These are the ball gloves I played with as a child in rural upstate NY. The one on the left is my father’s from when he was a boy, the ball cupped in the soft, worn leather belonged to my grandfather. The glove in the middle belonged to me, and those two gloves served Dad and I well for many seasons of Summer evening ball tosses, until my hands inevitably grew bigger and we had to buy the third. That would have been no later than Summer of 1982 or ‘83.
You can see that the first two are more worn than the last, which came into our lives right around the same time as my first guitar, along with my obsessions with heavy metal and comic books. Regardless, it’s got my name Sharpied onto it in Dad’s handwriting, along with a phone number that I can still remember sometimes if I try really hard, along with our old mail route number and zip code.
So, Dad’s been holding onto these for 30 years (his own glove for about 65 or so), and this weekend he unearthed these magical talismans from another life. I watched him toss the old ball around with my two kids in the slightly sun-scorched lawn he and my mom tend to in Western Massachusetts, and it was just fine, just as it should be, a simple tradition that fathers, sons, grandsons and granddaughters can enjoy and hold onto like campfires with marshmallows and capturing fireflies in a jar.
Happy father’s day to me!