Saturday, April 29, 2006


Baseball was big in my family, both sides. My father was named after Denton “Cy” Young. My mother’s mother listened to the ball games on the radio. I can remember sitting in her Morris chair listening to the game – I think I was three -- and wondering what the strange words meant. Later my mother became a fan. She knew everything about the Boston players – who they were married to, where they came from. She knew all the players in the minor leagues as well, so that when they came up to the majors, she already was familiar with them. My grandmother and Mrs. Butterfield would take the train to Boston once a year to see a game. Later my mother and Mrs. Larson would do the same thing. After a while, when money wasn’t so tight, they would go twice a year.

When we made our final move, we had room to play croquet, football, and baseball on the side yard. A woman whose brother lived next door was for many years the nanny for a wealthy, prominent Boston family. Occasionally she would bring the youngest of her charges to her brother’s for a few days. We caught a glimpse of what a wealthy life was like. Jimmy was watching my mother cook supper. He expressed surprise. “In my home, Carter does that.” Once he was on first base and someone got a hit. “Run home, Jimmy, run home.” We were surprised that he headed next door. He turned around with a stricken look on his face and said, “May I come back later?”

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