Bay Hill and the barn

I first met Mr Palmer after playing at Bay Hill.  My family was down for a Disney trip and a friend had arranged for me to play the week before the Invitational.  After the round I saw Arnie sitting with his buddies playing cards in the men's locker room.  I introduced myself and just thanked him for the way he had lived his life and that it made me proud to be from Western PA.  He seemed genuinely touched by that comment.    After texting my wife and having her disbelieve the encounter without photographic proof, I politely excused myself to him on his way out.  He most graciously offered to have a photo taken.  Not wanting to intrude on his time any more than I already had, I just took a very quick selfie.  My daughters say it is a terrible picture.     I argue that on the contrary it is the greatest selfie ever taken as Arnie has his right hand on my right shoulder and his head on my left! 

I wrote him a note of thanks once we returned home and that if it was not too much to ask, would it be possible to visit his barn.  A few weeks later his brother Jerry called me and said his brother was inviting me over in 2 days.  Needless to say, the originally scheduled work for that day was changed and a friend of mine and me had the visit of a lifetime.  When Arnie came in with his dog, it was truly the cap on a perfect day.  

Most folks,  when they meet a hero from their childhood are sadly disappointed or otherwise let down.  With Mr Palmer, the exact opposite was true.  For the rest of my life I will always remember the kindness and generosity extended  to me by a gentleman in every sense of the word.  

RIP Arnie.