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By then, he and Peggy had their two boys, Darren, now 11, and Brent, who is eight. Boston had become home. Orr commutes in from the suburbs every day to his office downtown. He does work for a variety of companies and invests in real estate. Neither of his sons even plays hockey, and Bobby says he doesn't care. He wants them to take part in sports, and they do, baseball and soccer.
Of the two sons, only Darren has any recollection of his father as a professional athlete. He saw him play sometimes, and saw him limp home, and it was time for openings or 'scopes again. One afternoon, when Darren was four, Bobby was talking to him about his profession, but Darren didn't show any interest at all. Finally, a bit hurt, Bobby asked, "Don't you even like hockey?"
Darren said, "No."
"Because of what hockey did to you, Daddy."
Someday soon the father should be able to explain to the son that the knee was the only bad part, that all the rest was nearly magic, exactly the way the Boston writers assured me it would be before any of it began.
I don't imagine I ever met any athlete at a more theatrical stage in his or her career than the Nancy Lopez I encountered seven years ago, June 1978, in Hershey, Pa. She was 21 years old and playing her first full year on the women's tour. She had just won five tournaments in a row, and not only had she become a name, but she had become a first name—how is Nancy doing? As if this wasn't enough, Lopez had also picked that week in Hershey to fall in love. He was a big, strong, handsome television sportscaster named Tim Melton.
Because I was doing a feature story and had a later deadline than my newspaper colleagues, I was granted the absolute last interview with Lopez, the day after both the tournament at Hershey and her winning streak ended. We ate lunch at Wendy's, and it was all a bit of a charade, because I knew and she knew that there wasn't anything original left for her to say. Besides, she'd a damn sight rather have had lunch with Tim Melton than with Frank Deford. Still, she treated me graciously, as she does everyone, but it was all pro forma. She was tired and happy and distracted. And she was so unsuspecting. I had seen this all before with other young stars when they suddenly exploded into fame. It would have been a much better interview if she had asked me what was likely to happen to Nancy Lopez, instead of me asking her what had happened to Nancy Lopez. I do distinctly remember, when I dropped her back at the hotel, that I said, "It's going to be awfully interesting for you now. Sometime, in a few years, I'd love to see you again and talk about it."
She looked at me quizzically for Just an instant—writers aren't supposed to say that sort of thing. Everybody was saying women's golf would never be the same because of Nancy Lopez; but neither would Nancy Lopez ever be the same. That was the point.