APN1

I just learned of the passing of Arnold Palmer. This is a long story, but I’ll cut it short. We both grew up in Western Pennsylvania, and he is the absolute sole reason I’m where I am today. In 1985 I played golf fairly well (lie), but my real job was being an instructor in the best fighter ever made, the F-16. I was ordered to fly to Miami to escort some VIP around for a week while he hung out with every general in the world and then lead a mission while he got to fly the Viper (definitely not a place to be if you have a cool non-regulation mustache, but I was a fighter pilot and had a scarf!). Yes, Sir!

My jet was clean and spotless on the base ramp as I was surrounded by every general in the world. Every one of them looking at my white lip, cackling under their breath knowing I had just euthanized my killer mustache. It got pretty loud as the Cessna Citation taxied next to my sleek Viper, big ceremony about to start, but all I could see was the tail number of the Cessna: APN1…what was that! As it got quiet and the door opened I saw the VIP: Arnold Palmer Number 1. I spent most of the week with him.

Before our mission he asked what I wanted to do when I hung up my flying boots. After a few negative responses from me about hauling trash for an airline, aphe said if I practiced my short game I could  become a member of the PGA of America. So I did; I’ve been a member since 1994. I was honored a few years ago when Jack Whittaker told the story of Mr. Palmer and me on the Golf Channel. It was from the book A Spirit of Golf, by John M. Capozzi. I can feel that Spirit right now, RIP, Mr. Palmer.

Always/all ways share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Pin on Pinterest
Pinterest

   4 Comments


  1. Kenneth Eckhardt
      September 26, 2016

    Great story Ed, Arnie was a great example of how a celebrity should carry him or her self.

  2. Rita
      September 26, 2016

    Nice story Ed.

  3. Chuck Jenkins
      September 27, 2016

    Ed, I did not know about your career. Impressive and what and to befriend Arnold Palmer.

  4. Walter Rice
      November 11, 2016

    Great memory, Ed. Hope all is well.

Questions, Comments, Ideas

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.