Musical Memories

De-clutterization continues sporadically in the Frost household. There has been overall significant improvement especially if we exclude Peter’s room from the overview. However, one eyesore remaining was the stacks and piles and shelves of dusty cds sitting in the basement.

At one point, Jim had asked Peter to organize the cds. I believe there was even some forgiveness of debt involved. Peter made some relatively ineffectual piles, but after that one fleeting afternoon spurt of activity, no further progress was made. Last Saturday the spirit moved me. Without taking time to consider my actions, I headed to the basement in the mood to do battle.

Piles of dusty cds were divided by musical genre and alphabetized. Quite a few orphans were reunited with their cases. This was incredibly satisfying even if my back and legs were screaming. We don’t have a full basement and most of the space only allows one to move bent over at the waist. Sorting cds would best be accomplished by someone 42″ tall or while seated. I figured this was really good for my glutes and inner thigh muscles and in point of fact I felt them all for the next few days.

Musing over the decades’ of accumulated music reminded me of my childhood and how we bought music back then.

My best friend, Betsy, and I used to walk over to Wiebboldt’s deparment store on the corner of Lake and Harlem. This was a big emporium filled with goods, but on the first floor there was a music section. If we pooled our allowance, we could buy the newest 45 rpm’s and we spent time carefully considering each purchase. Betsy often needed some reminding of a particular song and she would urge me to sing it so she could recognize it. I hated standing in the store softly singing the newest hit, but it never occured to me not to do Betsy’s bidding. Let’s not even address the fact that my painful rendition bore little relation to the original. With years of accumulated wisdom, I am now wondering what Betsy’s true motivation was for asking for impromptu weekly concerts.

At dinner that night, Jim and I shared some history with our beloved offspring. Egged on by the incredulity of our children, we continued our dinner table dialogue with a discourse on the philosophy of albums and the structure of tracks. Jim contributed his memory of his favorite and first 45 rpm. Twist and Shout on one side, I Saw Her Standing There on the flip. I won’t insult you by naming the group, I think we all know that.  My father had an old Victrola in the living room when I was growing up. He had purchased it complete with a collection of old 78’s which were played by a Hawthorne needle. He also had a player piano and we loved loading the rolls on and watching the songs unfold with the tinkling action of the keys.

Dinner over, Peter and Ellie headed to their lairs. Peter rarely takes his earbuds out of his ears so we’re never sure what he is listening to, but Ellie likes to play her music loud on her speakers. Sometimes we think they don’t hear us, but all week we’ve been treated to the Beatles playing Twist and Shout and Blackbird.

Guess the bottom line is that whether it is a 78, a 45 or a dusty cd, the music has no chronological age.


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