A True Gentleman with an Outstanding Sense of Humor
David
Wacker
1976

It was Sunday and the final round of the 1976 PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club. My father was there with a good friend and Congressional member. He was there to see the tournament, but specifically there to see Arnie - a man whom he held in the highest regard and had the utmost respect and adoration for. There was a lengthy rain delay, and ultimate postponement of the final round for a first-time ever Monday finish. My father and his friend were in the clubhouse along with all the players. He approached Arnie to say hello and ask for his autograph on his newly purchased PGA Championship bucket hat. Of course Arnie obliged and was as kind as ever. The funny part of the story is that as the rain delay continued for several hours, my dad being the character that he was, found his way to Arnie on 4 other occasions. The following 3 were to finish off all 4 corners of that bucket hat with Arnie's autograph. The final meeting was the classic topper (pun intended) in which Winnie was there and my dad asked that she sign the top of the hat. She was an equally good sport and laughingly obliged. This was a lasting memory that always brought a smile to my dad's face every time he told the story. My dad was only 17 days younger than Arnie and I think that proximity in age yielded an even stronger bond that he felt. My dad passed way 5 years ago after a lengthy battle with dementia. My mom gave me the bucket hat which I proudly display in my den along with several other pieces of 'Arnie' memorabilia that I have collected over the years. Arnold Palmer became my hero at a young age, not because of his legendary golf career, which I was too young to witness in person, but because of the man of integrity that he was and all that he stood for. There will NEVER be another Arnold Palmer and although he is finally resting in peace for eternity with our Lord and Savior, he will be sorely missed here on this earth. May God bless the entire Palmer family.