“Deux balles, une grève. Rusty a frappé un simple dans sa dernière présence au bâton. Voici le terrain de baseball. Il balance. Une allée bordée Ed Charles passé à la troisième base pour un seul. Staub représente le point égalisateur avec Mack Jones venir à la plaque.”

“My radio is better than yours…I’m listening to another country!” I proudly stated to my brother. “Let me hear it” he said as he reached for my new transistor radio. It was wrapped in a blue case…I think it was leather…real fancy!

“…Jones vole à mettre fin à la manche. Après 3 manches, il est Expos 3 et les Mets 1.”

It was 1969. That didn’t matter. It was 9 p.m. That did matter! Bedtime. My brother and I shared a room at the end of the second floor hallway…it was our safe haven; our sanctuary. In age, we were a few years apart. That didn’t matter either, we were “bros!”

“That’s not another country…that’s Canada. It’s a baseball game.” My brother was smart like that…he knew things. He also knew that the hallway distance from the top of the stairs to our far bedroom wall was exactly 40 feet. My brother’s bed was directly through the door, against that wall. On a good day…one good day, he ran and jumped approximately 1/2 inch past that…40 feet and 1/2 inch!  A marking of our territory and a record that still stands today.

A quick educational aside. On the Mohs hardness scale, 1/2 inch gypsum drywall is approximately 100 times softer than plaster, which means that if our walls were made of plaster, my brother would be 1/2 inch shorter than he is now. Ask my Mom. It’s simple math and physics! Back to the story…

While we lived in a house, we grew up in our bedrooms…sharing stories and knowledge, and dreaming of the days when we would become astronauts or baseball players; all the while peering out the window at the flickering “Hotel/Motel” lights of the Randolph House and listening for the periodic soothing sound of a passing train whistle. Building blanket tents and reading our “Big Little Books” by the light of a flashlight. “GO TO SLEEP BOYS!!!” “We will Mom,” I said, taking the initiative to respond for both of us. My older brother peered back in apparent support; at least as far as I could tell…it was dark. All was well with the world!  We fall asleep.

We wake up and its 1978! My brother and I have moved to the biggest of the three sibling bedrooms…still at the end of the hallway…just the other end, near the stairs. Our sisters are relegated to separate rooms…girls need their space, but “bros” stick together.

Queue the music. To be precise…”Pyromania” by “The Alan Parsons Project.” It was my brother’s song-of-choice when he came in at night…after 9 p.m. I might add. For years, I thought that Mr. Parsons’ project was a sleep deprivation study! (I’m still waiting for the results Mr. Parsons!) My brother, now a teenager, was the master of his domain. Rock music posters fill the walls, clothes are strewn about, music records lie on one bed, as well as on the floor….all…within the footprint of half the room. The other half of the room is clean and tidy; the second bed…neatly made. A blanket tent takes up a small corner. “Does Mom know you’re getting home so late?”

The needle slides across the record creating a hair-raising scratching sound. A guttural cry…subtle at first, but growing to an intense crescendo, echoes through the night. Startled pigeons fly from their roost atop St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. He might have been master of his domain, but he had to share it with his goody two shoes, Donny Osmond looking brother; I was his sidekick! How cool is that?!

In age, a few years apart…in reality, it might as well have been a lifetime. What were our parents thinking?! My brother and I shared that room until he moved out to attend college. I ultimately became the master of my domain, having listened and learned all those years. Brothers know things.  Rock and roll…and girls…and a room all to myself. It may have been my plan all along.

“Christy’s here.” “Thanks Mom…tell her to come upstairs.” “Hello Christy!” The door closes. “Hi…is that a blanket tent…” “Heh…heh!” Queue the music…

“Pyromania” (lyrics & music by “The Alan Parsons Project”)

🎶 There are pyramids in my head!
There’s one underneath my bed!
And my lady’s getting cranky.
Every possible location
Has a simple explanation
And it isn’t hanky-panky.

I have read, somewhere in a book,
They improve all your food and your wine.
It’s said that everything you grow in your garden will pretty fine,
Instead, all I ever get is a pain in the neck and a
Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap!

I’ve consulted all the sages,
I could find in the yellow pages,
But there aren’t many of them…
And the mayan panoramas
On my pyramid pajamas
Haven’t helped my little problem.

I’ve been told someone in the know
Can be sure that his luck is as good as gold,
Money in the bank and you don’t even pay for it if you fold
A dollar in the shape of the pyramid that’s printed on the back.

It’s no lie.
You can keep the edge of a razor as sharp as an eagle’s eye.
You can grow a hedge that is vertically straight, over ten feet high.
All you really need is a pyramid and just a little luck.

I have read, somewhere in a book,
They improve all your food and wine
And I’ve been told,
Someone in the know
Can be sure of his good luck and it’s no lie.
All you really need is a little bit of pyramidic
Help! 🎶

3 thoughts on “The Room At The End Of The Hall!

  1. Hmmmmm. If the truth be told , our walls are wall board that are coated with plaster . Something that they don’t do now, so who knows the effect of that mighty crash that Dad so efficiently repaired,with orders to slow down the speed in the hallway.. Dad had a way of doing things quietly, while ,my words, on the other hand can probably still be heard echoing down that hall.

    Loved it , Steve.


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