“Chris, we’ve got to go out to Firestone this weekend and watch this young man named Palmer,” my father said to me. “He has a heck of a swing and can hit the ball a mile! He’ll probably even win this weekend.”
That was around 1962 and I was 12 years old. I remember standing alongside my dad on the 16th fairway, a monster of a hole, at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. We watched Mr. Palmer lash at the ball, and hit his drive further than anyone else that day.
After the tournament, we went to the clubhouse, where my mom happened to be employed waiting tables. Shortly thereafter, the players started to arrive. One by one, they began to file into the club. Mr. Palmer arrived and my mom went to take his order. As they were talking, I saw him give her a hug. He did that because her name was “Birdie”.