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Continuing the Passion

Title: Continuing the Passion

Series: N/A

Author: Clifford B. Bowyer

ISBN: 978-0-9787782-6-2

Product Code: BK0028

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 360

Release Date: May 2009

Cover Price: $18.95

Our Price: $15.95

 

 

 

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Book Jacket

 

Silver Leaf Books proudly presents a new type of novel full of emotion, drama, and life challenges that will touch each and every readers' souls.

Continuing the Passion follows the story of Connor Edmond Blake, a best-selling Fantasy and Science Fiction novelist who, after suffering the tragic and unexpected loss of his father decides that the best way to honor the memory of his father is by carrying on the legacy that his father left behind.

Connor’s father, William Edward Blake, was a Hall of Fame High School Baseball Coach who led his team to numerous state championships. Most of Connor’s memories and moments he shared with his father have something to do with and revolve around the sport of baseball. As a former coach himself, of a men’s softball team, Connor decides to at least make the attempt to coach a High School team in attempt to honor his father.

In the midst of his efforts, Connor is deeply entrenched in family concerns and doing his best to help his mother and siblings in this trying time. Rather than letting the death of his father crush him, Connor rises to the challenge, ready or not, and becomes the central figure in the family that is there for everyone else.

Through a new government program sponsored by the Governor, Connor is presented with the opportunity to become not just an assistant coach, but a head coach of a new school and baseball team. The school itself is a statewide school of choice in an attempt to reduce the stress and attendance of primarily inner city and other over-populated schools. In it’s inaugural year, there was little hope for an athletic program until the pursuit of Connor’s mission to honor his father attracted the attention of the Governor, Superintendent, and Principal, after a recommendation from the Principal of the school Connor’s father previously coached.

With assistant coaches from his softball days, years of drills, notes, and progress reports from his father, and a deeply ingrained knowledge and passion for the game, Connor begins his new career as a head baseball coach, hoping to live up to the name that his father had created. His task is not an easy one, with players who had never played before, establishing an entire athletic program, acquiring uniforms, funding, and even approving a schedule with the state league.

Through personality conflicts with members of the team, working to help a dyslexic player remain academically eligible, managing injuries, overcoming diversity and public scrutiny, and fighting to overcome additional tragedies that will impact every player on the team, Connor Blake will claim his father’s passion and struggle to persevere. He continues his father’s legacy, his passion, and slowly helps his family, and himself, move beyond the loss of the late William Edward Blake. 

Continuing the Passion is seen through the eyes of Connor Blake as he experiences the tragedy of the loss of his father, and his pursuit to help his family find a way to overcome the loss. In the end, after fulfilling his tribute to his father, Connor feels as if he did honor his father’s memory, and that if it were possible, his father was watching with love and pride.


 

Book Excerpt

 

Prologue

Baseball is a game to some, but a passion to others. The passion, whether it is from a fan, a player, or a coach, is what keeps the game pure and inspirational. It is not about free agency, corporate sponsors, and business; it is about dreams and the pursuit to fulfill them. It is about teamwork, striving with your peers for a common goal, and for nine innings at a time, putting it all on the line in hopes of achieving those goals.

For eight-year-old Connor Blake, baseball was more than just a game: it was a way of life. Not because he was captivated with his favorite Major League Baseball team—because truth be told, sitting through nine innings of a game in the living room could become rather dull for an eight-year-old—but because he enjoyed playing it, listening about it, and learning about it from his father.

Connor’s father was not just a passionate fan who liked to talk about trades, free agent acquisitions, and how a season was going. He was, instead, a baseball coach. Not in the major leagues where everyone would know his name, but in the town of Corinth, Massachusetts with a population of a little over 20,000.

In Corinth the name William Edward Blake, a high school history teacher and varsity baseball coach, was well known. He was the man who led his team to over a dozen division championships, and even had two teams compete on the national level, one of which brought home the trophy. He was not Mr. Blake, William, or Bill, but “Coach,” and whenever that simple word was spoken, everyone in Corinth—student, parent, faculty, staff, or administration—knew exactly who was being referred to.

