Of Heroes and Friends

Hi gang, this is Ginny’s friend, Jonathan. Ginny and I “met” back in the days when she was anonymous and I asked to interview her for a story in Pittsburgh magazine. I say “met” in “quotes” because although Ginny kindly agreed to the interview she was fiercely protecting her anonymity. No face-to-face meeting. No telephone. The interview had to be by…IM. This was a first for me. A bit impersonal…but it made note-taking a cinch.

We first met for rillz at the studio of the fabulous Laura Petrilla when she did a photo shoot for Pittsburgh mag. I’m sure she’d agree that our most memorable time was during the week after the January, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Our friends Jamie and Ali McMutrie were stranded, with dozens of kids in their care. Ginny and I spent long, stressful hours online that week, relaying updated info about J&A’s situation, with Ginny using her powerful presence to spread the word about their plight as far, wide and high as it could go.

You all know the story by now. Jamie and Ali’s bravery. The dramatic rescue. Of course Ginny shares Jamie and Ali’s fierce dedication to helping kids in need, and now we both serve on their board of directors for Haitian Families First.

Ginny and me. Caption: Jamie, Ali, me and Ginny on the night of Ginny’s fateful “If you ever need anything…” promise to them. Read Ginny’s story here: http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Pittsburgh-Magazine/March-2010/Promise-Due

Jamie and Ali were heroes of mine before the earthquake and even before they were my friends, when I interviewed them in 2008 for Pittsburgh magazine about their work in Haiti. They were deservedly lauded as heroes after the quake, even being named Pittsburgh magazine’s “Pittsburghers of the Year” (a story I was also asked to write).  And on the subject of heroes, one of my favorite Ginny happenings over the past year was her learning about Roberto Clemente, my childhood (and forever) hero.

I remember a letter to the editor in Pittsburgh magazine many years ago that made a snarky comment about Pittsburghers “deifying” Roberto Clemente. Yeah, I kinda get that. You throw around words like “worship” and “idol” and “deity” can’t be far behind.

But it’s when people say “wasn’t he just a baseball player?” that those of us who loved him (and there are lots and lots of us who loved him) get flustered. Roberto was a great baseball player, batting and fielding. The numbers show that. But they don’t show the style. They don’t show the way he moved.

I remember when I was 5 sitting on my dad’s lap at Forbes Field (yeah, I’m old, okay?) and I watched Roberto Clemente ground out to first base. I asked my dad, “Who’s that?” When he told me I said, “I like him.” It was that way he moved. I framed a quote by John Sayles, the writer/filmmaker, that reads, “I never thought about being a writer as I grew up. A writer wasn’t something I wanted to be. An outfielder was something to be. Most of what I know about style I learned from Roberto Clemente.”

Like most kids growing up in Pittsburgh in the ‘60s and ‘70s I wanted to be Roberto Clemente. I tried to copy his distinctive batting stance. In Little League I wanted to play right field (though they stuck me at catcher, which was where all the fat kids like me played).

But the effect Roberto had on me went a lot deeper than baseball. For one thing, I was the only Jewish kid in my neighborhood and I was one of the only Jewish kids in my school. So I felt different. And when you’re a kid, feeling “different” equals feeling embarrassed. So there were times I actually felt embarrassed to be Jewish. Roberto Clemente changed that for me. He was different because he was Latin American, one of the first in the majors. But Roberto was openly proud of his Puerto Rican heritage. After he won the MVP in the 1971 World Series, the first thing he did on TV was thank his parents in Spanish. In Spanish! That was powerful stuff to me. If I wanted to be like Roberto, then I, too, could be proud of my heritage, of who I was.

Willie, Roberto and Me

When I was a kid my cousins owned a local appliance and electronics chain called Wander Sales. Willie Stargell used to do promotions for the stores and a few times each summer my dad and I would have Sunday morning breakfast with him. Willie got a kick out of the fact that I didn’t really care that much about him. Yeah, he was a major league baseball player. Yeah, he played for the Pirates and was really nice to me. But all I cared about was Roberto. He’d even tease me about it. I’d always beg him to pleeeease bringing Roberto to the next breakfast. Willie would walk into the restaurant and I would run up to look behind him hoping to see Roberto. I can still hear him now, “Sorry kid. Roberto couldn’t make it.”

Here I am with Willie, both showing our groovy fashion sense.

