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-07-18-2004 #1RamTime Guest
Rosenbloom's Death. PART II (What I was told)
You guys said you wanted to know more. I posted this story one other time so if you remember it then please pardon my posting it again. Since there seems to be some real interest surrounding Rosenbloom’s death I would like to share this again for those who may have missed it. Actually it is a story about my meeting who I consider the greatest Ram ever. And much to the chagrin of my sister, I point blank asked him about Rosenbloom’s death. Remember this story is absolutely true and you have my Rams Fan word on it.
My sister, co founder of Ramsworld and just as loony about the Rams as you are is a lobbyist. Her husband is a lobbyist and he owns the largest lobbying firm in Sacramento California which is conveniently located across from the State Capitol. One of his clients owns Hollywood Park (Horse race track), Boomtown (Huge Casino just outside Reno in a little town called Verdi), Bighorn Country Club in Palm Desert which is the gateway to Palm Springs, (You may remember the skins game being televised from there for several years). This client has a lot of other gambling interests in California as well. In fact in 1995 he had so many gambling interests in California that he was not allowed to own any more. Now I am not going to pretend like I understand the whole lobbying process but when this guy wanted to build and own another card club right smack dab in the middle of Hollywood Park the state lawmakers said sure build one but you can’t own any of it. This is where my sister and her husband come in. You see they go and lobby the state legislature to pass bills or amend laws that make their clients happy. (Read: They schmooze, manipulate, kiss ass or what ever it takes to get as many legislatures’ as they can to vote their clients way.) If you are on the ball then you will remember 1995 being a very significant year geographically for a couple of L.A. teams. One of which had announced they were going to build a new stadium at Hollywood Park and that team was going to receive some of the gate receipts from the new expansion team that L.A. was going to get to replace the Rams. However in an 11th hour deal that team moved back to the bay area leaving Hollywood Park officials scratching their heads. (Read: Al Davis took Oakland/Alameda’s up front Cash and bolted home). This has nothing to do with what I am relaying here about Rosenbloom’s death however; there may be some interested in that little nugget of NFL information.
OK back to the desert. So there I am in Palm Desert riding in the back seat of my brother in laws car thinking about the round of golf that I had just played while my sister and her husband are talking shop in the front seat. I didn’t really care about why we were in Palm Springs Playing golf or what business they were down there for because to me it was always a major yawner talking to them about what they do. I was just glad to be there playing my favorite Golf Course (Bighorn) and couldn’t wait till we teed it up the following morning. (Golf is an every day thing when we go to the desert). I remember Joe (my sister’s husband) was on the phone talking to someone. Then when he hung up, my sister said “well do you want to take us home first or should we just go with you?” Obviously Kelley (My sister) over heard the phone call and knew that Joe had to be some place like right now. Joe looked up into the rear view mirror at me sitting in the back seat and said “Dan do you remember a guy by the name of Don Klosterman, you were probably too young but he was the Gen… I interrupt “The Rams General Manager Don Klosterman?” Joe say’s “Oh you do remember.” Kelley says “Huh? Joe why didn’t you tell me he was with the Rams?” Joe and I together explain to Kelley about Klosterman (Actually I knew more about Klosterman then Joe did). By now I am starting to realize that this boring ass lobbying stuff was about to get really exciting. It occurred to me that Don Klosterman was one of the people that were at the place that Joe had to be at, like right this second. Now my sister becomes as nervous as the 49er secondary lining up against Isaac Bruce in 1999 and says the dumbest thing she could have said. “Joe maybe we should just wait in the car.” Just before I was ready to reach up and slap Kelley along side her head. Joe says “Were only going in for a quick drink then were going to meet later for dinner.” So instead of slapping my sister along side the head, I did what any good lobbyist would do and said yes Kelley we will just have a quick drink then dinner later. (You see I was lobbying to be included at dinner as well.) Kelley say’s “This is an important meeting Dan, I don’t even know if I am going. Joe says “well”, which was all he had to say for me to realize that he wanted Kelley to go but did not want to hurt my feelings. You know what? I didn’t care; I didn’t say “well you guys go to dinner, I get to meet Don Klosterman right now and that’s good enough”. I didn’t say, “I’m not really hungry anyway”, I just allowed Joe to continue worrying about my feelings. We arrived at this place which escapes me now but yes indeed it did have a bar. I didn’t know what Don Klosterman looked like and the first person I am introduced to was a short guy probably in his late sixty’s and Joe say’s, “Dan you remember Eddie Lebaron don’t you?” I’m thinking to myself, “No. remember Joe I don’t go out and meet your client’s this is a first for me. Where’s Don?” But I said nothing. I just tried to look like I was trying to remember this Eddie guy although I knew damned well I had never seen this guy in my life. Joe say’s Eddie was the first quarterback the Dallas Cowboys ever had. “I’m thinking thanks Joe! Ya think you could have mentioned this in the car while we were talking about NFL people?” I don’t remember if I lied and said “Oh Ya” or if I just stood there shaking my head. Either way I didn’t have a good feeling about myself when we walked away.
