There is a surreal aspect to thinking about the past: when it’s your past, it doesn’t seem as long ago as it actually is.
I’ve been thinking about the past this week while going through cassettes and listening to the radio station I basically grew up listening to. When I hear the familiar voices and the familiar jingles, time seems to stand still. It’s easy to forget that these tapes are twenty-five years old. For example, I’ve got a ton of memories in the gaps that lie between me and March of 1986 but I can listen to these tapes and it only seems like day or two separate me from that time and place.
Of course, I hear songs on the radio and can temporarily ‘forget’ about the mortgage and work and suddenly, whatever song is on will trigger a memory that seems as present and vivid as anything that is currently happening but is really so far ago that the people in the memory are no longer even around. I guess this is all the process of aging and it’s hard to explain but I’m sure everyone goes through it. Maybe they all just don’t try to explain it!
Speaking of March of 1986, here are two clips from that month that I taped on my trust (and long gone) Magnavox portable AM/FM cassette recorder:
And, here is a clip I taped on my Soundesign stereo system in 1989. Yes, I thought I was ‘da bomb’ with my huge speakers, turntable, dual cassette deck, and “speaker intensity display” that lit up based on how loud I turned up the volume. This stereo is still in the shed behind my parents house!