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Medora Goes to The Game
George Plimpton
November 16, 1981
With an ulterior motive, the author took his 9-year-old daughter to see Harvard play Yale, and may have learned more about her that day than she did about football
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November 16, 1981

Medora Goes To The Game

With an ulterior motive, the author took his 9-year-old daughter to see Harvard play Yale, and may have learned more about her that day than she did about football

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"What's wrong with an H?" I asked.

"Well, it looks like a house with two chimneys that are too tall," she said as she produced a note pad from her shoulder bag and with her brown hair brushing the paper, as she bent to her work, fashioned an H. She finished it with some squiggles of smoke emerging from both chimneys.

"See?"

"Yes," I said.

Her interest in yachting is another vague worry. Medora spends her summers on the water. Her lips are pale from the salt. Her yellow slicker lies discarded on the lawn when she comes home exhausted; retrieved, it is flung over a shoulder as she heads for Gardiners Bay the next morning. I keep hoping she'll spend more time on the tennis court. She can hit a tennis ball with authority, although she seems slightly hesitant about how the game is scored. Surely that will come. I see myself, like John McEnroe's father, peering out from under a white tennis hat, arms folded on the balustrade overlooking some exotic court, in Monte Carlo, say, and watching Medora move to the net under a high, kicking serve to Pam Shriver's backhand.

Medora was looking out the plane window. I interrupted her reverie. "When we get to Cambridge, would you mind if I bought you a Harvard hat?" I asked her. "We're going to be sitting among a lot of Harvards and there'll be confusion with all this blue you're wearing."

She nodded vaguely. She had some things she wanted to show me from her shoulder bag. She produced a four-page handwritten "newspaper." "Sherman Reddy and I are the editors," she told me. The front page dealt with the November election. CARTER IS DEFEETED the headline read in my daughter's recognizable penmanship. The subhead announced RAGEN WON THE ELECTION BY FAR. The news story was brief. It read: "Carter worked very hard but he was defeeted. In 1981 Ragen will be Presedent. Let us hope he is good." Underneath this story was a poll on whether Ragen would be good. He got one yes and one no—the two editors apparently being not only the pollsters but also the sole respondents as well. I asked Medora, who was the only girl in her class to "vote" for Carter, what was wrong with President Reagan. "He laughs too much. He thinks everything is funny," she said. The rest of the paper was made up of "advertisements," most of them for restaurants (Dining out tonight? Have a fish...). There was one recently added story.

MEDORA TO SEE THE GAM

"It has an e on the end of it," I said.

She brought out her pencil to make the correction.

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