“In life’s uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do them”

There’s an unedited joy that comes from the people who know Nate – schoolmates, teachers, acquaintances – when they hear of his successes. He’s that type of kid, a person who truly amazes others and leaves a smile on their faces.

On Saturday, Karen and I attended Empty Bowls, one of my favorite Cooperstown events. It’s a benefit for the local food bank, with local potters making (or is it throwing?) bowls that can be filled with great soups donated by area restaurants and cooks. For a $15 donation, you get to keep your bowl, which this year would’ve come from a selection of over 400. Karen had never gone before and she was amazed at the diversity and color of the ceramics. I always bring home a brown bowl, I don’t know why.

On line I got into a brief conversation with a former high school art teacher of Nate’s. I filled her in on some recent developments in his world, advances that I have yet to share with Mission of Complex readers.

She beamed. “He always had that visual talent,” she said with great happiness. Nate was well stuck in her mind and she was thrilled at his new possibilities, as well as his impending college graduation.

The night before, at The Cooperstown Art Association opening of local student art, I got into a conversation with the head of the gallery. Though I know her, I was pushed to explain Nate’s shopping center drawings by an artist friend of us both. There was much interest in his work, and in his story. Hopefully there will be more to report on in the future.

This morning an old friend of Nate’s commented on the “Missing Out?” post of last November. She was mentioned in that post, and has connected with Nate briefly over Facebook. She’s so proud of how far Nate has come and she has good memories of where he was ten years ago. It was great to hear from her.

It’s wonderful how Nate makes others feel so positive, bubbling with genuine enthusiasm for the strides he’s made. As Karen and I have said, Nate is a “people barometer,” and he, and we, have been very fortunate to have the people around us measure up so well.

(For those who need to know: Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, Act V, scene I)


About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the former 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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