Thursday, August 28, 2014

Passages: Chapter 2

     Rolen, in attempt to break free from his stupor, began rummaging through the drawers of his dad's workbench along with all the other fascinating places around the shop. It wasn’t only tools his dad owned, but his hoarding skills always led to little discoveries. Mrs. Sparks always said people only have yard sales because they knew Mr. Sparks would come. Why they just don’t put it all in a truck and dump it all right here is beyond me. I’m going to start paying them just to keep you away from their sales.

          You just never know when you’ll need things, Dear. It’s good stuff. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be selling it. Mr. Sparks' banter always made Rolen chuckle.

          Rolen opened a drawer and lying next to a mother mouse and her five newborns nestled together, was his dad’s old radio. It was yet another item that was always in the shop. Dad would have it sitting on the ledge of the window, the plug awkwardly stretching to the outlet, antennae extended all the way up with a clothes hanger for supposedly better reception. And to boot, a pair of pliers keeping it all together. Dad would listen to the Phillies always saying something about how much better games are with the voice of Harry Kalas. It was the same radio he took fishing and camping. So why buried in a drawer?

          Plugging it in, Rolen decided to see if it would still work. If it did, it would just add to the mystery of why his dad’s favorite radio was hidden away. The static rang out and it was music to his ears. The sounds of baseball, his dad would say, through an AM station is right up there with fireworks on a cool summer night under a canopy of stars. The Phightin’ Phils were in the final stretch of a successful season and heading towards October playoffs. Through the static, Rolen could hear Harry the Great.  Here’s the stretch. And the pitch. Ball four! The bases are now loaded with the tying run stepping up to the plate. Even if they don’t win this one you have to give these Phils some credit. Down fourteen to two in the ninth inning and now with the bases loaded, nobody out with a score of fourteen to ten….

          Caught up in a memory of ballparks and hotdogs, Rolen couldn’t help but to smile remembering going to the games and just hanging out with his dad in the shop listening to the Phillies.

          The static became too deafening. Rolen found the pliers and the solution. With Harry’s voice more clear, Rolen continued searching in drawers and boxes. With nothing quenching his thirst for a fun discovery, he grabbed a ladder and delved deep into the shelves that ran along the wall beside the Oliver.

          Rolen came across more spiders than he’d prefer along with some oil cans and model plane paint. But it was what was lying on top of some very old newspapers that sparked an interest. Covered in a mountain of dust was Rolen’s great-grandfather’s answering machine. It looked like one of the very first ones. Grabbing it and then stepping down the ladder, Rolen brought it over to the bench with better lighting.

          Now with one out Schmidt steps in having a great night…and he’s swinging on the first pitch and drives it into the gap! Samuel scores! Hayes scores! Here comes The Bull…he scores! It’s now 14-13 and Schmitty is standing on second with his fourth hit of the game!

          Setting the answering machine down on the table, Rolen grabbed a wipe from the shelf under the baseball glove and cleaned off the dust. Then he decided to do what any curious person would do. He pressed the button.

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