The Last Days of Summer

By Steve Kluger
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780380797639, 368pp.)

Publication Date: April 1, 1999

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May 15, 1940

Charlie Banks

New York Giants

Polo Grounds, New York

Dear Mr. Banks:

I am a 12-year-old boy and I am dying from malaria. Please hit a home run for me because I don't think I will be around much longer.

Your friend,

Joey Margolis

Dear Kid:

Last week it was the plague. Now it's malaria. What do I look - stupid to you? You're lucky I don't send somebody over there to tap you on the conk. I am enclosing 1 last picture. Do not write to me again.

Chase. Banks

3d Base

Dear Charlie:

Nobody asked for your damn picture. I never even heard of you before. And you can forget about the home run too. The only reason I needed one was because the bullies who keep beating me up somehow thought you were my best friend and the homer was supposed to keep them from slugging me anymore. Thanks for nothing.

Can I go on a road trip with you?

Your arch enemy,

Joey Nargolis

Dear Joey:

"Somehow" they thought I was your best friend? Where did they hear that from? A Nazi spy? J. Herbert Hoover? Franklin Delano Biscuithead? And didn't I tell you not to write to me anymore? Go bug DiMaggio.

Charlie

P.S. And just because there's a spot open for a bat boy this summer doesn't mean your going to get it. Even if we ARE chips off the same block. May 15, 1940

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