Friday, October 14, 2011

Ode to a boombox

I'm about to Freecycle an old boombox to a kindergarten teacher who needs a CD player in her classroom.

Which makes me happy - it's only collecting dust - but suddenly I'm nostalgic about it. I mean, we've been together since the 90s. If I remember correctly, my dad got it for me in my twenties during one of the first times his singing group, the Three Royal Tenors, were on tour in the States. It was on a high shelf at the Radio Shack at the mind-bogglingly massive Mall of America in Minnesota. I was thrilled as the box was hoisted down and placed in my arms! Or at least that's how I romantically remember it.

Over the decades, the antenna broke, one side of the tape deck started to stick, and the CD lid developed a habit of occasionally popping open in mid-play. (And yes, I did warn the kindergarten teacher of these these little idiosyncracies.) Ah, but these were merely the injuries of love! It performed loyally for us year after year. Highly-anticipated new CDs twirled for us. Favorite cassettes spun. (I honestly think we listened to cassettes long after others had consigned them to the dinosaur heap.) Languid NPR voices purred and urgent sports broadcasters screeched. We did our part and listened to it all.

Well, farewell, old friend. Prepare for a new life in your dotage. Alas, it will probably a short one. Good luck with a room full of six-year-olds, poor old rickety thing! I should probably have donated you to an old folks' home, really, but I know you will gamely blast "Old MacDonald" for the kiddies until your final note sounds.

I salute you!