August 30, 2008


Widow’s Walk
Robert B. Parker

Solving the Mystery – My friend Mike Lynch says baseball is America’s game because it often provides fathers and sons with the common ground upon which they can communicate, safe territory upon which they can agree or disagree (and, in the process, get to know one another) while sharing something they love. My Dad and I have never had baseball in common; but my Father did get me started nearly 20 years ago on my kick with Robert B. Parker mystery novels – “Crimson Joy,” “Pale Kings and Princes,” “A Catskill Eagle,” “Taming a Sea-Horse” and others – about a Boston-based private detective named Spenser. My Dad also used to clip Mike Royko and Bill Granger columns out of the local newspapers and mail them to me after I moved out of the house. I think it was all his way of saying, “The world can be a dangerous place – and it’s especially tough if you’re trying to do the right thing. Keep an eye on others but don’t forget to look out for yourself.” That’s something he’s never told me explicitly, but it’s certainly a lesson I’ve learned from him. In part, I’ve learned it from “reading” my Dad’s life and actions. In part, I’ve learned it from reading Royko, Granger and Parker, too.

2 Comments:

Blogger Gordon said...

What a great story. My mother used to faithfully send me newspaper clippings for many years after I left home. Sometimes they were local news items with obvious connections, but once in a while they carried another message with their subtext. Thanks for prompting me to recall this.

September 06, 2008  
Blogger Michael said...

I love love love Parker novels--they got me through grad school. Royko was a big part of growing up--we always got the Daily News, then later the Sun-Times.

November 11, 2008  

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