"But he was mad, huh?" says Shirley.
They join Jack Sr. for an early dinner of pizza and beer at a place called Zubie's Dry Dock, which has enormous freshwater aquariums, fireplaces made of river rock and—Shirley's criterion for a good restaurant—sawdust on the floor. Adam alternates between downing slices of pizza and sliding between empty tables.
"Adam hangs well in the adult world," says his grandfather.
Would Babashoff's life have unfolded differently if the East German women hadn't taken steroids and she had been a heroine for the ages? "After the Games I came home, and absolutely nothing was different," she says, popping her dad on the arm. "My family wouldn't have changed if I'd won more. I still got in trouble with Mom for missing curfew. No swimmer besides Mark Spitz has ever made much endorsement money. I can't think how anything would have changed."
Then she considers whether she would have liked her life to change. "Once I heard of a ballplayer who said one bad pitch ruined his life. I remember thinking, Wow, that guy's intense...."
Adam comes sliding in from outer space. "You're my best mom," he says.
"Who's your worst?"
"Can life get any better than this?" she says. "I have a great job, a home, a dad who works free and a great pal...."
Adam gives her a noogie.