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Pittsburgh Mourns

September 26, 2016

Some of us were fortunate to grow up when some cities were communities. Pittsburgh was one of those cities and Arnold Palmer made us proud.

When Arnie began to win tournaments–sometime around 1954 or 55–people in Pittsburgh who had never been on a golf course discovered the game. It didn’t matter that they didn’t know how many holes made up a game of golf, Arnie was one of ours.

Hailing from LaTrobe, we were proud that Arnie’s fame was rubbing off on us. Some of us would drive out to LaTrobe to see where Arnie played golf and on the way stop at Eat-n-Park, one of the first fast food restaurants of that era.

In contests with Jack Niklaus, even novices could see the difference. Arnie was all flair, charging ahead, and Niklaus was steady, master of every stroke. It didn’t matter if Jack Niklaus won, Arnie was from the Burgh and we loved him.

I’m not sure if Pittsburgh today is still that type of community. The old Forbes Field is gone, Duquesne Gardens is gone as well as the Pittsburgh Hornets. The Steelers are big, and “overseas Pittsburghers” will gather in bars across the United States on Sundays to meet other Pittsburghers and show off their Steelers jerseys. They are happy on those days, but sad that they aren’t back home in Pittsburgh.

Rest in Peace, Arnold Palmer.

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