On a night in 1971, when I was 10, Willie invited my dad and me to a party at his house. There were a lot of Pirates there and probably a few weren’t so thrilled to have some kid in attendance. The one who was nicest to me, by far, was Dock Ellis. Now I don’t know exactly what “condition” Dock was in (he was notorious for being in altered consciousness), but he put his arm around me and introduced me to the rest of the players, joking and treating me like a king. For a baseball-loving kid in Pittsburgh, this was heaven. Almost. Because there was no Roberto.

The next season, ‘72, I decided that if I was going to ever meet Roberto I would have to do it on my own. At Three Rivers Stadium they used to have Autograph Sundays. Three Pirates would sit at a table in the concourse before the game signing for a long line of kids. When the Sunday finally arrived for it to be Roberto’s turn I waited nervously, fresh baseball in hand. I forget who the first two Pirates at the table were but I respectfully said “no thank you” when they offered their autograph. (Kind of a jerk move on my part, in retrospect.)

When I reached Roberto I was shaking. This was dream-come-true, mind-spinning awe. That is, until the security guard broke in. “The players aren’t allowed to sign baseballs.” Huh? I looked at my dad to see if he had any paper because there were no photos left in front of Roberto. My dad shook his head “no.” Then I felt the ball being lifted out of my hand. I turned and Roberto had reached over the table to take it, shooting the guard a look as if to say, “What am I going to do, hurt myself?” When Roberto handed the ball back to me he smiled, sort of laughed at me, and looked up at my dad. (My dad later said it was because I was shaking and my eyes looked “like fireworks were going on in them.”) Roberto asked me, “Where are you sitting?” I managed a “third base.” He told me to enjoy the game and my dad led me away. I had brought a clear plastic baseball holder and right after Roberto handed me the ball I put the ball right inside. It’s never left that holder since, so the last two hands that touched that baseball are his and mine. As far as I’m concerned it’ll stay that way for as long as I live. Then my son Alex’s hand will be next.

3,000

Probably the only time I didn’t want Roberto to get a hit was on Saturday, Sept. 29, 1972. He was still chasing his 3,000th hit and I didn’t want him to get it until the next day when I would be at the game. Sure enough, he didn’t. That next day I was there, my Kodak Instamatic in hand, hoping and cheering for the big moment. As you can see, my pictures after his double off the left-field wall are impossibly shaky. It’s hard to take a decent shot when you’re jumping up and down and yelling “Arriba! Arriba!”.

My pics after Roberto’s 3000th hit, including my age 11 notes. Roberto on 2nd base, 3rd base, and the crowd behind me. Amazing how empty Three Rivers is for the occasion, even with a playoffs-bound Pirates team.

Reflecting

When Roberto died on New Year’s Eve of that year I was devastated. After all, the one thing Roberto Clemente was not to me was “mortal.” I only went to one game in the 1973 season. I lasted just a couple of innings before I asked my dad to take me home. It was years before I could even watch a video of Roberto without choking up. Every New Year’s Eve since, I have taken a few minutes by myself, usually outside under the stars, to think about Roberto, to be thankful for him, and to think about his family.

In my adult life, I’ve told a few people about the impact of Roberto on me. The most poignant was getting the chance to tell his son, Roberto, Jr. We were doing a photo shoot together, in Three Rivers Stadium, standing in right field. (Perfect, right?) I took him aside. “Roberto, I know you hear this all the time,” I began, almost apologetically. After all, it can’t always be easy being the son of a legend. He graciously listened to every word like it was the first time he’d ever heard this story of reverence for his father. Imagine how proud his father would feel about his son’s kindness.

With Roberto, Jr. on what, to me, was hallowed ground.

Heroes

Like many Pittsburghers (including Ginny), and many others around the world, I learned my greatest lessons from Roberto after his death. The way he died, delivering earthquake relief supplies to Nicaragua, affects me to this day.

Which brings me back to my heroes who are also my friends, to Jamie and Ali. Like Roberto, they would not let an earthquake intimidate them when others needed their help. Their own health, their own safety, was not what was important. Helping those in need took precedence.

In Pittsburgh we love our heroes. And we’ve had many. Medicine, sports, the arts, media (I’m looking up at you, Mister Rogers), and everyday people. We’re the City of Champions all right. But our triumphs have to do with a lot more than trophies. Here’s to our heroes.

