Can We Stop, Dad?
The tobacco smoke was everywhere as the Model T was bobbing and weaving through the streets of New Haven, past the F.D. Grave cigar factory. This would not be the Babe's brand, incidentally. Five-cent cigars.
"Lost?" the old man said.
"Nah, we're fine," Patrick said. "Just look for a sign that says Route 1 ... There we go."
Onto the famous road they bounced, past Union Station and on up through the Hill section and into Allingtown.
"We there yet?" Timmy called from the back seat.
"Maybe halfway," answered the boy's father. "Now we're on the Boston Post Road, should have a pretty straight route for a while."
"Would've been there by now if we took the train," carped the boys' grandfather.
Tired of explaining his reasoning, Patrick didn't answer. It was an interesting day. A former player for the Hartford Senators, Ralph Head, was pitching for the Phillies in their game at Brooklyn. Another former Senator, Lou Gehrig, was pitching for Columbia University that day — and striking out 17. Even the front page of The Courant had baseball news. The state House of Representatives shot down a proposal that would have relaxed the blue laws and allowed professional baseball, the Senators and their Eastern League rivals, to be played on Sundays.
"Not supposed to play on Sundays," Grampa said.
Johnny was finished with one newspaper and ready for another. It was almost noon, maybe the afternoon papers were out, with Babe Ruth's column.
"Can we stop for one, Dad?" Johnny said.
The grandfather turned and scowled.
"The Big Baboon can't even read and we're supposed to believe he writes a column? I believe in ghosts, like in ghost writers."
"I'm sure he gets help," Patrick said as he looked for a place to stop on the Boston Post Road. "But they couldn't write it unless it's what he really thinks."
"Now you're suggesting he has a brain?" the old man said, letting out a nasty laugh.
Johnny and Timmy looked at each other, but said nothing. Johnny began reading the list of important people expected. The governor, the mayor, John Philip Sousa and his band.
"What about that pretty boy president of ours?" the old man said.
Warren Harding wouldn't be on hand today, Patrick had read somewhere, but was planning to come up and see the new stadium next week.
"Just like him," Grampa said. "See which way the wind's blowing before showing up. Damn newspaperman in the White House. What's next, movie stars?"
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