Eight Stories, Based on a True Life

Downpour

(1953)

My father promises to take me to the Giants game at the Polo Grounds. There are two New York Giants teams, but if you just say Giants everyone knows you don’t mean the football team. The morning starts dark and gray, and by 11:00 a.m. the downpour is relentless, the kind football teams play in but not baseball teams. My father says we’ll go another day.

I protest that it is just a rain delay and picture everyone sitting around making small talk about the old days, like the announcers do on the radio. I put up such a fuss that my father says he will teach me the lesson that we can’t control everything, especially the weather. We drive toward Manhattan silently and a little faster than usual, which I like.

We outdrive the rain, and when we reach the strip of the Major Deegan Expressway where you can see Yankee Stadium out of one window and the Polo Grounds out of the other, my father points out that no one west of St. Louis can see a major league stadium anywhere.

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