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January 15, 2008

Linda Hope

Jack Peter


JANE FADER: We are delighted to be at the 2008 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic hosted by George Lopez for this special announcement. At this time I would like to introduce Jack Peter who is the senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Hall of Fame; and also would like to announce the fact that this is also a tele-conference and there are people on the phone.
We will, Jack and Linda are both going to speak for a few minutes and then we'll open the floor up for questions. Thank you.
JACK PETER: Thank you, Jane. Good morning. Thanks to all of you for being with us today. It's a great day for the Hall of Fame whenever we come to a golf tournament to announce our special exhibitions it's always a day of celebration and it's always a culmination of a lot of hard work. So it's a pleasure to be here at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic hosted by George Lopez. And it's a truly exciting day for us.
I want to take a minute and thank Mike Milthrope, the tournament director, for working with us to make this happen today. A lot of this goes on behind the scenes, but without Mike's help we wouldn't be here today.
The golf course, the new clubhouse looks great and I think that folks here are in for a great week of tournament golf. Best of luck to all the players and thank you again.
Also like to acknowledge a couple of folks who are with us today, Kelly Hope, Bob Hope's son is with us, in the audience today. And Jack O'Neill, the chief operating officer of the Bob Hope legacy is with us, who has worked tirelessly behind the seasons to make this happen as well.
I also am lucky to have a couple of the folks on my design and exhibit team with us here this week, and in addition to Jane Fader, Andy Hunold is with us, our director of exhibits, who is up here taking some pictures for us; and Mary Altman, our senior director of marketing and brand development. It takes a lot of people to make this happen.
Some years back the Hall of Fame changed its mission to really focus on a singular purpose, which was to recognize the game's greatest players and contributors and perhaps even as important was to become an inspiration for golf fans worldwide.
The way we honor those members, as many of you know, is to create special exhibitions that tell their stories. And since that change in our mission statement we have been fortunate to work with some of the greatest names in the game, whether personally individually or with their families and/or their estates.
The likes of Ben Hogan, Bob Jones, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus, have really helped us get on the map at the Hall of Fame and have really brought a lot of pleasure to the fans and guests that have come to the museum.
And now the next legend of the game that we're privileged to honor is the legendary and much celebrated, the one and only Bob Hope. We have been working for about a year now with Bob's daughter, Linda Hope, who is with me on the dais today, and Jack O'Neill, to get to this point today.
I want to thank them for their confidence in us and we look forward to working with them to design and create a truly extraordinary tribute to Bob and what he has done for the game. And what he has done to transcend the game of golf using golf. It's an interesting place where Bob Hope got to using the game of golf.
The title of the exhibition is Bob Hope, Shanks for the Memory. It will open in conjunction with our annual induction ceremony this November at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida. The exhibition with will feature the largest collection of Bob's golf memorabilia ever to be on display. Beyond telling the stories of the game and his love affair with the game it will represent his broad range of talent. And I don't have to tell you too much about that.
From amusing audiences of all kinds through live entertainment on Broadway, through radio, book, and movies; to entertaining the troops, his work with the troops in USO tours, which are legendary. He is dubbed G.I. Bob for a reason. And perhaps most telling his efforts initiated Congress to pass Resolution 735, making him the country's first honorary veteran.
He created and he hosted this tournament which has generated more than 44 million dollars to charity since its inception in 1960. The exhibition will also draw attention to his unique relationships with celebrities and various heads of state including more presidents than I can name and a number of other Hall of Fame members who currently, who we currently honor inside the Hall of Fame.
That's really just the beginning. We're looking forward to moving into the design and development phase of the exhibit and we're anticipating unveiling we're he go early he anticipating unveiling in November with many members of the Hope family and his friends present.
It is my pleasure now to introduce a very special person, someone whose become a good friend to me and a good friend to the Hall of Fame, Bob Hope's daughter, Linda Hope. Linda.
LINDA Hope: Thank you, Jack. It's a pleasure to be here at this particular moment in time with the Bob Hope Golf classic going on and it's something that, this tournament is something very special for the Hope family.
My brother Kelly is here, and I bring greetings from my mother, who is 98 and wishes she was here and I'm sure is glued to the Golf Channel watching every stroke, every moment. And I know in spirit she is here.
We're very excited about this whole thing with the golf Hall of Fame. And to have dad's amazing collection of golf memorabilia finally exhibited in a place where fans of golf and fans of Bob Hope and just people who love laughter will be able to come and enjoy these wonderful memorable things.
During dad's career he had the opportunity to really use golf as a great tool. It was something that brought him great pleasure, great frustration and Kelly will remember with me so many, many times at the dinner table dad would come home and say, "Ben Hogan taught me to do such and such or Sam Snead said if you only, you know, hold your left arm a little straighter, your ball is going to fly 10,000 miles."
And he would try every single thing and I think probably one of his real problems was he played too many games of golf with too many wonderful golfers who all gave him tips which he tried to incorporate. And I'm not sure whether he ever really found his game, but then I guess that was his game as it was his life to incorporate bits and pieces of all of the people that he had the privilege of knowing and enjoying.
So this is a really great opportunity for us and although we have an exhibit at the Library of Congress, which dad gave all of his papers and things to the Library of Congress, this is something that I know would bring a great smile to his face to know that his treasured items are going to be with the golf Hall of Fame and part of an exhibit. And I'm hoping that everybody will be able to get themselves there to see this and enjoy it.
I think probably golf is the single thing that motivated him probably other than loving to evoke laughter in people. But it was a thing that drew him to my mother, my mother used to tell in their first date that they would sit at a table and I wish I had the table cloth, but apparently he had a pencil and he and my mother sketched out the golf holes that they knew in New York at some of the public courses that they enjoyed playing on.
And it was the thing that drew them together, a thing that they enjoyed throughout their lives playing and so often as kids on Sunday we would have to take our little golf bags and follow behind and it was a source of great amusement. And any time we went on a family vacation, two things: Was there a golf course nearby and later in his life, if he could, he loved fishing. So we used to try and get to some kind of a fishing place as well.
So golf has been such a good thing and a good part of his life and I know that he would be thrilled to have this wonderful exhibit at the Hall of Fame golf Hall of Fame.
JACK PETER: We're pleased too. Jane.
JANE FADER: Do you want to present him --
LINDA HOPE: Oh, yeah, and actually, Jack, to kind of kick off this thing and to let everybody know that this is official and it's starting, we have a golf bag to give. And it has a couple of clubs in there and -- Kelly, thank you.
A load of people and wonderful golfers and people that participated. This golf bag actually came from one of the Doug Sanders tournaments that he played in in the late '70s. And I think that it's sort an of a fitting thing. And the fact that it's, it only has two clubs in it I think signifies the fact that we're going to be filling it with a lot of wonderful things and surrounding it by a lot of great memories for people. So shanks for the memories.
JACK PETER: Linda, thank you, it's a great kick off. We do look forward to filling the bag with the rest of the clubs and word has it there there's a few warehouses that we have to get through over in Burbank over the next coming months. So with that I'll turn it whack back to Jane.
JANE FADER: At this time we would like to open up the floor of those who are here on-site for any questions and then we'll move to the tele-conference.

