By Bob Spiwak

It was nice to see Lisa Picklesimer back at the counter of the Mazama Store this week. She has been working overtime on her wonderful chocolate creation business non-stop since November.

Three years ago at the store, a gingerbread house was made for the Christmas decorations. It was a model of the Flagg Mountain hut that was the center of controversy among some of the locals. Midge Cross and Scott Johnston got the model and have had it in their house. Now that the building has been moved out of sight, there will be a celebration of its removal at the Mazama Community Club on Saturday (Feb. 13) at 5 p.m., and all are invited. There is a possibility that the iconic baked hut will be burned.

The rest of this is devoted to remembering Bob Elliott, who died last week.  Pre-millennial generation folks may remember the comedy team of Bob and Ray, on the radio, TV and recordings. They gently lampooned radio and TV offerings with a variety of characters, all identified by only the voices of the duo. I saw them first in a daily 15-minute television broadcast in the late 1950s. They had characters like “Tippi, the wonder dog,” “Pop Beloved, backstage doorman,” “Matt Neffer, boy spot-welder,” and a host of others including Wally Ballou, “The voice of radio news.” Wally was similar in character to Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther fame.

Among Wally’s radio coverages was a golf tournament, “The Flubbers’ Open” someplace in New Jersey.

In the late 1980s, here in West Boesel on our five acres, we built a “pitch and putt” golf course. I had researched a fat book for courses around the world whose names began with “Whispering.” Thus was born “Whispering Rattlesnakes Golf and Flubbers’ Club.” Bob Cram devised a logo and our first tournament drew 40-some participants. It was a fun event.

Being a writer, I was concerned about using the word “Flubbers,” which I had lifted from Wally Ballou. Thus I sent a letter to Bob Elliott (Ray died in 1990) for permission to use that name. Concurrently, we had created parchment certificates made for honorary members of the club. First on the list was Charles Kuralt, originator of “Sunday Morning” and “On the Road With” on TV. Second was Bob Elliott.

We located contact addresses and sent the certificates to about five honorary members. Kuralt never responded but I got a nice letter from Bob Elliott, one of proud thanks and appreciation “… for making me number two.” He went on to state that he was so moved with the honorary certificate he was going to have it framed and be a part of the Bob and Ray traveling exhibition train, which would traverse the United States making stops to have citizens across the country have a look at the teams’ accomplishments.

Of course it was all a joke and typical of the man. Many friends read it and there were a lot of laughs. (And now I cannot find it. Damn!)

We gave up our Flubbers’ Club tournaments, which were all benefits for Montessori, the library, or the Susan Komen Breast Cancer organization.  We gave it up because the maintenance was too much for one person, especially a lazy one like me.

The big wooden entry sign with the name and logo of a rattlesnake next to a golf ball and inscription, “Don’t Putt On Me” is still here, and every time I pass it I think of Bob Elliott. And it brings a smile.

PREVIOUSLY, IN MAZAMA