Yogi smiled. "I heard the old folks on the Hill were saying, 'Il figlio di Pietro � il padrone.' That means, 'Pete's boy is the boss.' Pete was my father's name. He was against me and my brothers, Tony, Mike and John, playing ball. But Mom was on my side, and when the Yanks offered to sign me for a $500 bonus she talked Pop into letting me go. He didn't want to. He said I should get a regular job and bring home a paycheck every Saturday night. But Mom talked him into letting me sign. The Yanks sent me to Norfolk. That was real rough. I got $45 every two weeks. I couldn't get by on it. I had to write to Mom for money. She'd send it without telling Pop. Finally, when I made it pretty good with the Yanks, my brothers went to Pop and said, 'You see, Pop? Laudy' (they called me Laudy at home) 'made it big. Now if you had let us play ball too, you'd be rolling in money, you'd be a millionaire.' You know what Pop said? Pop said, 'What are you talking to me for? I was for it all the time. Go to your mother, she was the one who wouldn't listen to me!' "
It got a good laugh. Yogi stood up and stretched. "I'm going to pick up the papers and go upstairs. I got to make a long distance call."
"Where to?" asked Ed Dawe.
" California," said Yogi, strolling a way.
" California," mused Ed Dawe of Montclair, N.J. "Now, who is he calling in California?"
"I'll bet it's Crosetti," said Sandy Cerami, an automobile dealer from Ridgewood. Crosetti lives in California. "Larry's probably going to ask Frank to stay on as coach."
They drifted off to bed, singly and in pairs, but some of them—Eddie Marck of Dumont, Bob Dinkins of Woodcliff Lake, John Massari of Middletown, Stanley Aragona of Tenafly, John Ravaschio of Oradell, and Mickey Cullere of Dumont—took a final turn around the grounds.
Next day they were like new men. Bright-eyed and rested, Yogi Berra was at the 8 o'clock Mass at Sacred Heart Church. The service was brief as services usually are at resorts and, instead of a sermon, the pastor limited himself to an announcement that two collections would be taken up to help along the campaign for a new roof.
Yogi was better at golf that afternoon, his drives truer, his putting improved. He dubbed some iron shots, and once he hurled his club with all the fury of a Tommy Bolt. Once he sliced deep into the rough and yelled, "Timber!" Once, asked for his score on another hole, he growled, "The number on my back." The number on the back of his Yankee uniform is eight. But for all of that, he was in the high 80s for the round.
Now that everyone was rested, the nights were given over to gin rummy and some moderate drinking. Baseball talk kept creeping into the conversation despite all the protestations that this was to be a nonbaseball holiday for Larry.