Then I met Don Klosterman. Never have I met a person that made me feel so good, so at ease and so included as Don Klosterman. I am not talking from a Rams standpoint, a football standpoint or a star struck standpoint. I am talking from a people standpoint, and a friend standpoint. It was strange to me feeling that way but I didn’t mind that kind of strange. Not until his death in 2000 did I realize that I was not alone in receiving this feeling from Don. I cannot emphasize enough this point about Klosterman. There was something about this guy that made me feel great and it wasn’t the fact that he was with the Rams it was just Don being Don. As stated, after his death in 2000 I realized that I was not the lone ranger in feeling this way. The Kennedy’s (Ethel, Ted, Bobby, John) adored Don Klosterman. When I read the article about his memorial service, I found out that everyone he came in contact with felt this way. I will post that article below and if you do not read it then shame on you.
To be continued.....
But first I want you all to read this article.
From the LA Times
Klosterman was much more than a former football executive. He was a Los Angeles sports institution, and not only because he was an All-American quarterback at Loyola who led the nation in passing in 1951 and later a backup to Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin on the Rams of the mid-1950s.
Klosterman's countless friendships are what made him stand out. It seemed he literally knew everyone, and everyone knew him.
"He was a friend to everyone from the lowly to the mighty," said Eddie Merrins, the longtime golf pro at Bel-Air Country Club, where Klosterman was a member since 1974 and the greens committee chairman the last 10 years. "He was loved and admired by everyone he came in contact with."
Robert Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy, whom Klosterman met through his good friend Frank Gifford, was among those who called Klosterman a dear friend.
Jim Mahoney, the legendary Hollywood publicist, said, "When I think of the word friend, I think of Don. He wasn't one of my best friends, he was my best friend.
"We played golf two or three times a week, and when we weren't playing golf, we talked on the phone four or five times a day. He'd call and say, 'Turn on Channel 7 or Channel 6 or whatever,' and hang up. And I'd do the same."
Mahoney visited Klosterman in the hospital Tuesday night.
"He was not responsive," Mahoney said. "He was in a coma."
Klosterman was injured in a skiing accident in 1957 and was hospitalized for a year. He was paralyzed from the waist down but somehow managed to walk again, albeit unsteadily and with a cane.
The injury weakened his heart, and he first had heart surgery in 1976. Six weeks ago he had major bypass and valve heart surgery.
"I've got a 7:40 tee time," he told a friend the night before the surgery, cheerful as always.
Klosterman seemed on the way to recovery. He had visited Bel-Air and told his friends there that it would be a few more weeks before he could play golf.
Mahoney said Klosterman, along with a couple of friends, went to a high-rise condominium in West Hollywood on Sunday morning to pick up some clothes from a friend in the clothing business. On his way out of the building, Klosterman got stuck in an elevator.
"I'm sure that was a stressful situation," Mahoney said. "From my understanding, when they got the elevator going, it went down to the basement and he had to walk back up a couple of flights of stairs."
That's when he had the heart attack. He was taken to Cedar-Sinai but never regained consciousness.
Klosterman's two adopted children, Kirk, 38, an executive with a limousine service in Beverly Hills, and Katie Fenton, 37, who along with husband Richard is in the restaurant business in Bath, England, were among the family members at Klosterman's side when he died at 1:15 a.m. Wednesday.
Fenton came to Los Angeles to nurse her father after his surgery. She returned home about a week ago, then came back to Los Angeles on Sunday.
The news of Klosterman's heart attack spread among his many friends.
Gifford was one of his closest, first getting to know Klosterman when both were high school football stars, Gifford in Bakersfield and Klosterman in Compton.
