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L E’s Stories – Dateline: August 31, 1984 – Luck At The Olympics Happens When Talent Meets Opportunity

Bone Daddy has always said that All you can do….is all you can do….but all you can do….is enough.”…..and when it comes to this particular story….his saying certainly came true.  Over the many years that I have sat at Bone Daddy’s side, he has taught me well that”LUCK happens when talent meets opportunity”….which is something that 15 years later that I now have unquestioning belief in this statement as a universal truth….for that fact remains that when a HUMAN has a natural and developed (almost mastered) talent that meets an opportunity which needs that particular talent….those folks in those situations where talent meets opportunity….that is when they are able to make their own LUCK….cuz it just doesn’t show up from somewhere out of the blue.  I have seen this universal truth        manifested in BD’s life on many occasions….and I have heard as folks all the time comment on how lucky BD has been in his life.  Therefore, I have come to the understanding of what he means by this truth ….. cuz I have seen BD over and over have opportunities to put his talents to work…..while creating what other HUMANS call his LUCK….causing them to comment on how lucky he has been…..to which I respond that LUCK happens when talent meets opportunity…..and from all of this comes this story about about Day 4 of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games….when BD, Sky Pilot and Prince of Pleasure were in the midst of their “mission from God”.                                                                                                                            

Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – Special Highlights Film – “Images For An Infinity”

Tuesday, July 31, 1984 would require that good fortune would be on the boy’s side in order to stay on pace during their mission to see a live event at every sport in which Olympic medals were competed for    at the Los Angeles Game….and they didn’t have enough days of competition left if they got behind….and the fact remained that they had three events to see on Day 4 of the Games.                                                          

Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – Special Film – “16 Days Of Glory”                                                                                           

Sky Pilot was a master navigator….who learned how to fly as a “tree top pilot”…..which was the phrase for “low level” flying in those days….with an ability to fly by landmarks while flying just above the tops of the tallest trees, towers, power lines, etc….and that experience had taught him how to navigate by the seat of his pants.  Anyway, Sky had picked this particular day to see events in three (3) sports in the L A Olympics….rowing, handball and soccer….with intentions of getting a little ahead of the curve on their overall mission.                                                                                                                                                                

Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – ABC Jim McKay Recap Highlights After Day 10

So, the boys were on point early on this particular morning….getting out from The Magic Castle at 7am….while heading North by Northwest out of Hollywood (didn’t Hitchcock have a movie made in Hollywood by that name?) in the direction of Lake Casitas in Ventura County…..and little did they know how many cosmic forces were about to come together at three venues of the 1984 Olympic Games…..as they departed without a single ticket for any of those 3 events.                                                                                  

Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – ABC Live Coverage Highlights Of The Los Angeles Olympics

 

Lake Casitas was a man-made lake that was designed and engineered to be a major source of drinking water for the greater Los Angeles area.  This reservoir allowed no swimming and minimal motor boats of only a certain size and horsepower to ever be on the lake….for the obvious reason….Duh Dog!!!….cuz it’s for drinking…..however, it afforded a perfect site for the Olympic rowing competition….while today’s events were the women’s qualifying heats for the single and double sculls….along with the coxed fours and eights…..with running times from 8am to 11 am.  For this particular competition…. the USOC had constructed 4,800 bleachers seats divided into three sections along the mile long course.                                   

Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – Women’s Rowing – Fours With Coxswain

Bone Daddy remembers Lake Casitas as being a perfect natural rowing arena….with the Sierra Madre mountains as a backdrop….and the morning sun being soft in a sky a brilliant blue.  Since BD had seen various rowing competitions on Town Lake throughout his years living in Austin, Texas…..but the rowing competition at the Olympics seemed to bring an additional flair to the sport….as the fans were more involved and vocal that day at Lake Casitas than BD had ever heard on Town Lake back home.                              

Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – Women’s Rowing – Single Sculls

Rowing is truly a sport that requires strength, endurance and precision in oar unison….in a way that was unlike any other sport our original Sportsphile had ever seen.  On this particular morning at Lake Casitas….rowing provided a tranquil environment to the start of a very long day, as BD comments on how rowing is enjoyable to watch….but it is about as exciting as watching paint dry….cuz from the vantage points of the bleacher stands from almost any seat except near the finish line….it is very difficult to really see which scull is in front on a close race.  On this particular day, it was very peaceful….as the harmony of the teams along with the cadence of the oars entering and passing through the water to their exit points from the water….is a really soothing tranquil sound.  It was a perfect start to this day of Los Tres Amigos in their quest to achieve their mission….as rowing at the L A Games was checked off the list.             

Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – Women’s Rowing – Eights Finals

Sky loaded the boys up at around 11 am with Titan Gymnasium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton as the days next targeted destination….as the boys headed for men handball competition….and a game between Yugoslavia vs. Bulgaria.  As usual for Sky….he had his plan for how to get from Lake Casitas to Titan Gym completely mapped out….like all great navigators….he had BD and Prince on the top steps of Titan Gym at 12:45….a mere 15 minutes before game time….thus having plenty of time to panic….since they didn’t have tickets yet….and that dear folks is when “luck happens when talent meets opportunity”  ….cuz BD had the great well-honed talent of finding ticket scalpers in places that enforced the laws of “NO SCALPING”…..and after instructing where to drive around the venue entrance…..there he was, The Scalper….and lo and behold, there were ONLY three reserved seats together that were available in the whole 4,000 seat gymnasium….and they were right down in front at the mid-court for the action.  OK….so they had to pay $40 per ticket for the mid-court seats, but they were once again in the crowd for another live Olympic event….and handball could be checked off the list.                                                                          

Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – Men’s Team Handball Finals Highlights – West Germany Vs Yugoslavia

The Yugoslavs were ranked as the best in the world at handball coming into the L A Games.  Handball is a game which even to this day is a bit foreign to BD….and it is too difficult for a Chiweenie who knows nothing about the game.  Therefore….I will just say this about the game that the boys saw….Yugoslavia beat the heck out of Bulgaria in winning the first two of three games by 8 and 10 points respectively.  Suffice to say regarding the handball competition….the most memorable aspect of this game and this sport….was that it was indeed another Olympic sport checked off their list.                                                            

Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – Women’s Team Handball Highlights

It was 3:30 pm by the time the boys were loaded back into their car….with their final destination of the day being the Rose Bowl in Pasadena….for a qualifying match between Italy vs USA…..a match that proved to be one awesome conclusion to a great day at the Olympics.  A funny thing happened on the way to world famous Rose Bowl….as Sky was concerned that also world famous Los Angeles traffic would present a problem….cuz the 45 miles to travel on I-210 freeway from the Cal State Fullerton campus to the Rose Bowl was typically “bumper to bumper” at this time of day….which could translate into hours on L A Freeways from 3 pm to 7 pm (also known as “traffic hour”almost any day …but much to their surprise, the freeways were basically wide open….which in itself is a heavenly miracle…..and a mighty good sign that Los Tres Amigos at the Olympics were definitely on the road to their Olympic destiny.

Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – Highlights Men’s Futbol / Soccer Final – France Vs Brazil

Los Tres Amigos had to park a mile and a half away from the stadium in a vacant field with thousands of other cars….as Sky found a spot right in line with the tallest land mark in the area…when some 64,000 fans showed up for the Qualifying Round game between Italy vs. USA at the Rose Bowl on the night of August 31, 1984….when the young USA squad took on the seasoned Italian squad which had a number of players on the brink of stardom Franco Baresi, Daniele Massaro, Aldo Serena and Pietro Vierchowod….while the Americans featured David Brcic, Mike Fox, Chico Borja, Kevin Crow, Rick Davis, Steve Meyers, Erhardt Kapp and Angelo DeBernardo….as the USA played a really good game…..while having their fair share of shots on goal…but none went in….as Italy scored the only goal of the game with 9 minutes left to play….and won by a score of 1 – 0.                                                                                                    

Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – Men’s Soccer Group Qualifying Highlights – Italy Vs. USA

Even though the band of brothers had seen two sports that did not necessarily rank high on their “most favorite” list….just seeing rowing and handball performed by the best athletes and players in these disciplines at the Olympics from all over the world….provided an excitement of a different kind that was unique unto themselves….as this entire mission was proving to be….and any way you cut the pie…. Day 4 at the 1984 Olympics had once again proven that LUCK happens when talent meets opportunity.                           

Olympics – 1984 – L A Gsmes – Men’s Soccer Qualifying Round Highlights – France Vs Brazil

So, it was back to the Magic Castle for some drinks and a great prime rib dinner….and then a dessert that was filled with magic from some of the world’s best magicians before “hitting the sack”….for tomorrow would be another day on the road for the “mission from God”.  At this point of Los Tres Amigos journey of the historic Olympic fan record that the three boys from Texas would set at the Los Angeles Olympics….which is a record that can NEVER BE BROKEN….ONLY TIED…..and Day 4 had been a time that proved that LUCK happens when talent meets opportunity….as this Olympic sojourn was getting up to full speed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Olympics – 1984 – L A Games – Special Highlights – Montage Of Olympic Gold

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