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January 28, 2009

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Merrell Noden

“You never know who you'll bump into on a golf trip to Scotland. Over the years my friends and I have teed off at Prestwick right behind the billionaire investor Henry Kravis, while at Royal Dornoch, having heard rumors that he was in the area, we watched Michael Jordan, unmistakable in a big straw hat and smoking a cigar, play up an adjacent fairway, trailed by a small pack of goggle-eyed schoolboys.

“But the celebrity sighting that gave me the greatest pleasure came at the Marine Hotel in North Berwick. Stumbling down to breakfast before my friends, I was sleepily shoveling corn flakes into a bowl when I looked up and there, standing directly across the buffet table from me, was John Updike, looking far more wide awake and neatly pressed than I did at the moment. Though I was vaguely aware that Updike was a golfer, the sight of him caught me off guard. Not Updike. He gave me a nod and a smile before heading back to his table. It remains one of my sweetest memories from some wonderful trips with my golf buddies.”

Yours was really nice, by the way. It gives a great sense of why Updike was Updike.

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