Back in January, when I made the decision to separate from my wife after nearly 25 years, I had to make some quick decisions about what I would take with me since there was no guarantee I would ever be allowed back in the house again and I have only so much room in my car. Fortunately, I did get two other chances to retrieve some items from the house. Since it was made fairly clear on my second trip that I would not be allowed in the house without a third party present, I opted for the only solution that met both our requirements: leaving the items I requested on the porch.
While I didn’t get everything I asked for the way I asked for it, specifically because of the variable weather in the Pacific Northwest that time of the year, I got the important things, including my music collection and it was a generally dry day:
My music collection included a couple of large books of CDs, a separate rack of CDs, and a couple boxes of cassette tapes. I know there were some other music-related items left behind–namely the packaging from the various bootlegs I acquired and the liner notes for most of the CDs–but I got the disk themselves, which is the important part.
Unfortunately, aside from the desktop computers I had with a CD player, I didn’t really have a way to play any of this music. I figured I’d eventually rectify this once I had a more permanent residence outside of the Pacific Northwest. Fast forward to my birthday, where I got a record player that also plays CDs, tapes, and whatever I can stream to it over Bluetooth.
I did not own any vinyl previously as, by the time I was old enough to buy music–and had money–vinyl records were a thing of the past. Given that vinyl came back into vogue at some point, my kids have records. Now that I had a way to play vinyl, it was time to actually buy some.
It seems appropriate that the first album I played on my record player was the first adult album I remember putting on a record player as a child: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The place I bought it? Walmart. In a physical store. Which is a pretty clear indication it’s at least somewhat mainstream again. I’m sure the record companies are salivating over this as they are surely happy to extract even more money from us for music we’ve possibly bought multiple times because nostalgia.
One of the albums I recently purchased at a used music store in Knoxville was Jimmy Buffet’s A White Sport Coat and A Pink Crustacean:
The reason I bought this album: I remember my dad had it. I also remember him telling me not to sing “Why Don’t We Get Drunk.” He had a point as I was maybe three or four at the time and had no idea what screwing was.
There’s a few others I’ve purchased–some for old memories, some for new–and I’m sure I’ll buy more over time. Bottom line: even if I am not a musician the way my dad was and my kids are, music plays an important role in my life and has helped me stay sane during the most tumultuous year of my life thus far. Having the ability to play it again in my own space my way…is what freedom sounds like.