"We were in the same class," Gifford said. "Later, we hung out together when I was at USC and he was at Loyola. But what solidified our friendship was when we roomed together at the  East-West Shrine Game, where we started in the same backfield."
In 1976, Gifford wrote a book, "Gifford on Courage," about the 10 most courageous athletes he knew, including Klosterman.
"Don may have been the most courageous person I've ever known," Gifford said Wednesday. "When I wrote the book, I interviewed his doctors and learned firsthand what he went through. I think I'm a pretty tough guy, a gutsy guy, but I couldn't have handled what he went through.
"Whenever I get down, when things in my life aren't going well, I always think of Don and what he's been through.
"Don was a great guy who made everyone around him feel better. He could light up a room just by walking in."
Almost as close to Klosterman was Gifford's former "Monday Night Football" partner, Al Michaels, who was among Klosterman's Bel-Air golfing buddies.
"Don was dealt a bad hand early on, but it made him one of the toughest men on the planet," Michaels said. "Still, he had a heart of gold and a hall of fame sense of humor. God, will I miss laughing with him."
Said Dick Crane, another friend: "He was the older brother I never had. He was bigger than life. He represented honesty, integrity and courage, all the virtues that made him the man he was. He was as good as it gets."
Another close friend, former Times editor in chief Bill Thomas, said, "That was a horrible, debilitating injury that Don suffered [on the ski slopes], but in all the years I knew him he never complained.
"Only once do I recall him mentioning it. We were playing golf and I had a severe case of bursitis and was complaining all day. Finally, he said, 'What are you complaining about? I'm the prince of pain.' "
Although the skiing accident left him with little strength in his legs, Klosterman maintained an 18 handicap.
A few years ago, he was playing at Bel-Air with Merrins when he had his best round ever, a 76.
Klosterman, a tremendous all-around athlete, was nearly a scratch golfer before his accident.
As a quarterback at Loyola, in the years when the Lions played a big-time football schedule, he set NCAA marks for passes thrown (63), passes completed (33) and yards gained in one game (373) against Florida in 1951.
That year, in a nine-game season, Klosterman completed 54.6% of his passes for 1,582 yards and 19 touchdowns. One of his receivers that year was future NFL star Gene Brito.
At Loyola, he carried the nickname "The Duke of Del Rey."
In later years, friends called him the "Duke of Dining Out" because of his penchant for having dinner with celebrities.
In 1952, he was the Cleveland Browns' third-round draft pick.
He was luckless in the NFL. First, he found himself behind Otto Graham at Cleveland, then later behind Waterfield and Van Brocklin with the Rams.
After six weeks, Cleveland traded Klosterman to the Dallas Texans, who then shipped him to the Rams. He played in two games for the Rams, then departed for Calgary of the Canadian League in 1953.
It was while he was playing in the CFL that Klosterman had his skiing accident near Banff.
A woman skier fell in front of him, and Klosterman, trying to avoid her and spare her serious injury, sailed off a cliff. He suffered a broken back, a broken leg and numerous broken ribs.
He underwent eight surgeries and became so ill while suffering from two staph infections that he was given last rites three times within 16 months.
Klosterman often told the story of the doctor who entered his room one day to tell him he'd never walk again.
"I picked up a flower vase and as he was running out of the room I hit him in the back with it," he said in a 1985 magazine interview. "My legs may have been paralyzed, but there was nothing wrong with my arm."
It was several years before Klosterman walked again.
In 1959, he was well enough for former Notre Dame coach Frank Leahy to hire him as a player recruiter for the Los Angeles Chargers of the new American Football League.
He was the Houston Oilers' general manager in 1966 and ran the 1970 Baltimore Colts, who won Super Bowl V. The next year, Colt owner Carroll Rosenbloom, in a no-cash swap, obtained the Rams from Robert Irsay, who had bought the team from the estate of the late Dan Reeves and ended up with the Colts.
Rosenbloom brought Klosterman to L.A. as executive vice president and general manager of the Rams. After Rosenbloom drowned in 1979, Klosterman's relationship with Rosenbloom's widow, Georgia, became rocky. It deteriorated to the point where he was eventually banned from the Rams' practice facility.
In 1983, he became president of the USFL's Los Angeles Express, but two years later that ended badly too, as it did for everyone connected with the short-lived league.
