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One Birdie, Two Eagles. A first-rate golfer, he teamed up with famed Sammy Snead to win a Phoenix pro-amateur match in 1940. Barry dismayed his well-groomed partner by showing up in a soiled shirt, faded khakis and paratrooper boots, further irritated Snead by dubbing his first drive twelve yards off the tee. Snead, who had never met Goldwater, growled to a friend: "Can't that s.o.b. even afford golf shoes?" But Barry birdied one hole, scored eagles on two more; by the time the twosome finished well ahead of the field, they were fast friends.
In his private life as in his political career, persistence paid off handsomely. In 1933, after three years of hard selling, Goldwater wangled the answer he wanted from pretty Margaret Johnson, the daughter of a wealthy Borg-Warner Corp. vice president. They were married next year, now have four children.
In August 1941, Goldwater went on active duty with the Army Air Forces, a feat that took every bit of his selling ingenuity. Although clearly unfit for service he was overage and had severe astigmatism, in addition to bad kneesGoldwater bluffed his way past the physical exam*. Assigned to Phoenix's Luke Field in a nonflying post, he bummed rides in his spare time, demanded a check-out flight and got his wings. Later he ferried P-47s across the North Atlantic, saw action in the Mediterranean and C.B.I, theaters, emerged from the war a lieutenant colonel. Now a Reserve brigadier general, Goldwater has flown in some 75 different types of aircraft, including 16 jets.
The war over, Goldwater drifted back to storekeeping in Phoenix, but kept riding his hobby horses. With a group of friends, he spent six weeks boating down the perilous rapids of the Colorado River a rare, rough trip that at the time only a handful of men had made. Honing his skill as a photographer, he published two handsome volumes that pictured Arizona faces and places. He also took his collection of slides across the state, lecturing to any group that would hear his earnest exhortations on the beauties of Arizona.
Forces in Politics. The statewide jaunts served him well when he wandered into politics; everybody in Arizona, it seems, has known Barry Goldwater since way back when. In 1930, he casually joined the Republican Party and even won a post as precinct committeeman, although the G.O.P. in prewar Arizona seemed to have little future. Largely because early settlers came from Democratic Texas and the Deep South, Arizona grew up as a one-party state; after 1945, new emigrants from the Republican Midwest cut the Democratic lead from the traditional 12-1 ratio to about 4-1. But Goldwater had no settled political plans for himself when he ran for Phoenix's city council in 1949 on a nonpartisan reform ticket. Goldwater led his slate into office, helped clean up a deficit, and set up a businesslike city-manager system. Next year, he managed the successful gubernatorial campaign of an old Republican friend, Radio Announcer Howard Pyle; suddenly both the G.O.P. and Barry Goldwater became respectable forces in Arizona politics.