High and Outside

By Tim Whitaker
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jun. 13, 2007

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Five years out of school and her father was still imploring her to ditch Philadelphia and come home.

"You know you miss it here," he said when she answered her cell. "New England summers are so peaceful."

Her father hadn't become the No. 1 real estate broker in his region by being subtle.

Feeling cornered, she reached back for the high hard one.

"Dad, I'm worried the Yankees will catch us," she said.

She knew her father couldn't resist her high and outside non sequiturs.

She'd bring up baseball whenever he started telling her to come home.

It was an obvious distraction tactic. He knew it. And she knew he knew it.

Her father broke things down this way: Philadelphia was old and gritty, and that made it interesting.

It was just no place for his daughter.

"Clemens can't save the Yankees," he said, reaching for her outside pitch. "They better enjoy their little streak. No way they're catching us, baby. Not this summer."

She'd moved to Philly to be with Nate following her four-and-change years of undergrad at UCLA.

The only thing she knew about Philly at the time was what she saw visiting Nate at college.

Chinese takeouts and sticky bars with cheap beer, mostly.

She did know she could be in New York in two hours, and fly into Logan for a lot less than she could from California. That gave her comfort.

"You'll like Philly," Nate insisted.

Nate had been telling her what to think since high school.

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