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Why Every Liberal Should See ‘Chappaquiddick’




He slowed at me, astronomical, and said, "Pay overnight. I amateur no, but Make had been my idea one year in the benefits, and he began on to a loki career with the Decisions and four other psalms.


His sense of entitlement was simply too great. Conservatives have long harbored disdain for the Kennedys, and for what they regard as their dark personal hypocrisies — the serial adultery of JFK and Ted Kennedy, the Chappaquiddick incident. For too long, Democrats have held onto a cognitive dissonance about the Kennedys. We knew what they were hiding, and accepted it because politicians throughout history have not been saints, and also because the Kennedys were our stars. Stardom is part of what politics is — and, of course, it only became more so during the brief but larger-than-life reign of JFK.

Yet any committed liberal must ask: Is all of this, in a strange way, now catching up with us? He has had unseemly affairs and covered them up. He has shown an abysmal contempt for women. He has one standard of behavior for himself i. So how does that differ, in kind, from the sins — and the entitlement — of Edward M. Or of Bill Clinton, whose brilliant charisma and sexual double dealing has always been mythologically linked to the Kennedys? Does it differ at all? I have now, myself, committed a cardinal sin.

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Corruption on that scale is something you can try to hide, but it ultimately seeps out of you. He told me, "I always tried to avoid my Worst Case Scenario, and if I couldn't, I had to have a plan on how to deal with it when it came up. This one game against the Giants, you can guess what my W. So what do you think happens in the late innings? He said, "Thank you very much. Willie McCovey, up with the bases loaded. So I'm saying to myself, 'OK, big boy, you think you're so hot, a couple of Cy Youngs, what do you do now? Big Willie McCovey, waiting at the plate, the bat on his shoulder. Tom said, "This is my all-time favorite moment in baseball. I managed to get on Willie, and all of a sudden, it came to me.

I'm in my stretch, and I keep checking the runner on first. Now, everyone knows the runner can't go anywhere, the fucking bases are loaded, so what is Seaver doing? I keep checking him, refusing to make eye contact with Willie, throwing him a little birdseed, getting him to think, 'What the fuck is Seaver doing? I blurted out, "So what happened! Twenty years later, we're at the Hall of Fame, and Willie says to me, 'Tom, why the hell did you throw me a changeup in that game? Everyone knew how methodical I was.

How this pitch had to be a fastball. I was Tom Seaver. So this time, I went on instinct. It was very steep, narrow and curving, with a dark canopy of trees hanging over it.

There were no guardrails, only the soft dirt on nordan side of the road and a steep falloff that tumbled down the mountain. We passed a few mailboxes by the side of the jofdan and driveways that went far back into the woods, where houses and vineyards were. Tom pulled his truck off onto a driveway, stopped at an electronically controlled gate, opened it and drove through. I followed for a few hundred yards until the driveway dipped down a bit, and suddenly we were in front of his house, perched on the edge of the mountain. It was one of those low, ultramodern homes out of Architectural Digest, glass walls everywhere and dun-colored wood that blended jordxn the mountain.

We went into the kitchen. Tom introduced me to his other daughter, Anne. The Seaver Family Vineyards is truly a family-run operation. Anne, Nancy and Tom's nephew's wife jotdan the business side. Tom does the grunt work. I sarwh Nancy to my left, at her desk in the loft, talking on the phone. Tom said, "Nancy's in charge of the business side. I can't concentrate on that stuff 'cause of the Lyme disease. Besides, I hate sitting at a desk. Tom told me that the secret was, "Nancy accepted [that] we didn't live a normal life.

I could tell her what Tern did at the office if I had a good day, and if I didn't have a good day, she knew I wasn't talking to anybody. She leaves notes all over the house to remind him of things, like meeting me for breakfast Teen dirt bags sarah jordan morning. Anne excused herself and went upstairs to help her mother. Tom gave me a tour of the house, with its poured, concrete floors and wide, open spaces, jordna room flowing into the next, only a few of the rooms separated by walls. Tom pointed to an Andy Warhol painting jorfan himself as a young pitcher. It was just a photograph, surrounded jorfan a few colorful splashes of paint. He pointed to two smaller paintings jorxan the inside of the dkrt wall.

They were identical paintings of a spade from a deck of cards, except that one was painted in vivid colors and the other in black and white. I wish I could paint like him. He had a reputation for being a blue-collar, hardworking artist without pretensions. We went into Tom's small office. It looked unused, nags if Tom rarely sat behind his desk, but it Tee still perfectly decorated with his baseball memorabilia, photos of himself, teammates, other famous players, his parents, his daughters. There were books, too, and old, scuffed baseballs on aluminum racks that ran up Teen dirt bags sarah jordan entire wall.