 





66 Comments

  1. unsatisfied
    March 28, 2012 12:52 pm

    jonathan, thank you for sharing your experiences and pictures with us. what a tremendous thing to have been able to meet roberto, who is also one of my heroes. and, to have been there for his 3,000th hit….what a thrill for a kid. I feel exactly the same way that you do about roberto. if you haven’t already, take a trip down to puerto rico….it’s almost like you can feel him there.



    • Jonathan
      March 28, 2012 11:16 pm

      That’s definitely a dream of mine, to get to Puerto Rico. I’m sure his presence is palpable. Thank you for your kind words!



      • Joe K.
        March 29, 2012 12:44 pm

        I lived in Puerto Rico for three months in 1998. I really didn’t know Roberto’s history back then, though, so I’m not sure if I was in the same area he had lived. But it’s a neat place to visit if you get a chance, with things like Old San Juan and the Arecibo radio telescope.



      • unsatisfied
        March 29, 2012 2:29 pm

        it definitely is, jonathan. and, his name is all over the place down there….the “roberto clemente sports city” that came into being after he died is still there, as is “roberto clemente coliseum” in san juan. (next time I get down there, they are on the list.)

        and, old san juan and a tour of the rainforest down there are musts.

        on a side note — my recreational softball team number is always “21″. always will be.



  2. Michael
    March 28, 2012 12:54 pm

    Great stuff, Jonathan! Thank you for sharing!



  3. Allison
    March 28, 2012 12:55 pm

    Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing. :)



  4. Z
    March 28, 2012 12:55 pm

    Great post. Ginny will be sooo proud when she reads it.



    • Jonathan
      March 28, 2012 11:18 pm

      I hope so! And thanks for saying so. I was honored that she asked me and wanted to do a good job for her.



  5. burghbaby
    March 28, 2012 1:01 pm

    I love every word and every photo, Jonathon.



  6. Leslie in Dayton
    March 28, 2012 1:03 pm

    This was just beautiful. It made me tear up. Thank you so much!



  7. Chris
    March 28, 2012 1:10 pm

    This site totally needs a “love” button :-) Thanks for sharing!



  8. KimLy
    March 28, 2012 1:11 pm

    Lovely. You’re a wonderful writer and I’m glad we’re friends.



  9. Sheila
    March 28, 2012 1:28 pm

    Never should have read at work, using jimmy johns napkins as kleenexes. What a great post – so moving & the pictures are awesome. I love seeing the old Allegheny Club at 3 Rivers again. I don’t remember Roberto b/c I was just a year when he died but my dad was a season ticket holder & loved him. I remember my mom telling me how upset he was at our priest b/c he thought our priest should have had a moment of silence for him at mass after he died. I bet if Roberto were around today he would have thought what you did for Ali & Jamie was pretty great as well.



    • Jonathan
      March 28, 2012 11:21 pm

      Love that story about your dad and the priest! I’m sure Roberto would have thought the world of Jamie and Ali, as I do. They would have been kindred spirits.



  10. hello haha narf
    March 28, 2012 1:32 pm

    ohmyfuck, what a great post! thanks so much for opening your heart and sharing, my dear jonathan. xoxo



    • Jonathan
      March 28, 2012 11:23 pm

      Thank you. And thanks for opening your heart and sharing your trademark phrase that I love so much!



  11. Woy
    March 28, 2012 1:33 pm

    Well done, sir. Well done.



  12. KimLy
    March 28, 2012 1:38 pm

    Also, where is *your* blog?



  13. Robin
    March 28, 2012 1:56 pm

    That was absolutely beautiful, and yes, I am weeping at my desk.



  14. Kristen
    March 28, 2012 2:03 pm

    What a beautifully written story. Thank you so much for sharing!



  15. stavorous
    March 28, 2012 2:26 pm

    Great post…now if you could only become a writer, you know, professionally. ;)



    • Julia
      March 28, 2012 9:54 pm

      You’d be happy to know he is pretty much a professional writer, between contributing to Pittsburgh Magazine and his day job. :)



      • Jonathan
        March 28, 2012 11:27 pm

        Thanks, Julia. I’m pleased to say that stavorous’ wink was because he works with me at my job at Z Brand.



  16. inBrookline
    March 28, 2012 2:41 pm

    Fantastic post.

    On a side note, my forehead is captured in the background of the photo taken at Altar.



