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Monday, September 24, 2018

Knox, O'Malley, Sheena and The Miracle Mets




     On Thursday October 16th, 1969 at approximately 2:15 pm, O’Malley was feeling pressure from the extra half glass of milk he drank at lunch and dutifully raised his hand to use the lavatory. After a slight shake of her head, Mrs, Hurley, his fourth grade teacher excused him.

     As he stepped up to the urinal closest to the door in the basement lavatory O’Malley was surrounded by a group of older boys leaning against the walls and sitting on the edges of the  sinks. In the center of them was a kid named Knox. He had shoulder length hair, or goddamn hippie hair, as O’Malley’s father would say and he was holding a transistor radio, listening along with the other boys to game five of the World Series between the New York Mets and the Baltimore Orioles. It was Jerry Koosman on the mound for the improbable and ready to clinch Mets vs. Dave McNally of the Orioles.  
     After he finished his business at the urinal and was washing his hands, Knox, asked O’Malley, “You like baseball kid?”
     “Yes,” O’Malley replied skittishly and turned to leave.
     “Hold it,” the imposing eighth grader commanded. “Thought you said you liked baseball. Where ya going?”
     “Back to class,” O’Malley said looking in the direction of his classroom at the end of the hall.
     Knox walked over put his hand on O’Malley’s shoulder and said, “You’re probably doing some social studies/ history bullshit this time of day—right?”
     “Yes.”
     “Yeah, well, the Mets are making history right now and George Washington will be just as dead tomorrow as he is today. Sit down and listen to the game,” and he nodded toward the little platform that led to the urinals.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

I Feel Like Going Home . . .

         A home is often fraught with conflict, piles of laundry and endless things that need to be fixed or replaced. It is also a place with people who look like you, breath like you and who won’t laugh too much when they see you in your underwear. O’Malley embraced everything about home. He loved places where people rooted their lives and loved songs about people wanting to be where they rooted their lives.


    This was never more true than when he found himself with tears welling in his eyes in the parking lot of South Park Optical as he listened to I Feel Like Going Home, by Yo La Tengo. He didn't so much hear the song drifting from his satellite radio as he processed its dreamy atmospherics and felt its sad longing for the warm places where we take cover from the world—home.

    Wiping away the tears as the song concluded O’Malley laughed to himself at his, always near to the surface, emotions and thought of another weepy “home” songJohn Prine’s Summer’s End from “The Forgiveness Tree.” He heard it while having a cocktail with his wife on the back porch. The meditative summery vibe roused an image for O'Malley of his long dead mother. Like in a grainy home movie she was taking laundry down from a line and mugging for the camera with a big smile. A summer breeze blew through her hair and of course—as the author of ten children—she was pregnant. Yet, standing there, trapped in time, she was still so beautiful. And, as the moving chorus implored the listener to: Come on home . . . O’Malley began to weep and long for his dead mother.


Monday, September 3, 2018

Music Is Art . . .

Next Saturday-(09/08) my wife, Donna and I have a booth at "Music Is Art" festival at Riverworks from 11am-11pm. I'll be selling and signing copies of my novel "Written In The Stars: The Book Of Molly" and my wife will have all kinds of reasonably priced fine art for sale. Thank you...