“A book without words is like love without a kiss; it's empty.”
― Andrew Wolfe
My mother, shortly after I arrived for a visit, pointed out two bags of books in her living room's corner. "I'm donating them to the library," she said. "They're heavy - I already broke one handle. Go through them and see if there is anything you want."
Nestled at the bottom of a stack, innocuous - Wait Till Next Year, by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. It is styled a memoir, a rendering of Ebbets Field cloud-borne above a trim early fifties neighborhood. A possibility.
Ms. Goodwin's father was a Dodger fan, back when they played in Brooklyn, NY. He taught her to keeps score listening to the ageless radio voice of Red Barber describe games visible only to her imagination. Her father's return home from work led her to recount the play-by-play, honing story-telling techniques that would later earn her the Pulitzer. I settled in.
Inside the front cover, in mid-twentieth century script, a name; Alfred C. Lawson. A book dropped off at a library, as was its destiny again. A story making the rounds. On the title page;
To my dear husband after fifty something years of teaching me to love THE game
With love and thanks
Alfred C. Lawson had been in the Navy during World War II. He settled in the Rochester area after his discharge. A life-long learner, he and Audie were married for sixty seven years at the time of his death in 2013.
I will not put Audie's gift to Alfred back on the pile, but will pass it on to my daughter Katy, with whom I share a love of the game.