Klosterman signed Brigham Young rookie Steve Young to a $40-million contract in early 1984.
Klosterman was riding high then, freely spending the money of California financier and team owner William J. Oldenberg. But when Oldenberg's company came under federal scrutiny in the spring of 1984, no more money came to Klosterman's budget. Attendance was falling and the league took over Klosterman's team, leaving him to recruit a new owner for a money-losing team and fighting off creditors at the same time.
In his later years, Klosterman was active in Loyola Marymount alumni affairs and the California Special Olympics.
Donald Clement Klosterman was born in Le Mars, Iowa, one of 15 children of a farmer, Clement Klosterman. According to Klosterman, the No. 12 child in the brood, when his father missed one payment in 1938 on his 1,200-acre farm, he was foreclosed by a bank and the family moved first to Whittier, then Compton, where his high school friends included Duke Snider and Pete Rozelle.
Funeral services will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at Loyola Marymount.
Last edited by RamTime; -07-21-2004 at 01:18 AM.
-07-18-2004 #2RamTime Guest
And this article on Don as Greatest of Friends.
Date: 13 Jun 2000
Klosterman Eulogized as Greatest of Friends
LARRY STEWART, Times Staff Writer
An impressive lineup of sports and political dignitaries were among the 1,500 who said goodbye to former Los Angeles Ram general manager Don Klosterman in a two-hour funeral service Monday at the Sacred Heart Chapel on the Loyola Marymount campus.
Klosterman, 70, died Wednesday of heart failure, six weeks after major heart surgery.
Among those giving eulogies were Sen. Ted Kennedy, former presidential candidate Jack Kemp, Bill Walsh, Frank Gifford and Al Michaels.
Also in attendance were Ethel Kennedy, her daughter Courtney Kennedy Hill, Joe Namath, who flew in from Florida, Al Davis, and Vin Scully, whose wife Sandi was Klosterman's assistant with the Rams in the 1970s.
Others included actor Robert Wagner, former Times editor-in-chief Bill Thomas, cartoonist Paul Conrad, basketball coaching great Pete Newell, former CBS golf producer Frank Chirkinian, Kansas City Chief owner Lamar Hunt, Chief president Carl Peterson, Pete Rozelle's daughter Ann and his brother Dick.
Former Ram players in attendance included Pat Haden, Vince Ferragamo, Wendell Tyler, Bob Klein and Rich Saul. Former Ram coach Harland Svare and longtime Ram executive Jack Faulkner were also there.
Ted Kennedy, in his eulogy, said, "There is a single word that best describes Don, and that word is 'friendship.' Don was a great friend to three generations of Kennedys, including my brothers John and Bobby."
Kennedy said when his niece Courtney was wed in 1993 to Paul Hill, Klosterman gave her away.
"We love you Don, we miss you and always will," Kennedy said.
The tributes had their light moments too, a reflection of Klosterman's great sense of humor.
"He would just walk into a room, and it was electric," Kennedy said. "He had a way of making everyone laugh.
"I remember one of the last times I saw Don he said, 'Ted, I think you've lost some weight.' As I was feeling quite good about that, he said, 'Wait, turn around.' So I did and he said, 'Oh, I see where you found it.' "
Gifford recalled that the starting backfield for the West team in the 1951 East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco included Klosterman, who starred at Loyola, himself, Ollie Matson, and Hugh McElhenny. Gifford, Matson and McElhenny are all NFL Hall of Famers.
"We lost the game, so afterward, Don is talking to the press, and Don being Don, said, 'We would have won if I'd had a little help,' and then looked over and winked."
Michaels noted Klosterman's great wit and recalled a chance meeting in Chicago in 1980.
"I was there to announce a baseball game for ABC with Howard Cosell, and there in the Ritz Carlton bar is Cosell talking with Don, who just happened to be in Chicago. Cosell is talking and Don is nodding his head. Don looked over at me and said, 'Hey, Al, want to come over here and help me listen to Cosell?' "
Even Father Patrick J. Cahalan, associate chancellor at Loyola who presided over the service, got into the act.
"I once invited Don to a retreat," he said. "Don said, 'I'm not retreating, I'm advancing.' "
Said Gifford: "I think Father Cahalan may be auditioning for 'Monday Night Football.' "
Gifford also said, "Having Don as a friend is one of life's great blessings."
