Requiescat in Pace Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer

I still have the autographed golf ball, the staff umbrella pin and a fair number of cashed paychecks.

But that still doesn’t help me to not feel sad tonight.

Internationally famous golfer Arnold Palmer died tonight, he was 87.

He was a respected golfer, businessman and aviator. The sport of golf owes so much of its success to him that they could never repay him. Men like Hogan, Nicklaus and Woods may have arguably been better golfers.

They could never be Palmer. They never were Arnie. He was one of kind.

I only have the audacity to write this, having met the man once in 1972 (no I don’t think he would remember me). Then, some 30 years later, I went to work for him (sort of) as Area Sales and Marketing Director for Arnold Palmer Golf Management.

But that connection (to which he was rightly oblivious) is oddly sincere for me. I can’t explain it better than that and maybe if you were a fan also, I don’t have to.

Many people thought I would have met him them, but circumstances didn’t avail themselves and I was always, truly all right with that.

History has shown he wasn’t a perfect guy and that made him, in an peculiar way, all the more popular.

He was a decent guy, a normal guy, one of us. Well, that’s what we all like to imagine anyway.

He lived a fairly terrific life, I think he would say…actually in all the interviews in the past decade or so, I think he did say that.

But I just feel like I wanted to write this brief note to say how sorry I was that he had died and how much I enjoyed watching him while he was around.

And when you think about that for a minute, coming from me — among the millions he didn’t know — that alone is a sign of a life pretty well lived.

Thanks Arnie, and please give my regards to Winnie.

 

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