A Man of the People
Mark
Rice
2011

A lot of people have had the honor and privilege of meeting Arnold Palmer and walking away feeling like they had just made a lifelong friend. In that way, my story is similar. I spent 10 minutes with Mr. Palmer in his office in January 2012 and, as has been reported by so many, it was very special.

But, the way I met the man is not only unique, but an enduring testimony of his love for people. How did I meet Arnold Palmer? 

I made an appointment.

I am from Michigan, and my business occassionally brings me to Orlando. For years I'd heard Arnold spent winters at his Bay Hill Club and, while there, was frequently seen greeting guests, playing golf. I thought about just showing up at Bay Hill in hopes of seeing him, but that felt like stalking. And then, after doing quite a bit of research on the subject, I found a small report from a man who simply called Arnie's office and made an appointment. And that's what I did.

His staff could not have been more accommodating. They took my call immediately, heard my story--one of millions just like it, I'm sure, and then asked me what time I would like to schedule the appointment. 

After picking myself off the floor, I scheduled it and, long story short, found myself outside Arnie's office at the appointmented time, being greeted by the man himself extending his big paw of hand.

We went into office, chatted for 10 minutes, he signed a few things for me, and I left, with a fresh Arizona Arnold Palmer from his refrigerator, a memory I will never forget, and an even deeper love for the man I grew up admiring.

That is Arnold Palmer, and that's my story. #alifewellplayed