Being a high school teacher and coach is never about the money or the fame, but about the desire to help others, to guide and teach the next generation, and the pride in seeing those whose lives you impacted becoming successful. Coach had more than a few players make it to the major leagues, and whether they were on his beloved Red Sox or not, he would follow their progress and statistics throughout their baseball careers. With every win, he felt a sense of pride and accomplishment; with every loss, he felt confident that his “boys” would get them the next time.

The demands of his time on teaching and coaching never took away from his family life. His beautiful wife Melony, who he called his “Angel,” and his son Connor, were his heart and soul. Whether he had a good day or not, the moment he stepped foot in the door, he had a smile on his face and warmly welcomed his family.

During the summer break, the three would travel. There were always times when they went to military bases since Coach was also a member of the Army Reserves since serving in the Navy during World War II. If not, then they would drive south—always driving because Coach hated flying more than anything—every summer, making it an adventure. As a history teacher, Coach would stop off at Civil War battle sites and talk about what happened there. It may sound dry to some who groan at the thought of history, but Connor always had his hands on the windows, watching the fields, listening to the stories, and visualizing what his father was telling him.

They also stopped at outlet malls, sometimes spending three to four hours shopping just for the sake of seeing what was there. Coach would joke that they only managed to make two hundred miles that day, but nobody was complaining. Every stop along the way, they made new friends—the hostess at a Marriott, the waiter at a diner, the cashier in a supermarket. The ironic part, year after year, these newfound friends would remember the Blake’s, and even if just sitting for a meal, it was like spending time with long-lost relatives that you needed to become reacquainted with.

The odyssey ended in Florida, where after several trips to other locations around the country, all three agreed that Disney World was the place that they all wanted to be. There were always new things to see, new shows, new attractions, and even year after year, none of them ever grew bored with their destination. Disney was like a second home.

On that year, however, when Connor was eight, Coach was invited to spend some time at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. Each year, there was an intense baseball clinic for high school athletes from around the country, and, in some instances, from around the world. The coaches asked to come to the clinic changed annually, allowing the athletes who attended to receive a wide array of training styles from different regions. That year, after five straight divisional titles, Coach was asked to host a batting clinic.

Melony opted to stay by the pool, working on her tan, but Connor was overjoyed to see his father coaching others. He sat on the bench, watching his father working with each athlete who came to the clinic. They began at dawn, took a break for lunch—Connor and his father each had a couple of hotdogs—and then continued on until early evening when the session ended.

Connor never grew tired of watching his father. Coach gave the same attention to every player, whether they were the most prolific batters Connor had ever seen, or if they spent fifteen minutes swinging a bat without even touching a ball. Coach always spoke calmly, encouragingly, and found ways to help the athletes improve their swing. Whenever the batters who could not hit finally began hitting, Connor felt like clapping his hands and cheering: his father had the gift, and not a single athlete walked out of the batters box feeling as if they did not learn something insightful from Coach.

When the day was done, Coach held the bat out for Connor, smiling and waving him over. “Ready to give it a whirl?”

“Really?” Connor asked, eyes widening in anticipation of the opportunity to play.

Coach smiled wider, handing the bat to his son. Some people might want nothing more than to go home and relax after a long day at work, but Coach never once had that thought, desiring only to have his son have some fun too.

Coach walked up to the mound, reached into the bucket for a ball, and looked at Connor. “Are you ready?”

Connor nodded, watching his father and waiting for the pitch. He was batting right-handed, his stance similar to the one Dwight Evans used to use with his left foot slightly raised on his toes. Connor knew that his parents both loved Dwight Evans, and he had seen more than a few Corinth batters in a similar stance. When Connor first began using it, Coach spent hours throwing him balls and giving his son tips on balance, grip, motion, and always keeping his eye on the ball.

Coach motioned into his windup and threw a perfect batting-practice pitch to his son. Connor swung away, watching the ball the entire time, and hit it down the third-base line. After a dozen pitches, Coach said, “They shifted to the left on you, what are you going to do?”

