We drove down to New York with the table in pieces and tools in a bucket in the back. Saturday night was the birthday dinner party celebration for my brother Sam, a big meal that would mark the long table’s debut. On Saturday morning, while Sam and his girl Molly provisioned the feast, Jonah and I assembled the table. (We’d done it the night before, too, late, in our tiny Cambridge kitchen, to make sure it would work. It filled the whole room, and when we had it more or less together, we both sat on the floor underneath it, tired and happy that it had come together. Not perfectly, but sturdy and solid. A real table.) On Saturday night, with 15, 16, 17, 18 guests, there was food and wine and laughs, a great feast! The best possible inauguration. It began with many cheering toasts to friends and family.