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Why does Maniac paint over the band shell door number and choose not to live there?

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After an old man named Grayson discovers Maniac living in a buffalo pen, he invites Maniac to live with him on the third floor of the YMCA and in the band shell, which is the baseball equipment room. Together, Grayson and Maniac enjoy their lives and Grayson becomes Maniac's guardian as the two characters develop a close friendship. Grayson tells Maniac old stories about his experiences in the minor league, and Maniac begins to teach him how to read. Maniac enjoys his life in the band shell with Grayson and initially writes 101 on the outside of the door to signify their living quarters. Tragically, Grayson ends up passing away and Maniac is forced to move on once again. Before Maniac hits the road, he erases the number 101 from the door of the band shell. Maniac erases the number 101 to represent the end of an era and feels that he can no longer stay there because of the painful memories attached to the living quarters. Maniac proceeds to live a nomadic life before spending the night in replica army shelter in Valley Forge.

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Although Maniac lives in a dorm room at the YMCA, he spends most of his time hanging out with Grayson in the baseball equipment room, or the "band shell" as he calls it. If any place is home to Maniac at this stage in his life, this is it. Having a place to call home is very important to Maniac, as he's spent so much of his life moving around from place to place without ever being able to settle down for long.

It's not surprising that he becomes so attached to the band shell, even if it is just a humble baseball equipment room. As this is Maniac's new home, he wants to make it all nice and homely, so he paints the number 101 outside the door and calls the place "101 Band Shell Boulevard."

But before long, Maniac's on the move again. Sadly, old Grayson has died, so "101 Band Shell Boulevard" just isn't the same place anymore. Before he leaves, Maniac brushes over the number 101 that he'd originally painted outside the band shell.

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Why does Maniac decide to not live in the band shell any longer?

Maniac is always moving around from place to place. It's no wonder that one of his greatest desires is to find a place that he can call home. After losing not one but two families, Maniac winds up sleeping in the buffalo enclosure at the zoo. An old man called Grayson, who works at the park, cleans him up, gives him some clothes and something to eat, and takes Maniac to a baseball equipment room behind the band shell.

Maniac and Grayson soon establish a strong bond; Grayson becomes almost like a father to the young man. But sadly, it's not destined to last. If there's one thing you can pretty much guarantee with Maniac Magee it's that he never gets a chance to put down roots for very long. And so it proves once more as Grayson passes away one Christmas, leaving Maniac all alone. Life in the equipment room just won't be the same without Grayson, so Maniac leaves his latest short-term abode and goes back to stay with the Beales.

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