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Golfing In France & Joseph Kennedy

Being in France last week reminded me of perhaps the oddest, not to mention the funniest thing that has ever happened to me during my travels.

A few years ago I was playing golf in the south of France at the Biot Golf Club, a small, municipal course in the town of the same name that lies between Cannes and Nice.

The slick, packaged golf experience that we have nearly everywhere here was non-existent in France. At this course, for example, a matronly woman in heels and a fashionable blue dress would march out of the clubhouse, which was decorated with stone statues of nudes, and tell the players when to tee off. Your local golf pro should dress so elegantly.

My group had just hit our tee shots on the fifth hole, far away from the clubhouse, and were walking to our balls when we saw another older woman, also in heels and a dress, marching across the fairways in our direction, waving a sheaf of papers in one hand and talking loudly. She approached the man who was interpreting for us and announced, "I did not have an affair with Joseph Kennedy!"

Huh? She repeated it again, waving the papers and demanding our attention. He politely asked her what in the world she was talking about. It turns out that the papers were old newspaper clippings of her caddying as a teenager for the elder Kennedy, and gossip being what it is, her reputation had been besmirched for some sixty years. She heard that we were American journalists on the golf course, and she wanted us to set the record straight.

So I'm doing it here. The lady at the Biot Golf Club did not have an affair with Joseph Kennedy. And if you think that she did…well, you're going to have her to reckon with the next time you golf down there.

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