by Gus Ramsey
Greenwich, Connecticut. Circa 1975.
Bright sunny day... sky of blue and summer exploding all over.
In the front yard, full of joy and delight.
My father was born in Pennsylvania, raised on baseball, the Dodgers and Red Barber.
Life was good for me, no conflict, no worries, just baseball, my dad and the Mets.
Many trips to Shea. Many Mets hats, shirts, and pennants. Don’t forget the knish and the pretzel after the game.
On this day, this glorious summer day, he’s filling the sky with tennis balls.
The repetition was simple yet pleasurable as I caught as many as I could.
“Two hands...atta boy... in, in, in...”
The words of encouragement never ceasing, the desire to impress growing larger by the moment.
and back I went, over the driveway’s hot summer asphalt toward the garbage can bin.
Eyes never leaving the yellow ball, back up against the wall.
Stretching...reaching... and then catching, with arm extended as far back as possible.
Joy, delirium and wonderment. I hold the ball up high and wear the large, unmistakable grin of a young boy who pleased himself.
At the other end of the driveway, my father smiles the smile of disbelief and pride that only a father can feel for his son.
One day, one moment, one father’s smile... one memory for a lifetime.
I love you, Dad.
Happy Father's Day.