acknowledge everything that comes in. Just the other day, Babe said, 'Honey, I
wish I could help you write these people and thank them."
Leading the way
into a black-and-gold dressing room, Zaharias said proudly, "When Babe went
to Atlanta once for a tournament, she drew the plans for this and the bathroom
with two sinks and an extra big shower for me. She thinks of
and jars of cosmetics decorated the top of the mirrored dressing table.
Zaharias opened a
closet door. Dozens of pairs of gold shoes, size 8B, were neatly stacked in
boxes on an upper shelf.
Showing a lovely
pastel mink stole, Zaharias said, "Babe has got furs she likes and a good
watch, a good ring, good pearls, but as far as loading up with jewels and stuff
like that, she won't go for it. She can sew like a demon and makes dresses and
drapes and everything.
take much to satisfy Babe," he said on the way back to the kitchen, "a
good golf game, a good meal, nothing elaborate but just satisfying; something
she can do for others. If I say I like her hair or a new dress, they might be
little things to other people, but to Babe they're great things. She can sit in
a room with old people and make them feel young. She does things for them,
plays music for them, entertains them. With her, everything jells
"How did you
meet?" he was asked.
strong-featured face came aglow. He settled himself in one of the captain's
chairs at the round table.
"It was at
the Los Angeles Open in January, 1938," he said. "I was one of the top
wrestlers, weighing 215 pounds. I had taken up golf two years before, and I was
pretty good. I had just shot a 74, so Lloyd Mangrum told me, 'You ought to
enter the Open.'
wrestling every night, but I put my entry in and forgot about it. Then I came
back to town and picked up the pairings in the paper, and I was paired with
Babe. I had never met her. I had wrestled once in Beaumont, Texas, when she was
a kid—I'm five years older than she is—but I had heard about this little kid
who was the fastest thing on two legs and could throw baseballs and swim and
dive like nobody you ever seen, and who was a legend being built up in 1931,
and of course in 1932 she blossomed out as a star of the Olympics which proved
all the things that you heard about her.