Posted by: furmanbisher | October 10, 2008

For What It’s Worth

Atlanta History Center takes the time to observe one of Bobby Jones” most revered moments, the award of “Freedom of the City” of St. Andrews in 1958. This 50th anniversary of the award celebrates the honor — bestowed on only one other American, Benjamin Franklin—on Friday, Oct. 10th, with a formal dinner and several speeches. In one, the event is seen through the eyes of his late daughter, Mary Ellen—the family accompanied him– who was once asked in her 4th-grade
class to describe her father and what he did. Said Mary Ellen: “I don’t know know what he does but he has an awful lot of blue ribbons, so he must have won something. My brother and sister have a lot of blue ribbons, too, and they ride horses”…….

Of the ceremony in Younger Hall in St. Andrews, she recalled in an earlier interview: “I’ll never forget how he got on that stage, and up to the lectern with his two walking sticks. He was determined to do it without any help. It was painful to watch him, but he made it. He had worked hard on that speech and it was beautiful. Then he and the Provost sat in a golf cart and as they drove down through the crowd people were crying and reaching out to touch him, even us, my mother and myself as we walked along. I felt like the Queen of England.” Then she said, “And they sang ‘Will Ye No’ Come Back Again,’ well knowing that he never would.'” Mary Ellen, then Mary Ellen Hood, herself died in mid-life of cancer.

—It is safe to conclude that Paul Azinger will not do an encore as Ryder Cup captain. As many have said, what more is there to achieve. When he threw out the first pitch of the Tampa Bay Rays second game of the American League playoff, he carried the Cup—Ryder, of course—to the mound with him.

—No guarantee comes with winning two major tour titles in a season. After winning the British Open and PGA Championship, Padraig Harrington’s performance in the Ryder Cup was hardly sparkling, then just a week ago, when Robert Karlsson, the Swede, moved past the Irishman in World Rankings when he won the Dunhill at St. Andrews. Next up: The Masters in April, by which time Tiger Woods should be back in the game.

—Paul Johnson is, perhaps, the rarest form of football coach I have ever known. To elaborate would require more than a mere book, but we’ll get to that later. Now after five games at Georgia Tech, he has won 111 games as head coach at Georgia Southern and Navy in 12 seasons, second on the record for college coaches back of Tom Osborne, when Tom coached at Nebraska. And the party is just getting started at Georgia Tech.

—Hm-m-m-m, I notice that Larry Nelson’s name is popping up again when talk of Ryder Cup captains is the subject. Frankly, I don’t put much stock in it, but there’s no sin in trying to correct a dreadful error. Let not his calm demeanor detract from his ability to stir a bunch of golfers, most of whom cannot match his record. I have that much faith in the people who are the PGA of America. OK, let’s get it right.

—Of all the former major leaguers who moved into the broadcast booth, I’d say none stirred up a more loyal following than Joe Nuxhall, who finally retired after about a half-century doing Cincinnati games.

—George Bush will be no happier to get back to Crawford, Tex., than Bobby Cox was to get back to the farm in Adairsville.

—The most important thing that happened to me the other day—it rained.

—Drinking alone is no fun. If the market keeps up like this, I may try it…..Selah


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