Playing Catch With Strangers


Click on links below to see published essays adapted for the book:

  • “Playing Catch With Strangers,” The New York Times: A chance meeting with a boy on a baseball field turns out to be a metaphor for life.

  • “Boyhood, Airborne,” The Atlantic. A venture into unknown woods with friends leads to an idyllic afternoon of playful abandon at a swimming hole.

  • “My Father’s Train Ride,” The Atlantic. My grandparents decide to dispatch my deaf father at age five to a special school 850 miles from home for 10 years – taking a toll on him and everyone around him.

  • “My Last First Date: A Valentine’s Day Story,” Huffington Post. The drunken remark I made to my future bride that threatened to kill our future before it began.

  • “Look, Dad, No Hands: Coming To Grips With Letting Go,” Washington Post: A walk on the beach with my young daughter teaches me to confront the unavoidable -- that someday I would have to let her seek her independence.

  • “A Race This Dad Is Happy To Lose,” USA Today. One afternoon my teenage son competed against me in a sprint and, much to my satisfaction, left me in the dust.

  • “Bargaining With My Father,” The New York Times. The minor crime I committed as a boy against him, but never told him about during his lifetime.

  • “A Thanksgiving Change Of Heart: How I Learned To Love My Mother-In-Law,” New York Daily News. For 20-plus years, I had issues with her, only to realize I’d gotten her all wrong.

  • “So What Do You Do For Hostility Around Here?” New York Times: My remark to a boyhood friend in Connecticut reveals, both for better and worse, why I’m a diehard New Yorker.

  • “Breakfast With Saint Peter,” The Wall Street Journal: A doff of the cap to the friend who, despite prostate cancer and a heart attack, found the strength to help me look for work after I lost my long-held job.

  • “Estranged From My Mother No More,” The New York Daily News. Why I reunited with my mother after a 10-year estrangement – and the larger issue of why parent-child ruptures should be repaired.

  • “In Harm’s Way,” New York Times. The man with the gun in his hand came running across the street toward us, forcing me to prove the extent of my loyalty toward my wife – and exactly how much I would sacrifice for her.

Playing Catch with Strangers | By Bob Brody © 2017