I used to be a builder before I got into this stupid sports business. I took a year off to build this house [in Bethesda]. That was 43 years ago. I was here every day. I remember one day I came in this room, and there was this gentleman putting in that stone wall, and he had done it almost like brickwork. It was very even, and I said, "No, no, no, that's not the way I want it." So I took my jacket off and pulled the stones off and showed him how I wanted the wall. Now, I sit here a lot and just think about things and look at the stone wall. It gives me a sense of calm. The room really hasn't changed over the years. I think my wife has recovered the furniture a few times. I think she's changed the drapes a few times. But I just think it's fine.
This is my favorite chair. I've had it at least 25 years. Or more. Everybody knows in my family that when they come -- and we have many family functions here, particularly Thanksgiving -- that this chair is reserved for Dad. Oh, they try to take it, they kid around. My granddaughters -- I have two granddaughters -- they sit down here quick after dinner and go, "I've got your chair, Grandpa."
We eat dinner in here at the table, unless we have guests. I watch television here. Every night we watch the news. That's all I watch on television, is the news and sports. I read here a lot. Basically, this is the room where we really spend most of our time. We're rarely in the living room, which is over on the other side, unless we have guests or family. That's the living room, but this is the room we live in. Sometimes, I wonder why people need a living room, when you hardly ever use it. When we have parties, people go in there, but then they all gravitate to this room anyway. It's such a warm, comfortable place.
My oldest nephew is in his fifties now. When he was having his bar mitzvah, we had the whole family coming over, and the house wasn't finished yet. So we cleaned it up and had the celebration right here in this house, in this room.
We keep a lot of pictures in here. This is one granddaughter right here. She's one I have to brag about. She graduated Columbia summa cum laude, and she's a Fulbright scholar. Her name is Hannah. This is a picture of my daughter on her 16th birthday, Linda Joy. She died shortly after this picture was taken, three months later, of heart problems.
Some people have said, "Well, your kids have left. It's just you and your wife. Why don't you move into an apartment?" I used to build apartment buildings. I made my living building apartment buildings. One is called the Irene -- I named it after my wife. It's a big, beautiful building with big, beautiful apartments and a swimming pool on the roof. So people ask, "Why don't you move there?" Nope. I'm going to spend my life here. I love this house. I love the swimming pool, the tennis court. I can sit right here and see the tennis court. I have everything I need.
Jennifer Frey is a staff writer for The Post's Style section.