Years ago when I was getting my master’s in theater
I worked with a choreographer on a play. I did the writing.
She worked with the dancers. The collaboration was so
intoxicating and passionate that in short time we became
lovers. This was a problem because our sound and set
designer was the woman’s boyfriend.
Our next collaboration was to be Dug Out Dad, a play
I had in mind about my dead father. My dad was a ball player
who, according to lore, tried out for the ’27 Yankees when
he was 19 but didn’t make the team because he wore
“Dominick Dimaggio was the first major leaguer to wear
glasses,” my dad would explain. “They had to take him
because he was Joe’s kid brother.” So the story would
There were so many things about my father that I didn’t know
or understand. He and my mother were separated almost
all of their lives. They didn’t divorce because my father was
a Catholic and insisted he couldn’t be buried in a Catholic
cemetery if he broke the sacrament.
The dance play was going to be superb, with members
of the university baseball team taking part. My father was
to be in the dugout telling stories about his life. And I was
going to unearth some truth about my lost father.
But the chemistry and dynamics among my dancer lover,
her man, and me, well, they were much too dangerous
to continue with our work.