Q. You mentioned the question, which is the rumor is at least that there's at least a couple of warehouses full of memorabilia of just golf stuff that Mr. Hope had collected through the years. Is that true and how do you cull that through to make a museum exhibition?
LINDA HOPE: We do have a huge warehouse that's filled with memorabilia. I would say probably at least half if not more is memorabilia pertaining to golf. We also have great kind of photo archives and that has a lot of wonderful stuff in it too that we'll also be making part of this exhibit.
We have been blessed with having a great staff that have collected these things in a really important kind of way over the years. So that we were able to go, we have everything catalogued and it's all on-line and they can take a look at it and see which things they want to include in this exhibit.

Q. Linda, when was your mom last here at the tournament and what was her reaction to what's happening here today?
LINDA HOPE: She was here a couple of years ago, I'm not sure exactly I think in 2005. And even though she's not physically here, you can bet all of her energy, her thoughts and everything are here with this desert community and with all of the wonderful people, the volunteers and all of the directors of the tournament. And she talks to them and keeps in touch with what's going on and she is very much a part of it.
She's beside herself with excitement about the coming exhibit and a lot of the golf things are her things too and things that she shared in. So she will look forward to knowing about, although I doubt that she will be going to Florida, she will have visual reports and she will be very much on top of this whole operation.

