Nine years ago I avoided his phone calls like the plague. For almost a whole year he wouldn’t take my phone calls. Growing up he was a tough guy to get close to. Over the past seven years we’ve grown closer. Nine years ago he couldn’t rely on me at all. Today he trusts me. Things change. Sometimes good things can come from terrible ordeals. Today, we went out to dinner. Nothing special … just an ordinary meal. We talked … about Facebook (“What is it?” he asked. “Should I do this Facebook thing?” “Can’t people just send me pictures by e-mail?”) … about how he met my late step-mom (“I was meeting with a lawyer on an estate matter. She was the lawyer’s secretary. I had to meet the lawyer many times and things just progressed. She told me she thought I looked sad and needed cheering up.”) … about baseball; yes … baseball. Cliche, perhaps, but that’s what this father and his son did … talked baseball. He talked about the glory days of the Yankees. He reveled in comparing Joe DiMaggio to Mickey Mantle. He told me about Sal “The Barber” Maglie and Ryne Duren ( a relief pitcher for the Yanks with a blazing fastball and lousy eyesight!). “The best hitter I ever saw play was Ted Williams. He never struck out swinging. DiMaggio was a better all around player but Williams was the best hitter … ever. You know it’s saying something when a devoted Yankee fan says this about a Red Sox player!” “When I was a kid, I’d get a $1 allowance for doing my chores. I’d walk all the way to Yankee Stadium – about 50 blocks. I’d get a bleacher seat – $0.60, a scorecard was $0.25 and that left me $0.15 for a soda and a hot dog. I used to watch DiMaggio in center field. He could see the signs the catcher was giving so he knew what pitch was coming. At the crack of the bat, he was racing off. He made it look so easy.” “Today’s baseball just isn’t the same.” No, it isn’t but neither are these conversations. Thank goodness for change!