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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 ISSUE #275
 

Bob Hope turns 100, thanks to golf and laughter

# 275, May 28, 2003

COLUMBUS: Jack Nicklaus is hosting his annual golf tournament next door to us in Dublin. He says Annika will be welcome anytime she qualifies. She didn't, so Tiger figures it's safe for him to play here.

Annika didn't do as well as she hoped in the Colonial last week. But she beat a dozen men and earned the respect of the others. She didn't win, but she came out of Ft. Worth a whole lot better off than Martha Burk at the Masters. Folks are comparing her to that all-around great athlete Babe Didrickson Zeharias. She didn't win any golf championships against men either, but that didn't stop her from taking them on more than once. Perhaps if Annika takes up swimming, running hurdles and a couple of other sports, she can get her golf game on a par with Babe.

I read in the paper where Saudi Arabia is asking its Muslim clerics to stop preaching against Jews and Christians. That's almost as big as the news that Sharon is ready to recognize the Palestinians. Either one, if it happens, could go a long way toward improving civilization. If Muslims quit preaching against Christians, maybe we can get our conservative Christians to give up preaching against Democrats.

Bob Hope, our greatest entertainer for the last two-thirds of the twentieth century, turns 100 tomorrow. He was born in England, but his family moved to Cleveland when he was 4, and Cleveland is a good place to be from if you want to be a comedian. From small shows he got into vaudeville, then movies, and on to radio in 1938 for NBC. He stayed with NBC for 62 years. Most of us find it hard to stick with one network for 30 minutes.

Bob always had a talent for comedy, and he had another skill– hiring great writers. Sure he had writers, but no matter how many comedy writers he hired, he was always the head writer.

And he had golf, and was always ready to play a round (or around, according to some folks).

You might surmise from Bob Hope that the secret of long life is golf and laughter. I ain't so sure golf contributes to longevity, but any golfer that can't laugh at his own game would be well advised to write an early epitaph.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others." WA #49, Nov. 18, 1923

"Golfers are a cheerful lot, win or lose, wives and all. They laugh it off, take the husband home, dress him up and send him back for another beating on the morrow. But don't kid yourself Comrades that there is nothing to this game. Put $3500 smackers down and tell us we had one putt to win it. I think I would be so nervous I would pick up the caddy and swing him at it." WA #366, Dec. 29, 1929

"About all that there is to prominent men nowadays is their golf. It has always been a mystery to me how our old time men ever got even as good as they were without golf. Just imagine if Lincoln had had golf to add to his other accomplishments. There is a boy you would have been proud of." WA #15, March 23, 1923


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