Connor nodded. He may only be eight, but he knew what to do if there was a shift put on him already. He remained in the same stance, but as the ball came in, instead of stepping into it, he stepped slightly to the right, angling his body toward first base. The ball connected with the bat and hit a line-drive between second and first.

“Great,” Coach said. “You’re hiding that much better now.”

Connor couldn’t keep the look of pride from spreading on his face. He had been at a Little League game where he wanted to hit it down the right-field line because the right fielder was actually sitting down and pulling grass from the ground. The only way he could at the time, though, was over-compensating by shifting his entire stance. He hit the ball where he wanted to, and nobody on the other team seemed to notice what he was doing, but Coach worked with him over the next couple of weeks to mask where he was aiming so that future opponents couldn’t shift themselves to make the play easier.

“You ready to bat lefty?” Coach asked.

Connor stepped to the other side of the plate, and got back into his stance. Once he nodded that he was ready, his father threw him a pitch, right down the middle. Connor swung and missed.

“That’s okay, just keep your eye on the ball and choke up a little on the bat.”

Connor tightened his grip and slid his hands a little up the barrel of the bat as his father instructed. Another pitch went by and Connor barely tipped it foul.

“Better,” Coach said, encouragingly. “You were just a second off. You’ll get this one.”

The third pitch, Connor connected with such ferocity and determination that he looked like a Major League Baseball power hitter. The ball did not soar out of the complex, but it went high and far, trailing most of the way to the wall.

Coach walked in to the batters box, excited, and hugged his son. “Did you see that? That shot would have been out of every field you play in back home.”

Looking at it that way, Connor didn’t mind so much that he didn’t quite reach the fence. His father was right: in every Little League park that had a fence, it would be a home run. In the parks that didn’t have a fence, with his speed, it would probably still be a home run.

“How about a few more pitches?” Coach asked.

“I’m ready,” Connor said, keeping his hands choked up on the bat.

Coach threw until the bucket of balls was empty. In the end, Connor had just about the same number of pitches from both sides of the plate. There was definitely a pattern that could be seen from his hitting. As the two walked around the field shagging balls together, Coach imparted a few tips about batting.

“How did you feel?”

“I was more comfortable batting righty, but I hit better lefty,” Connor said.

“You hit with far more power lefty, but you were more consistent righty,” Coach said.

“Which is better?” Connor asked.

“You tell me,” Coach said. “Would you rather bat over .300, get on base a lot, score a lot of runs, or bat closer to .200, hit home runs, and maybe drive in more runs than you score?”

“Everyone likes home runs,” Connor said, frowning, knowing what his father was thinking.

“You’re right,” Coach replied. “A home run is exciting. Everyone cheers and that one big hit can mean the difference in a game.”

“So I should bat lefty?” Connor asked.

“You said you were more comfortable righty,” Coach reminded.

“I am,” Connor admitted. “My stance feels right.”

“I would go with how I was most comfortable,” Coach said.

“But I don’t hit for power righty,” Connor said, his shoulders sagging.

“Be a line-drive and gap hitter,” Coach suggested. “Or, we’ll work every day on batting lefty and try to get you to be more consistent. In time, you’ll probably feel comfortable batting both ways.”

“Can I be a switch hitter?”

“Of course,” Coach said. “Some people bat lefty against right-handed pitchers, and righty against left-handed pitchers. You could certainly do that. Or, just bat for consistency most of the time, and if that big hit is needed, show them what you can do.”

“Okay,” Connor said. “But we can work on it some more?”

“We definitely can,” Coach said. Tapping Connor on the hat, he pointed to the scoreboard for the time. “We should get back to the room. I’m sure your mother will want to do something tonight.”

Connor nodded. Knowing his mother, she probably already had something planned for the evening. Coach drove them back to their motel, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and the two chatted about baseball the entire time. When they got home, clothes were already set out for them: they had reservations for a dinner show at the Polynesian Luau.

With baseball now in the back of their minds, the pair took showers and got ready for the night. The three took the Disney shuttle to the Magic Kingdom, and from there the monorail to the Polynesian. The night was full of laughs, stories, memories, and awe. Disney never failed to deliver, and the Blakes’ would cherish the memories of their times there.


