by Fran Cambell, copied from the Moe Norman Scrapbook 1956
There was a time when Moe Norman would jingle a pocketful of change with one hand and bounce a golf ball off the pavement with the other.
Oh, he’s still bouncing the old golf ball alright, but now it seems he’s leafing through green lettuce instead of cold cash.
Moe, by his own admission, doesn’t have to worry anymore. It’s hard to believe that freckled-face Moe, a scrappy kid from Gruha Street in Kitchener is flirting with financial wizards around Bay Street in Toronto.
Moe currently estimates his assets at $200,000. Word is that he recently put $50,000 into a development on Lake Sincoe which he hopes will make him a profit of $140,000 in four years. That alone should keep him in soda pop and chocolate bars from now until the year of the blue snow.
For Moe, now 33 and the resident pro at Gilford, Ont., near Barrie, it’s been a colorful career of extremes.
We can remember when Moe and his long-time pal Jerry Jamieson of Guelph, would hop freights to compete in golf tournaments in various parts of Ontario. But it didn’t take Moe long to graduate from the cool cars to the Cadillacs.
The story goes that Moe was the first guy in the Twin Cities with a Caddie who didn’t own a driver’s license (sic). Rich Woroch, in fact, was the man behind the steering wheel while Moe played the role of friendly navigator in between bags of Snyder’s Potato Chips.
While there may be more than a handful of golfers who spurn Moe’s Roger Bannister style of play, the point is he’s added a touch of color to many dreary events.
Moe in his own repetitive fashion, talks as fast as he plays. You can’t help but enjoy his descriptions of shots. And, we might add, he always praises the other guy.
Take the windy afternoon when Rockway held its official re-opening back in June. One scribe asked, “How’s your game Moe?”
“Not bad, not bad, not bad,” chipped Moe with a fast tattoo. ” but you should have seen Gary (Cowan) and Kessy (Gerry Kesselring). That Gary’s unbelievable. Hit a wedge, hit a wedge, hit a wedge.” Moe, with his head snapping from side to side, seemed to be referring to the 16th hole, a testy par 3 under normal conditions.
“And Kessy, great shots, great shots, great shots.” And so it went and went and went.
Moe has been bounced from pillar to post along golf’s trail, but he’s the only caddie we’ve heard of who retaliated with a bit of throwing himself. Like the first time he was thumbed out of Westmount for tossing a leading industrialist’s clubs high into a tree. Hardly funny at the time, but now rather humorous for both parties when they re-enact the scene.
And cold, Moe will never be. He spends his winters in Florida, playing golf and basking in the beautiful sunshine. Then in the spring, he migrates north with the birds. That’s when you see him standing in teh corridors of different hockey rinks.
The same old Moe, wearing a light cardigan and pastel slacks. And, oh yes, the bouncing golf ball and the two or three grand in the other pocket.
This Kitchener boy has done well, done well, done well