My search for Arnie,
I was 12 and my father said, “I’m taking you to see one of the greatest people who ever played golf.” At that time the Phoenix Open was the biggest thing in Arizona, and my Dad never took a day off and he felt special about taking me to see Arnie. We walked around for 3 hours following every swing. After the day’s golf, Dad pulled his pickup truck up to the front of the Phoenix Open locker room where the golfers came out, and said go stand at the steps and wait for Mr. Palmer and he will shake your hand. I waited for about 10 minutes and the door opened. I looked up with a big smile which changed to a look of disappointment. The golfer looked down and asked, “what’s wrong son”. I said, I was looking to meet Mr. Palmer. The golfer looked down at me, took his black glove off and handed it to me and said, “Mr. Palmer has left.” I shook his hand and walked back to my father, and I told him Mr. Palmer had left. Dad said “you’ll meet him someday.”
52 years later, after many close calls of just missing him, I took my 90 year old Uncle to Bay Hill where Janet Hulcher helped us meet with Mr. Palmer. I told Mr. Palmer about that day in Phoenix and he said, “did you keep Gary’s glove?” He gave me that wry smile that only he gives when he knows the world is a special place. Sitting with Mr. Palmer was just like sitting with a good friend who was looking forward to talking about the things that happened that day. That day, Mr. Palmer made my 52 year search well worth every minute. I will remember Mr. Palmer as “Life at It’s Best” with someone who wanted you to know that, “You Have a Friend”. In my mind, Arnie not only wanted the best for you but for you to be the best for all those in the world and to “Help do something for someone else”. Because of this day whenever I can, I will.
Thanks Arnie, you will always be in our minds, I will never forget!