Happy Birthday, Roger Angell!

Jennifer Paull

Staff Writer

Jennifer Paull walks quickly.

Writer and editor Roger Angell turns 92 today. You may salute his many books on baseball. Or you may revere the gilded list of fiction writers he edits at the New Yorker. I love him for this personal essay about his stepfather, E. B. White, one of the most significant, poignant musings on love and mortality I’ve ever encountered.

“Lately I have been missing my stepfather, Andy White, who keeps excusing himself while he steps out of the room to get something from his study or heads out the back kitchen door, on his way to the barn again. He’ll be right back,” Angell begins.

“I can hear the sound of that gray door—the steps there lead down into the fragrant connecting woodshed—as the lift-latch clicks shut. E. B. White died in 1985—twenty years ago, come October—and by ‘missing’ I don’t mean yearning for him so much as not being able to keep hold of him for a bit of conversation or even a tone of voice.”

Keep reading. And we lift our baseball cap to you.