Diamonds and Coal

 

a collaboration of

Derek Davis, Connie Hatch, Kelsey Leljedal,

Linda White, the cast and many others

directed by Linda White

 

Cast in order of appearance

CHARACTERS                                                                                                       CAST

Jake Calaman                                                                                                       Ben Hatch

Joseph (Yaskey) Wanagitis                                                                             Paul Schaefer

Bernice Jackson                                                                                                 Anne Kiner

Lucy Schaad                                                                                                 Joanna Murray

Emily Schaad                                                                                             Anastasia Miller

Margaret Kelly                                                                                      Germaine Donahue

Alexander Kellock                                                                                     Ferdinand Marek

Tank                                                                                                               Darwin Hatch

Roundtop                                                                                                       Jim Reynolds

Bulldog                                                                                                             Derek Davis

Slim                                                                                                                     Joel Fisher

Mike the Conciliator                                                                                       Scott Osborg

Maria Beaver                                                                                                  Ruthie Reuter

Young Ted Beaver                                                                                              Noah Krieg

Laura Beaver                                                                                              Anastasia Miller

Theodore Beaver                                                                                                Ed Murray

Nurse Sobel                                                                                                        Dori Fisher

Mrs. Cole                                                                                                    Florence Suarez

Mary Smith                                                                                                     Amy McGee

Robert Smith                                                                                                        Will Kiner

Mrs. Bendinsky                                                                                             Connie Hatch

Mr. Stabrylla                                                                                                    Derek Davis

Doctor                                                                                                                 Joel Fisher

Erminia Evangelisti                                                        Brenda Miller/Barbara K. Schaefer

Gina Calaman                                                                                               Kelsey Leljedal

Leona Evangelisti                                                                                             Leona Hatch

Mary Calaman                                                                                              Olivia Magann

Lloyd Benjamin                                                                                                   Will Kiner

Young Yaskey                                                                                                    Noah Krieg

Ted Beaver                                                                                                      Scott Osborg

Liz Chiplis                                                                                                      Barb Murray

Sophia Pilsudski                                                                                              Bonnie Houk

Christina Bendinsky                                                                                       Amy McGee

Mary Stabrylla                                                                                     Barbara K. Schaefer

Annie Beaver                                                                                                Olivia Magann

Rose Beaver                                                                                                     Leona Hatch

 

Stage credits

Costumes                                                         Barbara K. Schaefer, Linda White, and cast

Assistants to the director                                                   Amanda Galutia, Connie Hatch

Lighting design                                                                                                 Scott Osborg

Sound design                                                                                                     Derek Davis

Sound and light technicians                                                Amanda Galutia, Connie Hatch

Set design and construction                                                       Derek Davis, Paul Schaefer

T-shirt and advertising design                                   Kelsey Leljedal, Mary Ellen Minnier

Refreshments                                                                                             Vivian McCarty

Historical consultants                                              Wilson Ferguson, Dick Holcombe, Sr.

 

SCENE 1--Ballfield, 1950s

 

Jake, in his teens, and Yaskey, late middle-aged, toss coal as Bernice enters)

 

BERNICE

What are you guys doing?

 

JAKE

What does it look like?

 

BERNICE

Tossing a lump of coal around.

 

JAKE

Hey, sheÕs really on the ball. [snickers]

 

BERNICE

Well, thatÕs a weird thing to do.

 

YASKEY

WeÕre making a point.

 

BERNICE

What kind of point?

 

YASKEY

What this playÕs about, coal and baseball.

 

BERNICE

WhyÕs that?

 

JAKE

Because theyÕre what Bernice and Mildred are famous for.

 

YASKEY

ThereÕs also some stuff about railroads, but tossinÕ a locomotive, ya know.... [waggles his hand]

 

JAKE

But weÕre gonna start with the railroad.

 

YASKEY

ÔCuz you had to have a way move the coal before itÕs worth mininÕ.

 

BERNICE

I just want to get on your baseball team.

 

YASKEY [scandalized]

ItÕs a menÕs team. YouÕre a girl!

 

BERNICE

HavenÕt you heard? [starts singing] ÒDiamonds are a girlÕs best friend.Ó

 

JAKE

Uggghh.

 

BERNICE

Anyway, thereÕve been women on menÕs teams, men on womenÕs teams.

 

YASKEY

Aw, thatÕs a lotta ....

 

JAKE

CÕmon, letÕs get the scene going. See, the railroadÕs what made everything work out for Bernice and Mildred. (goes to map of Suillivan County and places rr tracks on it) When the State Line and Sullivan got hitched up between Monroeton and Bernice in 1871, and –

 

YASKEY

Hey, donÕt give it all away. ThatÕs what we got actors for.

 

SONG: ÒCluck Old HenÓ—sung by Barb Murray


SCENE 2--Bernice station, 1871

 

Margaret, carrying a basket, is on station platform as Lucy and Emily enter.

 

LUCY

Hello Margaret!

 

MARGARET

Top Ôo the morninÕ to you, ladies!

 

LUCY

Look at this! Our very own railroad station.

 

MARGARET

Aye! Now we can ride right on through to Towanda, if we change over in Monroeton to that Barclay Railroad, and ... and maybe even to Wilkes-Barre!

 

LUCY

Wilkes-Barre. [in a kind of daydream] Just think.

 

EMILY

WhatÕs in Wilkes-Barre?

 

LUCY

Why I donÕt even know – but now we could find out.

 

MARGARET

And you know what is the very best? They can start up real coal mines here, not just bitty holes in the ground. We have wonderful coal, it burns so good, donÕt you think? ItÕs semi-anthracite, thatÕs what they say.

 

LUCY

What in the world is that?

 

MARGARET

Anthracite is hard coal.

 

EMILY

All coalÕs hard. I dropped a big piece on my foot in Dushore and it really hurt.

 

While the ladies talk, Emily becomes fascinated with the feathers on MargaretÕs hat, eventually making a grab for one of them. Margaret glares at her. Emily, not in the least put off, tries to see whatÕs in MargaretÕs basket.

 

MARGARET

Well, anthracite is the hardest coal there is, and they say Pennsylvania has almost all of it in the entire world. Burns better than anything, better than wood or that soft coal, that bitumulus or whatever it is. Ours is sort of in between the hard and the soft, but itÕs real good for stoves. Bet we could sell it even up in New York City. I wonder how long it takes to get a mine started up?

 

LUCY

WeÕll have work for more people than we can handle, IÕd guess. DonÕt you think itÕll bring lots of new folks?

 

MARGARET

It should help your boarding house, but I hope we donÕt get a lot of riff-raff immigrants.

 

EMILY

Like the Irish!

 

MARGARET [scandalized]

Emily! My name is Margaret Connell and IÕm Irish!

 

EMILY [laughing]

I know that.

 

MARGARET

Lucy Schaad, you need to mind your mouth in front of that child. And IÕm thinking you should keep her on a leash.

 

LUCY

I tried, but sheÕs broke three of them already.

 

Train whistle

 

MARGARET

The train will be here soon. LetÕs go inside.

 

All exit into station.

 

SCENE 3--Ballfield

 

O.S. ANNOUNCER

The Bernice coal field, a sandstone conglomerate interlaid with black slate, extends a distance of nearly eight miles. The upper beds are anthracite, with three or more layers of coal, totaling eight feet in thickness. The underlying vein, separated from the upper by sixty feet of rock, measures about three feet and is semi-bituminous. The upper vein was discovered in 1859 by Myron Wilcox. George D. Jackson in 1871 erected the first Bernice breaker. By 1879, 52,291 tons of coal were shipped to northern markets annually. Carload shipments at peak production in 1919 averaged 1,000 tons daily, with 430 men and boys employed. The village of Bernice reached a population of 1300. The entire town was company owned.

 

SECOND O.S. VOICE

Other mines in the Bernice area were the Gunton to the west of Bernice and the OÕBoyle and Foy to the east, near the Murray breaker, the tallest in the state. Twelve minersÕ homes were built at Murraytown and 150 men employed. The Murrays later abandoned the project, and in 1935, a summer windstorm brought the breaker to the ground.

Bernice was named for George JacksonÕs wife.

 

BERNICE

Hey, thatÕs my name, Bernice Jackson! So after the railroad came, the mines opened up?

 

YASKEY

Sure did. Later on, the State Line and Sullivan Railroad even ran the mines at Bernice.

 

JAKE As Jake explains the layout of the railroads, he attaches their routes to a large map.

They werenÕt the only railroad around, In the 1880s, the Williamsport and North Branch Railroad got a line up to Nordmont, then later on to Satterfield in 1893 to connect with the Lehigh Valley.

 

BERNICE

IÕm losing track.

 

JAKE [giggling]

ÒLosing track!Ó Of a railroad.

 

YASKEY

We kind of get the idea, donÕt beat it flat.

 

BERNICE

I mean, how did the Lehigh Valley get into this?

 

JAKE

The Lehigh Valley Railroad. They took over the passenger trains from the State Line and Sullivan Railroad. And in 1902, the Connell Mining Company bought up the Bernice mine and leased some of the coal lands to the State Line & Sullivan Railroad.

 

O.S. ANNOUNCER

In its heyday, the Connell operation had a monthly payroll of $80,000 and employed 600 men. In 1932 it went into receivership. Thomas McLaughlin, the Connell superintendent, then organized the Sullivan Coal Company and built a modern breaker. He employed only 30 men and could not make a lasting go of it. A new owner, William Monahan, opened the White Ash Coal Company in 1936.

 

JAKE

I sure wish he wouldnÕt butt in like that.

