Inevitable Blog About Something Nostalgic.

Liza Bachman Caruthers GatewaySo I’m cleaning out my closet and I find this case of cassette tapes.  Remember those?  I know you do, but give me a chance to say something clever about them.  Ahem.  Remember cassette tapes?  Little plastic cases filled with flimsy tape on which we recorded the soundtracks of our youthful loves and losses.  Like little John Hughes films in our bright yellow Walkman Sports players…  Which I still have too!  I plug in my headphones and pull out a tape or two and start reliving my younger days!  Oh, listen! It’s college, when I was young and ignorant and foolish and free and excited and apparently made a lot of tapes documenting it all.

That song, “Springsteen,” by Eric Church, sums it up with: “Funny how a melody becomes a memory!”  Of course itdoes.  Most of the time.  However, as I listen this very moment to a tape (OMG can you believe when you wanted to change a song, you had to fast-forward it and WAIT!?!?), a song by Fine Young Cannibals comes on and I can’t attach any particular memories to it… except that I’d sing it out loud when everyone in my car was asleep and I was driving us all home from the parties at VMI.  I guess that’s really a memory, so I shouldn’t say it’s not.

Ok, now I’m seeing my past in color… England Dan and John Ford Coley?  You might not remember them.  Youtube it.  They’ve got the sound of the early 80s DOWN.

And here’s the thing:  I can FEEL what I felt then.  A memory pours in over my brain, like when you’d step on the side of your inflatable swimming pool and all the water would flood the yard, and I’ll see his face and feel that elation or that pain or that giddy silliness that made me act like a complete dork… or I don’t know, maybe he liked my dorky self and he kissed me and that song wrapped around us, preserving that memory forever, a perfect little bug in amber…

And really, nostalgic reminiscing is best done with music in your old Walkman.  That way you don’t get distracted by “Oh my Lord, why did I ever wear my hair like that?” or “Shoulder pads?  Who told me it was a good idea to wear those?”

I like best the forgotten songs.  Of course, there’s a reason they were forgotten, and I’m not going to add them to my Youtube playlist, but I love this once-in-a-blue-moon-listen, and I love saying, Hey listen remember this and it’s Yes I do! Um… want a snack?  Because after all this nostalgia I’m going to need chocolate or something.


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8 Responses to “Inevitable Blog About Something Nostalgic.”

  1. Seamus Says:

    Nostalgia is the best way to encounter things the way that we wish they had been.

  2. Linda Says:

    Great read: “Love is a Mix Tape” by Rob Sheffield. Main character is/was my college roommate. Talk about nostalgia!

  3. Ryan King Says:

    Remember when having a walkman made you cool? I used to play ZZ Top and Ace of Base like crazy. Now I look back and shake my head. That’s not to say that those aren’t in my iTunes library now 😉

  4. Diana Beebe Says:

    I loved making mixed tapes for my friends. I made a sappy one for my high school boyfriend. So free & clueless! I still “see” the videos for the music of that era thanks to MTV.

    • lizacaruthersblog Says:

      Want to feel both jaded and embarrassed? Watch some of those old videos. Try Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits. I love the song, but the video makes me embarrassed about all the hairdos I tried in high school. And the clothes. Shudder.

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