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Bumping into Arnie

It was early evening in central Florida and the glare of the sun had eased to a kind of soft glow. The air was cooler now, the day no longer a blunt instrument. The mood was gin and tonics in tall beaded glasses. There was a bar where we were staying, but my wife and I thought we would mix them in our room since we had a west-facing porch and could watch the sunset while we sipped our drinks. We had the makings in the car, and who needs to pay minibar rates?

"Be right back," I said.

I went through the lobby, out the front door and turned down the walk leading to the parking lot. First, I noticed that someone was coming the other way, and then, almost immediately, I saw who it was. Recognition has seldom contained more shock.

"Good evening, Mr. Palmer," I said.

"Good evening," Arnold Palmer said to me.

Back in the room, I tried to sound casual as I quartered a Key lime with my pocketknife.

"You'll never guess who I saw."

"I give up," my wife said.

"Arnold Palmer."

"No."

"As I live and breathe."

"I don't believe you."

"Well, it's true," I said. "Right here in Orlando. I take back every ugly thing I've said about the place."

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