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Margaret Trudeau, former wife of then-Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, once commented, “Bad decisions make good stories.”

That was the case around The Star in mid-May when an unexpectedly difficult decision led to what would best be called a total backfire.

I had no sooner entered corporate headquarters one morning when an intern advised me that I had a major scheduling conflict. The young lady who keeps track of my sports coverages, meetings and speaking engagements, not to mention if I’m in The Chief’s doghouse, pointed out the discrepancy.

“Wild Bill, you coordinated a meeting and introduction for the Scott Robertson Memorial and indicated you would be on hand for their tournament. Did you realize that same weekend is the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, SC and you have PGA credentials to cover that as well? Guess that means you have to decide which one gets the nod.”

Let’s face it, the trip to Kiawah seemed to be the no-brainer; beach venue, surf and turf for dinner, bikinis around the pool of an upscale condo for three days and nights. And, unlike The Chief’s recent mishap in Fort Meyers, Florida, there’s certainly not any shady motels on Kiawah Island to worry about. But, before packing my board shorts, suntan lotion and St. Remy VSOP brandy, a visit to accounting threw a monkey wrench into the plans. My travel planner, Heidi, pointed out the expenses I would be charging to The Star for the Kiawah journey; gas allowance to get there and back, $200; nightly meals with surf and turf plus escargot, $400; three nights condo, $1,800 (and that was on the low end), gifts and souvenirs for the staff hidden as miscellaneous expenses, $489.50.(the $480 was for swimwear and attire for the staff, the $9.50 was for a pair of hermit crabs for The Chief’s terrarium). On the other hand, I could hold down things to about $10 using Burger King coupons if I covered the Robertson in Roanoke. So, I asked Heidi what she thought The Chief’s reaction would be if I chose Kiawah.

“Wild Bill, do you remember the time last year when the pressure valve malfunctioned on The Chief’s executive bathroom bidet after he sat down? About like that.”

Taking Heidi’s observation at heart, I covered the Scott Robertson and had a great time. The tournament is first-class and the junior players were spectacular. Fast forward to mid-June and one morning I asked if anyone had heard from The Chief.

“We weren’t going to mention it, Wild Bill, but he’s staying in a private, exclusive cottage at Pawleys Island, SC. Yesterday he went deep sea fishing in the Gulf Stream for King Mackerel.”

No problem from the sports department. The Chief deserved a relaxing vacation. Plus, he might bring us back a hammock. But, to think I could have been right there on the beach myself, a seaside brandy in hand. Maggie Trudeau had it right, bad decisions do make for good stories.

Now, on to local sports where we check in on recent awards, take a look at Red Sox baseball, get the latest on an upcoming sports club meeting and peek in the mail bag where one reader wants a psychic Ouija reading for the second half of 2021. Let’s get to work.

Congratulations to Patrick Henry’s Megan McGinnis for being named the overall female winner of the 2021 B’nai B’rith Athletic Achievement Award. A sports standout for the PH girl’s track and field team, and the Patriot girl’s lacrosse team, McGinnis took the annual award that is centered around recognizing senior student athletes, based on judging in three criteria, athletics (50%), scholarship (25%), and personal life (25%). The award began in 1951 by the Israel Friedlander Lodge of Roanoke. B’nai B’rith, Hebrew for Sons of the Covenant, is the oldest existing national Jewish organization in the United States, founded in 1843 in New York City’s East Broadway neighborhood. Yes, you always learn something when you read this column.

Our first installment of spring sports All-Star recognitions goes to the North Cross Raiders VISAA All-State Division II baseball picks:

All-State First Team: Davis Yeaman.
All-State Second Team; Tanner McCoy.

Additionally, congratulations to the North Cross boy’s lacrosse team and Glenvar girl’s outdoor track team for already winning state championships.

Additional selections from the VHSL will appear next month as state championships are still being played.

Baseball continues at Haley Toyota Field where the Salem Red Sox have a six-game set against the Lynchburg Hillcats June 22-27, followed by back-to-back six game sets against Fayetteville July 13-18 and Fredericksburg July 20-25. Great action and special promotions throughout the season make Salem the place for a family evening of fun.

The Roanoke Valley Sports Club hosts one of its most popular nights of the year July 19 when five area high schools are represented for the annual high school football kickoff night. Coaches from William Fleming, Roanoke Catholic, Lord Botetourt, Cave Spring and Salem talk about the upcoming season as Friday night lights return to normal. The event begins at 5:45 at the Salem Civic Center with a social, followed by dinner and the program. Visit the club’s website at to make your reservation.

Next, to the mail bag where one reader wants a Ouija Board prediction for post-pandemic activities:

Dear Wild Bill: I’m disappointed in you ending your high school football predictions a few years ago after their amazing accuracy. How about making a prediction in other auras for the last half of 2021 that would be helpful? (Rita, Psychic Astrological Society of Barstow).

Well, Rita, thanks for reaching out from the desert. Hope things are well out there. I will give everyone a heads up. My first reminder of 2021. Christmas is only 6 months away. Get your shopping started, bulbs tested and ready to decorate by late-October and seasonal CDs ready to play. That’s a prediction that can’t go wrong.

Finally, a special Happy Birthday for a beloved celebrity. June 9th was the big day for The Chief. I won’t reveal his age, except to note he’s definitely not a candidate for Oil of Olay. The sports department wishes him the all the best. And, a reminder that raises are on the horizon in July.

Until next time, does anyone know how long mail order hermit crabs will live in the box? Gotta keep The Chief’s present in good shape.

Bill Turner

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