I’ve always wanted to go The Masters at Augusta National. It’s on my golfing bucket list, up there with hitting a hole-in-one and sucking at golf in all 50 states.
Of the three, sucking at golf in all 50 states is the one I’m most likely to accomplish. In fact, I’m already off to a good start.
Amen Corner is comprised of the 11th, 12th and 13th holes on the hallowed grounds of the historic golf course. This info isn’t exactly relevant to this column, but if you didn’t know, now you do.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to catch the final pairings on the final day of the tournament as they negotiate Amen Corner en route to the donning of the green jacket. Maybe.
I had my own Amen Corner last weekend in Augusta. I was the entertainment at the 100th annual Georgia State Kiwanis Convention. It was a pretty big deal, but how I got there is pretty cool, too.
Way back in 2014, a lady named Debbie reached out to me about providing entertainment at a fundraising gala for her company, which is an auditory and verbal center. In fact, I think it’s called Auditory-Verbal Center.
For whatever reason, the show way back then never came to fruition. I don’t what happened, but it really doesn’t matter. In January, while scrolling through old emails, I came across one from Debbie. It’d been almost five years since we corresponded, but I sent her an email anyway, and just a few hours later, I heard back from her.
“I am so glad you reached out to me. Perfect timing. I am the current Governor for the Georgia District of Kiwanis and I am looking for someone to do a program for the Georgia District Convention on Aug. 17th in Augusta, Ga. I am also looking at doing a comedy night fundraiser for the Auditory-Verbal Center, which is the center that I work for.”
I didn’t even know she was in Kiwanis, which, in a nutshell, is an organization of volunteers that serves the children of the world one community at a time.
I’ve done several shows for Kiwanians over the years, but all of them were for local clubs. This was for the state, with representatives from clubs all over the state.
Before I went up, I went and stood by the door, dare I say, in the corner. I said a quick prayer, and just as I said, “Amen,” she called me up. I talked for almost an hour.
It went very well. Debbie sent me a text the next day.
“You were amazing! Thank you so very much for what you did for my event last night. I can’t wait to have you back in Atlanta for our center’s fundraising gala. People were still talking about you today at brunch.”
Thank you for having me, Georgia Kiwanis. The pleasure was all mine. Waiting on you, Alabama.
So, it went well…blah, blah, blah. I’m blessed, but it was even more special than just a great gig with great people that went really well. Both Debbie’s son and daughter were in attendance, and both were born deaf. I didn’t know this until the night of the event. I actually didn’t know until she told me. Both of them have cochlear implants and are now in their 20s.
Debbie teared up when she expressed to me how much she enjoyed the show, but even more so as she told me how several times throughout my performance, she looked over at her kids who were listening intently and laughing throughout.
To paraphrase her, years ago, that’s something she never thought she’d be able to see.
If you’ve ever heard me speak, you know that I often talk about the importance of listening. Well, this really took it to a new level. Wow! At this point, I had tears in my eyes.
I may never get to see the magic of Amen Corner at The Masters, and if that’s the case, I’m okay with that. I had my own magical moment in Augusta, and that’s something I’ll never forget.