Palm Beach Golf Classic


The field, caddies and gallery behind them, wait to proceed. In the upper left hand corner, barely visible above the palm trees, is the spire of Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church.

A major part of the season in Palm Beach is the system of charity balls. A socialite can make–or break–his or her reputation on how well or poorly a charity ball is hosted. On the other side, drawing up the lists of invitees is an exercise in diplomacy. For those who are invited, making “the grand entrance” properly is likewise an important exercise.Along the same lines–although not quite as rigid in protocol–are charity golf tournaments. One such was the Palm Beach Golf Classic; we show a few shots from the 1974 Classic, played in March of that year at the Breakers in Palm Beach. Leading the field were four well known professionals: Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Ben Crenshaw and Dave Marr. We show some shots of them below.

Other Golf Photos


More checked pants: touring pro Tom Shaw gets ready to tee off at the Delray Dunes Pro-Am tournament at the Delray Dunes Golf and Country Club in February 1974. The tournament was and is headed up by fellow pro (now Senior Tour) Bob Murphy.

In the drink: the photo sequence of Paul “P.B.” Dye, son of golf course designer Pete Dye, inserted in the 1973 Tartan, the yearbook of the St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Florida. P.B., of course, is continuing the golf course design work of his father (which includes the Delray Dunes course shown above.) Going into a water hole on a Pete or P.B. Dye course will never be the same after this…


Swing analysis, 1970’s style. This sequence of photos was taken using a special Polaroid® camera which was set up both to take a series of photos in rapid sequence and to record them on one piece of Polaroid® “film.” The analysing professional was then able to, within a few seconds, develop the photos and use them to improve (hopefully) the golfer’s swing.High speed sequential photography has been with us since the end of the nineteenth century, but with digital technology, it’s just too easy…too bad a good golf swing isn’t!

When Social Distancing from the Plague Pays Off — Positive Infinity

It sure did for Sir Isaac Newton, this from The World of Mathematics: Newton took his degree from Cambridge early in 1665. In the autumn of that year the great plague, which was raging in London, caused the University to close, and Newton went back to live at the isolated little house at Woolsthorpe where…

via When Social Distancing from the Plague Pays Off — Positive Infinity

Nature-Based Solutions for Coastal Engineering —

Dutch organization EcoShape is providing nature-based designs for a variety of coastal engineering challenges…working with nature instead of against it. The video below talks a bit about their approach in the context of two projects. […] The post Nature-Based Solutions for Coastal Engineering appeared first on

via Nature-Based Solutions for Coastal Engineering —

Another Historian for the Crashes at Mitchel Field

One of the hardest things I have had to do for this site is put together the story of my uncle, Don Gaston Shofner, and how he was killed flying his P-47 Thunderbolt over Long Island Sound.  It’s a tragedy that altered the course of my family history and my own life.


If the plane had been recovered it might look something like this one, fished out of the Pacific. In Gaston’s case, however, the engine separated from the cockpit. This is also at the Tennessee Museum of Aviation.

Gaston’s death wasn’t unique: the USAAF was having all kinds of “growing pains” with its equipment and there were numerous accidents.  These and more are documented in this page from the excellent website of amateur historian Paul Martin on Mitchel Field, where this and much more information on this important place for American aviation are documented.

When I first posted this, I was pretty much on my own.  In the years since then I have been gratified by people such as Bob Contreras, Robin Adair and now Paul Martin on their efforts to keep the memory of this time in American History alive, in an era when the sacrifices of those who went before us are so easily disparaged or forgotten.

Chet Liked His Steaks Burnt, Too

The following photograph was proudly (?) circulated by Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign this week:


I think this is a classic case of “more money than brains” as we used to say in Palm Beach.  And it doesn’t say much for performance either: my grandfather Chet Warrington liked his burnt too, but that didn’t stop him from looming large on the Washington aviation scene in the 1930’s (and other scenes before and after.)  And it didn’t keep him from having an audience with Franklin Roosevelt before the 1933 Langley Day.

Eating your steak “just past moo” (as an old friend from Texas A&M used to say) has somehow become a mark of “sophistication,” which was probably Bloomberg’s motivation behind the sign.  When my wife entered our family, she was derided for liking her steak well done.  But the family–or the nation–which forgets how they got were they were and concentrates on things like burnt steak will end up somewhere else.