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A Nice Tuesday: A Memoir by Pat Jordan

A Nice Tuesday: A Memoir

by Pat Jordan

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Dear Pat,
I finished reading your book, A Nice Tuesday, today while waiting in the dentist's office - a bit of pleasure before pain. Because it was a real pleasure reading your story. I found myself laughing out loud in many parts of the book. My wife kept asking me what was so funny. But then when I'd read the passage to her, she often just didn't get it. Too often, it was "a guy thing." The truth is, at 65 I'm not the "guy" I once was, but I like to remember those times, and your book kept bringing them back, particularly your rowdy and irreverent attitude towards all things sexual. It made me remember all the "war stories" and lies my buddies and I used to tell each other in the barracks so long ago my first time around in the army, when most of us were actually still virgins and knew very little about women. (See Soldier Boy: At Play in the ASA) Sports, fast cars and women were always popular subjects for those sessions. You cover all those subjects, along with dogs. Speaking of dogs, I have to tell you one of the most popular films at Sinop (Turkey) the year I was stationed there (a hardship tour) was Soldier in the Rain, and one of the scenes that hit us all the hardest was when the protagonist (Steve McQueen) got a letter telling him his dog had died. The army theater, so often filled with rude catcalls at the screen, became deathly silent. So yeah, the stories you share of your beloved Shiba Inus hit home here too.
The thing is, your stuff all rings pretty true. I read A False Spring twenty-some years ago and pressed it on everyone who loved baseball, pestering them until they read it - or told me they did. Somewhere in there, I never got the book back - and now I want to read it again. Guess I'll have to buy one - to go with this sleek Bison edition of A Nice Tuesday - a matched set.
When I told my wife about how you'd left your wife of twenty-some years and five kids, she dismissed you as just another prick. But I kept reading, mostly I think because you don't really make excuses. You just make an honest effort to tell your life. I admire that. But there's more than just brutal honesty here. There is craft. This is just some of the best damn writing I've run across in years. I'll bet when I go back to your first memoir, I'll find that it's not as well-written as this one. Writing is like baseball - practice, practice, practice. And I can tell you've been practicing.
I am not an athlete. I was mildly successful in basketball in high school. I was 6'3" and still growing when I graduated, so pretty uncoordinated. Baseball? I was lousy. Bad eyes, bad hand-eye coordination. But I admire a good ball player. I admire even more the way you finally exorcised those baseball demons of yours by crafting a "comeback" at 56 years old. Very ballsy, Pat. I salute you. Wish I coulda been there.
Some of the stuff you did in your life I don't particularly admire. Probably you don't either. But I admire your guts and honesty in owning up to your own particular failings. My own view of life: mostly we all do the best we can. Sometimes we don't succeed, and sometimes we do. But by the time we get to this age - and I think you and I are pretty close in age - we start to recognize what we did wrong. And maybe we learn to be kind in the process, as you did.
I admire both your memoirs tremendously. A Nice Tuesday is one helluva good book. I'll probably start pestering my friends to read it now, just like I did with your first one. Thanks for writing this second book. I hope you live a long time - long enough for another sequel. I'll be watching for it.
All the best,
Tim Bazzett ( )
  TimBazzett | Apr 26, 2009 |
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