Others giving eulogies were Don's brother James--there were 15 siblings in the family--and longtime friend Ted Forstmann of New York.
They all talked about Klosterman's spirit, sense of humor and courage. He survived a serious 1957 skiing accident and was able to walk even though doctors said he never would.
Unable to attend the service was Steve Young, who played for the Los Angeles Express of the USFL when Klosterman was the president of the team. Young, who officially retired from football in a ceremony at Santa Clara on Monday, had this to say about his friend:
"The Duke of Bel-Air [actually his nickname was the Duke of Del Rey but Bel-Air works too]--he was the best. He was a dandy, and a football man. I learned professional football right there. I can't tell you how grateful I am for Don and I'm sorry to see his passing."
"I wish I could be there. But this is the way things worked out, my feelings go out to his family."
The underlying theme of the service was all the close friends Klosterman had made over the years.
And at a wake at the Bel-Air Country Club that followed, the recent Times story on Klosterman's death was enlarged and embedded in a large ice statue that stood in the middle of the room. The headline said, "City Loses One of Its Best Friends."
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told)
Ramtime, you are a wealth of information. What a great story and what a great man. Someone in the first article was quoted as saying of Don "He represented honesty, integrity and courage, all the virtues that made him the man he was. He was as good as it gets." I don't think you can get a better quote than that.
Thanks for the Ram insight and history. :ramlogo:[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
-07-20-2004 #4RamTime Guest
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told)Originally Posted by UtterBlitz
-07-21-2004 #5RamTime Guest
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told) Part II
Joe (remember he is my sisters husband) never wears socks. He wears low cut fancy shoes and no socks. Klosterman told Joe to wear socks to dinner. Dinner was going to be back at Bighorn. (Hmmm back at my favorite Golf Course.)
We left the bar and it certainly appeared to me that we all were going to Bighorn for dinner after we went to shower and change out of our golf clothes and into our dinner clothes. Kelley started in again about not going to dinner because it was an important meeting.
I said “Christ Kelley didn’t you see how much fun we were having just now? I think Don expects us to be there!" Joe is ho humming around saying his usual “Well I duno.” Finally were back at home and it has become apparent to me that Kelley and I were not going and Joe didn’t want to go alone so I caved in and said “Why don’t you guys go, I will wait in the bar.” Kelley say’s “What bar?” I said “The one at Bighorn of course”, and then I said “just kidding you guys go and tell Don I said Hi.”
The phone rings and it is Don Klosterman. Klosterman say’s, “Joe make sure you bring Kelley and Dan and wear some socks”.
God and I were even at that point. He didn’t owe me anything, we were square.
Of course I could not shut up and just be happy, I had to throw my jab at Kelley and say, “One would think that a good lobbyist would be able to read people. “Right Kelley?”
We arrive at Bighorn just after Don, Eddie Lebaron and Eddie’s wife. At that time I didn’t know about Don’s skiing accident and I didn’t know that he had defied doctor’s that said he would never walk again. Don Klosterman did walk again out of what I think was stubbornness because every step he took had to be thought out then executed.
Getting back to the arrival at Bighorn, Don was standing on the sidewalk in front of the main entrance to Bighorn’s clubhouse with a cane. I didn’t think anything about him having a cane and of course Joe didn’t fill me in about Don’s accident so I don’t really pay much attention to the fact that he has a cane. I mean allot of people have canes and I don’t ask anyone why. As far as I was concerned he was in his late 60’s and had a cane. No big whoop.
Then I did what my sister was afraid I would do. “Yep, I did something stupid”. When it appeared to me that everyone was walking towards the front door, I of course started walking towards the front door. It was only about 40 feet or so. I think that I am the first one at the front door so I open the front door and stand to the side to allow everyone to walk in. (Not to mention I thought I was showing my little sister that I have class too and not to worry about me). I turned around and realized that I was the only one at the door. Everyone else was walking slowly with Don and had only made it about fifteen of the 40 feet to the door. What should I do? Should I let go of the door and walk back to the crowd, or should I stand here holding it open for what was obviously going to be a few minutes. I returned to the crowd.
This next part will stick with me until the day I die.
Once we made it through the front door, we turned right to walk down the hall towards the dinning room. Bighorn was brand new and Don had never been there before but at the end of the hall, just above eye level was a picture of a bighorn sheep in the wild.
