IKE TAKES A REST
There are those who think "a good rest" means lying on a sunny beach or rocking on a porch, but Dwight D. Eisenhower is not one of them. Fifteen minutes after he arrived at George Humphrey's Georgia plantation, Ike had changed to shooting dress and was afield with a .410 over-and-under shotgun, looking for quail. And thereafter he golfed, hunted and played bridge—and worked—with only brief intervals given to passive repose. It was the sort of vacation that a man of active bent finds far more restful than lying in a hammock could ever be.
The President and his host flushed two coveys on that first afternoon's hunt but bagged no birds. Next day, which was warm and drying after a downpour of the night before, the Humphrey pointers were finding birds under ideal scenting conditions, and Ike had armed himself with a trustier weapon, his 20-gauge double-barreled Winchester. He shot a limit of 12 birds.
He played bridge, too (with Humphrey, John Hay Whitney and William E. Robinson, Coca-Cola presidents), and above all he played golf—the President's first round since the day before his heart attack, when he went 27 holes at Denver's Cherry Hills. This time, at Glen Arven Country Club, he essayed only nine holes, over which he was driven in a golfmobile.
Ike had announced he would play, weather permitting. Heavy mist and soft drizzle didn't exactly permit, but he played anyway, teaming up with the club pro, John H. Walter, against Press Secretary Jim Hagerty and Lloyd H. Megahee, club president.
"I've been looking forward to this for a long time," Ike told Hagerty. It was not only the President's first round since his illness, it was the first time doctors had permitted him to take more than a three-quarter swing in practice sessions. His woods and long irons were, therefore, rusty. He was quite sharp, however, with short-iron pitching and chipping, and he finished with a creditable 47 score, 11 over par. He and the pro, playing on a combined score, point-a-hole basis, won the match 1 up when Ike got down on the 166-yard ninth in 4, despite three putts, and the pro got down in par 3, to their opponents' 4.
Afterward, walking over to the locker room, Ike told Megahee: "I'm a little frightened not only of the strokes, but also I'm a little frightened of myself."
This remark drew a sporting interpretation from Jim Hagerty and a medical one from Major General Howard McC. Snyder, White House physician. To Hagerty it meant that the President had not been hitting down into the ball hard enough on long fairway shots and also was skying the ball a bit. To Dr. Snyder, it was the normal psychological restraint that follows heart attacks. "You're longer getting over the psychological factor than you are the physical," he said. He checked the President over after the match and found him in very good shape and looking forward to playing again in a few days.
That night there was bridge, and next day Ike and Humphrey spent more than six hours in the piney woods and fields, gunning for quail. He shot 10, to Humphrey's four, and after dinner there were two tables of bridge in the plantation living room.
While hunting, Ike and Humphrey wore ankle-high boots and special brush pants as protection against rattlesnakes, now abounding in the area. The pants, of heavy tan duck fitting snugly over the boots, are covered in front with heavy suede and supposedly are impervious to the rattler bite.