Dozens of motor homes lined the curvy road leading to the 57th annual OMBAC “Coming Out Party,” held May 15 at Mariner’s Point. Two women (beers in hand) sat inside one of the trailers, screen door ajar.
“I’m sick and tired of OMBAC [Old Mission Beach Athletic Club] being stereotyped as a booze-and-sex organization when that’s not what it’s about,” said Leasa Estaca Cumper. What is it about? “It’s about the POW,” said Cumper. That prisoner of war was Delmar Miller.
In 1951, a group of Mission Beach pals learned that one of their “pack,” Miller, who had been in the service and sent off to fight in Korea, was now in a POW camp. So, every evening, Miller’s Mission Beach buddies vowed to pool the change from their pockets and save it in a whiskey decanter for his eventual return. Two years later, Miller arrived home to huge fanfare. When his buddies offered up the money to help him get back on his feet, Delmar said, “Let’s have a party!” The party has been held in Miller’s honor almost every year since then.
“I’m proud to be part of an organization that donates to over 200 charities,” said Cumper, adding, “I’m an Om-Wool.” What is an OM-Wool? “We keep our OMBAC members warm at night,” said Cumper, referring to her husband Scotty, an OMBAC member.
“It’s not easy to become a member,” said Cumper. “You need three sponsors to become a rookie. You have to be a rookie for a year, and if you don’t prove yourself in that year you’ll never become a member. These guys work hard…this event is put on by volunteers…they do everything.”
SDPD sergeant Leonard Flake had nothing bad to say about the event: “Today has been a pretty well-behaved day, in terms of the crowd. Everyone’s been respectful…not too much drinking going on, no arrests to this point,” said Flake at about 5 p.m.
Six bands and seven young women (squeezed into sexy dresses) rocked the stage to life. The Miss Mission Beach Pageant host urged spectators to scream, as the winner was chosen based upon who had the largest — or, rather, the highest decibels.
To watch a video of the event click here.