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Hiram Bingham - my experience

Hiram Bingham is best known as the "discoverer" of Machu Picchu. He also was the Governor of Connecticut and then Senator from Connecticut .

I knew him as a golfer. When I was about 13 in 1951 or so I had a job as a caddy in a northwestern Connecticut golf course for a few weeks. My regular client was Hiram Bingham. I knew nothing about him although I learned about his political role; his golf partners were political cronies. As a caddy, I stayed mostly in the distance only being involved when there was a need so I didn't know much about him. He was a pretty good golfer and a very nice person. I never heard the term Machu Picchu spoken. (He did publish a Machu Picchu book in 1948 only a few years before this my encounter. I have out from the library at the moment.)

If you are interested in finding out more about Machu Picchu and Hiram Bingham I recommend reading Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams. He tells a lot about the history of the place, Bingham's expedition, and his own more recent one. I just read it again. A fascinating reading experience.

This is a ~1931 photo of his taking off for (or returning from) a golf game via autogiro from Capitol Hill.

An early Bingham photograph of Machu Picchu.

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That's actually kind of amazing... that you were a caddy and...! I knew he discovered Machu Picchu but I seriously did not know he was a politician of any kind. Now I'm going to have to go read about it.

I was visiting a friend at the end of the summer (I'd been to summer camp) and it turned out that most of the older boys who were caddies had left in preparation for getting back to school. My friend's mother drove me there and back each time - about 5 or 6. After the first day I asked him if he knew when he was returning and arranged to be there at that time. I only played golf about 2 times but did lots of trips to a driving range, played miniature golf, and putted around in our back yard. My parents played golf.

wild. just wild. and what an amazing connection.

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