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Remembering Arnie

September 30, 2016 W. Thurston Debnam, Jr.

With the passing of Arnold Palmer, everyone with a Wake Forest University connection has their favorite “Arnie story.” I am no exception.

In the spring of 1969, my best friend from Zebulon (Randy Creech) and I were seniors. We were both married which meant no real glamorous spring break trip.  Instead of a trip, Randy and I went to the old Greater Greensboro Open golf tournament. The first day we went to the tournament we stopped by the post office and discovered our midterm grades had arrived. I left mine in the car. Randy folded his and put the paper in his back pocket. At the golf tournament, we went to the practice tee to see the golfers warm up. Most notably we wanted to see Arnold Palmer. When Arnie completed his practice, Randy removed the folded midterm grade sheet from his back pocket and asked Arnie for an autograph. Of course, Arnie agreed. However, before he would sign the folded piece of paper, he unfolded it and looked at the grades. As he was signing Randy’s midterm grade sheet, Arnie said: “If I had made grades like that I might have actually graduated.” Of course for years now Randy and I jokingly comment about Arnold Palmer’s lack of success due to his failure to obtain an undergraduate degree.

You can read more “Arnie stories” at Wake Forest University’s REMEMBERING ARNOLD PALMER memorial page.

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