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Join The Club

Aug. 03, 1998
Aug. 03, 1998

Table of Contents
Aug. 3, 1998

Baseball

Join The Club

For our anniversary last year my wife gave me my first club
membership. Pelham (N.Y.) Country Club has a jewel of a course,
the site of Gene Sarazen's and Walter Hagen's duel at the 1923
PGA. I grew up nearby, but the only times I visited golf courses
as a kid were at night, usually pursued by the authorities after
some boyhood prank. Golf came late in life for me and hit hard.

This is an article from the Aug. 3, 1998 issue Original Layout

When I told my 84-year-old Uncle Larry about the joys of
belonging to Pelham, he confided that when he was a boy growing
up in Mount Vernon, N.Y., he had dreamed of making a living at
golf. In those days he had caddied, mopped floors at a bank and
worked at a pharmacy, where he fought with other delivery boys
over who'd get to take medicine to the Kennedy house, where Joe
Kennedy Sr. always tipped you a fiver. "I hopped the fence at
Pelham once," my uncle told me, "and was confronted by a member
who threatened to have me arrested for trespassing. 'Sir,' I
said, 'my father is a member in good standing and would be
offended by your accusation.' Well, the old guy looked surprised
and said, 'Please accept my apologies, young man, and play on.'"

Now, I knew that Uncle Larry's father, my grandfather, was no
"member in good standing" at Pelham. The man had a
less-than-legal speakeasy business and a weakness for the horses.

"Pete," my uncle said, "I gave that guy the bull, and he took
it."

Within a month of our talk, my uncle died and a TV pilot I had
done, The Secret Lives of Men, about three divorced guys who
play golf, got picked up by ABC. Now, as I walk the course at
Pelham "rehearsing" my role as a weekend duffer, I can't help
smiling at the thought that one of us is making a living at golf.

"The Secret Lives of Men" will air Wednesday nights this fall.

COLOR PHOTO: CHUCK SOLOMON BULLISH Gallagher says his gift for blarney would have made Uncle Larry proud. [Peter Gallagher sitting in chair on golf course]