 

BERNICE

Now wait a minute, letÕs go back. So the Lehigh Valley railroad took over the State Line and Sullivan trains, and the State Line and Sullivan railroad took over the mines.

 

JAKE

Right. Well, some of them.

 

BERNICE

I give up. LetÕs talk about something else. Like baseball!

 

YASKEY

I just donÕt get this business, you wantinÕ to play on our team.

 

BERNICE

Lizzie Murphy played in the 1928 National League All-Star game – the menÕs professional major National League All-Star game.

 

YASKEY

Aw, that was some kind of stunt.

 

BERNICE

Well, anyway, there were plenty of womanÕs baseball teams playing all over the country in the 1930s. And theyÕd play against menÕs teams, too.

 

YASKEY

They didnÕt play against us, IÕll tell you that. And we played everybody we could.

 

JAKE
Stunts! Tell her about that stunt you pulled.

 

YASKEY [laughing]

I pulled the fastest one that was ever pulled. I go up to bat and I got a clean hit. But instead of me runnin' to first base, I run to third. Joe Hyman – he was the manager of the team – he told me to do it, 'cuz we had the team beat so bad, 21 to nothing! The fans got up and they yelled, "Hey, Yaskey, you're runnin' to the wrong base. How crazy can you be?" I done it because we had them beat so bad, but also, I'll tell ya, I had a date with a girl in Lopez. And I thought, boy, I'm going to get this over with fast! Ya know, that team didn't want to play us no more.

 

JAKE

I wouldnÕt neither. Hey, we gotta get back to the mining. Then maybe we can throw a real baseball for a while.

 

BERNICE

There was a letter I saw that a miner, Alexander Kellock, wrote back in the 19th century. It was to his nephew who got hurt in an accident. He wanted to tell the nephew that you can bounce back from anything.

 

lights down

 

SONG: ÒDark as a Dungeon,Ó Johnny Cash

 

SCENE 4--indefinite place

 

Kellock, walking with a cane, ascends to high center stage, pulls his chair up to a small desk and turns on his reading lamp. He begins writing the letter.

 

KELLOCK

My dear Allen,

I have had life of struggle and much pain, but with the help and will of God I have not suffered beyond what I could bear. I believe you will find it so also in your case. I was born in 1842 at Albine Mine in Nova Scotia, at the age of 14 I was put to work. I soon had several accidents; a fall from a ladder which left my arms and shoulders stoved up, then blood poisoning from sparks that fell into my shoe. Upon a ship bound for Glasgow, I ministered to a stricken man with whom I later changed bunks. He was found to have smallpox and died, but I did not contract the disease.

My father liked the drink too well and my poor mother worked far into the night. Although a strong woman, she broke under the burden and died at the age of 65.

My first accident in the mines came when the door of a mine car caught my foot between the bottom of the car and the door. I was dragged 150 yards. Neither did I faint as I am not the fainting kind, but am quite calm in danger, thank God for that. A doctor put the leg into a box and put some batting tight against each side of my knee. One week after I was hurt my brother was taken; he drank so that his mind gave away. My father was on his deathbed at this time. The year was 1876.

In about nine months I recovered and, walking with a staff, I packed my trunk to go to Pennsylvania to work in the Barclay mine, where one time I drilled my hole and a little of the powder must have got under the needle. The shot went off and they were sure I was blind but I am writing this with special glasses.

In 1879 I returned to Nova Scotia and called to see Elizabeth McDonald, told her it was high time that we two combined, so we became married in August of that year, then left for Bernice.

Some years later, I received a severe and lasting hurt. I was doing what the miners call drawing pillows, separating a section of the coalface. We went home and thought it would break off over night, but it hung and as we started to put up props the next day, away it came and I was caught under a ton of rock. One of the men started to break the rock over my head, and I had to stop him or the pick would have gone into my head, all excitement where coolness was required. My leg was badly broken and my ribs were parted or broken and my insides badly strained, but I was without fear. Mary, my daughter, then 16, bandaged me. After a few weeks lying in bed I had Mary make me a crutch and got up and limped around, but I was never again able to do mining.

Oh was a crushing this poor old form has gotten. Now I am a little bent old man. Yet, Allen, I have lasted entire these many years, for the Lord has given me great support. Pray, live according to His word, and you also shall have comfort.

I cannot write more now because the pen is hurting my thumb.

 

Kellock descends from the high stage.

 

SCENE 5--Ballfield

 

Jake and Yaskey have traded the coal for a real baseball.

 

JAKE

That guy seems kind of accident-prone.

 

YASKEY

Oh, there was a lot of accidents, a lot of death in the mines. Maybe he was a mite careless, but sometimes, no matter how careful, things happen to the best of men.

 

BERNICE

Toss me the ball.

 

YASKEY

You know how to catch the thing?

 

Yaskey lopes her an easy throw. She catches it neatly.

 

JAKE

Not bad.

 

YAKSEY

Maybe we could get you in as a ringer.

 

BERNICE

A ÒringerÓ? WhatÕs that?

 

YASKEY

See, we had a top-flight team in the Ô30s, but sometimes, you know, we had to come up against some pretty tough opposition, as they say. And there was good pay. So thereÕs money on the line, not just for us but there was pretty hot bettinÕ goinÕ on too. Well, if we got nervous – and it wasnÕt just our team, everybody done it – Joe Hyman would scout around and pay a semi-pro from Wilkes-Barre, maybe, to put on our uniform for a game. So thatÕs a ringer, somebody whoÕs pulled in on the quiet to play in place of a regular and pretend. It works good if the other team doesnÕt know what you look like.

 

BERNICE

IsnÕt that illegal?

 

YASKEY

Rules were pretty loose, those days. There was a lot of winkinÕ, you might say.

 

JAKE

Sounds like it was maybe more fun playing back then.

 

YASKEY

Oh well, yeah, it was fun, but it was more than that. It was everything for entertainment. Baseball was king – whole trainloads would go on down to Wilkes-Barre to watch a game. And like I said, we made money – a lot if we won  – and that put food on the table.

 

JAKE

Hey, why donÕt we get back to doing the railroad?

 

YASKEY

OK, I guess, but how much more is there to say about it?

 

JAKE [starts snickering]

There was this thing that happened at Satterfield, where the two railroads came together. The Lehigh Valley come down from Dushore, and the Williamsport and North Branch come up from Nordmont. They met at Satterfield in 1893, so they could switch loads and passengers there. There hadnÕt even been a Satterfield till then, it was called DohmÕs Summit. They changed the name Ôcause a guy named Satterfield put a lot of money into the North Branch. Anyway, both the lines wanted to have a depot there, so the North Branch put one up and ... and [starts laughing uncontrollably]

 

lights down


SCENE 6--Satterfield

 

North Branch worker, ROUNDTOP finishes nailing a sign on the depot, ÒWilliamsport & North Brach R.R.,Ó while TANK watches. They share approving comments. Roundtop places hammer SL and crosses CS to see sign from a distance. BULLDOG and SLIM, Lehigh Valley workers, enter from SR. Slim pulls up at CS, obviously confused and concerned, and Tank stands between him and the depot. Bulldog crosses SL of Tank to look more closely at the sign.

 

BULLDOG

What the explosive expletive is THAT?

 

TANK [pats the building affectionately]

Why hello, Bulldog, glad to see ya. ItÕs our brand new depot. Roundtop and me and our guys, we built it. Nice, ainÕt it?

 

BULLDOG

ItÕs nice enough, Tank. Pretty bleepinÕ big too. Too bad youÕll have to move it. [Starts to take sign down.]

 

Tank grabs BulldogÕs arm and pushes him DSL.

 

TANK

Move it? Who died and left you boss? [Continuing to move Bulldog DSL.]

 

SLIM

ItÕs on our land, right, Bulldog? [Moves to pull Tank away from Bulldog but Slim blocks him.]

 

BULLDOG

Yeah!

 

ROUNDTOP

[Continuing to block SlimÕs progress with his body and pushing him back if necessary to keep him CS]

Not no way possible. No sir. This is North Branch territory, sure as shootin.Õ We bought it offÕn Mr. Dohm. Ask Tank here.

 

Tank and Bulldog circle each other and point to where they think the dividing line is.

 

SLIM

Roundtop, you progeny of a female canine, youÕre a good 30 feet over the line. You done that onct before when you put that switch in – which is why, as you might remember, we placed that hardcore locomotive on this very spot as a method of voicing our displeasure at your intrusion.

 

ROUNDTOP

You polecats! We own everything right up to where Tank is standinÕ, you oscillating cesspool.

 

Roundtop moves toe-to-toe with Slim and they stare threateningly at each other.

 

BULLDOG

[poking Tank with his finger repeatedly in the chest and moving him US as he speaks]

Now Tank, I think you should seriously consider moving this here structure back to where it belongs, you massive tub of industrial waste.

 

TANK

[poking Bulldog hard  in chest and pinwheeling him back DS]

Not no way likely, you coal-dust sucker.

 

BULLDOG

[picking up hammer from table and slapping it against his hand]

Watch how you distribute your epithets, rancid roadkill.

 

Slim takes a step toward Tank and Bulldog as Tank picks up a cudgel

 

ROUNDTOP

[cutting Slim off from Tank and Bulldog]

Are you vegetarians by any chance lookinÕ for trouble?

 

SLIM

No need to look, youÕre right here, imbiber of worms.

 

Slim makes fists and takes a boxerÕs stance.

 

BULLDOG

CÕmon Tank, be prepared to defend your unsupportable position, wad of slime. [he stabs Tank in the belly with the hammer.]

 

TANK

[winded by the poke but talking through his pain]

IÕll exfoliate your branches, you son of a maple.

