The following is an item from the book, Destiny (1983).  It was written by Paul Aurandt.

Nice Catch

WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ happened on Sunday, July 26, 1981, at 7:30 in the morning.

     Tom and Lorri Deal, asleep in their apartment in suburban Chicago, awakened to hear a baby crying.  The crying continued for quite some while.  For so long, in fact, that young Tom eventually got out of bed to investigate.

     From his bedroom window he could see the apartment building across the parking lot.  And the balconies of that building.  And on one of those third-floor balconies, the sliding screen door was partly open.  And a months-old baby was crawling out onto the balcony and toward the balustrade.

     Tom Deal knew no one whom he might telephone in that apartment building.  So the twenty-two-year-old warehouse-man threw on his robe and dashed downstairs and across the parking lot.

     Directly above him he could still hear the baby crying.  Frantically, he rang the door buzzer of the apartment, hoping to awaken someone inside.  He rang the buzzer for five minutes before giving up.

     By now the baby had reached the balustrade, the row of upright iron posts supporting the balcony railing.  If Tom was not completely awake before, he was now.

     For ever so slowly, the baby stretched one leg between the balusters and then dangled that leg over the edge of the balcony.

     Tom shouted, “No, go back!”

     No use.

     Moments later, another plump little leg appeared.

     Now not even calling for help would help.  For by the time anyone had broken down the door to that apartment, it would be too late.  Tom just knew it.  The baby was going to fall.  And all Tom could do in the sweaty panic of those agonizing seconds was stretch out his arms–and pray.

     And the baby did slip between the balusters . . .

     And topple from the third-story balcony . . .

     And graze the second-floor balcony railing . . .

     And tumble forward and down, into the arms of young Tom Deal!

     The baby, ten-month-old Jennifer, was still crying but safe.  Tom took her to a nearby hospital emergency room to make sure she was all right, and she was all right.  All she needed was a diaper change.

     Local police investigated the case of this apparently neglected infant.  They discovered a baby-sitter had waited until three o’clock that morning for the child’s mother to return home.  Then the baby-sitter took little Jennifer to this other apartment.  Because there was no crib, the infant was left sleeping on a couch.  At 7:30 a.m. little Jennifer awakened, crawled over to the balcony sliding screen door which was not locked, and crawled out.

     That’s how it happened.

     But this is THE REST OF THE STORY.

     Saturday, the day before, rescuer Tom Deal was playing softball.

     He often plays softball on summer Saturdays.

     You have just read about the phenomenal catch he made the morning after–ten-month-old Jennifer, who had fallen three stories from the apartment balcony.

     Nice catch.

     But Tom’s no catcher.  Ask any of his teammates.  Tom Deal is a chronic butterfingers.

     For on Saturday, the day before he caught when it really counted, Tom flubbed a fly ball softball costing his team five runs!

4 Responses to “FATHER’S DAY POST”

  1. 1 frigginloon June 18, 2012 at 3:58 am

    I probably would have dropped the baby 😯

  2. 3 nursemyra June 18, 2012 at 4:17 am

    I wonder what Jennifer is doing now

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