Low Key Nate

We spent the day in Albany today visiting family, friends, and one great record store. After a beautiful drive through leaf-changing hills, we arrived home at 6:15. Nothing special, huh? Pretty boring, right?

Ah, that’s where you’re wrong. Tonight is a new episode of The Simpsons and Nate always sets himself up in front of the TV early in the morning. It doesn’t matter that the show begins at 8 PM, Nate sits or circles around his favorite brown leather chair watching Fox the entire day. NASCAR, NFL, it doesn’t matter. Fox goes on and stays on.

Nate tapes all the new episodes and can’t miss one second. That is no exaggeration. A few years ago, on Joey’s birthday, we had dinner up the hill at Portabello’s in Fly Creek. Karen lingered inside the restaurant, finishing up her martini and chatting with the owners while we waited in the car. Those turned out to be precious seconds wasted, because when we got home the opening strains of The Simpsons theme had started. Nate freaked. It didn’t matter that he hadn’t missed the new chalkboard gag. He missed a piece of the show and went ballistic.

It got so bad, over days and weeks, that a great friend of ours, who has connections to the show’s producers, got Nate an official staff tape of the episode. Only then did he relax about the most tumultuous missing seconds since Rosemary Woods erased a Watergate tape.

Today was a wonderful sign of his ever-growing maturity. He came with us to Albany, made clear that he wanted to leave at 5ish, and never squawked. No screaming, no excessive repetition of his worry: “When do we leave? When do we leave? When do we leave?”. Calm, like a 20-year-old should be.

I can’t help but look at him and marvel at his peace of mind about an issue that used to cause him much anxiety and pain.

You can look at him too:

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About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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