 

SLIM

[ducks and weaves, making punching motions with his fists]

Think youÕre big enough to take us on, wombat breath?

 

ROUNDTOP

[windmilling his arms and starting to circle]

I can pestle your mortar any day, swine-eared offspring of an unrighteous sow.

 

Tank raises his cudgel and makes an enormous right to left swing to the ground. Bulldog hits him in the exposed left shoulder bringing a cry of agony.

Meanwhile Roundtop and Slim are circling each other exchanging blows.

Tank raises his cudgel again all the way behind his head, and Bulldog kicks him in his left knee.

Tank drops the cudgel with a cry of pain. He then rushes Bulldog and bearhugs him. Bulldog jumps up and down and he and Tank turn in a circle as if dancing.

At the same time Roundtop grabs Slim by both shoulders and head butts his nose. Slim cries out and breaks away SR, holding his nose.

Enter, from center audience, MIKE THE CONCILIATOR, a North Branch employee, who is paid to keep things calm.

 

MIKE [in disbelief]

Boys, [warning them] fellows, [in righteous anger] gentlemen!

 

He separates Slim and Roundtop first, then works hard to disengage Tank and Bulldog. When he gets them apart, he shakes his finger at Tank.

Bulldog and Slim look confused, they have no idea who this person is or what heÕs doing there.

 

MIKE

[Panting with exertion]

There is no need for this wanton display of aggression.

[He takes RoundtopÕs arm in his left hand and TankÕs with his right, as he continues in an artificially sweet tone to all four men]

Our difficulties can certainly be ironed out through conciliation at a higher level.

 

TANK

Grumble! Inarticulate mutter of intense displeasure.

 

ROUNDTOP

CÕmon, Tank, heÕs right, let the big boys settle it.

 

Mike puts Tank and Roundtop in front of him, moving them DS center to exit through audience.

 

SLIM [to Bulldog, staring out at the departing enemy]

Foul oath! We canÕt just let this lie. This is our land.

 

BULLDOG [initially angry, then getting a pleasant idea]

Now, now, Slim, take it easy, the man had an excellent idea: ÒLet the big boys settle it.Ó I think our gangÕs big enough, donÕt you? [shouts off SR] CÕmon boys, weÕre got a lesson to teach these reptilian rapscallions!

 

SONG: ÒIÕve Been Working on the Railroad,Ó sung by Bulldog and Slim, others join in.

 

Bulldog picks up the hammer. Slim gets a big smile and picks up the cudgel. They head for the NB depot and tip down the sign. Lights out and sounds of demolition.

 

SCENE 7–Ballfield

 

YASKEY

Whoa! What happened there?

 

JAKE

The Lehigh Valley boys ripped the whole thing down, then they all got into more fights and finally the bigwigs from both railroads had to get together and settle it so the depot got rebuilt in the right place, wherever that was. The North Branch got track rights over the Lehigh Valley to run passenger trains up to Towanda. But the passengers had to switch lines at Satterfield. The next year there were 12 passenger trains a day at Satterfield – four more than at Dushore, six more than at Lopez or Laporte.

 

BERNICE

I still canÕt follow all that.

 

YASKEY

So how are you gonna follow the rules of baseball?

 

BERNICE

BaseballÕs simple compared to railroads. Or Satterfield.

 

JAKE

And Satterfield was never much of a place, not more than 20 buildings – a few houses, the depot, a boarding house, a blacksmith shop, a restaurant and a post office.

 

BERNICE

Throw me that ball again.

 

Yaskey tosses it to her, a little harder this time.

 

YASKEY

Hmmm, you might be all right. For a girl.

 

BERNICE

ThereÕs lots a girl can do as good as any boy.

 

YASKEY

One thing I wouldnÕt recommend, and I donÕt know as any girl ever done it.

 

JAKE

WhatÕs that?

 

YASKEY

BeinÕ a breaker boy.

 

BERNICE

I wish youÕd use words that IÕd be expected to know what you mean.

 

YASKEY

A breaker boyÕs where a miner started out, when he was a kid, a child. Some as early as 10. My brother, Miggs, he started out at 12 on the breaker, even lied about how old he was to get inside the mines when he was 14.

 

JAKE

Child labor!

 

YASKEY

Back then, everybody worked soon as they could, only way to keep a family goinÕ. You could stay on some at school and work around the edges, but most just went at it without school.

 

BERNICE

I donÕt like that idea much.

 

YASKEY

ItÕs all part of what you know and what goes on where you live. Now, a friend of mine, Ted Beaver, see, he started off as a breaker boy at 14 ....

 

SONG: ÒCumberland Blues,Ó Grateful Dead

 

SCENE 8--Beaver home, 1910

 

Young Ted, mother Maria (German) and sister Laura are gathered around the breakfast table.

 

MARIA

Now, be ready, Ted, you would not want that you should be late your first day. That gives your back side to the boss.

 

TED [wolfing down food]

IÕll make it OK, Ma, got plenty of time. Wow, IÕm excited, wow.

 

LAURA

How can you get excited about work?

 

MARIA

Better, I say, you stay at school and learn, not all your life be a miner. That is dirty work.

 

TED

I gotta haul coal anyways at school for the stove, and least I wonÕt get called a ÒdummyÓ no more or have to cut off a hickory switch with a hatchet soÕs the teacher can sting me with it.

 

Father, Theodore (Irish), enters

 

THEODORE

Did I heard the disparaginÕ of my chosen trade? And that emanatinÕ from the silken vocal orifice of my one true mate?

 

MARIA

Not everyone has to work in the ground. With an education –

 

THEODORE

With an education he could plant his trotters in the street and scratch the nob of his head wonderinÕ where the work might be hidinÕ its whiskers.

 

LAURA [sing-song]

Dummy, dummy, TedÕll always be a dummyyyy.

 

TED

You so danged smart, sister, whatÕs the capital of Switzerland?

 

Theodore sits at the table and signals to his wife for some food.

 

LAURA

Why should I know that?

 

TED

ItÕs Berne, and I know Ôcuz I studied and listened and I like geography and history. ItÕs Ôrithmatic IÕm bad at.

 

LAURA

And TeddieÕs got a sweeethearrrt. YouÕre gonna lose your sweetheart from school, Teddie. Tell Ôem whoÕs your sweetheart, Teddie-weddie.

 

TED

None oÕ your dang business. She anyway ainÕt no sweetheart.

 

LAURA

Teddie and Susie sittinÕ in a treeÉÉ

 

MARIA

Stop that no-good talk. Do not be mean to your brother on the day when he goes out to be a man.

 

LAURA

Sor-ry.

 

She gives Ted a razzberry.

 

TED

I only work nine hours and I get 81 cents for every day.

 

LAURA

WhatÕs a breaker boy do anyway – just break things? YouÕd be good at that.

 

TED

He picks stuff outta the coal.

 

THEODORE

Such a lyrical description! What a breaker boy accomplishes, he places his seat on a seat at the breaker, which is that high, oÕerwhelming structure down which the already-sundered black gold of coal slithers and rattles, and there on his seat, with his hands and his feet, he removes from the rumble and tussle of the falling material all slate and other such rocky intruders and heaves them down into a rail car so that they may be dispensed with and not sully the purity of the carboniferous, clean-burning blackness. Now does that render it all clear?

 

LAURA AND MARIA

No.

 

THEODORE

Ah then, he picks out the rock from the coal sliding down and chucks it, the rock, away, and if there should be a chunk thatÕs a mixture of the two, rock and coal, that too is removed but tossed in a separate heap so that the coal can be later separated from the rock with a bit of whacking.

 

LAURA

Oh.

 

TED

I want to stay on Ôtil IÕm a foreman.

 

LAURA

How long does that take?

 

THEODORE

It takes a mound oÕ time and a fair bit oÕ talent and most of all the urge to work like, ha! a beaver. Most often you start off down below with spraggin'. Ted me, me boy, havenÕt I told you oft enough of this?

 

LAURA

You havenÕt told me.

 

THEODORE [adjusting his clothes and standing]

Then let me put on me pontificatinÕ duds. Now, the spragger is the driver's helper. He jams the sprags in the wheels of the coal car­–

 

LAURA

WhatÕs a sprag?

 

MARIA

Allow your father to speak, Laura.

 

THEODORE

She has a legitimate question. A sprag is a thing pushed into the wheel that prevents the coal car from propellinÕ itself too rapidly down an incline, possibly obliteratinÕ the mule attached thereto. Now, do you know what a mule is, girl?

 

LAURA

Da--a-ad.

 

THEODORE

So next, after spragginÕ, most usually, you become a mule driver.

 

TED

And if you drive only one mule it can pull only one car, but if you drive three mules, they can pull five or six cars, right Dad?

 

THEODORE

Kee-rect, me boyo, and how much coal is nestled in every one of those cars?

 

TED

Three-and-a-half tons of coal. And one time Bob Heath was drivin' three mules and a rock dropped and killed the whole three mules but not him.

 

THEODORE [getting up from the table]

No need for me to speak further, it seems. You can educate your sister while I prepare for my shift.

 

TED

Wait, Dad. I still donÕt know how you get to be a foreman.

 

THEODORE

Not all are fit for such exalted station, which is to say, the rise is not automatic. It requires a clear head, a good savvy of mininÕ rules and more than a dab of plain common sense. You just may, if the winds blow right, have the makinÕs of a foreman in you.

 

MARIA

He could from school have the makings of a man with knowledge. He could then own a mine and tell the foreman what to do.

 

THEODORE

ThereÕs knowledge and thereÕs knowledge, some as comes from schooling and some from experience in the wide world. HeÕll do all right, will our Ted, eh?