I was walking next to Don still feeling pretty stupid and Don slapped me on the back then pointed at the picture of the Bighorn sheep and said with a big smile “What’s that?” I do not remember what response I gave him but it was the eye contact and the nod from Don that I will never forget. It was like we were tapping our virtual horns together. Suddenly I felt better and it was like I never did anything stupid at all.
At dinner we talked about Gabriel, we talked about Ferragamo, both of which Don said “I fired him.” You could tell by talking to Don that he was still playing back the superbowl in his head. It was obvious when he said “That damned Ferragamo” referring to the interception when Waddy was wide open.
Don asked me who my favorite Ram was and I replied Eddie Meador. I was trying to think of a Ram player from his early years with the Rams however I went back a little too far. Don Say’s, “Meador, Eddie Meador?” Then he asked if I wanted to know who his favorite player was and of course I said yes. Don said, “Jack Youngblood, I found him.” Don was extremely proud of the fact that he was behind the Rams signing Jack Youngblood.
To be continued....
Part III includes Golf the following day and dinner. (Which is when I asked him about Georgia and her involvement in Rosenbloom's drowning.)
Last edited by RamTime; -07-21-2004 at 01:13 AM. Reason: Forgot to title it "PART II"
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told)
This is great stuff, RamTime - keep it coming. I look forward to Part III.
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told)
Great story Ramtime. I love the door bit. I would think that Joe would tell you a few critical items but he keeps leaving you out in the dark. :redface:[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
-07-21-2004 #8RamTime Guest
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told)
Yea but what a great guy he is. At Christmas he passes out Christmas cards to the homeless with a good amount of cash in them. He faithfully attends Church and is one of the most unselfish people I have ever met.
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told)
Is there ever gonna be a Part III?
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told)
Awesome stuff, Ramtime...thanks for sharing!Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster
-08-21-2004 #11RamTime Guest
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told)
Part 3 of 3
Somewhere along the line I found out that we were all playing golf the following morning. I mean I knew that we were playing golf the following morning but at some point it became apparent to me that Don and Eddie were going to join us. I begin counting people. Let’s see we have Don, Eddie, Joe, Kelley and me. That’s 5. I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed the fivesome. I say nothing about the fact that there are five of us but it’s on the back of my mind all night and the next morning. We adjourn from dinner (This time I walk slowly out of the clubhouse and down the walkway to valet.)
Kelley can hobknob with the best of them but when it comes to a former Ram she completely loses it and gets nervous. I mean she has gone out with Laura Davies and Anaka Sorenson to shoot pool; she has been out with Bubba Smith and Rod Martin for drinks after golf. She was even collected enough to make a bet with Rod Martin that if the Rams made it to the playoffs Rod would run down her street wearing nothing but a thong. (The Rams won the superbowl that year and there has been no sighting of a man in a thong running down Kelley’s street.)
We get back to Bighorn the following morning to play golf and the fivesome has now become a sixsome. Joe and Kelley’s client (The gazillionaire) was there. Anyway, even though Kelley is a machine off the tee with her driver she is terrified to hit a golf ball in front of Klosterman. So Kelley and I are going to play in a twosome. That seemed fair enough to me because they still had that deal to work out and they were going to do it on the golf course. Not to mention the fact that they never really had the chance to bring it up at dinner. (My bad.)
So I say “let’s go tee off Kelley.” Kelley say’s, “are you crazy! I’m not going to tee off in front of Don! We will play behind them.” I reply with the obvious. “Kelley there is four of them and two of us we will be in their back pocket all day.” (If you play golf then you will understand the problem I had with this.) Well the look in Kelley’s eye told me it was going to be a long day on the links and we waited for them to tee off then we followed.
I take my golf seriously and I will maybe drink two beers in 18 holes but usually I drink water. The foursome in front of us was slower then expected. By the time we teed off on number 3 all of my concentration was used up and I probably would have had to birdie out to have a good round. Yes Kelley and I were feeling no pain after two holes, hammered at the turn and hitting 3 or four balls off the tee by the 15th hole. By the time we parked the cart, well you get the picture.
