Archive for June, 2015


The Accordion Door

June 28, 2015

My father was a very handy man but also very traditional, so when he was finishing my little room in the dormer he built atop our house, I was surprised when he installed the accordion door.

All of the other doors in the rest of the house were the traditional swinging wooden kind. So why an accordion door? In hindsight, it made good sense. The opening to my room was at the very top of a steep staircase. A traditional door swinging out would clobber any unsuspecting person at the top of the steps or block off the only window on that side of the upstairs. There was little room for it to swing inward, the end of my bed reaching the space by the opening on one side and a bookshelf filling the other. The accordion door did not swing either way. It folded up sideways. Problem solved.

Another created, however, at least in the eyes of a twelve year old in search of a private life. Space saving though it may be, the accordion door was noisy. Its unmistakable rumbling sound could be heard throughout the house, making it impossible to enter or exit without announcing it to the rest of the family or any guests who may have been present. Especially in the quiet of the night. Every bathroom run or late night refrigerator raid could be detected from the start because of that door.

There was no way to prevent this racket. The tracks would not accept any kind of lubricant (I tried). Speed would only alter the tone and duration. There was no way around it. It was like having those peacocks that guarded the Turkish prisons, innocent looking until you tried to get past them, and then the squawking alarm would sound. Now, I was not really doing anything so surreptitious that I should worry over this, but the mind of a twelve year old boy is a strange thing indeed.

What made it worse was that I actually played the accordion back then. I absolutely hated it. One could not ask for a more dorky instrument to play. Well, I take that back. My sister played the glockenspiel for a time. That had me beat.

My mother was a huge fan of the Lawrence Welk Show, and one of her favorites was the accordion player, a straight arrow named Myron Floren. Myron! What was his mother thinking! He was destined to play the accordion (or the glockenspiel) with a name like that. Anyway, it is my belief that my mother wanted her ugly duckling son to grow up to be the next handsome young accordion star of the airwaves. I, on the other hand, had my mind set on being the next star center fielder for the Yankees.

For better or worse, neither came to pass. But I’ll bet you one thing; Mickey Mantle never had any accordion doors in his bedroom.

the aspiring center fielder takes a detour

the aspiring center fielder takes a detour