Spinning Backward

I DID SOMETHING THIS WEEK that I haven’t done for forty years, and it was surprisingly fun.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
— T.S. Eliot

I’ve noticed something about me and my peers, when we get together and talk, we talk about what we used to do. Somehow, in these strolls down memory lane, we come off braver, stronger, smarter, more adventurous, athletic, and talented. Our exploits were grander, more romantic, more genuine, more enduring.

We tell stories about school, summers, cars, girls, jobs and such, that all start the same way: “Back when I was young…”

If you were to eavesdrop on one of these chats, you might hear something like this: Back when I was a kid, I hauled hay all day long…that was back when hay bales were heavy…before the Obama administration made the farmers grow all this genetically altered grass. We were lucky if we got paid ten bucks a day, which was enough for a tank of gas and money for a date. Thankfully, I was dating girls before Ralph Nader, the Clintons and Obama invented seat belts. That way, she could sit right next to me. We didn’t have air-bags either… we didn’t need them… and our dashboards where steel back then… see this scar?

Regardless of the alignment of our memories to actual reality, it’s still fun to recapture an occasional moment from our youth.

And this week I did just that—for the first time in a long, long time I bought a record! That’s right; a vinyl, 33 and a third, Long-play album! It was highly invigorating.

Thanks mostly to today’s neo-hippies, and young urban hipsters, and their marketplace of choice which includes stores like Urban Outfitters, record players and vinyl records are making a comeback (along with beards and beads and bellbottoms).

So, for once, when I told My Amazing-Missus, “Yes, I want to keep that, it may come back in style,” I was right! I dug out the box of my old records and it is an apt collection indeed. Sgt. Peppers, Rubber Soul, The White Album, Revolver, The Doors, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, Miles Davis, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Carol King, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills Nash & Young…

I even found my turntable. Unfortunately it’s gears are frozen up, it’s wires are frayed and its needle’s a little rusted; sort of like its owner’s.

In the next few days the FedEx guy will carefully (I hope) place a box containing my new record player on the front porch. So this weekend I’m hoping to set everything up, then maybe I’ll put on my headphones, light some incense, platter-up Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, and give it a spin.

I will live in the 60s again for a little bit, and then I will go to the Social Security website and sign up for Medicare, because I’m in MY 60s now, and I only have a month to get this done.

Then I will put The Beatles on the turntable and listen to “When I’m 64” and wish that it was 1964 again.

my first album purchase in many many years--the amazing Bill Evans.

my first album purchase in many many years--the amazing Bill Evans.