"Two under?" wails Richard. "That's sorrry."
"Well I'd like to see you do it," Barber yelps.
There are pictures all over the walls, framed collages of the family, snapshots taken and pasted together by Karen. There is also a palpable feeling of love. Barber has a regular glossary of terms of endearment for Karen: Honey, Baby and, his favorite, Buppie. Even the neighborhood kids call Karen that. One will walk out back of the house and say to her, "Hey, Bup, Mr. Barber wants you out front."
Karen cooks, cuts the grass and takes care of Spike, the gerbil and a pet duck, and even feeds the three squirrels that live inside the garage roof. She drives the "war wagon," the family station wagon that has 87,000 miles on it and a radio that doesn't work.
Over the years, her husband, the man called X, has put on way more miles than that, and been just as reliable. He's firmly loyal—to that crazy swing, which everyone has tried to change; to his college, Arkansas, for which he helps recruit football players; to the Dallas Cowboys, another of his loves; to Texarkana, which he still visits regularly, always stopping by Bryce's Cafeteria.
Maybe that is what Hogan liked about Barber—the loyalty. Nobody will ever be as mechanical as Hogan, but X comes close. His swing taught him that there was no wrong way to do anything. You just did what felt right, what worked.
And so, when Barber's old caddie, Roy Stone, turned 65 in 1976, too old to work anymore, Barber fixed it for him. He paid Roy's back Social Security taxes. They came to about $12,000, but it meant Roy would have an income. He'd be taken care of. Stone had carried bags for Hogan, Nicklaus, Snead, Nelson, all the great ones. Barber had started off carrying, too, and so one more time he could pull his share. "Roy's like family," says Barber.
Stone, now 73, lives in Fort Worth. When he was on the tour, he was visible through an odd trademark: He always wore khakis, tennis shoes and a jack-o'-lantern smile. For dress-up, he'd put on some of Barber's old clothes, usually mixing several shades of brown. "I drove Miller's car," says Stone proudly. Occasionally while X was off playing, Roy would help Karen out around the house. To this day, the Barber kids love him. "Me and the little ones still have a time," Stone says.
These days, as X is creating memories on the senior tour, he is also collecting them. He has played with three Presidents: Eisenhower, Nixon and Ford. His sons have a collection of autographed footballs from players Barber has known. "He loves his Hogs," says Karen. When Barber is home, he reads the Arkansas Gazette every day, keeping track of the Razorbacks. And if an Arkansas game is on television, he plants himself in front of it. He has a GO HOGS GO shirt and official Razorback football shoes. There is one of those frightful hogshead hats in the house, but Barber claims it belongs to the kids. "Put on your hog hat, Daddy," they yell when a visitor sees it.
"I'm fixin' to tan somebody's hide," warns Barber.