Lee K. Abbott - October 17, 1947
I thought, as recently as a few months ago, that my father would sit me down – over a single-malt or two, and lay out a huge secret story from his past. I thought that it would be something about my parent’s marriage (why they did it), my birth (why they had me) or possibly he would unload all of his baggage and confess to all the affairs that I always suspected he had during he and my mother’s marriage.
Now that his memory is fading, I doubt this will ever happen. I’ve been able to probe his long term memory, about his college years, and he has been quite able to remember those days – versus what happened about 2 hours ago.
We all have our secrets, but this story and the story within the story, told to a son by a father, triggered a strange line of similarity to what I have always thought my happen one day between my father and I.
Son and fathers have a unique bond but unfortunately it’s a bond that I think he and I don’t have.
I was happy to read this story and thought it to be a strong opening to the volume. If the stories continue in this manner, Updike will not disappoint with his selections. Then again, it really won’t take much to be better than the last volume.