Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One Person's Trash...

C'mon, I didn't really think the collection was trash. I lovingly collected every bit of it. Still loved the idea of them every time I had to move them from one spot where they collected dust to the next spot where they collected dust. I just never found/made the time to walk back with them along memory lane. It would have taken months, after all. But finally the day had to come to get rid of them, and I got really lucky: I found a new someone to love them just as I had done.

I am referring to my old record collection. It took up about two feet of shelf space, starting with the first two I ever collected when I turned twelve. I got a turntable for my birthday that year (something my brother always regretted my getting, especially when I replayed and replayed and replayed favorites in the room with thin walls next to his.) There was also a bit of money, partly from just having my appendix out in the hospital right at that time too. Being home sick, I was privy to watching the Today Show - yes, it's that old! - when Peter Paul and Mary were performing "Lemon Tree." Man, I had to go buy that album! And somewhere in Park Rapids there was a store that sold records. (I can't remember where it was, but I'm guessing it was where you got band instruments too.)

Having a bit of money left over to burn a hole in my musical pocket, I asked the clerk what he might recommend in a (cheap) classical album to go along with it. I had no idea about classical music at that time except to know that I liked a lot of it. He suggested Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony sitting in the bargain bin - apparently he thought he'd found a sucker - and I bought it. Loved it. May still be the only person in the country who does, but so what?

Over the years money went into the collection. It became quite eclectic. Lots of classical, including Readers Digest version of the complete 9 symphonies of Beethovan. Lots of folk. More PPM, of course, but branching out from there to Chad Mitchell Trio, Smothers Brothers. There was a Judy Collins phase, a Helen Reddy phase, an Andy Williams phase. Then came the Muppets and Free to Be You and Me, fairy tales on vinyl. Later were "Solitutes" and similar voice/nature sounds collections, James Gallway, and some of the best X-mas music ever produced and irreplaceable now. (Yes, I'm prejudiced. So what?)

Eventually along came 8-track and cassettes, finally CDs, and lots of dust. The records got shuffled, boxed, unpacked, repacked, moved from one set of shelves to the next as each former location became more desirable and earned something "better". I just couldn't give them up. They had been well loved. In an abstract way, they still were.

So what finally happened? WalMart, that's what. They finally met my can't-resist-any-longer low price for a HD TV. A 40-incher can't fit in the space designed to enclose a 27" TV, so the entertainment system had to be reconfigured as well. These days that means replaced. All that storage space no longer existed. Out also goes the turntable, the old 8-tracks, the amplifier, the DVD player, the cassette player, the switcher box, the PS2, the speakers, the...

It was a lot of work. Mostly, Paul's. I did my part by sorting and throwing the little bits and pieces. But while the 8-tracks went in the garbage can with no backward glance, the records piled up in a couple stacks.

Along the wall in the living room now sits a discrete table/cabinet holding the new TV, the DVR box, the whatchamacallit thing for the surround system that Paul insisted I get to go with the enhanced visual capabilities and which includes AM/FM, 4 of the 6 speakers (two on the back wall), and a PS3, all new. He decided we'd keep the piece-of-crap VCR since you just about can't find them these days anyway. However, its disgraceful presence is hidden behind the lower level cabinet doors. Right opposite the PS3 which also functions to play CDs, DVDs and Blue Ray - should we ever acknowledge that the world is still changing technologically. The organizing principle is that what needs to be controlled by remote every time the TV goes on goes in the open part of the cabinet.

The principle behind doing the controlling of them is figuring out which of the three remotes one needs to use to make them work. Three! One turns on the TV. No, the universal remote won't turn it on. It will turn it off, but that only helps later. The second turns on the sound. Paul disabled the TV speakers because when they were on at the same time as the surround sound, we got an echo chamber effect. All three will turn off the sound, since it automatically turns off when the TV shuts off. The third controls the DVR, so you can change channels, pause, skip, set up timers, play recorded programs. (You can also turn the TV off.) Then, if you remember to push the right button, once the sound system has been turned on from its original remote, it will also control volume and mute, just like remote #2. You just have to remember to put it back to controlling the DVR again before you start hitting the wrong thing and getting a wild variety of unpredictable results. Or none at all.

Paul is not patient with me while I'm learning all these things. He especially gets upset if I go back to the original remotes to control volume or turn off the TV instead of switching functions on the DVR remote, since he spent so much of Sunday setting up the remotes and systems to recognize each other.

The old entertainment center has found a home. It's just not there yet. It's waiting for its new owners to find a vehicle large enough to transport it, or time enough to disassemble it before loading, so they can take it out. Meanwhile it's in the aisle between the kitchen table and my chair, blocking access to the back door. The good news for the new owners is that it's not outside getting rained on. The good news for us is - besides getting rain - we don't have to fuss with it. Just fuss around it, I guess.

We've been asking everybody we can think of if they know anybody who wants the old sound system and CD, DVD players. Most of them were polite enough not to snicker outright at us. But today that changed.

Those of you who have been reading this long enough will know who "the sainted Randy" is. I had to call her this morning when my dad's catheter became blocked, and it was either she come over and flush out the system, or we get the catheter replaced, possibly in the ER. It's not an insignificant note to mention that it all got properly fixed and Daddy's comfortable again. And I'm here to make note of it because Jessica's got a sick kid at home - throwing up, 102 degree temp. - and I had to stay home from work to take care of Daddy instead of her.

While Randy was doing her follow-up paperwork, since I was here, I asked her The Question. Expecting the usual response, I was delighted to see her light up. Yes, she indeed know somebody who'd like to take them off our hands: herself! When I threw in the offer of the record collection, knowing it wasn't "everybody's" choice of Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, and such, she positively started beaming. Every label I called out to her as I packaged them up in bags to carry out was met with, not just politeness, but enthusiasm. I even had the Judy Collins LP which was missing from her collection!

I had found the right person! These would indeed become her treasure as once they had been mine. I can feel good about their new home as well as loving the space created here in in their absence. That's important. Steve's moving in in November, and that's getting closer fast.

1 comment:

a2z said...

You could have gotten a lot of money for those 8 tracks at any of the hot rod events at the state fair grounds. Maybe you can retrieve them. Just saying.