: Jewish Day :
an excerpt by David Harris Ebenbach
The concourse in front of Shea stadium was busy with people, most of them in the usual baseball caps and other blue and orange gear, but also there were folks in no particular colors and, because it was Jewish Heritage Day that Sunday, there were the men in black hats, flashes of white ritual fringes flapping loose under their black coats, and there were folks in yarmulkes all around, some of which had the Hebrew letters Mem and Tzadi on them, spelling Mets. Then, too, there was one father, bareheaded, walking next to his kids, an eleven-year-old girl wearing a Phillies cap and an eight-year-old boy reading a book and walking at the same time.
The father, Elliott, kept his hand on his kids’ back as though either guiding them or staying close enough to shield them. On the way over he’d suggested to his daughter that she might want to take her cap off, with the Phils only a game and a half behind the Mets in the standings and the possibility of a rough New York crowd, but Rebecca had refused. She was a fan, and that was the end of it. Elliott still lived in Philadelphia even though his ex-wife and kids had moved to Brooklyn, and he was secretly embarrassed that he hadn’t worn any Phillies gear himself. His son Jeremy, who did not want to be there, was just wearing a plain brown t-shirt and shorts. Elliott suspected that Jeremy was actually trying to make his lack of enthusiasm concrete and visible in the world through his bland clothes.