The Air That September

by Thomas Porky McDonald



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 5/14/2003

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5x8
Page Count : 220
ISBN : 9781410732682

About the Book

In the days, weeks and months following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the world took on a new awareness.  In The Air That September, Thomas Porky McDonald, a lifelong resident of Queens, New York, gives one man’s take on how the world he knew was affected by the tragedy, reacted to it and helped aid in the healing process.  As an individual who did not lose a close friend or loved one on that unfathomable day, McDonald was blissfully living out the final days of the inaugural season of the short season, Minor League “A” ball Brooklyn Cyclones, who were on the verge of winning a memorable championship.  The return of professional baseball in Brooklyn after 44 years, in fact, had served as the catalyst for a book that was originally to be about a month long tour of baseball parks near and far, from the lowest level to the very highest.  Then, on the morning of September 11, planes started falling from the sky.

Beginning with his original vision, McDonald takes the reader to where the book’s title, which was born a few months earlier, eventually led him – right back to his New York roots.  The Air That September is, as it says in its opening pages, A New York Story.  The game of baseball, which had always been a very vital part of the City scene for over a century, serves as a bookending force for the most destructive single act of terrorism in the world’s history to date.  Before 9/11, Minor League baseball, played in single deck parks in both Brooklyn and Staten Island, had become one of the stories of the New York Summer.  After 9/11, Shea Stadium and Yankee Stadium, the two Big City yards that had seen so many thrills in the past, became the most tangible place where New Yorkers could come together in large (50,000 plus) numbers as one.  In McDonald’s view, the life-lifting nature of the ballpark helped celebrate and honor the life saving efforts of so many brave women and men, many of whom lost their lives on 9/11/01.

About the Author

Thomas Porky McDonald is a poet and writer who often uses baseball and the ballpark venue to relay his views on life, in general.  His most recent release, Where the Angels Bow to the Grass, A Boy’s Memoir, taken mainly from the writers’ childhood days of the 1960’s and 70’s, described the bond between McDonald and his father, Bill “The Chief” McDonald. Previously, McDonald published a pair of anthologies, which paid homage to heroes of the past.  An Irishman’s Tribute to the Negro Leagues and Over the Shoulder and Plant on One: An Irishman’s Tribute to Willie Mays each contain short stories and factual material, as well as a small dose of McDonald’s trademark baseball poetry.  A third volume, Hit Sign, Win Suit: An Irishman’s Tribute to Ebbets Field, will soon be released, thus rounding out a unique three book homage to the National Pastime.  McDonald has also published a book of short stories, Paradise Oval and the first of four poetry collections, Ground Pork: Poems 1989-1994.  The second collection, Downtown Revival: Poems 1994-1997, is primed for release in 2003.  He plans on publishing the remaining two volumes of this set, Closer to Rona: Poems 1997-1999 and Still Chuckin'’ Poems 1999-2002, in the very near future.  Born in St. Albans Naval Hospital in Queens, McDonald has lived in nearby Astoria his entire life.