 

Chapter  • 1

By the time Connor was thirty-one, he had loved, lost, loved again, and risked everything to follow a dream. His dream was not baseball—though he did coach a softball team in a men’s league for nine years­—but instead for writing. With a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and an MBA in Business, Connor was a very successful employee in Corporate America, working for SJC—Stanley Jalbert & Company—a financial investment firm. His field specifically was Business Continuity, which was known by numerous buzz names, including Business Contingency and Disaster Recovery.

The goal of his focus was the ability to continue normal business operations in the event of an emergency. It could be as simple as a power failure, or as devastating as a terrorist attack. Regardless of the scenario, it was his job to make absolutely certain that if something unexpected happened, there was a way to resolve the problem effectively and efficiently.

He inherited the plan from his division and decided very quickly to scrap the entire thing to make a new one of his own design. Forging a team of experts from around the division, Connor questioned everything, and designed a new plan that truly did take into account every contingency for every scenario. Even something like a tsunami­—which was considered virtually impossible as a natural disaster in Massachusetts—was taken into account. 

Connor was known throughout the company for his ability to question the normal guidelines and to find more-effective ways to achieve his goals. The reputation was well deserved, and reached well beyond the walls of SJC. It was in large part because of this that Connor was handpicked for a project management team that was tasked with revolutionizing the way the company did business. Though excited by the opportunity, Connor felt out of place in the new unit, and also found the company beginning to go through numerous layoffs, feeling that his future with SJC was no longer as certain as it had once been.

The entire time Connor had been working and finishing his Masters program, he had also been writing a fantasy-adventure novel. He had an idea for some kind of romantic comedy swirling around his actual experiences with softball, but wanting to refine his writing style, decided to go with fantasy since, as he often explained, he could make up the rules as he goes along.

When the company decided to offer a voluntary separation package, Connor took it, deciding to finish his novel and see what would happen. He understood the dynamics of being an author. After all, his research showed that a first-time novelist, on average, sold only 3000 books a year. Even if he made a dollar or two per book in royalties, that would be a substantial pay cut from the six figures he was currently enjoying. Regardless, Connor was unhappy with the project team, and he decided to take the plunge to follow his passion.

His first book and series was published six months after he “retired” from SJC under his full name, Connor Edmond Blake. As he expected, the books sold, but not anywhere near the extent that he would need them to in order to live off of them as a profession. He did find, though, that the fans of his work became quite passionate, the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, and his family and friends were more proud of him than they ever had been when he was making more money, working crazy hours, and being an executive.

A few years later, the fantasy series was continuing to grow in popularity, including more than a few inquiries optioning the rights to create a film series based on the books. Connor, long-forgetting his original book idea of a romantic comedy, wrote numerous books, including a prequel, a young adult spin-off series, and even began working with a development team on transforming his world into a role-playing game.

It was not, however, until he decided to write something different—an espionage suspense novel with a slight touch of science fiction—that Connor became a best-selling author. Finally making money again, Connor asked his girlfriend of three years, Marina Norton, to become his wife, and the two wed on the beach on the Cape.

Throughout all of this, Connor kept a single tradition going with his family: Saturday would always be the family movie day. Marina worked Saturdays, so Connor would go to his parents’, taking them out to the movies and either lunch or dinner. His mother loved nothing more than going to the movies, whether it was one, two, or even three a day. His father, retired from both teaching and coaching, enjoyed the stimulating discussions of trends in the game of baseball, roster moves, player development, and how things were progressing with their favorite team, the Boston Red Sox.

Just like their annual trips to Disney, Saturday became their weekly day together. There were times when someone may have been too busy to go, or something important came up, but more often than not, the movie theater was where the family would be. There was one time when the three saw two movies, went to dinner, and then came back and saw two more! It was not entirely intentional, as they were just going to see the sneak preview of For Love of the Game with Kevin Costner, but the showing allowed them to stay for another movie afterward, and they did.

In the new Costner movie, during a scene when Costner was tiring and thought his perfect game would be ruined, when the catcher told him that the team was there for him, Melony looked over at her husband and saw tears in his eyes. Leaning over to tell Connor that his father was crying, she was shocked to see that he, too, had streaks flowing down his face.