Q. Jack, if I understand, if I remember correctly all the previous Major exhibits have been specifically about players. Hogan, Palmer?
JACK PETER: Correct.

Q. So this will be the first if you pardon the expression, non-player.
LINDA HOPE: He wouldn't like that. Watch it.

Q. To be honored. So what was it that led to this decision to include him?
JACK PETER: Well, I think Bob is the first member of the Hall of Fame that we have decided to create this sort of exhibit for. And I think that for us it's a very, it's a very unique challenge, it's a great challenge, because as I said earlier, Bob Hope and his legacy in golf and what he has done through entertainment has transcended just golf. Bob Hope's name resonates around the world for a lot different people and a lot of different ways and in a lot of different communities. And for us, for the Hall of Fame, to be able to work with the Hope family, tell Bob's story, we think we might be able to touch an audience that may not be familiar with golf per se. And certainly may not be familiar with the World Golf Hall of Fame. So for us it was really an exciting development.
We think that the Hall of Fame does have some individuals who are there for their contributions to the game, for lifetime achievement or whatever and certainly Bob Hope is right there with it. And we started working with Jack O'Neill and one thing led to another. Can't we do this.
And so we're excited. We think it adds a pop culture element to the experience. Bob Hope's movies, his radio, television, really not everybody as you know in the world plays golf, so that we get a fair amount of non-golfers there and we think this will help them come closer to the game. At least that's what we're hoping.

Q. Linda, you touched on it a little bit when you talked about your dad and when you were young toting the bags behind him and his mom. What are maybe some other memories of him on the golf course and you always saw the funny man when he was at the tournament and on TV, but was he like any other golfer that if he had a bad shot there would be maybe a word the kids weren't supposed to hear come out?
LINDA HOPE: Yes. All of the above. Dad was a golfer that was kind of frustrated by the fact that he didn't have enough time as I'm sure most golfers experience, to really perfect his game. And so Sunday was his big day that he could go out and he also I think felt that it was good to get the family out there and my mother loved golf. And we were a little less enamored because it used to pull us away from listening to the radio shows. This was before television was invented. And so we were less enthusiastic about it.
But we got out there and were terribly annoyed because dad would make what should have hopefully been, because we only had to do the nine holes, not 18, but since there were only nine holes, dad felt that he could have mulligans on every shot. So we would be there end less hours while he would be dropping balls here and there and let me just try that one again. I think if I do this it would be better. So it was an enormously tedious experience for us. But I think that in the long run it helped his game.
JANE FADER: At this time we would like to open up the tele-conference for any questions.

Q. Jack, have you seen the memorabilia and if so is there a large piece such as Arnold Palmer's tractor or the soda fountain bar that Nicklaus put up?
JACK PETER: The truth of the matter is we have been in one of the warehouses and things are actually catalogued, wrapped up, preserved, and so we have not really delved into the detail of which artifacts and which quote unquote big ticket items like Arnold's tractor we might get our hands on. But I've been assured that I'll have keys to the kingdom there, so we're eager to get into Burbank and take a look. But stay tuned, I'm sure we'll have more to talk about with that.

Q. Linda, with the obvious demands on Mr. Hope's time throughout his golfing career to play with presidents and other dignitaries did he ever have enough time to have a Hollywood friend who he played with regularly?
LINDA HOPE: Absolutely. And probably the one that comes to mind most readily is Bing Crosby. And he and Bing had such a friendly rivalry from the days they were in vaudeville and had some time between shows and they would run out and play a couple holes together, when they were finally together at Paramount making the road pictures, stories are that much to the dismay of the directors, these two guys would devise any kind of scam they could to get away from their thing, their film making chores in order to get out to the golf course. And they would say, talk to the lighting director and say, you know, tell the guys that, tell the director that the lights are not working right now and we got to get some adjustment and be back in an hour.
Also Paramount actually allowed them in their old set up to have a putting green there so that they would not go so far away that they would just simply go to the putting green and practice their putting.
JANE FADER: Thank you. Thank all of you for joining us today the press releases will be available here on-site and transcripts will be available on ASAP Sports.com and images will be available and on PGA TOURimages.com. Thank you for joining us.

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