01 April 2008


The primary, persistent, and pedestrian, I imagine, adolescent dream I harbored was to play center field for the New York Yankees. I named an entire cat litter after the Yankees, beginning with Yogi Berra, ending with Roger Maris. One kitten, Whitey Ford, turned out to be a female who stayed with the Stone family for over a decade providing generations of furry feline fans of the Yankees.

I lived two lives, really: The outer one playing sports, all the way through high school (basketball and baseball), and the inner, bookish one of reading and absorbing knowledge and wanting to know as much about the world as I could, including actually traveling out to see it. Both sides of my parents' generation were all college graduates and my father, boisterously gifted, was a small-town newspaper editor, so life at my house always included reading. I read constantly, lots of historical novels (remember The Robe, The Silver Chalice, Robert Louis Stevenson’s novels, the early Robert Heinlein science fiction?), when not outdoors or in a gym playing sports.

I gave up the dream of sports stardom, of course (although I am now trying to get into sufficient running shape to play in the faculty-student basketball game), but the actual dreaming of playing baseball persisted for decades. My drive to understand the world remains.

The two impulsions--sports and mental development--have informed who I am today: A teacher (who always said it was the last thing he would do), a student (working on yet another degree), and a self-labeling of athletic-scholar. You might say, a gym rat with book.

Whether actualized or not, it's our vision(s)--played backwards and forward--which greatly informs and defines who we are.

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