By Pat Sherman
Photos by Jeff "Turbo" Corrigan
During her recent tenure as "Miss Emerson," the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club's (OMBAC's) community spokes-model, Stephanie Woods fell in love with the tight-knit community of Mission Beach-so much so that she found herself a gig slinging drinks at the neighborhood's Sandbar Sports Grill.
The Pacific Beach resident says OMBAC members and M.B. locals tend to drink in a circuit, hopping from watering holes such as the Pennant and The Beachcomber on Mission Boulevard to the Coaster Saloon and Sandbar, both situated across from Belmont Park on Ventura Place (a homecoming of sorts for Woods, who grew up in Ventura, California).
"South Mission is a culture unto itself," says Woods, who, as Miss Emerson, posed for photos and volunteered her time at blood drives, youth sporting events, the club's horseshoe and volleyball tournaments and at last month's Over-the-Line tournament. "A lot of people that were born and raised in Mission Beach have never left Mission Beach, or they don't make it much further. If you see a Hawaiian shirt in Mission Beach, I guarantee you, they're affiliated with OMBAC-that's kind of their signature."
Woods' own signature is old-time rock and roll and punk rock, including Agent Orange, Tim Armstrong, Operation Ivy-and especially The Misfits. She's also known for sporting knee-high socks, cracking jokes and her love of Jameson Irish Whiskey and chilled Smirnoff 100 Proof Root Beer Vodka.
Since Woods is the only employee who digs root beer vodka, management knows whom to question should the supply run suspiciously low. And there are other telltale signs.
"When I've had too many cocktails, I go cross-eyed," she says. "My (coworkers) all like to tease me about it...but I just have fun with it."
Getting to the root (beer) of the problem-what a cross (eyed) to bear.
Sandbar Sports Grill, 718 Ventura Place, Mission Beach
Lives In: Pacific Beach
Hometown: Ventura , Calif .
Hangouts: Green Flash , Wave House, Sandbar
Band: The Misfits
Drink: Bloody Molly (like a Bloody Mary, except with Jameson Irish Whiskey instead of vodka)
Pet: Beagle puppy named Jameson
Best Tip: Paid $300 by a regular to learn the University of Michigan fight song.