Who is Steven Spindel?

Steven Harris Spindel

by Karen L. Locke

Steven SpindelRealizing that some of you may not have known Steven Spindel and may be wondering why the CAAA Golf Classic is named in his honor I am going to try to do justice to the man that Steve was and still is in the hearts of those of us who knew him and still love him to this day.

I first met Steve in November of 1987 in Palm Spring at my first Long Range Planning meeting  The E-Board, Bud Katzman was president at the time, went out to dinner before LRP and the two conventions to discuss the upcoming event.  Sitting in a corner booth was a very nice looking man, whom I did not know, eating dinner by himself.  He proceeded to eat his dinner and then ordered dessert.  He ordered Café Diablo, for those of you who may not know, Café Diablo is prepared with, an orange rind that is peeled at your table, liquor is poured on the orange rind, and then it is flambéed.  I thought to myself “my that is quite a pretentious man.”  After he finished dinner, to my surprise, the people I was with knew him and invited him to sit with us.

Now you know how I met Steve Spindel and I could never have been so wrong about a person.  Steve Spindel just loved life and embraced it for all it was worth. He probably prefer but did not need to be with a group of people to enjoy himself he appreciated what life had to offer and he was going to enjoy it.  Steve could get in a taxi and talk to the driver as if he had known him all of his life and you would have thought they were best friends.  Steve had that quality with everyone and everything he did.  Steve put 120% into whatever he was doing.  

When Steve volunteered to become CAAA’s Management Chair, I not only gained a wonderful partner to help run CAAA I made a friend for life.  If Steve accepted you, he brought you into his family and I do not mean blood related family.  Steve had such a big heart that the more people he could bring into his life, Tere’s life and Brittney’s life the happier he was.

Sleeping Flower GirlFunny story – Brittany, Steve’s daughter, whom he loved with all his heart and much more, was to be the flower girl in my marriage to Jim.  Brittney was 11 months old and, of course, already walking she was Steve’s daughter.  About three minutes before the ceremony was to begin, Brittany fell asleep.  Well, guess who carried Brittany down the aisle, throwing flower pedals and stealing the show, yes you guessed it Steve.  I will never forget that, as it was so sweet.

I will not continue with my memories because there are too many.  Steve Spindel protected the injured workers of the State of California the same way he lived his life.  Steve fought everyday to make sure his clients were compensated and treated with dignity and respect.  

Why did CAAA name this tournament the Steven Spindel Golf Classic?  Like everything else he did, he put 120% into this tournament.  Not only did he create the golf logo, on a napkin one night at dinner that we still use today, he ran around buying golf balls, buying the cigars, recruiting people to play in the tournament, and he also played in the tournament with gusto.  He, of course, also loved golf.  

Steve was taken from all of us too soon.  Steve had so much more to give to this world but he left us in August 22, 2000 from cancer at the age of 50.  As everything else Steve did in his life, he fought the cancer to the end with everything he had.  After everything, Steve had done for CAAA and for his clients it was only fitting that this organization never forgets Steve and his positive attitude towards life.  What better spirit to guide us each year in organizing and presenting this event.

I know Steve is here every year, sitting in a golf cart on one of the holes, smoking his cigar with a Kamikaze in his hand and that big smile on his face saying, “Live life to the fullest, love the people in your life and give it all you’ve got”.


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