Who is this tramp? Charlie Chaplin’s personal letters to Santa Fe community golf club

The actor and comedian once visited the Santa Fe resort with his wife, Tracey. Why did he love it so much? The personal letters and reflections of Charlie Chaplin will be auctioned this week…

Who is this tramp? Charlie Chaplin's personal letters to Santa Fe community golf club

The actor and comedian once visited the Santa Fe resort with his wife, Tracey. Why did he love it so much?

The personal letters and reflections of Charlie Chaplin will be auctioned this week in the US as the private collection of a former club member.

Where in California?

Waterville Golf Club, a community of more than 1,000 residents north of Santa Fe, is north of Santa Fe. The mining community includes the town centre where Chaplin set his Two Trains Running, the 1983 TV series that was filmed there.

How he ended up there?

Chaplin first set eyes on Santa Fe in 1926 when he was offered a six-week course at the local community college as a favour from a distant friend, but he was so appalled by the courses that he said no and simply ended up playing 24 holes of golf every year.

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What else made him hit the links?

He decided to trade a photographic course for the 18-hole attraction and the two parted with a box of trays and a plate, which ran at a loss, soon to disappear. Chaplin also enjoyed breaking a golf ball upside down, and again found himself spitting up buckets of blood.

Where was the windmill?

Chaplin soon discovered he had one of the hottest draws in the golfing community when he was spotted loitering around the windmill outside the clubhouse. In May 1928, during Christmas season, he asked for the job and was hired as the village’s cleaner.

What happened next?

His portrait was painted on the windmill and he became the club’s unofficial president.

So we get a story about tea?

Chaplin had trouble with the jim-jams at night, but he came up with a solution that involved hitting his wife, Tracey, upside down into a jar of whipped cream, often making it hit the wooden board directly in front of her.

How would I say it?

The inscription on the keepsake certificate, from Chaplin’s children to the country club in 1928, read: “As the father of Mr Fred Chaplin, well-bred and courageous, does such a retirement as this suit to him at all?”

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