Joe is in a hurry when we meet up with him in the club house, Don and Eddie has vanished and so has the gazillionaire. Quickly we are on the road heading back towards the L.A. area and on the way we stopped at Taco Bell. The reason was because Joe had to sober Kelley and me up for dinner. Klosterman wanted to take us out to dinner in his neck of the woods. I had no idea what his neck of the woods consisted of.
We end up in some hotel in some city with a fancy name and when we walked down the hall to our room the employees stood with their backs against the wall and looked straight ahead at the other wall. Man, talk about an uncomfortable feeling. I wanted to say “Hey dude chill. Its cool. Just relax.” But with Kelley there I figured I better just be quiet.
We get in our room and we all get ready to go to dinner with Don. I have on my suit and I think I am looking pretty sharp when I hear, “Dan your not wearing those shoes, Joe! Joe come here! Joe he can’t wear those shoes”. Joe says “No he can’t, not where were going.” I say, “These are the shoes I wore to dinner last night, what is there gum on them or something?” Kelley say’s, “Dan hush. Joe he will have to wear a pair of yours.” I said “Joe wears a size thirteen I wear a size ten forget it, I’m wearing these!”
I could not lift my feet more then one half inch off of the ground otherwise I walked out of those shoes. Now Klosterman was not the only one that had to think about each step before executing it.
We leave to meet Don and we drive down this windy road for what seemed like forever and all I saw to my right was a huge block wall which went on and on and on. Then there is a break in the wall then there is another one that goes on and on. Joe say’s “that was one house.” I say, “Bullshat” Kelley say’s “Yes it was Dan.”
We arrive at this place that I now know was Bel-Air Country Club and there is no Don. He was already inside and there are these people waiting to see us to our table. I was really hoping that it would be more like Bighorn where we all walked in together slowly because believe me these shoes were going to come off my feet if I took anything that resembled a normal step. Somehow I made the walk across the dining room towards the back to the President’s table. (President of Bel-Air Country Club, not the one you’re thinking of.) It was a huge round table. Big enough to where if you were playing paper football you would be hard pressed to flick a field goal. The size of the table is relevant, as you shall see. To my left was Barney Fife err Don Knott’s. He was having dinner with George (The handy man on the Newhart show). Err Tom Poston.
Every time I was introduced to someone at Bel-Air, they would say the same thing which was ‘Nice to see you again.” It was the “again” part that had me baffled. I was pretty sure that I was not one of their filthy rich buddies recovering from amnesia. So I did a little thinking on it and figured out that this was how the rich and famous covered their bases just in case I was someone they had met before or were suppose to remember.
I end up sitting directly across from Klosterman, which was the furthest point possible so when I spoke with him everyone heard including Kelley. Kelley was seated next to Don at Don’s request. To my right is the wife of one of the fat cat$ who for some reason thought I knew all about the marital problems she was having with her husband who was sitting just to the right of her. To make the complete circle I will continue to the right. To the right of this ladies husband was Mrs. Lebaron then Eddie Lebaron then Kelley followed by Don then a couple of people I don’t know then Joe, another Lady and back to me.
I was not able to carry on any lengthy conversations with Klosterman due to the seating arrangements and to make matters worse, this lady next to me still believes that I have heard about her marital problems. She is saying things like “Oh I am sure you heard about what happened.” She continues “I don’t know what everyone else has been told but yada yada yada.” Then suddenly my cover is blown, this lady has made me. She realizes that I have no connection to this place and she says “Oh you have never been here before? What is it that you do?” I told her I was a contractor and I was not a high roller that had a big block wall surrounding my humble home. Then she wanted to show me around the golf course. It was dark and I was not about to get up and walk anyplace at night with her in those shoes. Not to mention the fact that touring a golf course is not something you do over appetizers.
When talking football with the members at Bel-Air, it is customary to discuss the Profit / Loss characteristics of the current subject franchise before discussing the players, draft, trades, records, standings, injuries, next weeks game, last weeks game playoff possibilities or any other dribble that cannot be liquidated. As the chill of the atmosphere warmed a little (Actually after a few drinks were poured down.) the subject of the Rams moving to St. Louis surfaced and the collective envy of the filthy rich folks sitting at our table when discussing how much Georgia was getting from tax payers was nothing less then an expose. It was obvious that the corporate welfare Georgia received in the form of tax payer dollars is something they all would like to get their dirty little fingers into.
