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Bruce Springsteen and I and my wife and kids are sitting on the back patio on a warm summer evening. I’m a bit nervous and tired and possibly intoxicated. Bruce is relaxed and cordial, but doesn’t seem to be totally enjoying himself. I pick up my guitar and begin playing the chords to a song Potter wrote called The Circus Came to Town, but I start singing the words to a different song of his called The Gambler’s Ruin. After about the third line, I can’t remember what comes next. Bruce and my wife jump in and start singing their own made-up lyrics, which throws me off even more. I stop.

“Wait a minute!” I say. “Those aren’t the right words.”

I begin again and get a little bit further, but once again falter and can’t remember the words. I give up, stop playing and put the guitar on my lap. Bruce leans in and points out a set of tuning pins I’d never noticed before near the sound hole on the guitar. He reaches over and pushes the bridge over and suggests that it needs to be adjusted. This puts the guitar out of tune, so I tune it back up. I set the guitar down and stand up, as if to invite Bruce inside for a change of venue. We walk across the patio to the back door.

“Where’s Dean?” Bruce says, looking around absently.

“Moriarty?” I say.

“NPR just did that book,” Bruce says.

I open the door and we step inside.

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