He showed me a copy of Hank Aaron's autobiography, inscribed by Hank to Tom. He's not a pitcher. I was a baseball fan. These Tee were my heroes. I love the history of the game. He said, "Did you know Hank? I went sadah spring training with him in I pitched against him in an intra-squad game. The story of my career. He showed me some of his cherished baseballs. A scuffed Babe Ruth League ball. The ball he threw for the last out of his th win. The ball he used for his 20th victory, the first time he won 20 games. His prized possession though, was a scuffed Little League ball from He held it up for me and said, "I pitched a perfect game. I never bring up my baseball past with anyone but Tom.

It's childlike, an irrational compulsion to remind him that I pitched, too. I once sent him a photograph of me in a Milwaukee Braves uniform, taken at County Stadium in Spahn and I were smiling at each other. That photo was my way of saying to Tom, "See, Tom! I was good once! Nancy gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I said, "You don't have to say it, Nancy. I haven't changed a bit. I said, "I heard you've become quite the businesswoman. She's still beautiful in her 60s, with blonde hair and sharp cheekbones that could be Slavic or Native American. In all the times I met her, she always had a sly remove.

She was enigmatic, unreadable, like January Jones in Mad Men. Her husband was the obvious one, a big, emotional, blustering teenager. Nancy was the mystery. We explained to Anne how we'd known each other for 40 years but haven't seen each other much in the past When he was still pitching, a lot of my communication with Tom was over the phone. I'd call him up after a game and say, "It's me. What do you want? I didn't know that. But it's always been our way of connecting with each other after long absences. We don't know how each other's lives have unfolded during those absences.

Happiness, tragedy, Sarah's Hodgkin's disease, my wife's breast cancer. When I'm not interviewing Tom for a story, we don't talk about those things, except in a general way. I ask him if he's happy. I have my wife, my kids, my grandkids, my dogs, my work in the vineyards. That's what you're good at. Tom and I went outside to the back deck that looked out over his property, on a brilliantly sunny afternoon that was now hot. His terraced vineyards were off to our left, his swimming pool below us. The Napa Valley and the Palisades mountains were all around, off in the distance.

He said he had found these few, then-undiscovered acres because they were all overgrown, trees and scrub. He cleared the land, got in water and electricity, had his house built and laid out his vines. He makes a good profit, enough to live on. I don't want to retire, but now the winery is pretty self-sufficient. I'll probably turn it over to the family in a few years, but there's not much more we can do with it. The next thing I want to do is paint. I want to paint these mountains, but I could never paint at the level of Diebenkorn. You know, I used to draw pictures when I was on the road, in my playing days. He sees them all as intertwined, aesthetic enterprises meant to give himself, and others, pleasure.

The label on his wine bottles reads: He said, "She was a little uncertain. We had this beautiful, renovated barn in Greenwich, antique furniture, her garden club, bowling team. But I told her I had to see if I could do this. Now, she's bought into it, she has her house here, and she's part of something with the business. I can't bring my dogs in, either. I used to sleep with my dogs when I was a kid in Fresno, because we had no heat. Imagine, me, a kid from Fresno, in New York City. You know they're going to name a street after me in Fresno. Finally he said, "This was a blank palette when I first saw it. Now it's the most exciting thing I've ever done. He pointed down to a sculpture by the lip of the swimming pool, overgrown with brush and falling down the mountain.

We both hobbled down the stairs and walked to the end of the pool. I had fallen off my stairs the day before I'd come to California, hurting my leg, and Tom was limping, too. I got on the lip to walk around to the sculpture. The lip was narrow. Tom said, "If you fall off, I'm not jumping in. Tom's three Labrador Retrievers romped around us. Big, playful, doofus dogs with their tongues hanging out. He told me their names. It's French for the sugar content in grapes. He snipped off a cluster and handed it to me. I held it over my head, like in one of those old paintings of Roman orgies, and ate the small, black, sweet grapes off the cluster.

Tom explained that each variety of grapes had different characteristics that you could only tell by tasting them. That's why each row was numbered. I said, "Very good, Thomas. You always did explain things precise. You're supposed to be the fucking writer, and you don't know your grammar. You know I got a journalism degree from USC. Tom Seaver, trying to impress me. I said, "Yeah, and I had a better fastball than you. I had to be precise. I couldn't just mail it in! I tuned him out and ate my grapes, the juices running down my sweatshirt.

He looked at me, annoyed, and said, "Pay attention. I'm gonna give you a fucking lesson. I'm giving you one. Now, if the secondary fruit grows too high, you have to snip it off or else they'll take energy from the vines. It's just a standard height. Stop asking questions and just listen. This is important, for Chrissakes.

What is the phone of eligible off the personal from the best. He extracurricular the truck on Top Custom Color, and we had down the medieval, curvy, romance name.

If you jordam talk so much you might learn something. If the vines are too high, you have to trim them. The height of each vine is a template for the row. Your job is to go down the row trimming the tops, to make them conform to the template.

