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  • Fern

Running Against the Wind

My intention for this blog was to rail against technology, which I still intend to do. But it might be more about aging and my own relationship with technology. That is, me, coming from the dark ages when rotary phones, wall phones, adding machines, a calculator with several columns of numbers across its face, and typewriters. Yes, the wonderful, sentimental love I have for clickety clackety typewriters.

I’d like to give a tender nod to big ole televisions sets, when one had to actually rise from their comfy chair to change the station, or, more likely, adjust the rabbit ears to get a clearer picture. When TV had a handful of networks that signed off for the night at what they considered a reasonable time. The smaller stations in NY, like channels 5, 9, and 11 ended their programming earlier than the larger networks, indicating that by posting their network logo and nothing else, but the ‘white noise’ that Billy Joel made famous in his 1980 song “Sleeping with the Television On.” (Full disclosure: shamelessly, in fact checking the date on that fab song, I had to stream it and get up and dance.) Whew…I digress. Twenty four hour broadcasting only began in 1986. Color TV came into homes in the 1960’s, though I never saw one until 1970 when as a new mother, we briefly rented a furnished house in Lincoln Park, NJ. I was mystified. Of course, you had to do a lot of color correcting, but still…

In the music world, I have adjusted over the years, from ‘vinyl’, formerly called ‘records’, in the 45’s and 33 1/3 albums sizes, to 8 Tracks, to cassette tapes, to CD’s. Then, after storing album favorites I couldn’t part with, like the Beatles’ Hard Days Night and such, in the basement where they started to mildew, all of a sudden, vinyl became popular again…I can even dig that, but what I can’t abide is that my 2018 Honda came without a CD player.

“Oh yeah” Dennis the helpful salesman said when he saw me searching desperately across, under and around the dashboard “the car doesn’t come with a CD player, most cars don’t anymore” Seeing my flabbergasted, crestfallen face, he brightened “You just program the music you want into your phone and sync the phone into the car and you’re good to go!"

How could Dennis, this bright and shiny 30 something possibly ‘get’ the importance of a CD player in my car?

The 70’s: Restless toddlers in the back seat could sometimes be quenched with a good tune by Harry Chapin on the 8 track tape that came with the bright blue Pontiac Le Mans.

The 80's: Sales, more time spent in the car, my reliable Honda. Cassettes: Billy Joel, Bob Seger, blends of Van Morrison, Dire Straits, Mozart, Edith Piaf, gifts put together by friends.

The 90’s: Tooling around upstate, popping CD’s in to suit the mood, the day, the weather, the time of year, the winding back roads, or the endless NY Thruway miles: Willie Nelson, Van Morrison, Chris Smither, Lucinda Williams, Nina Simone.

Music and cars go together like wine and cheese, burgers and fries, hot summer days and dreams. I can’t get it thru my head that I must take the time to program my phone (an exercise in frustration for me) with music, when I have all I want and need on my CD’s; CD’s that may now become extinct. Yes, there is a radio, but what about the curvy, downhill road traveled on a balmy June day – do you want to hear a snippet of a current song, a paid advertisement, an oldie like Pink Floyd that you never listened to when they were current? NO! I want to blast Bob Seger, I want to hear that opening beat, those first plunky guitar riffs. Sometimes…“I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”

I may have to buy an old car.

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