Stories Any Sports Fan Wish They Could Tell
I’m going to let you in on a secret about “The Secret Apartment: Vet Stadium, a surreal memoir” by Tom Garvey. Most of the action happens outside the apartment.
Which makes perfect sense. Tom Garvey opens his book asking the question, “If you were single…no dependents…had an opportunity to live in a major sports stadium of a team you grew up loving, what would you have done?”
It is a great hook for a story. Many would answer yes. Answering the question is one thing, pulling it off is another. And a secret arrangement like that will not stay that way if things get out of hand in the apartment.
This is fine for the reader. The same circumstances and personality traits that make a secret apartment possible also lead to fantastic stories. He has family connections give him access to the stadium, and by extension, celebrity athletes and media personalities. He has a position with just enough authority that he can make this happen, but not so much responsibility or equity that he would not risk it for some good times. He has nothing holding him down as a provider, and he associates with other free spirits.
Philadelphia sports feature prominently, but not exclusively, and the names are big enough for general North American sports fans to recognize. Veterans Stadium gets top billing, but the Rose Bowl, New Orleans, and points in play roles as well.
Tom pays homage to his family as much as his sporting heroes. And he makes explicit reference to “Cannery Row” while the reader may have already made the connection from Tom and his roster of friends.
This is a memoir of more than his time at the Vet. So the secret apartment is less central to Tom’s story, and more emblematic of how he has lived his life.
It’s worth a read.