The Open Heart

The Open Heart

The Open Heart

The Open Heart

Excerpt

To a boy growing up in the suburbs of New York in the early 1900's the city had the drawing power of a gigantic magnet. Every visit was to see something special, and afterwards the event lived on in your mind. Even the approach was exciting: the train deposited you in the great, lofty, smoke-filled train shed of the Pennsy, and then with your parents you hurried, you ran, down the platform and into the timbered ferryhouse (this was before Mr. McAdoo had finished the Tunnel), watching out for the horse- drawn drays which were being driven onto the lower deck. A boy's place was forward on the top deck, pressed against the rail, where you could see everything in the harbor and, looking up, the pilot in his little house. The wind was sharp, the skyscrapers gleamed in the winter sunlight, and as you crossed the water the ferry would hoot at a passing tug and the tug hooted back; then you came wedging into the slip, with the timbers groaning and the cable wheels clanking melodiously as the ferry made fast.

You might be bound for the Museum of Natural History with its glass cabinets of animals and tiny ancient people. Or for the Hudson Fulton Celebration, that swarming river parade which I watched from the deck of . . .

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