It was not that the movie was sad, or that the two men were upset, but the Blake men always believed strongly in looking after your own, and pulling together to help each other out. It really did not matter where that theme was found, whether a sports movie, a military movie, or anything of the sort, the sentiment always made both men cry.

With their tradition in place, it was not unusual on October 21st, 2006, for Connor to make the trip to his parents’ house to go to the movies. Marina was working and then had plans with an old college friend. The two would be staying in Mystic Connecticut for the night. Connor knew that his father would like him to spend the night, but he had a meeting in the morning with the RPG development team and still had a good six to eight hours worth of work to prepare for it. The plan was for a pair of movies, dinner, and then he would head home.

The first movie was going to be at a relatively new theater built, the “Premium Theater,” where you have to buy seats like going to the theatre and seeing a play. Each seat was large, leather, and had a table in front to eat. Viewers could order food before the movie, and then have their food brought directly to them before the show started. The Blake’s loved the Premium Theater, and whenever there was a good movie playing, they preferred to go there first.

This particular weekend, Flags of Our Fathers was the featured movie. Connor had spoken with his mother earlier that morning: they were going to go to the 12:00 movie, have lunch at the theater, then go to see another movie, and have dinner after that. It had been several weeks since they had seen their Saturday movies for one reason or another, and Connor was looking forward to it.

While driving, the phone rang. “Connor Blake,” he said, his customary way of answering the phone since his very first day working at SJC.

“Connor, my tire just blew up!”

Connor recognized the panic in his mother’s voice. His father had always been the one who drove places, handled all car repairs, and fixed whatever needed fixing. But a year before, his foot slipped from the brake to the gas and he hit three cars in a parking lot before he could stop the car. He was showing signs of the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, and it was then that Coach had realized that he had to stop driving unless some kind of cure could be found. It broke his heart, but he did not want to be the cause of an accident where someone could get hurt.

Since then, his mother had the responsibility of driving and doing things thrust upon her. She already worked a sales job that caused her to feel stressed and anxious twice a month. Now, with being the one having to drive to doctor’s visits, to every store, to restaurants, to visit family, to movies, and more, the sense of anxiety only grew.

“Are you okay?” Connor asked, trying to stay calm and relay that to his mother.

“I’m fine,” Melony said. “But my car!”

“What happened?”

“I just had to make one last delivery,” Melony said, her voice cracking and Connor knew she was on the verge of tears. “I figured I had a little more time before you got here, and wanted to try and get something done.”

“Where are you now?” asked Connor, glancing down at the clock and seeing that he was still half an hour away.

“I’m home,” Melony said. “I drove it home.”

“With a blown tire?” Connor asked, cringing.

“I didn’t know what to do,” Melony said. “Your father always handled these things! What do I do?”

“First off, I want you to sit down,” Connor said. “We’ll take care of this and then it will be nothing more than a bad memory.”

“How though? We’re going to miss the movie.”

“We can go see a later show,” Connor said. “We can go and have the tire replaced. Maybe I’ll change the tire, then I’ll follow you to BJ’s or something.”

“They’ll change tires on a Saturday?”

“Of course,” Connor said. “We can drop it off, go see our movie, and then pick it up.”

“Okay,” Melony replied, sounding calmer.

“I’ll be there in half an hour, and I’ll take care of everything then. Just relax until then.”

“Okay, I’ll try,” Melony said. “I was so looking forward to lunch at the Premium Theater. I haven’t eaten anything yet.”

“Well, after I get there, we’ll see about getting some lunch. Then we’ll go to a later movie.”

“Okay,” Melony said. “Thank you.”

“Anytime,” Connor said. “I’ll see you soon.”

“I love you,” Melony said.

“I love you, too,” Connor replied, hanging up the phone. Glancing at the clock, he checked the time and then pulled out the list of movie times, glancing up and down at the road while driving and the list to see their options. They could see the 3:00 movie in the same theater, so perhaps something small for lunch like a sandwich would be good.

