Picture of Dr. Linda Algazi, Ph.D

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April 14, 2013

It was easy to imagine a bunch of teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert, waiting, waiting for their idol to come on stage. The electricity of anticipation, hung out, in the air. No roar of the crowd, though, only quiet anticipatory reminiscence by a bunch of over-the-top baseball fans.

It was opening night for “42” in our town. My husband put on his Jackie Robinson shirt, the one he had purchased some years ago at a charity function. It had Jackie’s photo emblazoned on the back. Which turned out to be the thing to roar about.

People smiled and gave him thumbs-up. One guy looked as if he was going to hug him. I understood. He did look huggable.

Jackie Robinson has been my husband’s hero since he was a kid. He has framed “Jackie” memorabilia in his office and his e-mail address has always included the number, “42”. Of course, his excitement was no surprise to me.

Clearly, he was in good company. Several of our friends, with us this evening, were also very familiar with the details of Jackie Robinson’s life and about how he achieved “legend” status.

I was treated to a running commentary of what was to come next. Not good theater etiquette, but my husband managed to keep his enthusiasm to a whisper. Nobody complained I think, because so many others were busy filling in baseball trivia to their companions.

“Pee Wee Reese is going to put his arm around Jackie… right now.” And sure enough, he did. “Ralph Branca is one of the good guys. Watch what he does… watch…” Etc. etc. etc..

I’ve also admired Jackie Robinson and his wife, Rachel, for all they endured, for themselves, and in the pursuit of freedom and fairness for all. I don’t know a whole lot about baseball, but I champion any quest for excellence. In the same way that I understand that Justin Bieber knows his music, I get that Jackie Robinson was a great baseball player too.

I think I loved the movie but I admit, I was way too busy paying attention to what was going on around me.

I know I loved seeing a bunch of grown-up men become twelve year old boys for a couple of hours.

I know I loved that this nostalgia was generated by the life story of a true American hero.


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