This Old House (complete with Drum Room)

Erin’s text only said this: the house sold.

The old O’Connell family homestead is set to be packed up. Closing is on May 27th and the folks have found a nice little place in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. They’re now the honeymooners and we should be concerned about how little Callie will respond to seeing wild geese walk by the front windows. I’m heading to Maine this weekend to spend some quality time above the garage and down in the basement- to say goodbye to the house, the house I grew up in and still remember watching be built all those years ago.

All those years ago was when I was six- that was when we moved onto Regan Lane. I remember walking around the frame of the house in the middle of construction and walking up and down the wooden stairs. We moved from our little house in Scarborough in late September, after I had started school over at Lyseth. In middle school we put in a pool in the backyard and brought Misty, our first cocker spaniel home. I loved our backyard, all fenced in and private. I would pitch against the wall or kick soccer balls against it- depending on the season. The pool was great, but made it tough to mow the back lawn- but I did so with a bathing suit on and my walkman blasting. When I graduated high school, one of my bands played at my graduation party and Gram was dancing up a storm. She was very upset when the cops showed up.

I moved down into the basement in middle school, giving up the larger bedroom upstairs to Erin. Before I moved to the basement, it was probably one of the best play rooms any two kids could have- split right down the middle between GI Joes and Barbies. Then Dad threw a wall up and one side became my room, the other side became a TV room. The drop ceilings provided useful when it came to hiding scandalous CD’s with parental advisory labels on them that would only be played when my parents weren’t home.

Freshman year of high school, I brought a drum set home and the house was never quiet for more than an hour at a time for the next couple of years. First they were set up in the TV room, but then moved into another room in the basement- the room that had become the Barbie room once the wall went up and then became the Drum Room once Erin outgrew Barbies. I spent hours in that drum room in high school- a lot of that time with Dave Devine and Rob Voyer, writing mediocre, but fun songs and recording them. About every other week we had a different band name- but every week we had a good time.

After college, the Drum Room had a resurgence and the band that would eventually become Sidecar Radio was formed. It’s where Corey came for the first time and where we spent hours jamming and getting to know each other. Some random dudes passed through and it was fun taping show posters to the wall. We knew when we were getting loud when we heard a stomping on the floor and we knew it was time to quit when the lights started flickering. We knew we were in trouble if we dinged the walls and we always knew how we sounded because Mom would let us know- she didn’t like when Christian yelled. Eventually we outgrew the Drum Room and began a yearlong nomadic quest to find a rehearsal space that matched the comfort and quality of the Drum Room.

When you live in a house for over twenty years, you could go on a variety of tangents based on the memories of certain events, certain rooms in the house, certain changes that were made over the years. Obviously it’s where you learned how to live, how to love, how to negotiate stairs late at night after you drank too much. It will be hard to leave, hard to turn in my key. It will be much harder for my parents. They drove the bus, I was just a passenger who grew attached to my seat. But regardless, it’s a big deal and it’s a big move. There will only be one house you grew up in and one day when it’s time to leave that house. The house you grew up in, the first car you bought, the first pet you ever loved- these are the baseball cards you will never throw away. They will go in a Tupperware bin, safe & sound- and follow you for the rest of your life.

So goodbye Regan Lane. It was fun. Thanks for the good times, the funny times, and the learning times.

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