The Beauty of Old Things

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.

4 thoughts on “The Beauty of Old Things”

  1. Yes, I still use a mini food processor that I got as a wedding gift decades ago. It still works great and takes up far less space than the big machines that do everything. Newer is not always better in my humble opinion. I firmly believe the older stuff was made to last while the newer stuff is junk that doesn’t last no matter how much you pay.

    1. That is so true, Kim! I’ve seen fifty year old coffee makers, refrigerators, and other items still going strong, while items only a year or so old simply fall apart. It’s tragic, but at least we can put the knowledge to use. Since many refuse to own older stuff, we can scoop it up for pennies on the dollar and use it forever.

  2. I have a 20+ year old Cuisinart food processor I found at a thrift store about nine or ten years ago for $15. It was used but in good condition, and came with all the accessories and an instruction booklet. I love that thing and have used it frequently. A couple of years ago, part of the bowl broke, but I managed to find a replacement on eBay. It’s still working and still going strong! I hope to use it for years to come.

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