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SUBJECT: BABE AND GEORGE ZAHARIAS
Joan Flynn Dreyspool
May 14, 1956
In a home hushed by illness, an ex-wrestler cares tenderly for the wife he adores, and reminisces with her about the great moments they have shared
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May 14, 1956

Subject: Babe And George Zaharias

In a home hushed by illness, an ex-wrestler cares tenderly for the wife he adores, and reminisces with her about the great moments they have shared

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"The sportswriters are my friends, but I'd never dream of doing a thing like that. I've always thought—and I guess it's been the bad thing in my sports career—that I tried not to kill anybody real bad. I never wanted to get beat, yet I never wanted to beat the youngsters or anybody who wanted to be in the game. If I'd beat them 9 and 7, it might kill their spirits and they might say, 'I'll give up the game.'

"There was one person I played, I beat her so bad, she never played golf again. She could have been a very good golfer."

"Babe shot a 29 at her," Zaharias said.

"On two occasions," she told him. "Then I'd go in there after that and try not to beat them quite so bad.

"There was one time," she specified, "I think it was a Western Open. I had this girl five down in the first five holes. She said, 'Babe, you got me beat already. Why don't you help me on my game?' So I helped her and got her swinging a little bit and I had to go 20 holes to beat her.

"Well, I got beat a couple of times doing that—you lose your concentration—so I made up my mind thereafter that I would have no leniency."

She tossed her head determinedly.

"I have confidence that I'm going to get well," she said, "and I don't feel as though it's only for myself. I feel as though it's for those people who are interested enough to write me and encourage me. When I went back and played and worked so hard after my cancer operation in '53, I hoped I would encourage other cancer patients that they weren't through or physically handicapped, and I still hope I'll be able to prove it; that if you have the wish or sufficient desire, you'll be able to come out of it."

She was getting drowsy. When Zaharias noticed his wife's voice was beginning to weaken he brought her a sedative and water.

Babe took it, self-consciously. "I've never been a pill-taker," she explained, "but these are nonnarcotic. You should see all the stuff they've got in there for me to take."

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