Monday Oct. 19: I’ll take part in a forum about Yogi Berra at, where else, the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center at Montclair State University in New Jersey, 7 PM. Other panelists: two esteemed colleagues from the Times: Pulitzer-Prize winning Dave Anderson plus Harvey Araton, a/k/a the Rebbe of Roundball and chronicler of Yogi. Admission: $10. For information:
Friday, Oct. 23: I will be part of a panel “Selling Sport in the Cold War,” free to the public, 4:30 PM to 7 PM, at New York University’s Casa Italiana, 24 W. 12th St., New York, NY 10011. Panel members include: Amy Bass of The College of New Rochelle, Jeremy Schaap of ESPN and David McDonald of the University of Wisconsin. This is part of a two-day conference, The Global History of Sport in the Cold War, at NYU, Friday and Saturday. (Other events limited in space.) I was privileged to cover the Goodwill Games in Moscow in 1986 and Seattle in 1990 and often wrote about sport in the old Soviet bloc.) For information:
More and More, I Talk to the Dead--Margaret Renkl
NASHVILLE — After my mother died so suddenly — laughing at a rerun of “JAG” at 10 p.m., dying of a hemorrhagic stroke by dawn — I dreamed about her night after night. In every dream she was willfully, outrageously alive, unaware of the grief her death had caused. In every dream relief poured through me like a flash flood. Oh, thank God!
Then I would wake into keening grief all over again.
Years earlier, when my father learned he had advanced esophageal cancer, his doctor told him he had perhaps six months to live. He lived far longer than that, though I never thought of it as “living” once I learned how little time he really had. For six months my father was dying, and then he kept dying for two years more. I was still working and raising a family, but running beneath the thin soil of my own life was a river of death. My father’s dying governed my days.
After he died, I wept and kept weeping, but I rarely dreamed about my father the way I would dream about my mother nearly a decade later. Even in the midst of calamitous grief, I understood the difference: My father’s long illness had given me time to work death into the daily patterns of my life. My mother’s sudden death had obliterated any illusion that daily patterns are trustworthy.
Years have passed now, and it’s the ordinariness of grief itself that governs my days. The very air around me thrums with absence. I grieve the beloved high-school teacher I lost the summer after graduation and the beloved college professor who was my friend for more than two decades. I grieve the father I lost nearly 20 years ago and the father-in-law I lost during the pandemic. I grieve the great-grandmother who died my junior year of college and the grandmother who lived until I was deep into my 40s.
Some of those I grieve are people I didn’t even know. How can John Prine be gone? I hear his haunting last song, “I Remember Everything,” and I still can’t quite believe that John Prine is gone.
Jan. 30, 2023