Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I've been organizing a packet of material on the baseball novel I wrote - "Until the End of the Ninth," based on the true story of the 1946 Spokane Indians minor league team that died in a bus crash midway through the season (nine of the 16 men on the bus died) - so I've been going back through old material that I got back when the book first came out, in 2006 - have been reading notes and letters that I received back then - handwritten notes, from wives whose husbands were on that bus, back in 1946 - from nephews whose uncles were...

And I'm remembering how sad this story can make me feel. They were such great men. I say it at book signings, over and over - I sign it into print, as one of my phrases when autographing books - I mean it, I do. But just now, re-reading these notes, I'm feeling it again too. It seems almost unfair and unreasonable, to feel agony for untimely deaths of men who today - almost 65 years later - most likely would not still be alive anyway. But I can, and I do. Today will be one of those days when my heart breaks for the rest of the day, thinking about what those men and their families went through back then... Maybe that's the agony part. Knowing what people felt back then. Knowing that the novel brought back those memories for loved ones. Reading about it in letters that they wrote in 2006, telling me that - thanking me for writing the novel, but explaining how it's filled their hearts with sadness, to remember those days from long ago.

Don't know what else to say. Don't know that there really is anything else. Just... it hit me hard today, remembering with the heart.

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