The talk of the Rams moving to St. Louis was eating at Kelley and I while the dollar amount involved in the deal was eating at the remainder of the group. As stated before when it comes to the Rams Kelley sets aside everything else especially when the news is not favorable. So what does my little sister say to Don Klosterman? She say’s in an angry tone, “Don why don’t you buy the Rams and keep them in Los Angeles.” Don’s response was one of financial worthlessness. I guess the return on a football team is only worth the investment if you’re going to move them and the people who do own teams do it more out of the love of the game then for financial gain. Nevertheless, I saw an opportunity to ask my question.
Whenever Kelley is upset with me or disturbed by something that I do, my name shifts to the longer version i.e. from Dan to Danny. So with the topic being Georgia and the Rams along with more relaxed atmosphere and the financial blather winding down, I asked Don two things. It is important that you remember that the deal to move to St. Louis was in its early days and the bus had yet to part for the Midwest. It was then I realized that the Rams moving was for real and I said, “Don how old is Georgia, isn’t it about time for her to die?” That was the first time that evening Kelley addressed me with the long version of my name. I really do not remember what Don’s response was probably because I kept hearing “Danny” bouncing around inside my head and thinking boy that was a stupid thing to say. I then asked Don about Carroll Rosenbloom’s drowning in a manner which prompted Kelley to once again address me in a one word sentence that said plenty simply by using the longer version of my name. “Danny!”
Don responded to my question shaking his head no and saying “No, No Not a chance.” Others at the table including the lady to my right informed me that some of the people Carroll Rosenbloom dealt with walked the tightrope of corruption and even the other side of the line of decency. All of the people seated at our table that had someone named Pierre or James waiting to drive them home were convinced that Georgia’s involvement in any wrong doing was absolutely out of the question. Don had no love lost for Georgia or anything really good to say about her aside from the deal she had made with St. Louis nor did he go to bat for her on any of the other issues that were discussed that evening. (Remember Georgia fired Klosterman and banned him from rams facilities.). You may be thinking what would anyone expect him to say in that situation? All I can say is, Regardless of what you personally believe about Georgia’s involvement in Rosenblooms drowning. Klosterman is convinced that she had absolutely nothing to do with it.
After dinner Don invited us over to his penthouse which to me was just a fancy apartment complex. Below him was Robert Wagner and next door to him was Diane Pakinston (She was one of the original “Barkers Beauties” or you may remember her as the well developed blond on the game show “The Price is Right”). Entering Klosterman’s penthouse the first thing you see is a small table (It probably has a fancier name then “table” but “table” works for me.) and on that table sat an invitation to table 1 at the White House next to it was a photo of Don and Jack Lemon. He was proud of those two items along with his remote control curtains which he had installed in every room.
After we left Don’s place Kelley said something about my questions to Klosterman. My response? At least I didn’t ask him to buy a football team. We shared a pretty good laugh over the whole thing on the way back to the hotel.
Don Klosterman• Rams General Manager
1930 – 2000
“The Duke of Del Rey”
“The Duke of Dining Out”
• Architect behind an NFL record 7 straight division titles.
• 8 consecutive playoff appearances
• 1 NFC Title
• 1 Superbowl appearance
• 5 NFC Title Game appearances
• 106 wins 63 losses and 2 ties
• Favorite Player was Jack Youngblood.
• Led the Nation in passing at Loyola
• Rams Backup QB to Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterfield
Don Klosterman did have a Superbowl Ring. He was Rosenblooms GM at Baltimore when the Colts won it all.
Last edited by RamTime; -08-21-2004 at 03:46 AM.
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told)
Part III was excellent!!
I had to read it twice. You had me gut rollin so many times. Sounds like you had some great fun. Memories to cherish for a lifetime!!
Originally Posted by RamtimeOh Dan, maybe you were supposed to be her appetizer? :redface:
-08-21-2004 #13RamTime Guest
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told)Originally Posted by Ferter
The idea of it is kind of comical. It gives new meaning to the phrase. ‘Tripping over a dollar to pick up a dime.”
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told)Ok, I'll take your word for it.
Originally Posted by RamtimeThat sounds like hint to me??LOL
-08-21-2004 #15RamTime Guest
Re: Rosenbloom's Death. (What I was told)
Getting caught with some high rollers wife would have solved the shoe problem. I would have been fitted with some fresh concrete shoes then taken for a luxury cruise. No Thanks! LOL
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