Archive - December 9, 2014

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Remembering U.S. Open Champion Johnny McDermott
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Another Obit on Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67)

Remembering U.S. Open Champion Johnny McDermott

FOLLOWING HIS TWO U.S. OPEN WINS, Johnny McDermott, our first “homebred” U. S. Open winner, entered the 1914 British Open, but because of travel delays he arrived too late to tee off. Returning home to the States his ship, the Kaiser Wilhelm II, collided with an English ship and sank. He drifted in a lifeboat in the middle of the Atlantic for over 24 hours before being rescued. When he did reach America, he learned he had been wiped out financially because of bad Wall Street investments and needed to take a job as the golf pro at the Atlantic City Country Club. He was then 23 years old and he quit playing tournament golf. Within a few years players couldn’t even recall his name or what he had won. Still a young man, McDermott began to suffer mental breakdowns and his family had him committed to the Norristown Hospital . . .

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Another Obit on Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67)

Kent Haruf dies at 71; novelist illuminated small-town life By Elaine Wood Los Angeles Times Kent Haruf, who found acclaim in midlife with a trilogy of sparely written novels, including the 1999 bestseller “Plainsong” that illuminated the rhythms and dramas of small-town life in America’s High Plains, died Sunday in Salida, Colo. He was 71 and had cancer, according to a spokesman for his publisher, Knopf Doubleday. Haruf (pronounced like sheriff) rooted his novels in the fictional small town of Holt, a composite of the three Colorado towns where he grew up. His creation inspired him in the same way that the apocryphal Yoknapatawpha County served one of his idols, William Faulkner. Haruf “has learned from Faulkner the wisdom of knowing something very well, of being at home there, that the more something is specific, the more it is universal,” novelist Richard Russo told the New York Times after “Plainsong” . . .

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