The den, the main gathering room of our home, was surrounded by wood-paneled walls and adorned with heavy wooden furniture -- the kind of stuff you might see on a very old ship. There was a coffee table fashioned out of wooden planks, finished deep brown. Dad's whiskey glasses, and those of his guests, would rest on these planks and leave dark, wet circles behind as evidence of their revelry. Years later, wearing the clothes of an older man, in the quieter daylight hours, I would come to sit at this table and read and write. The laughter and thumping of feet would still reverberate, bouncing about the walls of my memory.