A seemingly incredible set of circumstances reunited Andy Gibson, golf professional emeritus at the Country Club of Maryland, with a long-ago memory the other day.
Several months ago, a friend of mine attended a stamp show, saw an old postcard with a picture of Scotland's St. Andrews Golf Club, and presented it to me as a gift.
The picture was interesting, the scene easily identifiable, and I turned it over looking for a date. The postmark was 1948, but it was the rest of the card that brought a whoop of surprise.
It was addressed to "Mr. J. Bass, Clifton Park Golf Club, Baltimore, Md., U.S.A." The salutation indicated that some friends had looked over the golf courses and were planning on returning to Prestwick later in the week. And it was signed, "Andy."
None other than the aforementioned Mr. Gibson.
The odds on such a card even turning up -- how many of you have postcards from 42 years ago? -- defy computation, let alone the chances of someone along the way knowing sender and recipient, and of the card eventually coming back to the sender.
Gibson had been told of the find several weeks ago, so when it was handed to him, his first comment was, "Let me see if that's my signature." He confirmed that it certainly was, and he was smiling and shaking his head in disbelief as he tucked it away in an inner coat pocket.
Later, Gibson, 82 and going strong, said a few words during the 40th awards program of the Inter Club Nine Hole Association at the CC of Maryland.
"Golf is the most over-taught, under-learned human endeavor ever tried," he said in his wonderful Scotch burr. "If they taught sex the same way, the human race would have died out long ago."
The honorees were Molly Harrison of Hunt Valley GC as the net champion after leading a field of individual net champions from each of the 10 member clubs; Nancy Egan of Hillendale CC, the low net individual based on season-long play; and Barbara Currens of CC of Maryland, a two-time club champion in four years of play, for reducing her handicap the most (19 to 14) during the year.
Marie Kane of the CC Maryland, who joined the association in its founding season and is still a member, was on hand.
The team winners were Rolling Road GC, the George Taylor high-point trophy and the Brooklawn Trophy for the most number of match victories, and Hillendale CC, the runner-up for the high-point award.
Andrea Kraus of Woodholme CC (leader in gross points) and Grace Pierpont of Baltimore CC (leader in net points) were honored during the season-ending luncheon of the Women's Golf Association at Maryland Golf & CC.