 

TED

Sure, Dad.

 

MARIA [looking at the clock]

Oh, it is time! Here is your lunchbox. Now go, and be careful.

 

TED

DonÕt worry, Ma.

 

exit Ted

 

MARIA

Worry? A mother worries always.

 

THEODORE

Then best you had worry about your cookinÕ. This egg looks tough enough to tie on for a knee pad.

 

MARIA

Oh, oh, the egg, oh!

 

THEODORE [laughing]

Ah now, calm yourself. It was joshing I was. See? The yolk is so soft it dribbles like a leakinÕ pump. A softness to be ingested with the most serene motions of tongue and –

 

MARIA [interrupting]

No eating happens while the words come out. See, now your egg is cold.

 

lights down

 

SCENE 9--Ballfield

 

BERNICE

What year was that?

 

YASKEY

1910 or thereabouts.

 

JAKE

Oho, 1910 – that reminds me of another funny Satterfield story – a train wreck.

 

BERNICE [satirical]

I just love your sense of humor.

 

JAKE

Listen. This one time, a North Branch train hit a farmerÕs cow, see, killed it dead. So the next day the farmer was so mad he threw a switch and derailed the locomotive. [giggles]

 

BERNICE [satirical]

Hilarious!

 

JAKE

Well ....

 

YASKEY

That was about as funny as anything that happened that decade. There was the world war, and right at the end of that, fall of 1918, we had that Spanish flu, influenza. Killed lots of people, made a whole lot more sick.

 

BERNICE

Some say it was the worst disease ever in history.

 

YASKEY

It was pretty bad. Not so much here as at some places, but bad enough. My mother looked like she wasnÕt going to make it, but she pulled through. We were lucky to have the hospital, and that was all because Mr. Connell, who owned the coal mine, built it for us.

 

BERNICE

Really ...?

 

SONG: ÒJesus CominÕ Soon,Ó Willie Johnson

 

SCENE 10--Bernice Hospital, Spring 1919

 

A cramped hospital room. Nurse Sobel and Mrs. Cole wheel in two makeshift beds with bed linens piled on top. Mary, a distraught young woman, wheels in her older brother in a third makeshift bed. Sobel and Cole begin to make their two beds. Robert Smith coughs violently, then moans.

 

SOBEL

Well, at least we have this room for the overflow. These are the last beds though. If we get any more patients, weÕll have to put them on the floor.

 

COLE

Surely it wonÕt come to that.

 

MARY SMITH [sitting on a box by her brotherÕs bed, calmly pleading]

Oh, Robert, if I pulled through this, you surely can. You were always the strong one in the family. WorkinÕ all day pullinÕ the breaker carts. You just leapt right up after takinÕ that spill off the ladder in PaÕs barn. You simply canÕt let this lick you.

 

SOBEL

Poor Mary, you pulled through – with luck. After seeing the influenza take your parents and the youngsters, now you fear to lose your last living relative. I pray God spares him.

 

COLE

Such a cruel disease – five from a single family died in one day.

 

MARY

ItÕs so awful contagious. I wonder why Mr. Holcombe, the undertaker, never got it.

 

COLE

How he handles it, he takes off his clothing in the garage, and his wife picks them up with a stick and plops them right into boiling water on the stove to sterilize them. ThatÕs whatÕs saved him, I would think. There! Another bedÕs ready.

 

SOBEL [She checks a list, then calls out]

Mrs. Bendinsky, we can accommodate you now. [Bendinsky walks in slowly, and lies on the bed.] Here, dear, letÕs get your shoes off. Do you have a nightgown? No? All right, IÕll see what I can find. Just lie down and rest. [to Cole] This illness knows no bounds, kills the same on farms in the country as in the wealthiest mansions or the poorest tenements in the city.

 

COLE

YouÕd think the fresh country air would help.

 

SOBEL

I migrated north, hoping to get beyond it, but it was here ahead of me. They say all the U.S. casualties from the Great War came to over 300,000. This influenza has killed more than that and shows no sign of slowing. I still wake in the night fearing I am back in Philadelphia.

 

COLE [Consulting the list]

ItÕs as horrid here as I would need to imagine. Mr. Stabrylla, we have a bed for you. [Stabrylla walks in slowly, lies down] Did you bring anything with you? No? Well, you just rest, weÕll take care of everything. [To Sobel] Do we have any more robes or gowns?

 

SOBEL

TheyÕll have to sleep in their clothes. We donÕt have enough sheets, beds, or gowns. But in Philadelphia, it wasnÕt just beds or linens, there was only one morgue for the entire city. So many people died so fast, bodies were lined up on the floor against the walls in the morgue and finally out into the street. They built five more morgues to try to hold them all. Even though the city closed schools, churches and museums, 700 Philadelphians died in a single day in October. Death seemed to flow like a flooding river, drowning everyone before it.

 

COLE

No more, please! It rips the soul from the body to hear it. When my Samuel said he was going to the war, my worst fear was he would be killed overseas. My darling boy never even made it to Europe! He succumbed to pneumonia after contracting influenza at Fort McHenry in Maryland.

 

SOBEL

Sometimes I think there are not enough tears in the world to express our grief.

 

COLE [calmer]

My husband put SamuelÕs photo up in our hardware store in Dushore. Every day, mourners come and pay their respects. There is some comfort, at least, in that.

 

SOBEL

He was your only child, wasnÕt he?

 

COLE

I think this disease must come from the gates of hell.

 

SOBEL

I know what you mean. The government says the epidemic started in Europe during the war. ThatÕs why it is called the Spanish flu.

 

COLE

Let them call it what they will. Why not the French flu, or the Italian? Albert Secolt, one of SamuelÕs friends, was another young man who died so unjustly. He lived in Laporte for ten years – a true American, though born in Italy, and a worker! He was a fireman and he took lessons to improve his English. He was so proud when he put on his U.S. army uniform with the American flag. He left with the second draft and the poor man died in France, not battling for the country he loved, but against the influenza.

 

SOBEL

This illness is a war itself, taking the strong, young adults you would most expect to win the fight. Do you remember, a year ago the newspapers sought donations to send cigarettes to soldiers? Now the ones who return are too ill to partake even of that simple pleasure, barely strong enough to eat.

 

MARY [panicked, looking toward the other women]

Robert? WhatÕs wrong? Nurse Sobel – his face is as dark as after a shift in the mine.

 

SOBEL [to Mary]

HeÕs losing air in his lungs, dear. Be prepared – he hasnÕt much time. [to Cole] ThatÕs how it always goes, the coughing, then the head pain and soreness as if from lifting bales of hay all day, eyes as red as blood. The lungs and spleen become red and swollen and subject to other infections. If the influenza doesnÕt take them, itÕs the pneumonia that follows. I hope Mary holds up. SheÕs been such a blessing for this hospital, since she recovered. Then Robert got sick. I had prayed the angel of death had finally passed over that family.

 

COLE

IÕve known whole families who sickened at the same time, so that thereÕs no one to care for them at all. I thank God I survived it and no one else at home has caught it. Pray God they keep their health. I help here in the day and make shrouds at night for the souls reaching Heaven. I know I canÕt bargain with God, but I hope he might have pity on me and my family.

 

SOBEL

God bless you! So many tales pass around about Òcures.Ó All they do is cause a run on alcohol, camphor – even, can you imagine, coal dust. Cities have laws that you have to wear a face mask outside and people arenÕt allowed to spit. ThatÕs the only true thing close to prevention – cut off moist droplets from the body. Still, crape and mourning caps will continue to be the fashion.

 

Robert gives a violent, painful, drawn-out cough

 

MARY

Robert, hush, everything will be all right.

 

SOBEL

We are fortunate that Mr. Connell built this hospital for the miners. The closest one, in Sayre, is so far, even if it did still have space. I thought I would be caring for injuries from mining accidents here in Bernice, but the influenza spreads faster than a wildfire.

 

MARY [starts to shudder]

Robert? Robert! No, please God, donÕt take him too! DonÕt leave! Stay with me, please stay with me.

 

Sobel walks over to RobertÕs bed; Cole follows. Sobel touches RobertÕs forehead, then slowly closes his eyes.

 

SOBEL

HeÕs gone, dear, IÕm sorry. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Miss Mary. But thereÕs no time for mourning. There are people waiting for this bed already. The same sad story repeats itself. These big, light rooms are overcrowded with doom.

 

COLE

Come with me, Mary. There will be a better day for us. Pray God it comes soon.

 

Mrs. Cole embraces Mary, pulling her away from the bed. Nurse Sobel covers RobertÕs face with a sheet.

 

DOCTOR [Coming in quickly.]

Nurse Sobel, we have to clear this room now. Move these beds back to Ward A.

 

SOBEL

But doctor, thereÕs no roomÉ..

 

DOCTOR

YouÕll have to make room. ThereÕs been an accident at the mine. Those with influenza must be kept away from the miners. This is the last bit of space we have thatÕs not overflowing with influenza patients. Get those beds out fast so we can disinfect the floor. Move! These men canÕt wait! [Each woman pushes a bed off stage.] Mr. Bender, bring in your buckets!

 

lights out as the doctor rushes off.

 

INTERMISSION

 

SCENE 11--Ballfield

 

JAKE

Whew. Maybe we need to lighten things up a little. WhatÕd you do for fun in your day?

 

YASKEY

My day? I didnÕt own any day. Nobody owned much of anything then.

 

BERNICE

So youÕd just lie around like a log?

