I was skipping small, flat stones into Vinoy Basin, in St. Petersburg, Florida, while waiting for my father. I believed that, perhaps, I was the best stone skipper in the whole universe—well, at least for my age group. My lucky coin was in the pocket of my torn shorts. The rabbit’s foot was tied around the piece of string I used as a belt. I was shoeless, hatless, shirtless, and brown as a berry. Huck Finn had nothing on me. But I was confident. My father would bring good news. My father had to bring good news.