From my journal: For most of my life, my father and I have struggled to connect with each other. We are very different men, and our differences have grown during the passage of the years. Nevertheless, there were occasional exceptions to this distancing, and I think I remember almost everyone of them. They were the events when, for a short while, there was—between him and me—a sense of sublime closeness.

One of the more memorable of those moments came when I was a second grader at P.S. (Public School) 33 in New York. On a spring day shortly before lunch hour, my father came to the door of my classroom. After a brief word with the teacher he gestured for me to join him. "Son," he said, "clean off your desk and come with me." Soon after, we were walking down the hallway and out the front door of the school.

Only when we reached the privacy of his car did my father speak again and disclose his real purpose in taking me out of school. "I thought you'd like to go to the ball game ...

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