  17. Gina
    March 28, 2012 3:10 pm

    Aww…you made me cry. And the photo reminds me of similar ones of me meeting 70′s Steelers when I only had eyes for Mike Webster.



  18. Julie
    March 28, 2012 3:17 pm

    Yet another one regretting reading this at her work desk, as I’m trying to dry my eyes and hoping my face isn’t too puffy that someone notices. It’s allergies….yeah, that’s the ticket!!

    Beautiful story. Absolutely beautiful!



    • Jonathan
      March 28, 2012 11:28 pm

      Thank you, Julie. That’s the silver lining of a bad allergy season—we can blame that!



  19. Dan
    March 28, 2012 3:19 pm

    I love stories about Roberto. Growing up my parents told me how special my birthday was (8/18) because I “shared” it with Roberto Clemente. As a young kid I thought it was just because he was a professional baseball player. As I grew older and learned more about Roberto’s Life I realized the fact that he was a baseball player had the least to do with why my birthday was special.

    Great post, Jonathan.



  20. bluzdude
    March 28, 2012 3:30 pm

    Beautiful post, man. Other than your getting to meet The Great One, our stories are similar. I also learned about Roberto on my daddy’s knee. Never got to see him play at Forbes Field, but did see him a couple times at Wrigley and Three Rivers.

    My brother and I used to always fight over who got to “be Roberto” when we played ball in the back yard. The other Pirates were good, but we, too, only had eyes for Clemente.

    Thank you for sharing your rememberances. That’s gold, right there.



    • Jonathan
      March 28, 2012 11:30 pm

      Thanks for the kind words! That’s fantastic about you guys fighting over who got to be Roberto. I know that happened in backyards and ballfields all over the city.



  21. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    March 28, 2012 3:45 pm

    Thank you for your post. Roberto is a hero of mine, too. Even though I’m too young to remember him, somewhere in my parents house is a photo of my sister and me at ages 2 and 1 with Clemente and his wife Vera. My grandparents were friends with the Clementes, and my grandmother is a huge Pirates fan. One evening, a few years after my grandfather passed away, she and I were watching the Pirates game and something came up about Roberto. She started talking about him and Vera, telling me stories about them, about what a great couple they were, he was so handsome and Vera was beautiful and charming, and so on. Then she blurted out “I would have left your Ed [my grandfather] for him in a heartbeat!” I nearly died laughing.

    People like Clemente, Mr. Rogers, Jamie & Ali — they all have a presence. Something you can sense whenever you see them — even when not in their physical presence. I believe that is what we like to call “grace”.



    • Jonathan
      March 28, 2012 11:36 pm

      I absolutely agree. There’s that aura that lets you know there’s something extraordinary. Thank you for the great story about your grandmother. The Clementes really were a gorgeous couple, and I’m glad your grandmother didn’t steal Roberto away!



  22. Butcher's Dog
    March 28, 2012 4:23 pm

    You got me, too, Jonathan. Add me to the list of Clemente hero-worshippers as well. I had a couple more Forbes Field years than you did, but we’re breathin’ the same air, here. Well done.



  23. jann
    March 28, 2012 5:43 pm

    For a college class, my son had an assignment to write about a famous Hispanic person in Spanish. He chose Roberto Clemente mostly because he has heard his parents talk about him over the years. I couldn’t quite convey to him the type of hero Clemente was. Think I’ll forward this to him.

    Beautifully written – Thank you!



    • Jonathan
      March 28, 2012 11:39 pm

      Thank you, Jann. There’s been so much written about Roberto, and I’m just fortunate that I had personal anecdotes to share, and that Ginny invited me to write.



  24. cmd_45
    March 28, 2012 5:49 pm

    Wonderful column.



  25. WVGary
    March 28, 2012 6:32 pm

    Thanks Jonathan – great story. I am a few years older than you and Roberto was (and still is) my hero. I went to a lot of games back in the late 60′s and early 70′s – usually sitting in right field. And yes, I am now bleary eyed also!



  26. suzie-Q
    March 28, 2012 7:40 pm

    Love the shaky printing on the photos….love your words….this is an absolutely beautiful tribute to Roberto!!! Thanks Jonathan…



  27. Jill
    March 28, 2012 7:40 pm

    I’m also teary. You admiration for him REALLY shines through in this beautifully written piece.

