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28 March 2014

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Someone might know more definitively, but I believe the Monterey tournament was the first fifteen-a-side rugby tournament in the world, in the sense of the teams assembling in one site and playing multiple games over a day or two.

In 1988, Boomer and Ginger bought their place in Carmel. He called the local rugby team, Monterey RFC, to help him move in. As team treasurer, I answered the call. Four of us showed up to help and it took only a few hours.

As is his wont, he offered us something for our trouble. No sir, we said, the local tournament is all the thanks we need.

But he'd heard us talking about our upcoming tour to Hawaii and insisted on "at least paying for the kit".

I told him there were 56 tourists signed up, with most getting tour bags, two sets of strip, t-shirts, spares for trading, etc. Not a problem, Boomer said, demonstrating yet again that he was one of the best friends American rugby has had.

A true legend and a gentleman. Always positive and supportive in our contacts. He leaves a trail of rugby footprints.

The 1988 Monterey Tournament was my introduction to rugby as a Marine at DLI-Monterey. But for it and a female rugger HS teacher of mine, I'd not know this great sport. Thanks Boomer!

I had the pleasure and honor of knowing both Boomer and Don Whidden. No finer Rugby gentlemen have walked this earth. They will be missed by many from many countries.
RIP old friends.

Five-years ago, Boomer served me lunch in Piedmont during a Rugby Magazine interview on the Monteray Tournament. The bulletin board in his den was filled with old photos of the event, those wonderful memories never far away. He spearheaded the donation of the Tournament's archives to Stanford, where they can be accessed by appointment. And he wrote of the beginnings of rugby on the west coast in an Olympic Club newsletter. Let's hope he's voted into our Hall of Fame soon.

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