File this in the "Who Knew?" department:
In response to Bob Verdi's beautiful column on Dave Anderson's "semi-retirement" from the Times, Ted Harbert of Rancho Mirage writes about a 1981 party on the occasion of Dave's winning his Pulitzer Prize. Harbert is a former Golf Digest executive who created and produced special events for us.
After Dave won the Pulitzer, some of us, led by USGA Exec Tony Wimpheimer had a party for him at Tony's Greenwich, CT joint. Tom Watson was playing in the PGA Washington DC tournament. He hired a jet and we picked him up at the Westchester County airport near White Plains. His present for Dave: a solid, exotic-wood, perfectly shaped typewriter with balls and ball markers for keys that Tom had fashioned in his Kansas City workshop. It had a lovely congratulatory brass plaque from Tom commemorating the honor done our friend. Watson, the hit of the party, charmed all the ladies there.
Harbert adds that Jerry Tarde attended and will know all about Watson's gift. But Jerry didn't remember--"I was indeed there but this is the first I heard of this gift. Highlight was Red Smith showing up"--and so I called Anderson himself.
Yes, said Dave, Watson did indeed present him with the gift, which Anderson describes a bit differently. "It was a plaque with three rows of golf balls, shaped like a typewriter keyboard." The balls were marked with the letters of the typewriter. "I think Tom and his Dad made it," recalls Anderson, who still has it and still loves it: "It's the only trophy I exhibit."
In fact, the Watson plaque hangs on the wall just above the framed certificate announcing Dave's Pulitzer. In his semi-retirement Anderson will write about 15 more columns for the Times this year.