Verbatim: John Purvis

John Purvis Jr., is a relatively new arrival to Sequim. He's been a resident at The Lodge at Sherwood Village for just over a year. He has an interesting lineage: his great-great-uncle owned and skippered the Cutty Sark. His great-grandfather was Melvin "Little Mel" Purvis, the legendary G-man who took down Dillinger. Purvis is southern through and through - he was born in Mississippi and lived many years in Memphis. He was also a fine golfer, good enough that he's now a member of the Memphis Amateur Sports Hall of Fame.


"I went to the University of Mississippi - Ole Miss - and I played on the Ole Miss golf team in '46, '47, '48 .... One year we went to Athens to play in the Southern Intercollegiate Tournament. They had teams from the ACC, SEC and some of the independents - Miami, Duke, Wake Forest.


We played Wake Forest in a match - a sort of side deal, just the two of us. And we beat them.

I was paired against Arnold Palmer. Nobody knew him then, of course.


It was a team match and we beat them. Ray Schote, who was my teammate, shot a six under on the front nine. A 30 on the individuals.


I beat Arnold Palmer on the point spread. You got one point on the back, one on the front and one for the 18.


He was a freshman, I think I was a junior.


He came to Memphis some time after that and he lost in the first round. Billy Barret beat him.

My claim to fame was that I was one of two Memphis men who beat him.


The next year Arnold won the national amateur title and then he turned pro."


Everyone has a story, and now they have a place to tell it. Verbatim is a first-person column that introduces you to your neighbors as they relate in their own words some of the difficult, humorous, moving or just plain fun moments in their lives. It's all part of the Gazette's commitment as your community newspaper.


If you have a story for Verbatim, contact Mark Couhig at


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