 

They start throwing the ball, 3-cornered

 

YASKEY

OK, weÕd go and tip the toilet over, the big wooden toilet, outhouse, with somebody in it, you know. There was this one time about 16 of us guys tippin' this toilet over and the guy inside couldn't get out because it fell on the door side. That was the big kids, aÕ course. Us little kidsÕd just watch.

 

BERNICE

Uh huh, sure, just watch.

 

YASKEY

Our parents thought we were going to the movies down to Mildred, you know, after it got dark. We'd be runnin' around to twelve o'clock at night! Those were the days!

 

BERNICE

WeÕve been throwing this ball around, but IÕm not hearing much about baseball.

 

JAKE

He was hoping youÕd forget about it.

 

BERNICE [to Yaskey]

How about baseball in your time? When Bernice and Mildred had the real good teams?

 

YASKEY

It wasnÕt just my time. Way back, around 1890 or 1900 there was a whole league right in Sullivan County. Maybe the competition wasnÕt so much, though, I donÕt know.

 

JAKE

So when were you playing?

 

YASKEY

Like I said, 1930s mostly. My brothers were on the team in the 20s, they went 14-4 in Õ28, 16-4 in Ô29. Miggs – I told you about him – he was a star, first base, must of hit about .370. Noxen had a real tough team then, beat us three out of four those two years. And somethinÕ you should know, we played a colored team a couple times. Wooee! let me tell you, they were good.

 

JAKE

Like Satchel Paige.

 

BERNICE

What kind of satchel?

 

JAKE

Man! For someone who wants to play baseball, you sure donÕt know much! He was a black pitcher, in the old Negro leagues, before theyÕd let blacks play in the majors. Some say heÕs the best pitcher ever lived. He was so good he was pitchinÕ in the majors, after they let the blacks in, till he was almost 50 years old.

 

BERNICE

Wow!

 

YASKEY

I donÕt need no ÒwowsÓ about being 50 years old.

 

He acts like heÕll throw the ball at her head. She ducks.

 

BERNICE

YouÕre older than dirt!

 

YASKEY

You bet. I held dirtÕs christeninÕ gown.

 

JAKE

WhereÕd you play anyway? Some dirt lot?

 

YASKEY

Heck no, we had a good ballfield with grandstands. That was Mr. Connell again, who owned the mine. He did a whole lot for his workers, wasnÕt like some of those operators who treated miners like cave men. Besides the hospital and the ballfield, he put up a nice park with a pavilion. Even the company store, it wasnÕt just some box throwed up, it had a fancy front, painted red [points] over in Chinatown.

 

BERNICE

Chinatown? You had Chinese in Bernice?

 

YASKEY

About the only bunch we didnÕt have. We had the Lithuanians, like me, a lot of Russians and Italians, all sorts who came over just to work in the mines, even some Swedish. Naw, it was called Chinatown because it was where the mine bosses lived, and their maids or whoever hung the laundry up on lines out in the yards. Real quality sheets, you know. Folks said it looked like a Chinese laundry.

 

JAKE

My familyÕs Italian – people say we brought the black hand in.

 

YASKEY

The Italians were like everybody else, just people making a living. But the black hand? Yeah, they killed a few.

 

BERNICE

Black hand? WhatÕs that?

 

JAKE

It was like the mafia.

 

BERNICE

Was that in Prohibition, when you couldnÕt drink alcohol?

 

YASKEY

That was part of it. See, take 1922 – we had the big national strike, the United Mine Workers, so the miners were out of work, and we had Prohibition, and we also had these guys cominÕ round, said they were the black hand. LetÕs pick a random home here, say ... the Calamans.

 

JAKE

Hey!

 

SCENE 12--Kitchen of the Calaman home, 1922

 

Gina Calaman and Erminia Evangelisti are working at the table. Mary Calaman comes running through the audience and in the door.

 

MARY

Come on, Leona! Hurry up! 

 

Leona walks sedately in behind Mary who starts to close the door.

 

GINA

Leave the door open. ItÕs so hot. 

 

Leona and Mary sit at the table and occupy themselves

 

ERMINIA [Continuing their conversation.]

Black hand, my foot!

 

GINA

Well, somebodyÕs behind it. And theyÕre not from around here.

 

ERMINIA

ItÕs one of those scare things. All you gotta do is yell Òblack handÓ and everybody hides under the bed.

 

GINA

And blames it on us Italians.

 

ERMINIA

ThatÕs what I mean. ThereÕs all countries here – Lithuanian

 

LEONA

and thereÕs the Germans

 

MARY

 and the Irish

 

LEONA

and the Poles!

 

ERMINIA

Right. And nobody says theyÕre doinÕ it. Not that I would neither.

 

GINA

Even got three Jewish families.

 

MARY

But Mama, I get scared with this black hand. They went and killed somebody over Shinerville. ThatÕs what I heard.

 

LEONA

I hope they donÕt come here.

 

ERMINIA

They wonÕt kill you, you ainÕt worth enough.

 

LEONA

I saw a black hand on somebodyÕs door.

 

ERMINIA

Well, I saw a purple hand! On somebody was making wine. [suddenly leans into Leona] Boo!

 

LEONA

Ma, you shouldnÕt oughta do that.

 

GINA

Mary, bring me over that piece of pipe, will ya?

 

Mary brings a length of copper tubing. Gina starts bending it into a coil.

 

A knock at the door.

 

GINA

 Si! Just a moment. [Whispering] Mary! [Mary takes the coil and hides it as Gina goes to the door.] Buongiorno, come in, signor.

 

A large, neat stranger with slicked-back hair bows to her. He seems slightly out f of breath and is holding a battled violin case.

 

GENOA

Buongiorno, signoraÉ IÕm a Mr. GenoaÉ e tu?

 

GINA

Gina Calaman.

 

MR. GENOA

Ah. Signora Calamani, so glad to make the acquaintance!

 

GINA

And you too, signor.

 

GENOA

Signora, IÕm around today to make the collection for the Italian benevolent association – [sees a concerned look on GinaÕs face]   NoÉ no signora, there is no a solicitation here today, no, no. But, I have a this case to carry along the way and I was wondering if I could set it down here for a few mementosÉ you know – until I come backÉ which should be [looks furtively down the street behind him] fairly soon.

 

GINA

Oh, thatÕs niente. Anything for a fellow Italian.

 

Behind her, Erminia, out of sight of the stranger, tries to catch GinaÕs attention, waving her hands to signal ÒNo.Ó

 

MR. GENOA

I do hate to make such an imposition –

 

GINA

No imposition. NienteÉ.set it down here. [She indicate the dough table. He sets it just by the table.]

 

GENOA

My deepest appreciation. I do have just a one request. This is a very valuable instrument and I would appreciate it that you leave the case a closed to prevent any possible damage.

 

GINA

Oh si, si, weÕll keep your fiddle safe. Could you sit, have some espresso and prosciutto?

 

MR. GENOA

That is a most kind, but no. I must go nowÉto make my rounds. There is never enough timeÉ you knowÉ to make a the collections. I go. Prego, grazie! [Blows a kiss.] Ciao!

 

GINA

Arrivederci.

 

He bows again and exits furtively. Gina picks up the case to move it further under the table. Leona comes over and looks at the case.

 

LEONA

WhatÕs that?

 

GINA

Oh, itÕs just a fiddle case.

 

Leona reaches over and hefts it. Gina does not let go.

 

LEONA

Sure is heavy for a fiddle.

 

ERMINIA

Leona, donÕt you touch that! And Gina, put it down! Mama mia, sometimes you ainÕt got the sense of a goat.

 

Gina looks confused, but puts the case down and goes back to her still-making.

 

MARY

Daddy says he doesnÕt like it that you make booze.

 

GINA

He sure enough likes drinking it. And he donÕt mind spending the money, either. You know, Miggs – heÕs rented that place off of Joe Chiplis. They play poker for money, got a pool table and theyÕre sellin' moonshine. [leans across, quiet] Joe donÕt know that, or acts like he donÕt. Miggs keeps the moonshine up in the ceiling with a little trap door, you slide it out.

 

ERMINIA

ThereÕs so many speakeasies in Mildred. Ya know, thereÕs folks I never seen, some from Eagles Mere, they come knockinÕ on my door with a jar under their arm and I tell Ôem to git along! I donÕt sell nothinÕ from my place.

 

GINA

Maybe you oughta try it.

 

ERMINIA

Naw, I donÕt want to get pulled in by the federals.

 

LEONA

What happens somebody comes at you, the federal people.

 

ERMINIA

Usual, they break up the still and they can fine you, but thatÕs OK Ôcuz nobodyÕs got the money to pay the fine. Some go to jail on it, but not most. Remember when they confiscated that whiskey from the distillery?

 

MARY

Oh yeah, the federals hauled off all the barrels and locked it up in boxcars.

 

GINA

And then come night – and they– I wonÕt say who – drilled augers right through the floors of them wooden boxcars and drained it out into vats.

 

ERMINIA

I wonder what that tasted like? They had ponies in some of them cars.

 

LEONA AND MARY

Ewww!

 

GINA

I wonder if theyÕll find the still at the hotel.

 

LEONA

ThereÕs a still at the hotel?

 

GINA

ItÕs hid behind a whole false wall.

 

MARY

Mrs. Milunchas, they come and shut her down in the morning, then she starts up again so they come in the afternoon and break up her still and then she borrows one from a neighbor and starts up again.

 

GINA

American sticktoitiveness.

 

Quiet as they attend to various duties.

 

GINA

How long you think this here strike will go on? ItÕs already on three months.

 

ERMINIA

Four. It started back April.

