On September 6th, 1953, somewhere in Los Angeles, a 5-month-old baby boy named Larry cooed and ahhh’d in his mother’s arms. She had been born in Arizona, a first generation American christened Guadalupe, but, as was the fashion of the time, she had taken the Anglicized name “Ruby” as her own. Little Larry, her baby boy, was her third child by her husband, Carlos. She and Carlos had been sweethearts since childhood, since before the war.
Ruby’s first two children were dark complected, dour reflections of Ruby’s dark Mexican-Indian heritage, but little Larry was different. He had golden skin and golden hair, and his blue eyes were fixated on hers the moment he left her womb. He was mama’s baby boy, mama’s darling, her precious love. She kept Larry pressed tightly to her, always.
Larry knew her warmth, her love, her heartbeat, her smell. He couldn’t get enough of her. She was comfort. She was love. She was safety and god-like with her warm breath on his face he felt loved, so loved, and he needed her so could live only with her only with her only with her…
Ruby sat on a porch in a hard and cracked chair, snuggling Larry tightly against her breast. Carlos was somewhere around the county, or maybe south in Orange that day, driving a large and stuttering truck loaded with bread and baked goods. Should he suddenly turn a corner and find himself amongst the rubble and amidst the spoliation of Mussolini’s Italy, it was never for long. He turned those memories into stories like a scorekeeper or a play-by-play man would, and in their telling those horrific visceral memories became mere photographic negatives on his mind. 2-dimensional, unreal. Boxscores.
Carlos rode with the radio off that day, and he missed the announcement that the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers had won – already – their 100th ballgame and were on pace to smash the major league record for most wins in a season.
At 100-32, the Dodgers had a 23 game lead over the 2nd place Milwaukee Braves. The Braves with 76 wins and 24 games left in their season, would lose any faint statistical chance they might still have at the National League pennant with either their next loss, or the Dodgers next win. The Dodgers “magic number” was 1.