see the leaders tee off and then we could talk about heading home and watch the finale on TV. She agreed and off we went.
Fortunately, we arrived at the first hole and there was some space on the rope line so I told E she should sit at my feet to be more comfortable. We arrived at the rope around 11 a.m. and only had a few groups to go until the last tee time.
Now that I have set the scene a bit, the real story now begins. The crowd really started to get heavy on the first hole and E and I had a great position right on the rope line, as the 11:20 tee time leaves the tee for the fairway, the players for the 11:30 tee time arrive and it happened to be Paula Creamer’s group. As she was heading down the hill, I happened to notice she was carrying a small handbag to the tee. I was thinking to myself, ‘where in the world is she going to put that, she’s about to tee off,’ and from the comments around me, I wasn’t the only one thinking that. When she arrived on the tee, she headed over to her caddie, grabbed a Sharpie and walked directly over to my daughter Elizabeth. Asked her what her name was and signed her range ball bag , “To Elizabeth, Love, Paula Creamer”! For that split second, Elizabeth was the most popular person at Blackwolf Run.
Thanks to Paula Creamer, acts of kindness really do happen and yesterday it happened to my family. Not only was it extremely thoughtful and very kind of Paula to take time out of her day to sign her bag for Elizabeth but she also inspired and motivated a young girl to dream a little bigger and to boosted her self-esteem. Paula, I cannot thank you enough. Elizabeth couldn’t stop smiling and neither could I! Thank you, thank you, thank you!