Several months ago my daughter surprised me with an odd request. She had noted that many of her friends and family were giving away their collections of old vinyl albums; could I help her select a record player so that she could play them?
While I am aware that vinyl is making a comeback, the last thing I expected was for my daughter, the Streaming Queen, to want to explore a technology that I abandoned decades ago. She has been so gung-ho when it comes to subscribing to this service or that, taking her music and stuff with her on her phone that I was taken aback.
When I finally managed to stop laughing I agreed to help her. I figured she would quickly get bored and pass the items on to me–and I would selfishly enjoy the nostalgia.
I helped her select a portable record player, get it set up, and showed her how to use it. I instructed her to keep a coin nearby to help with skips and even how to clean the records if they were dirty.
We’ve ended up with a new ritual as a result. When my daughter is at home she selects one of the albums from the ones she has managed to scavenge and plays it for both of us. She gets to expand her mind with older music while I get to savor the blast from the past.
Her friends are rather surprised when they come over for a visit. She likes to pull out her favorite Big Band album and use it as background music when they come over. Considering that most of her friends have never even seen a record player in real life, much less heard such old music, they are usually quite surprised.
Watching my daughter has made me realize the error of my ways. I eliminated my old stereo system along with a huge collection of vinyl, cassettes, and 8-tracks many years ago under the misguided notion that modern was better. While I see no logic in regret, I do see opportunity. No one wants to use older technology any longer. If it isn’t the latest and greatest it’s tossed out with the trash or practically given away at thrift stores.
While I don’t see myself actively shopping to replace my old stereo system in the future, I’ve decided that I won’t hesitate to fish one out of the trash or buy one if I stumble across a cheap offering at a thrift store. I’m always stumbling across interesting dumpster finds so it shouldn’t be an issue to locate a small music collection as I go about my daily life.
If anything, I’ll be saving something from the landfill while reducing my dependence upon the Internet. I will admire the beauty of the past as I carry it with me into the future.
We have been much too quick to discard the old, I’ve decided. For me, that stops now. Do you have any older items that you still use? Please share your stories in the comments below.