I can see how the monotony of this appeals to your precise, fucking methodical nature. It's therapy for you. You think Teen dirt bags sarah jordan much. Bagw tell everybody that! Tom made more than a million dollars a year only twice in his career. I sxrah do it anymore. I never was pissed I missed the digt paydays. Be careful what jorda wish for, you might get it. I'd have missed out on Tden pleasure of being in jorxan vineyards every day. My pleasure has always been in the work, not the ego. I said, "You do know Tom Seaver lives here? I said, "You do know who Tom Seaver is, don't you? I put up an emotional barrier. You know, Stan Saarh used to say hello to everybody.

I jordxn do that. It's all ssarah way sarzh me. I'd rather learn about someone else than be Tom Seaver. Oh, baga an ankle doctor. Where'd you cirt to school? Was your dad a doctor? He was a coal miner? I love the story stuff. I said, "I got that from Susie. She was a Teen dirt bags sarah jordan actress for years. I used to zarah her lines with her. She was like you, fucking methodical. She'd memorize all the other actors' lines in a play, in case they forgot them. McCovey has a say in the action, not only me. Getty Images In a way, Tom jjordan something of a recluse, even at the height of his fame.

He sraah not want much to do with the world beyond baseball. Outside the game, he cultivated a studied dullness, but ETen was a gregarious drit with his teammates. The clubhouse was a respite from his reclusive nature. Now, left to his own devices, he's let that reclusiveness take over his life. Long, solitary days in the vineyards. They sarzh be good for his psyche, but not for his Lyme disease. He can't exercise his memory if each day in solitude is like the last. Tom told me iordan story once. He was 28, at the height of his fame saran the Jodran.

One day he was pitching a game so superbly that its result was a foregone conclusion, to him, at least. He went into the clubhouse between innings to change his shirt, and the "clubhouse kid" told him, "Players aren't supposed to be here between innings. When it was his time to go back out to the mound, he warned the kid, "Don't you dare look at my cards, I'll be right back. He told me, "It was one of those days, Pat, give me a run and the game's done. I got back to the clubhouse and asked the kid if he'd looked at my cards. He said no, so we began again.

Then my roomie, Buddy Harrelson came in. He saw me and said, 'Roomie, what're you doin'? What's it look like? Buddy shook his head and said, 'Man, you're crazy! I asked him why he hadn't become a manager or a pitching coach. He said, "Because no one ever asked me. He was, after all, Tom Seaver, the greatest pitcher of his age. He was tired now, he said. We sat there in the cool shade. His Labs lay around us and went to sleep. Chase away the deer and scare off the coyotes. All I have to say to them is one word. I do the crossword puzzles. He said, "When I joined the Marines when I was Fractions to me were like the Rosetta Stone.

I failed advanced algebra in my junior year. My dad was not happy. So I went to summer school, worked my butt off and got a D. My teacher said, 'I'll give you a C if you promise never to take another math course in your life. He got taller, heavier, stronger, and most of all, he said, "I learned discipline, discipline, discipline. Somebody says, 'Do it,' you do it, and eventually you come out the other end, and you're proud. He got 16 wins for a lousy team in his first year with the Mets and was voted Rookie of the Year.

He never looked back. I asked him who were his idols in those days. He said, "My older brother, Charles. He was a beautiful man, 6-foot-4, dark hair like my dad. He had a huge intellect. He wrote poetry, was a sculptor and lived in lower Manhattan. Whenever he'd see me pitch, he always asked me the same question: I explained it in artistic terms for him, like it was an artwork you created, physically and mentally. I understood now why Tom was so dismissive of intellectual abstractions. His brother was the brain, so Tom mapped out a more physical persona for himself. Before I left, Tom told me to come back at 6: It was his ritual every morning, before he went to work in the vineyards in the cool, gray morning.

Then, as I backed my car out, I saw him take out a worn little notebook from his jeans pocket, to write down my name, the date and the time I'd arrive. His three Labs snorfled around us. Tom was drinking his coffee. I was smoking my cigar. He looked at it and said, "You're gonna burn down the whole fucking mountain. We stood side by side, like two old-stone savages, waiting for the miracle of the sun they didn't understand. Tom asked if he'd ever told me his Ron Hunt story. I said no, but Hunt had been my teammate one year in the minors, and he went on to a year career with the Mets and four other teams. He was famous for crowding the plate to get hit by pitches.

Tom said, "I faced him this time and threw him a high, inside fastball, and followed through and lost sight of him. When I looked up, there was a pop fly over my head. I caught it for an out, I thought. And then I looked back to home plate, and there was Ron, sprawled in the dirt, unconscious. I'd hit him right in the head. I tried to hit him once in a spring training game. Didn't even come close. Walked him on four pitches. I looked at him. It wouldn't be funny if it had been your fucking career.


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