Fore! Babe Beats Village Hall

101-year-old fights off eminent domain effort in Evergreen Park

Anna Mae Ahern --"Babe" to her friends -- has run the nine-hole Evergreen Golf Course since the 1920s.

But in 2002, the Village of Evergreen Park launched eminent domain proceedings to seize the property for its own uses. Anna Mae rejected their offer of  $5 million and took the village to court.

Officials might have thought that, at 101, Babe wouldn't be up for a fight. But, boy, were they wrong.

On Tuesday, after deliberating for just 10 minutes, a jury awarded her $25 million in compensation and told the village, essentially, to back off. The village can, at this point, pay Babe $25 million for the property, or they can pay the fees and leave her alone.  Time will tell.

"Nobody, nobody can take this away from me," she said after winning the battle of her life.

Her attorney, Jim Figliulo, said that she wants to keep the property, which is "more important than the money."

This former golf pro, has lived in a modest home on the course her whole life.

Among the memories she has of those 101 years, is a visit from "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks who came to play her course.

"They wouldn't take him at Beverly Country Club," she said, adding that that golf club didn't allow blacks at the time.

"He came here. I said, 'C'mon, Ernie.' I taught him how to putt," Babe said.

"I know every blade of grass out there. It's my life!" she said. "I'm a dedicated woman!"

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