 

GINA

You ask me, the mine workers union is asking too much. They want a six-hour day! My lord, our boys canÕt load enough coal that way to earn half a living.

 

ERMINIA

If it wasnÕt for the union, our boysÕd still be workinÕ 16-hour days for less than a dollar. DonÕt think youÕd want to go back to that now, would you?

 

GINA

Erminia, IÕm not talkinÕ against the union. But a six-hour day!

 

ERMINIA

I donÕt know. What I do know is, some of them men still come out of the mines all crippled from workinÕ so long cramped up. IÕm for the union since I was born. My father helped organize it. He went down to Scranton and got the papers. When they found out up here, they took and put him in a boxcar and shipped him and a bunch of other men who didn't want to scab back down to Scranton. Scabs'd get up three o'clock in the mornin', steal their way in 'cuz it was their only way to get money. A lot of them scabs they didn't want no union at all.

 

LEONA

Daddy says unions are what saved us.

 

ERMINIA

You know Joe Chiplis. He said he got but $2.37 for a 10-hour day, back when he was tryinÕ to organize a union local. [laughs] He says he got fired two times in 12 days for that one.

 

MARY

When was that?

 

ERMINIA

1916, I believe.

 

GINA

Doing that with a war on, what could he expect? Anyways, I guess it depends on whether they pay by the hour or by the load.

 

ERMINIA

Most always been by the load here.

 

GINA

Since the war, seems like theyÕre sellinÕ a whole lot less coal. I read the owners most places say they got too many workers and too much coal already lying around.

 

ERMINIA

But they still have their maids and their big houses and theyÕre still eatinÕ their steak and buyinÕ new cars.

 

GINA

If a rich man has to live on porridge, heÕll believe the poor can live on stones. I donÕt think theyÕll be givinÕ out gifts – they want to cut pay, not raise it.

 

ERMINIA

Well, the union had to do somethinÕ –

 

GINA

But a national strike? Now thereÕs no pay, not just low pay, and the owners arenÕt budging one bit.

 

ERMINIA

Keep the faith, Gina! DonÕt let them scare you. Those greedy-guts just plain donÕt want a union, you know that. Never will. But if we stay united, we will prevail.

 

SONG: "Solidarity Forever!" The others join in, motion to the audience to join also.

 

After the song, Erminia starts to yawn. Leona yawns too. Mary yawns as well. Then Gina yawns. Leona and Mary giggle.

 

ERMINIA

ThereÕs not much so funny about the situation here, girl.

 

LEONA

Looks like it works with everybody, not just Daddy.

 

Erminia giggles despite herself.

 

ERMINIA

Oh, you girls!

 

GINA

What am I missing here?

 

ERMINIA

Oh, they –

 

LEONA

Let me tell it, let me! When me and Mary and Bessie and Marge get together, one of us starts in to yawn, and then another takes it up and we do it until Daddy starts it too, and he never catches on that heÕs gettinÕ it from us.

 

GINA

I never would have believed you could catch a yawn.

 

MARY

Oh, you can! We do it over the RicciÕs house too, when we go to their dances.

 

GINA

I like how we all dance together, the old with the young.

 

ERMINIA

And weÕve got such good musicians – Mundi Serafini on the accordion. Bellissima!

 

MARY

And Mr. Bianci with his guitar.

 

LEONA

And Mr. Martinelli so fast on his mandolin.

 

Erminia gets up and beckons to Leona. All dance a few measures.

 

GINA

I wonder if we could ask that nice Mr. Genoa to play his fiddle with them?

 

ERMINIA

Good Lord, I donÕt think so. Time to get on back. Land, I wish my husband hadnÕt been such a dang fool.

 

GINA

Why? WhatÕd he do.

 

ERMINIA

Dr. Lynch, you know, the veterinarian? He offered $300 for one of our cows – 300 whole dollars! So what does Pasquale say but, ÔNo sir.Õ And what happens? Two days later that cow gets run down by a locomotive.

 

GINA

A sad train of events for sure.

 

Genoa quietly and furtively takes the violin case and exits without saying anything.

 

GINA

That was rude.

 

ERMINIA

Do you know what was in that case?

 

GINA

A fiddle?

 

ERMINIA

That was no fiddle.

 

SONG: ÒBootleggerÕs Story,Ó sung by Dori Fisher

 

SCENE 13--Ballfield

 

BERNICE

Did they really kill people, this black hand?

 

YASKEY

ItÕs said so. I can tell you about one killing though I donÕt know as it was any black hand. This guyÕd come from Wilkes-Barre, sellin' diamond rings and gold watches and every­thing. He used to go down to the main road to Wilkes-Barre, by the bridge, ya know, and then he disappeared. Well, me and Lloyd Benjamin was to go fishinÕ on the crick ....

 

lights down

 

SCENE 14--along a creek bank

 

Young Yaskey and Lloyd Benjamin, both about 14 years old, carry their fishing rods down to the creek bank.

 

LLOYD

IÕd like me a trout.

 

YOUNG YASKEY

Me too, nice big one.

 

They descend the bank.

 

LLOYD

HereÕs a spot, I see them down there – oh man! Yash, cÕmere.

 

YOUNG Y.

What?

 

Lloyd points. Yaskey leans in, then jumps back.

 

YOUNG Y.

Is that ...?

 

LLOYD

ItÕs a dead man!

 

YOUNG Y.

Well, most of one, anyways.

 

LLOYD

HeÕs all decayed, just fallinÕ apart and –

 

BERNICE [from the darkened ballfield]

Stop! Enough! I donÕt want to hear any more of that!

 

lights down on creek, up on ballfield

 

JAKE

Geez, youÕre no fun. What happened to the dead man?

 

Yaskey turns dramatic to tease Bernice

 

YASKEY

He was dang mess. They brought baskets down and scooped him up with a shovel and put him right in.

 

BERNICE

ThatÕs disgusting.

 

YASKEY

Sure was. And they never even found the jewelry, it was robbed off him.

 

BERNICE

Could we please talk about something else?

 

YASKEY

MininÕ – thatÕs what weÕre supposed to be talkinÕ about anyways, when weÕre not talkinÕ about – [sneaks a quick toss to Bernice, who catches it – or not] baseball.

 

JAKE

So what was it really like all down in the mine? Did you stand there all day usinÕ a pick?

 

YASKEY

Stand! We should only get that lucky when we was workinÕ the top coal – thatÕs the skinny seam up over a layer of rock...

 

SONG: ÒThe Big Hewer,Ó Ewan MacColl

 

SCENE 15--mine tunnel, 1928

 

Ted and his father Theodore Beaver lie on their sides in an 18-inch-high space with an inclined roof of coal and an inclined floor of rock. Theodore knocks coal loose with a pick, then uses a straight shovel to lever it sideways into a chute down to Ted, who then shovels it along down to a cart.

 

Ted slams his shovel against a rock.

 

THEODORE

Hey, watch it YouÕre throwinÕ a lot of sparks, me lad!

 

TED

Yep, this vein is pretty rocky. IÕm sure glad there ainÕt no gas in this Connell mine. Kaboom!

 

THEODORE

Just donÕt be gettinÕ careless, Ted me lad.

 

TED

IÕm careful, Dad. IÕm tired too.

 

THEODORE

Eight hours on your back, it ruins a man. Is the car full?

 

TED [straining to see below him along the chute]

Looks close to.

 

They move another shovelful along and Theodore sighs.

 

THEODORE

We should get down and push her out. Our backs will hurt still, but in a different area, which might masquerade for relief.

 

They crawl out of the tunnel into a larger space.

 

THEODORE

Make sure to get the sprags right.

 

Ted checks the wheels.

 

TED

They're OK.

 

They get ready to move the cart, then  Theodore stops.

 

THEODORE [thoughtful]

IÕve been thinkinÕ – as happens now and then – that since weÕve been working together, as equals to all intents and purposes these 15 years or so, you might maybe use a term of endearment other than ÒDad.Ó

TED

But youÕre still my father.

 

THEODORE

An ancient accident of biology, placed against the present accident of occupation.

 

TED

So what should I call you – ÒchumÓ?

 

THEODORE

Aaah, I donÕt know about that. Chum is what they heave off the back of a boat to attract sharks.

 

TED

And then when I get to be foreman I can call you Òscum.Ó

 

THEODORE [clapping him on the back]

ThinkinÕ again, ÒDadÓ may not ring so truly terrible.

 

lights down

 

SCENE 16--Ballfield

 

BERNICE

So the foreman was the top man?

 

YASKEY

Connell had maybe 20 foremen in different sections of the mine, and they were the guys if you wanted a better job you went to him to get it. They were good, most of them, when we had the union. But a mean boss – if he didn't like you, he could send you into a bad place.

 

JAKE

I didnÕt suppose one place was more bad than another.

 

YASKEY

You think so? Listen: They drilled a tunnel to drain the sulfur water out of the mine field into the creek near Lopez, I don't remember when exactly, but the guys that worked in there – they all died. That dust, it was like concrete – they went through sand-ledge rock. They come out lookinÕ like they was covered in grey flour. Took Ôem up to the Sayre Hospital, but they couldn't do nothin'. They all died, every one of them.

 

BERNICE

Baseball! We need to talk about baseball. WhereÕd you play, what position?

 

YASKEY

I was the center fielder. I had three brothers played on the team before me, like I said, Miggs (that was Frank), and Vincy and Charlie. That grandstand Mr. Connell built, it held 300, 400 people, right there in Chinatown. YouÕd have cars parked along the road all the way to Sugar Hill, both sides of the road.

 

JAKE

What was the best game?

