Friday, June 15, 2007

Retro Father’s Day

It was at the bottom of a very large stack of boxes filled with books, and I thought “oh boy, more books.” Pleasantly surprised and tired from unpacking the books, I tripped down Memory Lane as I have a tendency to do while unpacking when I discovered the treasures in this box. Maybe that’s why it’s taking me so long to get everything unpacked. I can’t stand the clutter and the uncertainty of knowing in which box that cordless screwdriver lurks, but dang it, I just get caught up in the emotions and memories.

But I digress, dear gentle readers.

The box contained our record collection, the one we and numerous mover-guys have carted around since the 70s. Heck, we don’t even have a record player or turntable since freeing ourselves from the Fisher-Price player our son Jeff had as a kid. But I did run across an ad in this week’s Big Lots flyer for a Retro Stereo System for $45. I suppose there’s a market for old Baby Boomers like me who may want to revisit their rock n roll days if they’ve clung to the old records as we have.

And what music did the young Sheila and the young Bill listen to? Of course Beatles—lots of albums since they were my first love. My first album, Something New, is there. The Bee Gees, James Taylor, ELO, movie soundtracks, Bill’s Burt Bacharach records, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, The 5th Dimension, The Hollies, Chicago and yes my old Carpenters albums are still there too along with Bill’s The Sea by Rod McKuen. There's no accounting for taste which, in some cases (not mine of course), has thankfully changed.

The first record I pulled out opened to photos of the individuals and then a big group shot. Inside were the lyrics in script. And although I hadn’t listened to the Moody Blues in years with the last time a concert at Chicagoland’s Ravina, I remembered how much I used to love their music. A CD is just too compact to carry the impact album cover art did. What we’ve given up in the name of compactness, we’ve lost visually. Oh well, that’s progress. Or is it?

My favorite discovery--those old kids’ records from the Muppets and Disney. Jeff, do you want those? Remember Lydia the Tattooed Lady? Now, there's a great song!

I can see why we hold on to these objects from the past—why it’s so hard to let go of them. Would I have brought forth these memories without the box of records to trigger the recollection? I fear not.


Marion said...

There is nothing like music to bring back instant memories for me. You mentioned the Beatles...and I was transported, right back to my youth. And the Moody Blues...even Rod McKuen, lol, who I still love.

Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, The golden rays of the past...all on those Albums you carted around. I went through old Albums like that during my last took days,lol! Days of tears, joy, acceptance and letting go. Many of those memories would not have come up for me, had the music not brought them forward.

It was the right time in my life to do this released a lot of old baggage I was carrying around.

Anonymous said...

Of course I'll take those records. However, I don't remember Lydia — was that off the Muppet album? Nothing sounds quite like vinyl. A CD is so impersonal. -Jeff

Sheila said...

I half-way want to buy that Big Lots record player just to listen to the old albums one more time before letting go, Marion. But you are to be commended for doing the work I am so mightly fighting to do right now.

Sheila said...

Had to refresh my memory a bit with Wikipedia. Groucho Marx adopted it as one of his signature songs according to this modern font of knowledge. My memory is of the Kermit the Frog version which went "Lydia oh Lydia, say have you met Lydia,

Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.

She has eyes that folks adore so,

And a torso even more so.

Lydia oh Lydia, that encyclopidia,

Oh Lydia the Queen of Tattoo.

On her back is the Battle of Waterloo.

Beside it the wreck of the Hesperus, too.

And proudly above waves the Red, White, and Blue,

You can learn a lot from Lydia.

La la la, la la la, la la la, la la la

When her robe is unfurled, she will show you the world,

If you step up and tell her where.

For a dime you can see Kankakee or Paris,

Or Washington crossing the Delaware."

Well, son, there's more both before and after this snipper but I thought you'd like the part about Kankakee being as it's nearby.

Sheila said...

That's snippet but snipper sounds kinda cute too.


Dana said...

A lot of people are reminincing lately (did I spell that right?) about their childhoods.

I still have a few records lying around and no record player to play them on. Let's see if I can remember...

Bay City Rollers
Bee Gees
Saturday Night Fever
Disney's Jungle Book soundtrack
Disney's Rescuers soundtrack
Alabama (autographed)

That's all I can remember. They're ariound here somplace.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Come on back soon. By the way, I love this post.

Sheila said...

Dana, I'd love that Saturday Night Fever album. Your post about childhood memories was so pleasant to read. Have I suddenly gotten so old that I am living in the past?

Jackie said...

Some of the bands mentioned brought back memories of a time which seems so long ago now.