GOLF & BRIDGE & BOATS

Dads recreational pursuits were many and he was pretty good at all of them. He certainly got full enjoyment from them.

Dad playing Bridge in a Trailer On the Way to a Vanderbilt Football Game

LaGorce Calcutta
Dad with Robert and Harvey Elwood at Lake Placid
Horse Racing

He excelled at Bridge, although he was only a once-in-a-while player as an adult. He had played it more regularly in college. He learned the Culbertson method as a young man. It was considered outdated by the sixties but he made it work nonetheless.

He was a good golfer with an eight or ten handicap when he was young. He learned from his father who was an avid golfer.

He was a member for years at LaGorce Country Club for many years. LaGorce in the late forties and early fifties was known all over the country as a club of gamblers. Their golf "Calcuttas" with teams auctioned for very high amounts became infamous. At one point there was a serious scandal over the event and they were discontinued. Dad was an annual participant in the LaGorce Calcutta.

As told elsewhere many of his LaGorce friends became business associates as well and the connections he made there aided in the growth of The Mackle Company.

He was also a member of Indian Creek Country Club and Riviera Country Club. Every summer the family spent a month or six weeks in Sea Girt near the New Jersey shore. We were members of The Spring Lake Country Club. In the summer Dad and I would play golf almost every day. After I was into my teenage years the morning golf was followed by an afternoon at the track.

Of course from the mid sixties on golf at his Marco Island Country Club - with Gene Sarazen, Ken Venturi, Ara Parseghian or any of a dozen other friends was always enjoyable.

Dad was an avid reader. His favorites were "Westerns" and  non-fiction. He always had one of each at the side of his favorite easy chair. He was especially well read on the lives of Lincoln and Hitler. He remarked - once or twice - how each had come from nothing and had risen - almost miraculously - to places of power- one guided by good and one guided by evil. Winston Churchill was also a favorite.

Poetry was also a favorite. He instilled in me a love for it. Some of the poems that he read to me included Grantland Rice' Alumnus Football which ends:

For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, 
He writes-not that you won or lost-but how you played the Game"

and Rudyard Kipling's  If , the last stanza of which goes:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run-
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!

Boating and fishing were enjoyed in his younger days although by the mid sixties he seemed to have lost interest. Before I was born and all through my childhood he and his brothers shared a fishing boat. Before I was born it was the Phi Kia which they bought in West Palm and brought to Miami. During my childhood there were two or three "Elkcams" each 33 to 38 foot fishing boats. We frequently - perhaps two or three times a year - chartered fishing boats to go offshore in Miami. We also made several trips to Everglades City as well.

The Farm in Lake Placid was a favorite. We would spend weekends at the Farm every month during the fifties. Dad enjoyed bass fishing and we would wake up at the crack of dawn, round up the fishing gear and shiners and watch the sun come up while concentrating on the red-and-white bobber. Daytime found him at the yearling barn talking to Bill Osborne and inspecting his young horses. There was a Derby winner in each crop! 

Any time he could make a wager - he was ready. Stories of the illegal gambling that existed in Miami in the late 30s and forties occasionally surfaced. Dice seemed to be his favorite casino game. Poker was played occasionally. Golf always was more fun with a two dollar nassau .... and a dollar for sandies.

Gin Rummy was always being played. At the office - especially in the earlier years - he and his brothers would often pull out a deck and play "Hollywood style" for a "penny a point"... or more. Occasionally they would pull Armer White or some other friend into the action. A lot of business was done over the Gin Table - and Dad was the best! 

Trips to Las Vegas - in later years hosted in lavish style by business connections - occurred every year or two. Dad would always come back with interesting stories of how much he won - or nearly won.

Of course his favorite - life-long - hobby was thoroughbred horse racing and his horse farms in Lake Placid and Ocala which are covered in more detail elsewhere.