#89: Happy Birthday, from President D.D.E.
Surprise home visits aren’t always welcomed, but on his 37th birthday Arnold Palmer opened the door to find President Dwight Eisenhower standing there with an overnight bag.
“Say, you wouldn’t have room to put up an old man for the night, would you?” the President asked, and a fantastic birthday celebration was underway. “It was the classic case of what to get the man who has everything,” said Doc Giffin, Palmer’s longtime assistant and friend. Palmer’s wife Winnie set it up, sending Palmer’s plane to pick up the President, and it was a complete surprise. “One of the nicest weekends of my life followed,” Palmer said later, explaining that the Palmers and the Eisenhowers had gone out to dinner and then watched a football game on TV. The next morning, Palmer said, they’d had breakfast and then talked for hours. As Palmer recounted, “It was the thrill of a lifetime.”