    I loved your 11 year old comments on the photos, especially “Cheers for Roberto!” :)



    • Jonathan
      March 28, 2012 11:42 pm

      Ha! Thanks. Yeah, it was my pre-journalist sense back then, trying to capture the moment.



  28. Suz
    March 28, 2012 8:14 pm

    Beautiful. Your rememberances brought tears to my eyes. Roberto was the first person who I “knew” who had died. Of course, I did not know him personally, but my ten year old self grieved his loss as if I had. It is a testament to the person that he was that we still remember him so fondly today.



  29. Hutch Jr
    March 28, 2012 10:14 pm

    Jonathan, congratulations, I’m in tears. Don’t tell anyone because I’m supposed to be tough. When I hit Liberty Elementary my family had just endured a financial meltdown. I came from St Edmunds Academy and was already introduced to a couple awesome Jewish families. You are lucky, you have the exact same build now as you did in 1973 (I was there brother!). Seriously, my grandfather died during the same timeframe as The Great One, and they had the same effect on me. Remember the Little League coaches correcting us out of his batting stance ? I used to try to get the batting helmet to fall off as I rounded a base! Before I got to the part at the party when Doc took you under his wing, I thought JW has his Doc Ellis cap on haha. Doc was another favorite, but nothing like Roberto. Thanks for the memories old man and Miss McKee would be proud!



    • Jonathan
      March 28, 2012 11:45 pm

      Thanks, Hutch! And I forgot about trying to get the batting helmet to fall off! You’re absolutely right. Except that I was so slow that I practically had to have it resting on my shoulder in order to get it to fall.



  30. Rich
    March 29, 2012 8:01 am

    You are correct it was the was he moved. However, I always thought he could kneel in the on deck circle or stand on 2nd base better than anyone who ever played.

    Someone from out of town would laugh at a statement like that.



    • Jonathan
      March 29, 2012 11:08 pm

      You’re so right about kneeling on deck! I haven’t thought of that in years. That in itself could be the subject for a statue.



  31. Dr Kevlar
    March 29, 2012 8:19 am

    Great stuff Jonathan!

    Growing up on the North Side (wasn’t the “North Shore” yet or “The Northside”) was thought to be a major disadvantage as the area in toto was thought of as “rough.” As kids, we were able to easily walk to Three Rivers and take in games regularly during the summer. Yes, our parents were child abusers – proven by the fact that they let us do this and did not accompany us to the games or insist that we “check-in” when we got there (by pay phone!). Games then were primarily during the day so we often planned around things like doubleheaders and such.

    One thing we all had in common is that we worshipped the ground Roberto walked on. Seating arrangements were always GA, and always where we had a clear view of right field (sorry, Willie!). We always had bags of food with us – more child abuse – bags filled with jumbo sandwiches and junk food and since we were poor, lots of it so we did not have to buy there.

    As we got older, our worship of Roberto continued. i remember one kid in HS had a picture of Roberto in his locker. it was from SI, I think and showed Roberto at Forbes, both feet in the air, hitting a pitch that was over his head for a double….

    One thing that I will throw in here is that with time Roberto has become an icon and deservedly so. In the day though, we would often him referred to as a “lazy N-word,” just as Willie was referred to as the “Big N-word.” It was our introduction, in a way, to racism to hear those terms applied to our heroes and to be not-s0-very-sbtly told that no matter how supreme these men were at their sport they were still to be looked down upon because of their skin.

    I think that in a way, the one thing that Roberto gave to us that is rarely mentioned (as no one likes to reminisce about just how pervasive racism was/is here) is that he gave to all of us kids growing up a sense of the who you are is what you become; not your skin color or your economic level. Roberto transcended the prejudices. He did it with grace, but he also did it with determination.

    With all of the screaming and yelling and vitriol that seems to emanate from popular debate these days on immigration and worker’s rights and human rights and the direction of this country, I think what we have really lost is our ability to step back and recognize that people are just that: people. that to judge them based on their accent, limp or skin color is not only a mistake but a dis-service.

    I will finish this lengthy and boring post with this question: Where will we find another person (not ballplayer) like him?

    Maybe we should look within ourselves first, and follow the path laid out by people like him.



    • Jonathan
      March 29, 2012 11:14 pm

      Not boring at all, and I appreciate your taking the time and care to write. I think we’ve made a lot of progress on some of the points you bring up, but we certainly have a long way to go before we all transcend our prejudices.



