The line to buy train tickets at Penn Station was unexpectedly long for a Sunday morning–red shirts behind us, green in front. We were all headed for New Jersey. The hubbub subsided when we reached the tracks and conductors directed the Patriots’ and Jets’ fans to a separate train.
Ours was a short, quiet ride to Cranford, the town where Dave grew up. We walked the mile and a half from the station to the neighborhood of two-story, one garage houses, scuffing our feet through piles of oak and maple leaves. To Dave’s surprise Maryland Street still dead-ends at the edge of the woods, a few doors down from his former house. He played in the woods as a kid, riding his English racer on the trail in the summer and sledding with his brothers, one piled on top of the other on their Airline Racer, on snowy winter days.
On our way back downtown we paused to jump on the hopscotch grid at the Walnut Avenue School and picked up a few red and yellow leaves–mementos of our trip to New Jersey.