 

YASKEY

Aw, I donÕt know there was any best game, but Miggs, he pulled off a great one up to Athens Fair Ground against Potterville – they had a awful good team. This was about 1930, same year we played that colored team. The bases were loaded, last inning, and they were leadin'. Miggs got up there, left-handed, and he hit this ball right out of the fair ground. We beat them, 9-8. We got $600 for winnin' that game, in cash. The money kept the team going.

 

JAKE

That was in the Depression?

 

YASKEY

Well, yeah, but there were always prizes. WouldnÕt have had no teams at all without the money to keep Ôem goinÕ, but the Depression ... that was the low point ...

 

SONG: ÒTwo Hobos,Ó Judy Roderick

 

SCENE 17--Chiplis home, 1936

 

Two women, Liz Chiplis and Christina Bendinsky, sit at a kitchen table, sewing. Old wood-burning kitchen stove in back of room. A knock sounds at the door.

 

LIZ

DoorÕs open!

 

Mary Stabrylla and Sophia Pilsudski walk in with sewing.

 

LIZ

ItÕs afternoon already! What kept you two? Do you want some coffee? IÕll reheat some.

 

SOPHIA

She lost her needle and had the worse time finding it.

 

CHRISTINA

Where was it hiding?

 

MARY

The children ran through the kitchen when I chased them off to school and they knocked my sewing off the table. I thought I had the needle secure in the material. But when I looked, it wasnÕt there, couldnÕt see it anywhere.

 

SOPHIA

So I said, ÒYou need a magnet!Ó

 

MARY

So, Eddy got a set of those Scotty dogs—you know, one black, one white, for his birthday. We each took one and started going over the floor.

 

SOPHIA

And there it was!

 

MARY

Between the floor boards! [Sits down. Sighs.] Oh my, feels so good to sit down.

 

CHRISTINA

Using those magnets reminds me of the time when I was little, we lived in that big house in Chinatown. There were about 6 other families living there too. It was two stories and we lived downstairs. We all had chickens, theyÕd run around loose, you know.

 

SOPHIA

Mine still do! I canÕt seem to keep them in their pen.

 

CHRISTINA

Well, the people upstairs would drop a bait down, corn on a string, like a fish hook. Pretty soon a chicken would swallow that bait and theyÕd hoist it right up. You always knew when they did it, Ôcause the chickens all made a terrible racket.

 

MARY

Was the house close to a creek? They could have caught fish for dinner.

 

SOPHIA

Now thereÕs an idea!

 

MARY

Am I going to see fishing lines coming out of your windows?

 

SOPHIA

I could attach little bells to the lines to let me know when I had a bite. Ding-a-ling!

 

LIZ [pouring a cup of coffee for Mary]

HereÕs your coffee.

 

CHRISTINA

My grandfather had a heck of a time cleaning the blood off the outside walls.

 

MARY [Laughing]

You ever tried that blood soup?

 

CHRISTINA

IÕve heard of it, never tasted it.

 

MARY

It is – and there is but one word for it – disgusting. You take the blood of a duck and you boil it. My mother used to drain the blood into a pan of vinegar so it wouldnÕt clot together. Cooked up, it looked like chocolate soup, got called that even – cooking turned it brown, you know. I guess if you donÕt have the money or a garden--but blood soup – [shudders]

 

LIZ

Now I wouldnÕt say a word ever against your mother, Mary, but she must not of made it right. We had it often, called it prune soup, and it was delicious. Course it had everything else in it too – prunes, apples, oranges, raisins, allspice, cloves, parsley, you name it. IÕd go back to that anytime.

 

SOPHIA

I still make it. Nothing goes to waste in our house.

 

CHRISTINA

The rule in our house is you eat whatÕs on the table or do without.

 

LIZ

Talk about nothing wasted, I save all the King Midas sugar and flour bags and sew underwear for my children and grandchildren. That way my family donÕt spend money on store-bought underwear.

 

MARY

How do you bleach out the label printing?

 

LIZ

I donÕt reckon it would show anyways, but you could do it with as much lye soap as theyÕll take.

 

CHRISTINA

YouÕd be spending as much on soap as you would for the underwear.

 

LIZ

Not with my recipe for lye soap! We get plenty of fat when we slaughter, and we sure have enough ashes to make the lye. Fat, ashes and water, thatÕs all you need. YouÕd be surprised how much soap a little bit of lye makes. And I have a real surprise for you. Come out on the porch and listen.

 

 They all step down to the porch. Liz puts a Lithuanian wedding-music record on Victrola. They all dance, but Christina, who is pregnant, has to stop and be helped to relax.

 

LIZ

Girls – get the quilt from the bedroom there and bring it out to work on.

 

Mary and Sophia bring out a small quilting frame to work on on the porch while Liz and Christina move back to the kitchen.

 

MARY

You know, IÕm curious about Chinatown, I always heard it was built for the mine bosses.

 

CHRISTINA

My father was a mine foreman. ThatÕs why we lived there. And my father-in-law was a clerk.

 

SOPHIA

Way back when, it had wooden sidewalks. There were eight twin houses on one side of the street and two on the other side. They were all painted gray with white trim.

 

CHRISTINA

We moved into one of those, later.

 

MARY

With all those Chinatown houses built alike, IÕd think it was easy to get Õem confused.

 

CHRISTINA

IÕve got a story about that! My mother planted a red rose bush out front of our house. One day my father wasnÕt payinÕ attention and he walked in next door thinkinÕ it was his and scared the neighborÕs elderly mother half to death. She was Italian -– didnÕt speak English. She just screamed and grabbed the chicken carcass she was cutting up and started hitting him with it. All the neighbors came running. After that, my father said he made sure he found the house with the rose bush out front.

 

SOPHIA

YouÕve got a red rose bush outside your house, now, donÕt you?

 

CHRISTINA

Sure do! ItÕs a family tradition!

 

MARY

DidnÕt the Chinatown houses have electricity and running water?

 

CHRISTINA

Oh yes! There was running water and electricity from seven in the evening to seven in the morning. I always helped mother hang out the wash before the electricity went off in the morning. Then I had to finish up the rest of my chores and get ready for school.

 

MARY

What a lot of work compared to now. If I had to get rid of everything and keep just one appliance, IÕd keep my washing machine. I saved for years to buy it.

 

SOPHIA

I wish I had one! IÕm saving up my egg money, but it seems thereÕs always something we need more than a washing machine. With the garden and the chickens, at least we donÕt have to pay for much food.

 

MARY

When I was little we raised a hog for slaughter and chickens for eggs and meat. My mother kept a garden and grew most everything we ate so I just kept on after I was married. Why, when this Depression mess started, me and my husband didnÕt really notice, we live so frugal as it is. My mother wanted to know what kind of crash happened – she thought the whole of New York City had fallen in.

 

LIZ

When the mines began shutting down, our own little depression began well before the big one. DidnÕt make much difference here.

 

CHRISTINA

Humph! My husband had to beg that politician, I forget his name, for a work slip. Then he had to travel all the way to Wilkes-Barre, and when he got there, he did two shifts, Ôcause they were only 6 hours each. Now heÕs got steady work Ôcause of the WPA cominÕ along last year. ThatÕs surely a better deal. But he still donÕt like workinÕ so far from home, and me neither.

 

LIZ

At least he isnÕt working in the mines. [pause] You know, my oldest son is working with the CCC out west. I wish he was closer to home, too. He keeps 5 dollars of his paycheck and has the rest sent to us. That helps us a great deal but itÕs still hard to find the money to get by on.

 

Liz gets a picture of her son from the side table and shows it around.

 

SOPHIA

You have a good son. Handsome too!

 

CHRISTINA

Do you know about the relief the county commissioners are offering?

 

LIZ

My husband says he wonÕt ask the county commissioners for help.

 

MARY

Because they put the names in the newspaper?

 

LIZ

Exactly. That is such a disgrace to have your name put in there. Something like that should be kept quiet. IÕm thankful we have a garden and chickens. I barter eggs with some of the farmers for beef. We even get fresh butter and honey now and then.

 

CHRISTINA

My neighbor went to the courthouse in Laporte and told the woman his family needed some relief. You know what she said? ÒTurn off the light in your outside toilet. You donÕt need relief!Ó He told her the kids need to see to get out there in the dark!

 

SOPHIA

DonÕt think youÕd need that on a moonlit night. I can even see in just starlight. But on those cloudy, dark nightsÉ.

 

MARY

Moonlight and starlight are good if you donÕt live in the woods.

 

LIZ

Electrical lights are so convenient. In some ways, maybe it was better back during the 1922 strike. I cleaned houses, we took in boarders and my husband worked on the railroad when he could. The best thing was, the union gave out bags of flour to each family that wasnÕt working. WeÕd get a 50 pound bag every once in a while. At least we always had bread.

 

MARY

And you could use the cloth from the bags for all kinds of things! Mama made dish towels out of it, even a smock.

 

LIZ

And the underwear.

 

She holds up childrenÕs drawers made from flour bags. Slight pause

 

CHRISTINA

John went to get a job last week and found out he had to be a Democrat, because thatÕs whoÕs in office. IsnÕt that silly?

 

MARY

ThatÕs how political jobs work. My brother had to switch parties to keep his job at the post office.

 

LIZ [to Mary]

I know one trade that doesnÕt matter which party you belong to.

 

MARY

Oh?

 

LIZ

Your fatherÕs wine-making.

 

SOPHIA

I love having dinner at your house, just for that – I mean, among other things.

 

MARY

He was so irked at the sheriff back in Prohibition. Father came home one evening ranting and raving – IÕd never seen him carry on so. The federals had found barrels and barrels of Italian wine in Mildred.

