cover image Fridays with Red: A Radio Friendship

Fridays with Red: A Radio Friendship

Bob Edwards. Simon & Schuster, $20.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-87013-3

Red Barber, who made his reputation as a baseball broadcaster in Cincinnati, Brooklyn and the Bronx, spent the years from 1980 until his death in 1992 at age 84 doing five-minute spots on National Public Radio's ``Morning Edition'' with Edwards. This affecting reminiscence is a chronicle of those years, with excerpts from tapes of the show about sports, flowers, cats (Barber was an unregenerate ailurophile) and religion (he was a lay reader in the Episcopal Church, authorized to preach sermons). It is also the account of the friendship that developed between the two men and of a mentor who taught his protege by example. The author includes tales of Barber's glory days and his association with figures from Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese to Ethel Merman and Ethel Barrymore, and goes on to his battles against deafness, blindness and the progression of his beloved wife's Alzheimer's disease. The book should have a wide appeal. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)