  32. Chris
    March 29, 2012 8:47 am

    While I am all too familiar with your love of Roberto, it’s your fabulous writing that I love most of all. You’ve always been one of the best in my book, my friend!



  33. SteelCityMagnolia
    March 29, 2012 10:07 am

    I am the “tough girl” around this place I work at and I, too, am sitting here blaming a horrible allergy attack on my teary eyes and sniffles. Because if any of these people thought I actually cry tears….. Well….

    Thank you so much for sharing your memories and writing them so beautifully! What a wonderful story!



  34. Emilie
    March 29, 2012 11:36 am

    What a wonderful post. My dad was a huge fan of Roberto’s as well and your post sounds much like how he speaks of Roberto. Loved it – it was a perfect post. : )



  35. rickh
    March 29, 2012 11:50 am

    Great post Jonathan! Thank you for sharing.



  36. Joe
    March 29, 2012 12:38 pm

    Here I am, sitting in my cubicle, with tears running down my face. You are an awesome writer and your memories brought back a lot of my own. We are about the same age and I still remember (like it was yesterday) my mother telling us on that New Year’s morning that Roberto was gone.

    Ginny: Great job of picking stand in writers. You guys rock.



  37. Joe K.
    March 29, 2012 12:40 pm

    Great post. I myself don’t remember Roberto, but my dad always raved about how strong of an arm he had. Must have been a treat to see him play live.

    And the pictures of Three Rivers. Good God, what a horrible baseball facility.



  38. sillywalter
    March 29, 2012 1:04 pm

    Lovely, moving post.



  39. Ruth Brannigan
    March 29, 2012 7:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. It really moved me and transported my thoughts back many decades to a 4th grade girl at St. Paul Cathedral Grade School. It was 1961 and we were all baseball maniacs with the pennant and world series wins that year. God bless the nuns for taking us to Forbes Field for 7th inning stretch. I could wax on but, let me talk about our mutual hero, Roberto.
    With all that was swirling about him at that time, he came to our school. No, not for a general assembly, but he came to each and every classroom and talked with all the kids. He gave me a signature and smiled that beaming infectious smile of his. I wrote him a poem and mailed it to him. I have no idea if it was ever received but I hope he felt the love he earned and that it overshadowed any hardship he may have known.
    A former classmate was on the same rescue mission years later, but he made it there and back. It was a bitter, bitter pill to hear of his death in the Bermuda Triangle. We hoped it was taking him somewhere mystical if he couldn’t be here with us.
    Thanks for writing the article.
    Ruth



  40. KGC
    March 29, 2012 7:55 pm

    I’m going to post a reply before reading any others.

    I adolized Roberto Clemente. I’m now 57. I grew up in Morgantown and listened to Pirate games on a little transistor radio.. usually alone in my room.

    I moved to Pittsburgh in September 1979 after WVU, moving into Carriage Park Apartments in Scott Twp.

    I had the unbelievable pleasure of meeting both Roberto, Jr and Luis in Pittsburgh during some pickup basketball games the Summer they spent in Pittsburgh. You couldn’t meet 2 more respectful people? kids? young adults? than Roberto, Jr. and Luis.

    I cry whenever I watch a Roberto Clemente video or story. I have a few downloaded to my PC.

    There will never be anyone to replace Roberto. Never.



  41. Heidi Brayer
    March 29, 2012 8:35 pm

    I was so moved by your piece. Thank you.



  42. Craig
    March 30, 2012 7:18 am

    Very well spoken. What great heroes and inspiration for the way we can live our lives. Thank you.



  43. Dee
    March 30, 2012 8:30 am

    Jonathan, those Kodak Instamatic pictures and captions just scream future photo-journalist! Your writing style is magic because it comes from the heart and is always entertaining!!



  44. Lou
    March 30, 2012 1:33 pm

    Just wonderful. Made me break my no crying at work rule. Thanks for sharing your story.



  45. Varda Epstein
    April 1, 2012 1:20 am

    Great blog, Jon. Took me way back. When Clemente went, it was like Kennedy dying all over again. At least, that’s how it seemed to me: my own personal version of the Kennedy assassination. I’m glad you got to have your moment with your hero!



  46. Aimee
    April 2, 2012 10:26 am

    So very well done. As always.




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