McCloskey was largely unknown and living in New York when he took an assistant’s job on the mural project. The idea for “Ducklings” took root while McCloskey was here, and he returned to New York with a draft of the book. “That should be enough money to get the murals back to Hamilton and begin the restoration process,” said city manager Joshua Smith. From that book, for reasons obscure to me, my serious reading started. Later on I got my…