I signed the security sheet and went up to the sixth floor. The elevator opened to a massive plate glass window fronting a sign with the corporate name. I was in the right place.

“Is Mr. Bogart in?”
“Yes, whom should I say is calling?”
“Mr. Bogart.” (I smiled).

Waiting patiently, my memory scanned a canvas of the past:

Michael atop home plate: hoisting a trophy. All of ten in his grape/white uniform—Madison, Ohio. Jamie, clad in white/gold, is cheerleading and eyeing the stands where the Little One, Stacy, is multi-tasking—doing gymnastics in black tights and also sleeping aside Rocky in the cage.
(Don’t ask me how—it’s MY mosaic).

“He’s in a conference,” came the voice. “Would you like to wait? It’ll be a while.” (Was she kidding? Of course I would. Took long enough to get here). “Give him a half hour,” she offered.

Scouring the streets for a newspaper I came up empty. As my legs were about to fall off, settling for a salad at Moonstruck but two doors away, my mind wandered again…..

Michael was the eldest, but his was the last office of my kids to be seen. The final picture of their embryonic careers to be colored in. Just the way it fell.

Jamie’s was first. ‘Twas a few years back, and I don’t quite recall the circumstance. Law office, tall building, Manhattan. We hung out the whole day—as adults. She gave me a room with a view and a computer—then left to go about her business.

Stacy was next. We were there maybe five minutes, but there was her desk… in a loft…in Chicago. The better stuff came later as Rooney strut Savvy Avenue. How grateful am I that she works some in Cleveland? That she’ll use my office? What a kick to watch her work, focus….to walk in when she’s on the phone and have her waive me off! Good stuff.

And now I was about to see Michael Robert Bogart in his daytime habitat.
Complete the trifecta! ,,,,,and I sat there, wondering if the kids grasped, if they got how proud I was.

On my office bookshelf sits a tome entitled “Reverse Mergers.” It covers corporate stuff (and NOT, as the title suggests, my 1972 marriage). I don’t understand one word of it, nor care to. Jamie, though, is mentioned on page 230-line 8, so there it sits, forever….aside a built-in slot for papers bearing the following bold red signage: “BOHRER Savvy Avenue, where Stacy banks her work-in-progress. From the side, atop the cabinet (3 o’clock on your watch as you sit at my desk), angled to look down on his sisters…is a picture of my son. It’s twelve years old, and he’s kneeling on the grass of Ohio Stadium, helmet by his side….Adjacent to the photo is a faded tabloid, dated March 16, 2000: The Commercial Property News, residue of Michael’s first job.

I wonder if they knew.

The server brought the check and I paid. Crossing the street I reminded myself that Michael’s office would have pictures of Meredith, not me. Just like Jamie’s had Eric, and Stacy’s had Jason. That, indeed, the baton had passed to the next generation.

Minutes later the elevator door opened again to the sixth floor. I bounded out, re-entered through glass, and with pride announced:

“I’m here to see Mr. Bogart.”

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