What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
This is both admonition and solace ringing down the years to her from her favorite poet. A few lines later he is telling her what is being done to her life, and her voice grasps the meaning with certainty:
But to what purpose.
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
Is that it, Betty? Is that what they are doing to you, these unanticipated intruders so foreign to your reverie: law, finance, inheritance, harsh truths of kindred blood over kindred spirit?
"Yeah, yeah," she says. "Oh, yeah." Thus disturbed, the dust may as well be blown from this lovely clutter, this bowl of rose-leaves, these several thousand memories in photographs and letters and clippings.
Here's a photo of the LPGA Hall of Fame's charter members, previously known as the Big Four—Betty and Babe, Patty Berg, Louise Suggs.
Babe. What a character. Babe and Betty were on a U.S. women's team that went to England in 1951 and defeated not only the British women but also a top team of amateur men. "Babe said to Leonard Crawley, who was both an excellent amateur and a renowned golf journalist, 'I'll play you for your mustache,' " recalls Jameson. "I have no idea what she wagered against it. But his big walrus mustache was all him, all his identity. And their bet was that if he lost, he had to shave it off. She beat him badly, and he was gone—disappeared. Babe never found him. 'Play you for your mustache.' That was Babe. So bragadocious, so entertaining because she always delivered on what she said. She was Muhammad Ali, all the way, many years before.
"Driving between tournaments, she might see a golf course and stop and say, 'Let's go out there and give these guys a treat. Let's play a few holes. Wait'll they learn who stopped here.'
"One Sunday morning, I think it was in Indianapolis, we were sitting around and I said, 'I'm going to church. Would anybody like to join me?' Everybody looked at one another. Babe said, 'Oh, what the hell, let's all go to church.' Off we went. On the way up the steps Babe said, 'Hey, can we smoke in this place?' "
That was the sort of Bette Davis-Lauren Bacall-tweed slacks world Jameson lived in. Then, "sometime in the late '40s," she happened upon another world entirely, in the deepest South, south Georgia. "Thomasville was an angelic little town," she says. "I went in the spring. The dogwood was in bloom all over town, and of course it was the Rose City, and it was a special little environment, with all the plantation people."