“I liked the thought that the book I was now holding had been held by dozens of others.”
“For your penance, say two Hail Marys, three our Fathers, and," he added, with a chuckle, "say a special prayer for the Dodgers.”
“Excitement about things became a habit, a part of my personality, and the expectation that I should enjoy new experiences often engendered the enjoyment itself.”
“Sometimes, sitting in the park with my boys, I imagine myself back at Ebbets Field, a young girl once more in the presence of my father, watching the players of my youth on the grassy fields below—Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges. There is magic in these moments, for when I open my eyes and see my sons in the place where my father once sat, I feel an invisible bond among our three generations, an anchor of loyalty and love linking my sons to the grandfather whose face they have never seen but whose person they have come to know through this most timeless of sports.”
“He called me "Bubbles," a pet name he had chosen, he told me, because I seemed to enjoy so many things. Anxious to confirm his description, I refused to let my enthusiasm wane, even when I grew tired or grumpy. Thus excitement about things became a habit, a part of my personality, and the expectation that I should enjoy new experiences often engendered the enjoyment itself.”
“I opened the curtain and entered the confessional, a dark wooden booth built into the side wall of the church. As I knelt on the small worn bench, I could hear a boy's halting confession through the wall, his prescribed penance inaudible as the panel slid open on my side and the priest directed his attention to me.
"Yes, my child," he inquired softly.
"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. This is my First Confession."
"Yes, my child, and what sins have you committed?"
"I talked in church twenty times, I disobeyed my mother five times, I wished harm to others several times, I told a fib three times, I talked back to my teacher twice." I held my breath.
"And to whom did you wish harm?"
My scheme had failed. He had picked out the one group of sins that most troubled me. Speaking as softly as I could, I made my admission.
"I wished harm to Allie Reynolds."
"The Yankee pitcher?" he asked, surprise and concern in his voice. "And how did you wish to harm him?"
"I wanted him to break his arm."
"And how often did you make this wish?"
"Every night," I admitted, "before going to bed, in my prayers."
"And were there others?"
"Oh, yes," I admitted. "I wished that Robin Roberts of the Phillies would fall down the steps of his stoop, and that Richie Ashburn would break his hand."
"Is there anything else?"
"Yes, I wished that Enos Slaughter of the Cards would break his ankle, that Phil Rizzuto of the Yanks would fracture a rib, and that Alvin Dark of the Giants would hurt his knee." But, I hastened to add, "I wished that all these injuries would go away once the baseball season ended."
"Are there any other sins, my child?"
"For your penance, say two Hail Mary's, three Our Fathers, and," he added with a chuckle, "say a special prayer for the Dodgers. ...”
“Well, did anything interesting happen today?' [my father] would begin. And even before the daily question was completed I had eagerly launched into my narrative of every play, and almost every pitch, of that afternoon's contest. It never crossed my mind to wonder if, at the close of a day's work, he might find my lengthy account the least bit tedious. For there was mastery as well as pleasure in our nightly ritual. Through my knowledge, I commanded my father's undivided attention, the sign of his love. It would instill in me an early awareness of the power of narrative, which would introduce a lifetime of storytelling, fueled by the naive confidence that others would find me as entertaining as my father did.”
“In the reflected gaze of his (her husband's) steady admiration, she saw the face of the girl he had fallen in love with.”
“The more you read about a subject, he advised me, the more interesting it will seem.”
“There it was again: the entrance up the darkened ramp disclosing an expanse of amazing green, the fervent crowd contained in a stadium scaled to human dimensions, the players so close it almost seemed that you could touch them, the eccentric features of an old ballpark constructed to fit the contours of the allotted space. I”
“The books my mother read and reread provided a broader, more adventurous world, and escape from the confines of her chronic illness. Her interior life was enriched even as her physical life contracted. If she couldn't change the reality of her situation, she could change her perception of it. She could enter into the lives of the characters in her books, sharing their journeys while she remained seated in her chair.”
“I know. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought it was a book about a nice college girl interviewing a businessman until contracts start to be talked of and kisses happen in elevators. Then before you know it,” Grams wings her hands in the air freely, “penises are flying about and tampons are being pulled out.” Fanning herself, she continues, “I’ve been quite educated.”
“Donald Trump, a man whose idea of policy is a big wall, was the Republican front-runner for months, and ceded the lead to a man who wants to fight immigrants with drones. This whole thing is a joke.”
“I would love nothing more than to be your hero, Becca Owens.”
“War has often been called a game, with good reason. Both have combatants. Both have sides. Both carry the risk of losing.”
“Heiron, Kyros of Aegina entered, a slow stately walk in a chiton that swept the floor, and fell in folds, like heavy Veretian curtains. ‘My son tells a different story.’ ‘Your son?’ said Charls. ‘Alexon,’ said Heiron, holding out his hand. ‘Come here.’ As Charls stood amazed, Alexon drew himself up to his full height, pushing back the blue cloak. ‘It’s true. I am Alexon, son of Heiron,’ said Alexon. ‘I am not a humble sheep farmer as I claimed.’ ‘But your insights about wool,’ said Charls. ‘I often travel anonymously through the province,’ said Alexon. ‘People show their true natures freely when they don’t know who I am.’ He”
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