Back in the '60s when I came to work at CBS News, I got the kind of assignments the new guy usually gets: A tea party at the White House, the birth of tiger cubs at the National Zoo.
Once I was even assigned to cover a miniature golf tournament which brought forth this memorable sign off:
"Bob Schieffer, CBS News at the National Putt Putt Championship in Rockville, Maryland."
My mother was so enraged she called me and said, "I didn't send you to Washington to cover miniature golf. You tell those people to assign you to some real news."
I told her better assignments would come in time (and they did), but maybe covering miniature golf was more prestigious than I thought …
Because today in a two-page spread, the travel section of the Washington Post recommends Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as a vacation destination because … it offers the best miniature golf in America!
It boasts 40 or 50 courses that feature jungle themes, a volcano that erupts in propane-fueled anger, and of course the popular putting through the windmill blades.
The Post spread even includes a little map on how to get there, and reports operators are so serious about it, they hold professional tournaments which draw contestants from as far away as Europe.
They hope to make it an Olympic sport one day.
I'm not so sure about that, and my Mother is long since gone, but somehow I hope she knows that things not only worked out well for me but for miniature golf as well.
(Truth is, I always liked miniature golf.)
E-mail Face the Nation.
By Bob Schieffer