My intrepid father on board the SS Italia, sometime between March tenth and twenty-first, 1956. We sailed from Antwerp, Belgium, where the sun was shining and the sky was clear blue. Rough seas delayed our arrival in New York by one day, though for me, at nine years old, the trip was a continuous adventure, with free movies and board games and good food. Not so for my poor mother, who only saw the dining room on the first day; she spent the rest of the voyage in our cabin, fighting off seasickness.

He taught me chess, on one of those leisurely afternoons. It was a hobby for which he harbored a lifelong passion, playing for years the old-fashioned way – by correspondence with other enthusiasts around the world. Invariably, when people gathered at our home, one corner of the table would be cleared for the chessboard. Amid the music, laughter, conversation, the eating and the drinking, the game would begin, and only end when the last man standing declared his unequivocal victory.

I took no part in those competitions. I was only a middling player, but managed to hold my own until the day my son, aged twelve, roundly defeated me time and again. The new generation had arrived.

2 thoughts on “Blog”

  1. Hello Ms. Cramer,
    I found your reading of your book “Roads” on 8/19/17 at the ANT Bookstore to be both enlightening and moving. So much so that I was driven to write the following verse there on the spot at the ANT:

    Roads of impoverished silence
    leading with formidable strength
    through the stark nights of forever;
    Men trudge soullessly the roads, not hoping
    that tomorrow will redeem them, but feeling
    the weight of someone else’s dreams.

    1. Thank you, Ron. I’m touched by your response, and impressed with your ability to compose so spontaneously. I wish you much success in your work.

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