That’s right, my stereo is my old friend. Look at him. So strong. So faithful. Sure, sometimes he was loud, but it’s when you really needed him to be.
He went up and down the east coast with me, from Quincy, MA to Clemson, SC, to Fairfax, VA, to Annandale, to Arlington, and finally to Springfield, VA. He entered my sweet little childhood home on Christmas Day, 1993. All I wanted that year was a two-cassette “ghetto box” (as we called them in Quincy in the 80’s and 90’s) with a remote control. My sister was let in on the secret, so she bought me a CD so we could actually listen to a CD for the first time in our house. It was… Amy Grant’s Home for Christmas. I was blown away by my parents’ generosity.
I’ll never forget the first time we heard the violins playing the introduction of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. It was enthralling. It was so clear. With the snow on the ground (it was a white Christmas that year), the fat Christmas tree crowding our tiny living room and almost knocking you over when you entered the front door, and Amy Grant’s songs coming through so beautifully through that stereo, oh boy. Could it get any better than that?
I listened to my beloved stereo for hours everyday. The Loren and Wally morning show in the morning, (I’m embarrassed to say Delilah at night – but hey, she played way more music back in the 90’s) and CDs in between. That stereo kept me company for the rest of my high school years. High school was the only time that I didn’t share my bedroom. Although I was busy with school and never ending track practice and meets, I missed my sister.
Then came college. I went to Clemson University in South Carolina. Why? That might be explained in another post. So, I crammed as much as we could into the Oldsmobile, and of course I made sure that the stereo came too. Since it was a 2 day drive to get to Clemson from Quincy, my parents didn’t pick me up for the return trip. I hitched a ride to Yorktown, Virginia with my future roommate, and my parents met me halfway. There was no room for my stereo, so I had to find someone who would house it for me in their storage space.
When I was reunited with it my sophomore year, it was like seeing an old friend. I spent some quality time with my stereo, my tapes, and my CDs. That year we cried over boys… well, maybe I did. The stereo would have shorted out… What was I thinking? I was a bit of a basket case sometimes in college, truth be told.
After college, though, it saw less and less use. Was it because the CD and the tape players kind of stopped working? Maybe… But I think I started using it less even before that. I think it’s because when I got married, my special place wasn’t my bedroom anymore, it was my whole house. I wasn’t retreating to my bedroom for hours at a time anymore. Also, I was a teacher, so I really enjoyed the quiet when I got home. And I continued to have a very noise-less house. That is, until my poor ouchy tummied second son was born. Oh boy! There was a lot of scream-crying! And now… well, I have 3 boys. It’s loud in here. Who needs a stereo when you can’t hear it?
So goodbye, my friend. I hope that your new home uses you a lot and keeps you dusted better than I have these last few years… Seriously. I might just go and rescue it from the curb…