Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Remember Cassette Tapes?

The overhead projector wasn't the only trick I pulled out while the kiddos were under quarantine. Remember cassette tapes? I found an old tape player and a box of cassettes lurking in the garage last week. Another great diversion. I eagerly presented them to a flushed Miss Kate as she reclined on the couch. Her fingers enjoyed pressing down the tabs to make the sound come out, but she was a bit impatient when she realized that rewinding and fast-forwarding were time-consuming operations. "When will it be ready, Mommy?!"

Remember that whir as the tape wound around and around? And then the startling "snap!" that meant it was ready to play? The labored hum that could still be heard beneath the strains of music? As Avery listened to her animal songs, I thought about my first tape. It was Amy Grant's Age to Age. My sister and I rocked out to "I Have Decided" (and fast-forwarded "Got to Let it Go"). I think my next purchase must have been Keith Green. A family friend had convinced me of his awesomeness, so I plunked down my babysitting money for So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt. I loved it. (And worked hard to memorize it, too.)

Eventually I added more Amy Grant (as long as it didn't get too rocky for my mom), Simon and Garfunkel, Michael W. Smith, D.C. Talk (my mom had relented by this point), and even the classical music that my uncle got me hooked on -- especially the ballet pieces: Tchaikovsky, Delibes, Gounod. (Years later, a handsome young suitor would take me to see Coppelia, not knowing that I had grown up listening to and loving that very ballet. We ended up using one of the songs in our wedding.)

The tape stopped, snapping me back to the present. As I helped Avery turn the cassette over, I wondered what she would be dragging out thirty years from now to entertain her little ones with. And what will those little ones in the future be accustomed to? I'm sure I have no idea.
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  1. We recently had an experience much the same as yours. Andy's parents had saved EVERY (yes Dear, EVERY) toy he had as a child and he dug them out of their garage and brought them home! Imagine little Ben's surprise to learn that Daddy had a beloved Froggie just like he does! Latch hook rugs, GI Joes, stories on records- it was a whirlwind of sentimentality and sadness for the adults, and amazement and wonder for the littles. But I agree with you, I dare think what our grandbabies are going to find so amusing- perhaps American Girl dolls and Zhu Zhu pets?! ;o)

  2. I got rid of a big box of 8-track tapes a few years ago. Ahhhh... those were the days.... having your song divided by the switching of the track and hearing another song in the distant background. You also brought memories of my girlfriend and I playing with her reel to reel player.

  3. My first cassette tape was MWS's Go West Young Man. One of the very next ones was the soundtrack to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Those songs forever take me back! Thanks for reminding me!

  4. Ah, Keith Green... BA-MANNA BREAD!!!! I now have that song on my iPod!!!

    Maybe in the future, people will just have chips in their brains and all they have to do is THINK of a song or picture or video and it will play in their brains as if they could hear or see it. Or maybe not. *shudder*



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