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On the 18th hole, I noticed that Jim and my father were still on the tee by the time I reached my ball in the fairway.

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When they arrived at the green, I asked why they were dragging behind. My father looked up from the ground with a look on his face I had never seen. Jim, was the pilot of that plane. In the summer of , I went to Rockport, Maine, to play with him in a two-day golf tournament at the local country club. This had become a yearly ritual for us—we had never played that well but we knew we were running out of time, and we were determined to make a good showing. Dad was 78 that summer but still a solid mids player.

He loved to make putts under pressure.

After making them, he would almost dance to the hole to pick up the ball. We always liked scrambles, where you pick the best shot and play from there since I usually drove well and Dad has always been an extraordinary putter.

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The second day was the best-ball of our twosome, meaning we choose the best of our two scores in each hole. I played well for about 13 holes but then started to fall apart. My trusty driver was letting me down. We knew we were probably in the lead for the championship flight but could not afford a single bad hole.

Availability: John Wayne, my father / Aissa Wayne, Steve Delsohn.

To this day I have no idea how he summoned the strength. While I looked for my lost game, Dad parred the last five holes, making all the putts required of him. We had been teaming together since I was eleven, and now father and son had finally won a golf tournament. Two weeks later, at a hospital in Houston, my father was told he suffered from congestive heart failure, and his heart was pumping only 20 percent of the blood his body needed. How did he do it at Rockport? Many readers, I am sure, have been down this road of watching a father, or a mother, become child-like through the ravages of age and disease.

I was once told losing a father is like standing in a clearing where all of a sudden the last row of trees are blown away and you feel a storm smacking you in the face.

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I have gone back to that image many times to understand the strange reversal of roles. My father died not long after, I felt the force of the wind rising against me. At his burial service in Austin, I felt conflicted because my admiration for my father was mixed with bitterness over years of conflict with him over finances and my choice of occupation. Much to my regret, my eulogy did not do him justice.

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Since his death nearly twenty years ago, I have thanked him in my heart hundreds of times for the strength and perseverance he passed on to me. Not everyone is given that gift by their parents. And, as the book illustrates, he could be one old-fashioned, overprotective father, particularly when it came to his daughter:. Home by 11 on weekend nights, no dating until her senior year of high school and tone down that white eye shadow.

As for going barefoot to the beach only two doors away from their harbor-front home in Newport, forget it. In an era of celebrity-bashing tomes written by ax-grinding offspring, Wayne's book is, by and large, a loving memoir. My book really was kind of driven by something else--more by affection," says Wayne, 35, seated in the living room of her Newport Beach home, which is filled with pictures and sculptures of her famous father.

My Father" is the third book written by an intimate of the actor since his death from cancer in Pat Stacy, Wayne's former secretary and companion, wrote "Duke: My Life With the Duke" in The impetus for Aissa Wayne to write her book came two years ago in the wake of a brutal attack on her and her then-boyfriend.

At the time, Wayne and her ex-husband, Thomas A.

John Wayne: My Father

Gionis, were embroiled in a custody battle. Gionis, an orthopedic surgeon, was accused of masterminding the attack on Wayne, but his trial ended in a hung jury. A retrial is pending. Wayne and Gionis share custody of their 4-year-old daughter. For Wayne, being the daughter of a movie legend whose stature grew to mythic proportions in his later years was a balance between positives and negatives. But there were negatives: Later, at Newport Harbor High School--her first public school experience--Wayne would hear students whisper in the hallways, "There she is.

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I wanted to be Aissa Smith," she recalls of that period. I just wanted to be a person. As a young girl in Encino, however, she was "Daddy's little girl.

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