Sunday, December 30, 2012

Josh, the neighbor kid

We had a little neighbor kid named Josh back in the seventies. He was an average boy with Dennis the Menace blond hair. His mom left for work in the afternoon before his dad got home, so we would take care of him for a few hours every day.

Bren's boyfriend Steve was over at our house one afternoon soon after we got our first TV with a remote control. Steve was sitting on the couch with the remote hidden next to him where Josh couldn't see it. He soon had little Josh tricked into believing that he was magically changing the channels on the TV by walking past it or making "zapping" gestures. Josh soaked up our admiration at his abilities. He was having great fun; magic powers are pretty heady stuff for a 5-year-old.

A while later, Steve was teasing Josh. The little boy turned to him and said, "You better stop that or I'll zap you and you'll be dead!" We were blown away at how we had created this little monster. We quickly showed him the remote and how it worked and explained it was just a joke.
As they say, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Since Josh was "babysat" by whoever was around when he came over, we pooled the money earned and bought a new stereo system to replace the old HiFi. Those were the days of LP records so it only had a turntable. My dad built me a big record cabinet because we had a very large collection by the late 70's.

I finally sold all those LP's to Cheapo Records for $20 in 2005 since nobody in the family wanted them. Most systems no longer had turntables and it was difficult to find needles for them.

In my lifetime, the recorded music format has gone from 78's to LP's (with an overlap of 45's) then on to 8-tracks (big mistake) to cassettes to CD's and now...MP3's and ?

19 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

They might just as well plant the listening device in some teen age ears, tuned to some satellite in the sky.

The Odd Essay said...

We had a wind-up Victrola when I was a kid and I have no idea what THOSE records were called that we played. Only know that we had Sir Harry Lauder and later even had Gene Autry and stuff like "Buttons and Bows". But your Josh story reminds me that just a few years ago we had a young intern at a NWR convinced that when he walked past a certain vehicle the panic horn went off (someone inside was watching through the window and hitting the button when the kid walked by)... hmmm... wonder if that was Josh ;-)

The Owl Wood said...

My mother used to take in latch-key kids and washing. Sometimes she used to get them mixed up. A lot of the kids in my neighbourhood had a sort of a glowing blue-whiteness about them and that line-dried freshness you could never get in the communal basement of the open prison. The Police wouldn't let her own a steam-iron, not since little Eric at number 33.

Jan said...

We still have a couple of cassette recorders in the back of a cupboard at school. The kids haven't a clue what to do with them!!!!
Happy New Year. Jx

Linda Starr said...

Gary just sold some cassettes at the flea market and folks bought them, things sure have changed. Some of those old records are collectible now.

Sparrow chic said...

I have LP's , 45's , cassttes, and CD's. I never really liked the 8 Tracks and don't like using the MP3s. An IPod is not in my future, but I would dearly love a BOSE !!
Josh was such a sweet kid and lives in all our memories. So does that wonderful stereo system.
My mother gave my siblings and I the gift of music appreciation and it's the gift that keeps on giving.
Thank You Mom !!

Susan said...

Oh those 45's and LP's! I had such a collection and now it's all iTunes! Time marches on and I'm trying to keep up, XOXO

revisinglife said...

Amazing how much things have changed in our lifetime (and continue to change).

Janet

Carol Z said...

I still have some albums. They were prized possessions in high school and college. Now I don't buy any music, but listen to songs on YouTube and it really works for me. Wishing you a very happy and healthy new year! So glad we have connected in BlogLand.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I think the ways our music listening has changed is fascinating - a very clear indicator of how much technology overall has changed in a short time

troutbirder said...

I miss all those record collection and the wonderful music. My wife sold a huge box of them once at her annual garage sale for one dollar. I'm still unhappy about that deal....:(

Linda said...

People are still buying vinyl records. There is something about the sound they make...kind of like the warm crackling sound of a fireplace. Happy New Year!

Mitchell is Moving said...

We had a push-button fireplace in LA in the early '80s. Still fairly rare around the country. We pulled the same trick on our nephew. He thought I had magic powers. As for music, fortunately we never did the 8-track thing, but we fell into the Beta trap for videos!

heavy hedonist said...

I have a box of vinyl albums, and precious cassettes of my old band performing songs we couldn't do now-- and nothing to play them on.

Honest Abe said...

My wife of 57 years, Patty, and I had a large collection of 45s and 78s in vinyl. We had a beautiful piece of furniture that had a sliding lid. On the left side were the 78s stacked up on edge. On the right side was the record player. As I recall, you could stack 3 at a time and the machine would play them one at a time. And then, one day, nobody was playing it and we gave it to our one daughter who collects everything and as far as I know she still has it.

I also enjoyed your story about the remote control. When color television first came out, we bought a new color set. The problem was the only color programs being broadcast were commercials and everyone came into the room when the commercials came on. Most of them were about Kraft cheese products.

troutbirder said...

I do miss all those old records and tapes.... Thanks to the garage sale lady I live with..... poof!

Kittie Howard said...

You weave a beautiful story, Ms Sparrow. When CD's disappeared into downloads, I threw up my hands. Too complicated!

Happy New Year! Hope it's a good one for you and yours.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh yes, the music biz has changed a lot. So have the movie/video/dvd/blueray biz. I have piles of that stuff in the basement.

Josh is a character! I remember the first tv remote too... and the first color tv for that matter. Sheesh, we've seen a lot of changes over the years.

xo jj

Linda said...

Hi Ms. Sparrow, just dropping by to say "hello" and letting you know I am thinking of you. The building you asked about in the video on my post today is the Montreal Biodome. As far as I recall I have posted photos of it in the past...however, I will be sure to post a photo or two of it in the future. Thank you so much for your comments on my blog, I really appreciate it. Hope your new year is beginning well.