The rest of the trip to his parents’ house met very little traffic, and Connor pulled up next to his mother’s car. A few months earlier, because his father was having trouble getting in and out of her car, she had purchased a Buick Rendezvous. Getting out, Connor saw that the front right tire looked almost shredded, but there appeared to me no damage to the body of the vehicle. Of course, there could be damage to the rim, especially since she drove it home like that, but the first step was changing the tire.

Melony walked out of the house and headed to the car. “I don’t know what happened. I dropped something, but was at a stop sign; so I bent down to pick it up. When I was up, the person across from me waved me to go, and without thinking I went. But there was a curb there, and rushing for the other man, I hit it. It sounded like an explosion, or at least like thunder.”

“And you’re okay?”

“I’m fine,” Melony said. “Shaken up a little, but fine.”

“When I bought my truck, I had a roadside assistance plan where they would send people out to me. Did you get something like that with this?” Connor asked.

“You know what, I think I do,” Melony replied, nodding hopefully.

“Why don’t we give them a call? At least they’ll be able to come and switch tires for you. Then we can get a replacement.”

“Okay, I’ll do that,” Melony said.

The two walked into the house where Connor was met by both the Chihuahuas, Chip and Dale, and the cats, Boots and Mittens. After spending a couple of minutes petting them, he went into the den where his father was looking at a couple of videos.

“Hi, Sir,” Connor said, grinning as he saw that his father was wearing the hat from his old softball team, WildCard. “I like the hat.”

“It’s my son’s,” he replied, looking up, smiling affectionately, and winking. “Your mother is a bit nervous.”

“I think she’s okay,” Connor said.

“Don’t change the tire yourself,” he warned. “Call triple-A and have them do it.”

“We’ve got it covered,” Connor replied. “Mom is making a call now.”

His father nodded. “Remember, if you ever do change a tire, make sure you don’t put your arms or legs under the car, in case it falls.”

“I’ll remember,” Connor said. “So what have you got there?”

“Just some old tapes,” he replied. “Vacations when you were younger. I’m trying to organize them.”

Connor smiled, remembering the trips to Disney. The last vacation they all took together had been on the Disney Cruise Line. It had been wonderful. “I’m going to go help Mom.”

“Thank you,” his father said, taking Connor’s hand and squeezing it.

Connor walked over to his mother, who was pulling out the materials she received when buying her car. “Here it is,” she said. “Can you help me find the right one?”

Connor picked it up and glanced through the pages until he found the right form. He put the page down with the number for his mother, and then scanned the page. “We need your VIN number,” he said. “I’ll get it.” Taking a piece of paper, Connor went back to the car and wrote the number down. He came back inside, handing the page to his mother, and waiting as she made the call.

“Thank you,” she said as she put the receiver down. “Up to two hours.”

“So why don’t I go pick us up some lunch,” Connor suggested.

“What are you in the mood for?” Melony asked.

“Whatever you and Dad want,” Connor said. “Subs maybe?”

“Eddie, do you want a sub?” Melony asked.

“Sure,” he replied.

“Okay, let’s do that,” Melony said. “I’ll go with you. I get a senior discount.”

Connor looked at his watch. “Sure, we’ll have the time.”

As they got into Connor’s truck—a Cadillac Escalade EXT­—a tow truck pulled up in front of the house. Jack, the owner of Central Garage himself got out. “I got the call and came right away.”

“Oh Jack, thank you so much,” Melony said.

“What happened?” Jack asked.

Melony told the story again, and then Jack got to work on switching the tires. He told her that she needed to make sure she got the exact tire because of the warranty. Rather than looking around and driving on the temporary tire, Connor suggested just having Jack do it. He said it wouldn’t be a problem, and took the tire with him. He said that he’d call on Tuesday and we could just drive up and he would switch the tire right there.

As Jack drove off, Melony looked at her watch. “Think we can still make it?”

“Probably,” Connor said.

“Okay, I’ll tell your father.”

Walking back into the house, Connor’s father got up and met them in the kitchen. “That was quick.”

“Jack already changed the tire. We’re going to still try and make the movie.”