 

LIZ

I remember. Sheriff Detrick deputized 10 men to dump it all in the crick.

 

CHRISTINA

I suppose they sampled it.

 

LIZ

My dear, they couldnÕt sample all 49 barrels!

 

MARY

Do you remember that advertisement in the paper about the Schaad distillery over by the hotel producing 300 barrels of [hand in air as though billboarding this phrase] ÒStraight Rye Schaad WhiskeyÓ?

 

CHRISTINA [shudders]

That stuff tasted so terrible. My mother made me drink it one time when I was sick. I threw it up all over my bed. She never let me touch whiskey after that, and IÕm glad.

 

MARY

I think maybe his very potent whiskey was sold before it was sufficiently aged.

 

SOPHIA

That would explain a few things.

 

MARY

My father said the whiskey somehow ÒfoundÓ its way into bottles bearing other brand names. That was one way people made money. DidnÕt have to buy the real stuff, just gather up empty bottles and refill them. Awful good money in that, you know, even if it is crooked.

 

CHRISTINA

I told my husband that if he wants to drink whiskey, he has to drink it at someone elseÕs house. Just canÕt abide the stuff.

 

Quiet sewing for a bit.

 

CHRISTINA

When we first moved into our house, my husband and I cuddled right up close to our stove on cold winter days. Our walls were just boards. The wind would whistle through the cracks so I tacked newspapers up on the walls to keep the drafts out. It helped a little bit. But now we have good plaster walls, itÕs a lot better.

 

MARY

The Sullivan Review said it got so bad for a man in Wilkes-Barre, he set fire to himself and his wife. He lost all his money in the stock market.

 

She starts gathering her sewing up.

 

CHRISTINA

Investing money is like gambling. What does it get you?

 

SOPHIA

Nothing but trouble.

 

LIZ

But still, investing is how new things get done. If old Mr. Connell hadnÕt been willing to gamble his money weÕd never have had a mine. And it was investors who made it possible to build the railroad through here.

 

SOPHIA

Hmph. Most of them didnÕt get anything back from investing in the railroad. And Connell had to sell off the mine.

 

CHRISTINA

And his hospital burned down last year. That was like losing a good friend. Now anyone gets sick, we have to run get Doc Saul or journey up to the hospital in Sayre.

 

MARY [in a near whisper]

You know why the fire happened? There was a still in the basement, and it blew up.

 

CHRISTINA

I heard that but I didnÕt believe it.

 

MARY

Believe it.

 

LIZ

You wait. One of these days, everyone will drive a car and when the price of gas climbs up above 50 cents, then people will have something to complain about!

 

lights down

 

SCENE 18—Ballfield

 

BERNICE

Those sound like pretty hard times.

 

YASKEY

WouldÕve been worse if we didnÕt grow food for ourselves. One time, at the mine, we sat down to lunch, everybody near each other, but one guy, he was off by himself. So his buddy went over asked him why he was sitting like that. AnÕ he said, "All I got in my dinner bucket is mush leftovers and that won't look good, me sittinÕ eatinÕ that amongst you." His buddy come back and said, ÒHeÕs ashamed of what heÕs got in his bucket.Ó So we took up a little collection and give it to the guy an asked him to get hisself a loaf of bread.

 

BERNICE

So there was still work in the mines?

 

YASKEY

Yes anÕ no. See, the main seams had pretty much run out, so Connell closed down, then the mines went to McLaughlin, and then on to Monahan. Now Monahan, he didnÕt see it was worth it to keep the equipment, so he got rid of most of it, sold it cheap. There went our electricity, so we worked with just mules.

 

JAKE

Sounds like a big step backwards.

 

YASKEY

Yeah. And too, he brought in them battery lights. You'd hook them on your hat and carry the battery along, maybe five pounds. WeÕd charge up the batteries every night. See, before, we had the carbide lights, youÕd fill one up and it was good for three, three-and-a-half hours. All of what ConnellÕd done went to hell. The hospital burned down like you heard. The grandstands and the park pavilion, they held on longer but nobody took care of them, so they fell apart.

 

JAKE

But at least the mine was still going.

 

YASKEY

Not so it was good for much. See, what me and Miggs and some made out on was the bootleg mines ...

 

SONG: ÒDown in a Coal Mine,Ó sung by Barb Murray

 

SCENE 19--a bootleg mine, 1937

 

Ted and Theodore Beaver are fishing from the high center stage, reminiscing.

 

THEODORE

Yaskey was pickinÕ at a bit oÕ coal around the rock bank, then he looked down anÕ what does he see but an entire five foot of coal. It was like the angels singinÕ to him – ÒHallelujah, Yaskey!Ó Himself anÕ Ack Johnson snuck off a can oÕ powder from Brown's Breaker and shot the coal after drillinÕ the auger down a good 6 feet. They cut the ridge clean as a kitchen table.

 

YASKEY [off stage]

A bootleg mine, ya see, is a mine that was worked out 100 anÕ some years ago but thereÕs still coal left here and there. Monahan, he gave me a deed for mininÕ coal in there on my own, Ôcuz he didnÕt think it was worth his time. Boy, we got out of debt pretty quick. Miggs anÕ me had around 14 workin' for us at one time.

 

TED

Yaskey is the best. That time I told you –

 

THEODORE

Ah, yes.

 

TED

We only had wooden track, remember, for the cars, 'cuz Monahan had been too cheap to buy iron rails. So, this one time, we were in this old mine and I lit three shots to loosen things up and that was enough to blow the track right up against the roof, and it stuck up there because of the nails. It was such a stinkin' mess I was ready to head on home for the day, but Yash says the track sections – they were 12-foot long – we could nail Ôem back together where they were anÕ pull the track off the ceiling, so thatÕs what we did. We knocked Ôem off with a sledge hammer, laid Ôem back down in place. Then we loaded up 5 cars and were out ahead of time. I couldn't believe it. But that was Yash for you.

 

THEODORE

A man for the ages, as they say.

 

lights down

 

SCENE 20--Ballfield

 

JAKE

Sounds like you were some kind of superman.

 

YASKEY

Aw, shucks.

 

BERNICE

So what happened to all those ball teams?

 

YASKEY

Things change, ya know, you can watch the big leagues on TV, so who needs to come out anÕ watch us duffers? And if nobodyÕs goinÕ to watch, well, you donÕt have the money cominÕ in to pay for the teams, anÕ anyway itÕs not that much fun just runninÕ around by yourself, without a real league. Also, the Little League started up, so the kids that are good enough, they either go professional later or they just get it out of their system, I guess. Hey, letÕs get ready. WeÕre running out of time, here.

 

JAKE

So are the mines really finished?

 

YASKEY

Early Ô50s, they were all run out, as far as gettinÕ lump coal. NothinÕ left but coal dust in the lagoons. Some say they can get the dust together and pack it into bricks that burn. But thatÕs clean-up. No, mininÕs run its course and it ainÕt cominÕ back.

 

BERNICE

Did Ted Beaver and his dad do OK before that?

 

YASKEY

As good as anybody, I guess. LetÕs check in.

 

lights down

 

SCENE 21--Beaver home, 1947

 

Theodore, Maria and TedÕs two granddaughters are sitting back, relaxed, around the dining room table. Ted enters with his battered old lunch box.

 

TED

O.K. girls, letÕs rustle up the dishes now.

 

THEODORE

So there you be, a foreman and all.

 

TED

And it only took 37 years of mining, road building and a whole war in between. And what, after all, am I foreman of exactly?

 

MARIA

Of whatever is left, which is enough for now.

 

TED

I suppose. And as it is, me and this old lunchbox will retire soon.

 

MARIA

You had best, while you still have some of your health.

 

ANNIE BEAVER

I like listening to you talk about the mines, grandpa.

 

TED

TalkinÕ is easier than workinÕ them

 

ROSE BEAVER

And great grandpa Theo, too.

 

TED

WhatÕs so great about him?

 

THEODORE

I resent that, ya whippersnapper.

 

TED

ThatÕs one thing I never did – snap a whip. Not even with the mules.

 

ROSE BEAVER

DonÕt foremen get to use whips?

 

MARIA

Not in these days, child.

 

THEODORE

Just gentle persuasion in such civilized times.

 

TED

A few threats donÕt hurt now and then.

 

ANNIE BEAVER

You couldnÕt threaten anybody, grandpa.

 

Ted lunges across the table.

 

TED

Grrrrrr.

 

Both girls scream and act scared.

 

MARIA

Is it not time for these grand-youngsters to be in bed?

 

TED

As soon as their mother and father get home from their meeting.

 

THEODORE [stretches and stands]

IÕm supposinÕ it might be time to put this whole production to bed.

 

lights up on ballpark, both stages lit

 

YASKEY

IÕm supposinÕ as much myself.

 

BERNICE

I still didnÕt learn enough about baseball.

 

YASKEY

You learn that from playinÕ the game.

 

BERNICE

I thought you said girls couldnÕt play.

 

She throws the ball hard to Yaskey

 

JAKE

Sure they can. But in their own leagues.

 

YASKEY

And I think you could be pretty good. Got a good arm on you.

 

BERNICE

Really?

 

YASKEY

Maybe.

 

JAKE

Well, are we finished or arenÕt we?

 

YASKEY

Close enough. We just got to get everybody out here. CÕmon, Beavers and Calamans and railroad guys and all the rest of you.

 

The cast come out and take their bows.

 

BERNICE [to audience]

Thanks everybody. And one more thing – Think fast! 

 

The ballplayers throw Styrofoam balls into the audience.

 

CLOSING SONG: ÒTake Me out to the Ball GameÓ