It was a lovely sunny day and standing on the corner of 50th and Madison, right near Cardinal Spellman's house, I said, "Let's go see if Cardinal Spellman is home."
"Fine," Mama said. "He Massachusetts boy. Rocky knows him."
A few minutes after we were ushered into a waiting room, the Cardinal walked in, grinning from ear to ear. "I think Rocky made the right decision," he said. He and Mama talked some in Italian. He gave us rosaries, and Mama promised to send him some pictures of Rocky for his sister's family.
Then we went to St. Patrick's. "Where St. Anthony?" Mama asked. "He my favorite saint." We couldn't find St. Anthony. Mama stopped at St. Joseph's statue. "Joanie," she asked, "you think it's all right I light two candles here for St. Anthony?" She did and lit other candles too and prayed. ("It's not right," she had told Cardinal Spellman, "just to light candles when you want something. You have to thank Him, too.")
Wednesday night we went to Shor's again. Jackie Gleason joined us and Mama, a diplomat, told Jackie she always watches his show too. "We switch back and forth," she said.
"Look, Jackie," she said, "we're both fat but we're both happy people." Mama also discussed the possibility of making a match between her 15-year-old son and Jackie's 14-year-old daughter.
Then she told Gleason about the Sunday dinners at her house, with the family and all her children, and Gleason looked at her with his heart in his eyes. "Sundays are the best," he said.
Papa's gout and all, we stayed up until 2 in the morning. "Come to Brockton," Mama told me. "I make your favorite dish—ravioli, lasagna, spaghetti—whatever you like."
THE KINDLING EYE
Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons did not go to Louisville last Saturday. He did not have a Derby-quality horse this spring and, besides, he was occupied elsewhere. At Jamaica, Nashua was running in the Grey Lag Handicap, and Mr. Fitz was there, watching. He saw Nashua come out of the starting gate, stumble and fall to his knees, then go on to win over a field that carried from eight to 19 pounds less than he did. The winner's purse put Nashua only $8,145 short of Citation's record earnings of $1,085,760. On May 30, in Belmont's $50,000 Metropolitan mile, he will be out to set a new record. And Mr. Fitz obviously has the powerful bay at peak form.