George Denton is one of four members of a board of strategy that keeps Sam's financial affairs straight. Denton handles his stock investments. Fred Corcoran, vice-president of the International Golf Association, has been Sam's business manager since 1937 and arranges his highly lucrative advertising testimonials. Gary Nixon, Sam's assistant at Greenbrier and the Boca Raton Club in Florida, is also a partner in the seven corporations Sam heads up. Sam's legal affairs are in the hands of Attorney Barney Barnett of Louisville, Ky. These four men help Sam run up an annual income that usually is near $150,000 a year and sometimes (according to educated guesses that will be detailed a little later) comes close to $200,000.
At poolside in Boston, George Denton, the stockbroker, immediately took charge. "You'll stay at my house tonight, Sambo." Sam said he'd been fixed up here at the motel, but George Denton said, "No, sir. Tomorrow night you can stay here, but you look tired and worn out and I'm going to see to it personally that you get a good night's sleep." Sam nodded: "Mighty nice of you, George."
As a result of George Denton's concern, Sam showed up at the Quidnessett Golf and Country Club looking like a new man. He played the par-72 course in 67, against Arnold Palmer's 68. He was at top form: he demonstrated some trick shots before the match, wisecracked all around the course and at the end he made a sales pitch for new members. Country Club Developers, Inc. has a scale of memberships designed to bring country club golf within the reach of the corner grocer. Memberships start with a $300 initiation fee and a minimum monthly charge of $15, which can be drunk up or eaten up.
"You got a mighty nice course here," Sam told the gallery, "and it'll git better right along. Now I'll be your director of golf and you can count on me comin' back next spring sure. Now I believe the man settin' at the table under the tree over there has a few memberships left, so you better hurry on over before he runs out." And hurry on over they did after Sam had vanished into the clubhouse in search of a beer.
We all flew back to the airport motel at Boston in a chartered plane. It wasn't much to look at; it seemed to be held together with baling wire and bicycle-tire tape. Arnold Palmer had invited Sam to fly with him in the spanking-new twin-engine plane in which he is taking instruction. "I don't fly with learners," Sam said. "Thank you, Arnold." Generally speaking, flying on the commercial lines doesn't make Sam nervous. But Fred Corcoran, his business manager, remembers his first flight, back in 1938. Bobby Jones had expressed a desire to play with young Snead and so Corcoran chartered a single-engined plane to make the trip from Greensboro, N.C. to Augusta. The plane was about to take off" when Sam called out, "Hold everything here! I'm gittin' out. Just remembered I promised Mama I'd never go up in the air. Lemme out." It took all of Corcoran's persuasive powers to keep Sam in the plane. Finally Corcoran said: "If your mama had known Bobby Jones was going to invite you to play with him and the only way you could keep the date was to fly, she'd never object." That convinced Sam. He lay back in his seat, closed his eyes and kept them shut tight all the way to Augusta.
The old plane landed at Boston without incident. But then things began to crowd in on Sam again. A big cocktail party was announced for 7 p.m. The Logan Motel is the headquarters for airline stewardesses, and Wilson, the press agent, invited them en masse, along with all available local newspaper men. The Country Club Developers had a lot of their bright young salesmen on hand and the caterers had done a magnificent job on the great table of hors d'oeuvres. The bar was well stocked—until Sam looked things over and said: "Is this a party just for whisky drinkers?"
Waiters fell over themselves running out to get beer for Mr. Snead. Soon he was surrounded by young salesmen and pretty young airline stewardesses, and it must be said that Sam tried bravely to participate in the cocktail party small talk. At one point an airline stewardess stamped her foot and pouted archly: "Oh, you men! Just one thing on your mind!" Sam picked up a shrimp and murmured politely: "A man has three things on his mind, miss." He chewed his shrimp slowly and added: "Two of which ain't hardly worth mentionin'."
Finally, when it was getting on to 9 o'clock, Sam rebelled. He collared Gary Nixon and demanded to know when all this "elbow bendin' " was going to stop. "Have you tried the hors d'oeuvres, Sam?" asked Gary. "That stuff's for hawgs!" Sam roared. "I want some meat!"
Gary Nixon, a hard man to ruffle, said, "You go right up to the Gold Key suite, Sam. I'll hustle up a waiter this very minute and have him serve you the best steak in the house just the way you like it. There's color TV up there and you can catch a few westerns before you turn in."
Sam grumbled and went on upstairs. But he had hardly finished his steak when a whole crowd of the young people burst into his suite to see the finals of the Miss America contest on television. "Nobody touch that set," yelled Sam, "until I see how this western turns out!"