year all of her splendid courage was called upon again. The trouble was that
she had too much of it. No longer the wiry rawhide tomboy of 18 who could
practice and compete all day and dance all night, Babe was now a mature woman
of 41 who had never spared herself. On a car trip vacation with two girl
friends on the Texas coast she ruptured a disk in her spinal column getting the
car out of sand when it got stuck. In agony with the pain in her back, she
played in three more tournaments, winning one at Spartanburg, South Carolina
before she was finally forced into the hospital for an operation on the
again late in 1955 for a recurrence of cancer, her fiery fighting spirit
remained undimmed and the golf clubs still accompanied her. During her first
operation and again for her second they stood in the corner of her room where
she could see them, play mentally over old courses, plan to correct old
mistakes. They were her beloved tools, and they will forever be with her.
Without them she would surely be remembered, but with them she carved herself
an imperishable niche in the great American world of sports, and likewise in
the hearts of all of us who loved her for what she was, a splendid woman.