“No subs?” he asked.

“Oh, honey, I’m sorry,” Melony asked. “Do you have something here?”

“Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll find something,” Eddie said.

“You’re not coming?” Connor asked.

“Not today,” he replied. “I feel like just staying home and watching the videos.”

“Okay, Sir—have fun,” Connor said.

“You too,” Eddie replied. 

*   *   *   *   *

 As it turns out, they did miss the movie, but bought tickets for the next show. Buying a quick sandwich from Burger King so as not to completely lose their appetites for the Premium Theater, Melony and Connor both felt bad that they hadn’t actually gotten the subs. Coach would never say anything to get in their way, but they could both see how disappointed he had been. Subs and donuts were two things that Coach had always loved. Connor remembered numerous times going out of the way to little places that his father had found where they made nice, thick sandwiches or extra-tasty donuts.

With time to spare, mother and son did a little shopping, and then went to the theater early. Melony ordered a turkey club, and Connor got teriyaki glazed chicken wings. They talked until the movie began, laughing and joking, and then enjoyed the film.

By the time they drove back home, it was already late. Coach walked out to greet them again, smiling. “Hi, how was the movie?”

“It was good,” Melony said. “I didn’t remember everything from back then though. I only remember Ira.”

Coach, flipping on both his history teacher and World War II hats, began telling his wife and son all about what happened, recapping the entire movie he had not seen as if he had also been there. When he finished, he said, “So, where are we going for dinner?”

“Oh, Eddie, we ate at the theater,” Melony said. “I’m sorry.”

“I can go pick something up for you, sir,” Connor suggested.

“No, I’ll just have some soup,” Eddie decided. “Can you make it for me, Angel?”

“I’ve got it,” Connor said. “What kind would you like?”

“Just the ramen noodles is fine,” he said.

“Ramen noodle soup, coming right up,” Connor said.

Eddie walked back to his chair and sat down, looking at two tapes that were out of their boxes. “I just need to figure out which one is which,” he said.

Connor walked in with the soup, and looked at the boxes. “I don’t think it really matters, Sir, neither box is marked.”

“Okay,” Eddie replied, dropping the tape on the table.

“What would you like to drink, Sir?”

“Soda would be fine.”

While Connor helped his father, his mother listened to messages and returned a few phone calls. When she was done, she came in and sat down with them both. “You know, I wish you came today,” she said.

“I was fine,” Eddie said. “And you had a good time, too.”

“We did,” Melony replied.

“A great time,” Connor added.

“Good, good,” Eddie said. He then looked straight at Connor. “Marina isn’t home tonight, right?”

“No, she’s in Mystic,” Connor replied.

“Then you should stay.”

“I really should get going,” Connor said. “I’m still working on the descriptions for the ‘Items and Equipment’ for tomorrow morning’s meeting. I probably have a good six to eight hours of work to do.”

“Where’s the meeting?”

“In Milford,” Connor said.

“So you’ll be coming back to this area in the morning,” Eddie pointed out. “You should definitely stay.”

“If I had brought all of my materials for the meeting I would have,” Connor said, “but I don’t have anything, even if I decided not to finish the descriptions tonight.”

His father’s eyes dropped to his bowl of soup, but he didn’t push the point any further.

“Well, I should get going,” Connor said. “Thank you again for a lovely day.”

“Oh, my pleasure,” Melony said.

“I love you, Sir,” Connor said, leaning over and hugging his father.

“I love you, too.”

Connor then said a quick farewell to the four pets and then made his way home. Along the way, his mother called because her glasses were missing. Connor had taken the phone number to the Premium Theater just that afternoon to make future reservations and gave her the number. He said that if they had it, he would pick her up after his meeting in the morning and take her to get them. If they were somewhere in the house, and the dogs took them, then he would come and help her look after the meeting as well. With that, he hung up, finished his ride home, and then went straight to work until well after 2:00 in the morning working on the game.


 

Book Reviews

 

Review by: Chantal Lavigne, Chantal's Reviews

Great gift or even a keeper. For the ones who love baseball.

 

 

 

 
 

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