JWG (jwg) wrote,

Hiram Bingham III - 1875-1956

Reading vaneramos's post about his father and golf reminded me of my golf experience circa 1950 when I was 12.

I was visiting a friend at his family's summer house in Sharon CT for a couple of weeks. It turns out that the local golf course needed a caddy or two. I used to go to a driving range with my father to hit balls out and played lots of miniature golf but that's all I knew about golf. My friend's mother drove me there every day for a week and half and I became the regular caddy of a nice somewhat elderly man named Hiram Bingham since he played there every day. This was before golf carts so I carried his bag and handing him clubs when he needed them, etc. He told me that I seemed to know what I was doing (which was a slight surprise to me).

I learned from other people at the club house that he had once been the Governor of Connecticut but didn't know much else about him. Many years later I discovered that he was also the discoverer of Machu Picchu. A place that I have wanted to go to for a very long time. Maybe it's getting time to do it.

Harry Bingham III had been groomed to be a missionary, but married a Tiffany heir, had an academic post at Princeton which included leading South American expeditions. Later he was Lt governor and then governor of Connecticut and then was elected as a US senator. I sure wish I had know some of this when I spent a few hours in his company everyday.

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