There was a
plaque on the wall, from the citizens of Tampa, with the symbols of track and
field, basketball and golf engraved on it. "Presented to Babe Didrikson
Zaharias," it read, "accorded the outstanding woman athlete of the
"We call this
house 'Rainbow Manor,' " Zaharias explained. "When we came down here,
we were walking between those trees." He gestured toward two wooden
sentinels standing stately guard outside. "There was a big double rainbow
between them. Babe put sticks there marking it.
this is it,' I said.
Rainbow Manor,' she said.
like to see the house?" he asked hospitably.
A guest room and
bath opened off the back of the kitchen, and to the side was a double garage
with two Cadillacs in it. One of them had a sleeping bed fixed up in back for
the Babe to stretch out on, since sitting for too long a time is painful for
In the thickly
carpeted living room, softly lit shelves were filled with silver trophies of
all shapes and sizes. Over the fireplace was a portrait of the Babe, painted in
The face was
young, eager, intense. Her light brown hair was brushed back in a boyish bob
and she was wearing a sleeveless jersey.
To the right of
the mantel, in what appeared to be a place of honor, a glass-enclosed shadow
box held a red satin, heart-shaped candy box cover, decked in ribbons and roses
and set on black velvet. On it, in gold, were the words, "To My Wife on
In the right wing
of the house, there were two bedrooms, baths and a den. The door to the master
bedroom was closed. There was still no sound from it.