Sunday Scribblings - Goodbyes
We are undertaking a rather huge house renovation project –having our entire basement dug out to create a haven for our teenage and soon-to-be teenage boys. Yes, our very own “Wayne’s World.” Also out of all of this will come a home office for me. It’s all very exciting, but we are now deep in the drudgery of having to go through every single box of junk in our current crawl space. It has been fun in a way, and a little bit emotional. It’s fun to see the tiny baby clothes, the old school projects (our kids still want to keep their carefully constructed California missions from fourth grade), and boxes and boxes of yellowing paperbacks that the husband and I each have leftover from college (why?) The paperbacks were easy to toss. Harder were the four boxes of LP records. Remember those? You have to have been born in the 60’s or early 70’s at the very latest to have bought and cherished a substantial vinyl collection. We recalled that many of these were not even playable anymore due to obsessive overuse, though we do have a serviceable though rarely used turntable. Most of our favorites we have replaced with the CD’s. Still, stacking these into a box designated for garage sale – Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, The Talking Heads, the Specials, the B-52’s – felt sacrilegious to me. Painful even. I recalled the days that we saved our money to go to the record store to pick up the latest release, long before i-tunes downloads and instant gratification. Playable or not, I found myself digging back into the discards box and fishing out a battered copy of Neil Young’s “Live Rust.”
“But we can get the digital version…” my husband remarked. He’s more of a Neil Young fan than I am.
“I went to that concert!” I replied, not remembering in the moment that this was an album that I had not yet bothered to replace on CD. He had gone to that concert, too, although we had not yet met. I reminded him of this, and he didn’t protest when I put the album in the “keepers” pile. In fact, I don’t think either of us remembered whose album it was, originally.
I constantly fight the packrat in myself, not wanting to end up being one of those crazy old ladies who lives in a warren of boxes. But I must admit I’m sentimental. As I pulled out each musty-smelling album, I admired or chuckled with familiarity at the cover art – recalling a time when cover art was actually big enough to see and appreciate and sometimes study for hours on end (yeah, I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right) But it was all part of the experience, not to mention the personal associations with the music of my youth. We all have that, but it doesn’t mean we want to go back there too often. Once in awhile is ok. I’m not a big fan of oldies stations for the same reason. Also – a song here and a song there is fine, but - the whole album? And aren’t we too spoiled by current technology now to have to manually lift the needle arm to the songs we want? So…much of it did go into the discards box. A final “Goodbye.”
One surprising outcome of the day was our kids’ reaction, particularly the 12 year old, who, happening upon a pile of rejected Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin albums exclaimed, “Wow! Cool! Can I have these?” Our kids, whose i-pods are filled with contemporary music, have also been raised on classic Rock ‘n Roll. They are young enough to have referred to LP’s as “ those funny big black CD’s.” They didn’t want the albums for the music – much of which they already have, but for the album cover art. Apparently, appropriating your parents’ old LP covers and putting them up on your wall is the thing to do. Who ever would have guessed? Still…on the day of the garage sale, I have a sneaky suspicion that I might still scoop up one or two of those battered old favorites. I’ll say it’s for the kids.
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