I jogged the course or parts of it on Sunday. I avoided Swilken Bridge. The tourists without any sort of official help were lined up to take snaps of it.
We talked for a while he left came back in all his wooly Old Tom garb and told me his life story — that is Old Tom’s life story — in character. Holy crow. I wrote it up in a book. I’ve thought of Joy often over the years but I had never seen him since that day.
A few years later Phil called me soon after Amy herself was diagnosed with breast cancer. You know Phil — he likes to know everything about everything. So he asked me loads of questions.
I had heard about him from a faculty member at the University of St. Andrews and went to visit him in an old stone farmhouse on the outskirts of town. It was an extraordinary afternoon.
He didn’t mean that literally of course. He would be lugging a Tour bag all week and he’s plenty fit to do so. “I teach for a living and always teach with a club in my hand” Thompson clarified. “It’s like I was born with one in my hand. It’s always a part of me.”