From my Front Porch

Thursday, May 9, 2002

Making Memories

Isn't it nice when a friend who is moving decides you are a likely candidate for taking possession of some bargain basement priced stuff? Lucky for me the other day one such friend called. "I hope you don't think I'm just dumping my junk on you, but I've got a few things you might be interested in," he said.

Might be? Little did he know that this is my favorite way to be "dumped" on. I did the same thing to my Mississippi friends before we moved north. So, figuring what goes around comes around, I drove over and picked up a box full of all sorts of goodies. My favorite acquisition was a somewhat old-fashioned automatic direct drive turntable complete with an eclectic mix of albums, also known as 33 rpm records.

When I returned home I sorted through the box distributing this and that to each of my four children, but the crème de le crème was mine. I tried to set up the stereo system, but because this middle-aged electronic wonder (the stereo, not me) has pre-color coded wiring, I put off plugging things in.

Then one of my children noticed the biggest speakers he had ever seen and began asking questions like, "What is all this?" and "How does it work?" He successfully helped me sort through the wiring and we began perusing the album covers.

We came across several interesting titles, but it was the one by a group called the Temptations that he decided he wanted to listen to first. "I just love the Temptations," he said.

"Wonders never cease," I thought.

He seemed a bit befuddled as I demonstrated how to properly handle a record. "How do you pick which song you want to listen to?" he asked as he watched the black disc spin round and round. I thought it best to carefully acclimate him to the world of 33 rpms before revealing the intricacies of needle placement.

"You just listen and wait, dear," I told this child of the computer driven era of instant gratification.

The funky sound of Motown wafted through our home, attracting his little sister. "What is that?" she asked in a somewhat sarcastic tone. "Oh," she said as it hit her, "That is one of those things like in the movie 'Toy Story II.'

"Wouldn't it be neat if we could jump up there and run along on it singing just like they did?" I explained to her that there would be no running or walking on these albums.

Our collective musical tastes run the gamut, so after Motown we listened to several selections from The Pachelbel Canon and Berlin Symphonie Fantastique. In order to have plenty of room for dancing and general all-around silliness, we moved some furniture and I watched with pure delight and occasionally laughed out loud as brother and sister tangoed the evening away to some of the most highbrow music ever written. The only glitch came when their desire to achieve a certain air of authenticity was thwarted by a futile search for a couple of big red roses to hold between their teeth.

Later, after the children were settled in bed, I once more thumbed through the stack of records, this time finding an album by Barbra Streisand. As I read the list of songs I was disappointed her megahit "Memories" was not included, but then I thought, "Who needs the song when you've got tangoing children who will eagerly provide you with plenty of the real deal?"