(Written by Stump)
Back in the mid 70's my wife and I owned a cottage on a small lake north of Shawano Lake. We both enjoyed golf and played on a regular summer basis at the Golden Sands. If memory serves me correctly, a few of the boys had visited the cottage and played golf at the Sands with us. Our long lost Brother Peak, alias "chupa cabra," and I had spent an afternoon of drinking beer while sitting on the deck of the cottage. We talked about a get together on an annual basis with some of our good buddies who we went to high school with. The original thought was just a long weekend of merriment and mayhem but soon the idea of a golf tournament broke through our fermented fog! Even though Bro Peak didn't play golf he did enjoy drinking beer and felt he could be "le caddye extraordinaire" for Bro Rabs?
We racked our brains for a suitable name for the tournament butt (easy Janne and Smurf) nothing sounded appropriate. A few days later, after a hard night of pub-crawling in Green Bay, I came home about 2:00 AM, I had turned on the television for a little late night viewing and gone into the bathroom for a quick shower. (You have to remember, this was in the era of the birth of the infomercial) When I came out of the shower I heard this lilting voice singing and yodeling! I was transfixed, stunned, captivated, invigorated and totally blown away by this crooning cowboy!
During the infomercial the announcer was giving his spiel on Slim Whitman, sold more albums than the Beatles and this album was "Slim, All My Best." There were a few other albums they were selling late night at that time, Box Car Willie and Zamm Fir (Fear) who was reported to be the "master" of the pan flute. That wasn't the only flute old Zammy was the master of! The next day I called Bro Peak to tell him our search was over, we had found the name for the golf tournament. I had ordered a few of the albums for the first tournament for our listening pleasure! I won't mention what travesty Bro Peak reaped upon the albums when we had the first tournament! Phone calls were made, the date was set, the boys came up to our cottage and spread out their sleeping bags and some people call it the "Birth of the Slim!" The Slim has been played at the Golden Sands almost exclusively for the last 30 years.
A few years were played at other courses but the Golden Sands is the true home of the Slim Whitman Golf Tournament. The booming megalopolis of Cecil, Wisconsin blossoms every year with the coming of the Slim. Jim and Link have now taken over course ownership from the Wallrich family but mayhem and merriment is still Job # 1 at the Slime. It is always a pleasure for me to drive into Cecil each year and have the good citizens offering up their first-born daughters for sacrifice!
The Cecil Diner and banana chocolate malts are a Slim Tradition going back to the first few years. The Cecil Diner was discovered the same year we were all asked to leave the Go-Cart track and never come back! Go figure! This is my memory of the origins of the Slim but after 30 years, who the hell knows for sure???
There are too many wonderful memories and great stories to start recounting them all in this letter! We have lost some of our original Slim membership but we have never forgotten their contribution to the Slim and more importantly the love of friendship we all shared. What is more important is the future. On June 12, 2008, the 30th Anniversary Slim Whitman Invitational Golf Tournament will be held! A freaking milestone and testimonial to the fact that alcohol is your brother, embrace him! A Slim Victory is 100 proof positive that the key to winning the Slim is based in a bottle! Practice all you want, buy the highest tech balls or thousand dollar sticks but when it comes down to it, the jug will get you the "green jacket!" I wish I could recount all of the great things that have happened at the all of the previous Slimes but I can't, I don't remember a damn thing!
This coming year is very important for many reasons. The year 2011 brings the 33rd anniversary tournament and I hope that everyone reading this history will attend. Most of the founding members of the tournament are now in their 60's, who would have thunk it was possible for us to reach the 60's after we went through the 60's! As the "Flounder" of the tournament I am declaring that entire week, Slim Whitman Tournament Week! I would hope that each and every one of you will make an effort to try and find the time to spend an extra day or two prior to the tournament playing golf and practice swilling with me and Brother Smurf at the Golden Sands. I realize that most of you have job and family commitments and taking off for the tournament is difficult in itself. I just ask that you make an effort and if it is possible, try to spend an extra day of merriment, brotherhood and camaraderie.
God save the Brothers of the Slim who are the best of the best!