One-Man Show

An Essay

by Lynn Ahrens
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I moved through the phases of the story and ended near tears. The author wrote with empathy and with as much objectivity as possible about a parent who had been loving and attentive to her when she was a child and turned competitive and petty when she matured to adulthood. Simultaneously, I understood her father's desire for artistic recognition and puzzlement and disappointment when it did not come to the extent he had hoped. I am glad that the author was able to achieve her own professional success.

Ms. Ahrens, If you're still looking for that willow tree in the photograph, you can find it on the north side of the Turtle Pond in Central Park, opposite Belvedere Castle. My fiancé and I sat on that long branch on one of our first dates. I cupped my hands so she could step up and I could lift her into the tree. A stranger, who must have been watching us, walked quickly over to me and lifted me up and over his shoulder while I struggled as politely as I could and plead for him to put me down. He set me in the tree next to her, then smiled at us both and walked back to his family.