Thursday, May 26, 2011

WON Veteran Tuna Team…Hillbilly Yacht Club, Goin' Coastal with Kenny Chesney

Tawnya and Clara show off their Costa's at the Concert.

I nearly deleted the Easter Invitation that  tumbled into my inbox before the return email address caught my eye…Fred and Tawnya Stevens.

I had met them several years ago at the Western Outdoor News Tuna Tournament in Cabo San Lucas along with their friends Barbara Morris and Randy Matz.  The four of them showed up the first night in their team shirts which declared that they were all members of the Hillbilly Yacht Club. I assumed that they were simply trying to live up to the tournament's motto fish hard and party harder!  I later learned they had adopted their team name, Hillbilly Yacht Club long before the event.

The invitation was for Yvonne and me to join their Easter party in Coalinga, CA, which they admitted was just three miles beyond the ‘cow smell’… 100 miles north of Bakersfield.  We RSVP'd promptly that we would join them. Unfortunately, a change in a family member's flight reversed our plans, and when I called Tawyna to explain, I could feel her eyes roll back in her head. Our son's mother-in-law, a Buddhist nun, had popped into town unexpectedly, after a six-month retreat in a Convent in Malaysia.  Not your usual run-of-the-mill excuse and hardly believable.  Tawnya's response was cool but polite.

The following week as we packed to depart on a weeklong trip of meetings in Pismo Beach for a Vagabundos del Mar Board Meeting and Lake County for an Outdoor Writers Association of California Conference, Costa Sunglasses called. They were sponsoring Kenny Chesney's 2011 Goin' Coastal Summer Concert Tour and offered us tickets for their Mountain View Concert on Friday night.  Luck was on our side; not only we were free that night, but it was midway between Pismo Beach and Lake County.

I posted on my Facebook the day before the event that Yvonne and I would be attending the Goin' Coastal Concert Mountain View and within a few minutes this post appeared.
Tawnya Adams Stevens: "Gary are you kidding me right now??? Fred and I are in Mountain View right now and we are going coastal with Kenny Chesney and Costa sun glasses! VIP seats! Stayin' at the Hampton inn ....we gotta have a beer."

Tawnya has won a pair of Costa's each year for the past two years at the WON Tuna Tournament and thinks they are the best! She had decided to buy her friend Clara a pair for her birthday. When she went to the website she discovered that Kenny Chesney had designed his first line of signature sunglasses with Costa. 

Even better all the proceeds generated from the sale of the Costa Kenny Chesney Limited Edition Sunglasses would benefit the Coastal Conservation Association, a cause shared by both Chesney and Costa. The five designs feature Kenny’s signature with unique hand-drawn artwork etched onto each frame style, illustrating some of his favorite song lyrics and past tours.

Tawnya, Clara and husbands were meeting in Mountain View for the Goin' Costal Concert where Clara could pick out  her surprise birthday present…a pair of Costa's.

The six of us met for a drink before the concert, where with the help of the photo I had posted on Facebook of JenRu, (as proof) our son's mother-in-law, standing between Yvonne and me in her traditional Buddhist nun's robe, we convinced Tawnya and Fred that our excuse was valid.     

That night Kenny Chesney and friends rocked the house and this impromptu bunch of Western Outdoor News Los Cabos Tuna Tournament alumni carried on the last part of the tournament's tradition…and party harder!

And one final thing, Hillbilly Yacht Club has already signed up again for this year's Cabo Tournament in November.