Magnificent, Stephen.

I could see, touch, and smell it. My own boyish baseball stories don’t precisely match yours, but the essence does.

Fred Shirley once told me a story, one from across the pond, about his father teaching him how to oil up his cricket bat.

The heart of the tales are the same, even though the details differ. Rituals passed down from father to son imprint themselves on our sensory memories.

I found a baseball just the other day while I was mowing the lawn. I think the boys next door lost it. When I picked it up, it was scuffed, grass stained, and losing stitching.

Before I tossed it into the next backyard for the kids to find, I turned it over in my hand, and I felt that sharp sting.

First lesson, catch it in the web.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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