Courses

Preview: The Clambake

One sunny desert day—shortly after the Pacific Ocean made a seismic meal of California, leaving half to mainland US of A—some survivors of the calamity crawled, hot and bothered, into Borrego Springs. Never ones to learn a lesson, the know-it-alls, already sentimental about the Good Old Days, could think of nothing better to do than resume their failed ways. One bright bulb, stumbling on the ruins of the Hoberg Resort, had a Eureka! moment.

The Hoberg, built in 1947 on 20 acres, had been a getaway for Hollywood stars of the 1950s. Fred Astaire, a couple of Marx Bros., Charles Laughton, Leo Carrillo, Andy Devine, Clark Gable, Lon Chaney Jr., Johnny “Tarzan” Weissmuller, Will Rodgers, Bing Crosby, James Arness, Frank Morgan and Marilyn Monroe (this is not an exhaustive A-list) rubbed elbows and other body parts at its landing strip, Olympic-size swimming pool, cocktail lounge, restaurant and bungalow retreats. One of the refugees still listened to songs of the 50s (he was as corny as they come) and knew the Hoberg’s history. Let’s call him Bing. Bing leaped on one celebrity name and began to croon about having a “Clambake” like his sorta namesake.

Heck, a “Clambake”? In 1937, Bing Crosby, big cheese and golf nut, had dreamed up a golf tournament for his pals near his home west of Borrego in coastal San Diego. In 1947, he moved the damned thing, dubbed the “Clambake,” to the Monterey Peninsula. Now Borrego, though hardly world-famous for seafood (or water), would have its own Clambake with all the fixings, not excluding a makeshift golf course. For cryin’ out loud, post-apocalyptic humans were as resourceful as any 20th century dopes.
The saga was personal too because the merry band of dimwits were my peeps. I was stuck with every single Tarzan, up to my knees in Clambake.

acknowledgments
Carroll, Lewis, The Walrus and the Carpenter (1871)
Stringfellow, Kim, Jackrabbit Homestead (2021)

image
John Sullos