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Then: Transistor Radios


Now: iPods

The other day my granddaughter asked me to play her favorite song while we were driving in the car.  I told her I can't make the radio play her song, that we would just have to wait for it to come on—although I doubted that any station I listened to would play the "Cock-a-doddle-doo" song.

She protested, saying that her mommy plays it in their car.  Well, her mommy has an iPod with about 1,000 of their "favorite" songs.  She takes her iPod everywhere.  With the touch of her finger, she can play any song she wants, anytime, anyplace.    

This got me to thinking back to those beach days so long ago, when I'd hang out with my friends listening to music on our transistor radios.  We couldn't choose what to listen to and in fact, anticipation was half the fun.  Sipping soft drinks, moving our towels as the sun crossed the sky (God forbid, we weren't directly facing that big ball of heat), and waiting for a song by the Beatles or the Stones or Simon and Garfunkle.  

The DJ would announce a song was coming up in the next half hour, and we'd listen, as a group, yapping happily about the important things in life, such as boys and clothes and music and boys.  We'd listen to the DJ talk about life as we knew it, and when our favorite songs came on, we'd lie back, close our eyes and drift into our own private thoughts.        

Today, when I'm at the beach I look around and it seems that everyone is plugged into her own musical device, not talking to each other at all.  Not having that shared experience of waiting anxiously for a great new song.  And not only at the beach.  Everywhere.  At the gym, walking down the street, in the grocery store, in line at the post office.  You can buy a song off iTunes, download it into your iPod and take it everywhere you go.  That is, as long as you keep your iPod charged.

Back then, even if we wanted to take our favorite song with us, we would have had to take an entire album or cassette tape.  There was no way to buy just one song.  Which forced us to listen to an entire album, where sometimes a real gem of a song would be discovered.      

Sometimes waiting for something can be a good thing.  It's all about patience and in this fast moving world of ours, patience is something that a lot of the younger generation doesn't understand.  Everything moves so quickly.  We can send a message to Paris in one second and get an answer in two.  We are constantly plugged in, wired up, and instantly gratified.  Work follows us everywhere, even into the bathroom.  Yes, I've been known to talk on my cell phone to a banker while...well, you get the picture.  

So, I told my granddaughter, she would have to be patient. We'd just have to listen to the old fashioned radio and wait for her song to come on.  And in the meantime...we could make up our own songs.  And you know what?  We had a great time, sharing, laughing and communicating with each other.  Isn't that what life's all about?



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Sep 15, 2008
    • You‘re right on the money. We are all tuned in and tuned out.

      No one talks anymore, every one texts, emails and very few still send cards.
      Technology is moving faster than we can all keep up, who would of thought even five years ago that we would need a website like Twitter to stay connected, what an oxymoron that is.

      I’m not sure if you heard about our Official bitch Day on October 1st in the making, our next big day should be FREE OF ALL technology for the day.

      This is where we give up all of our gadgets and just sit and talk like normal people did for centuries, I bet you that most of the participants myself included will have separation anxieties from their devices.  

      Your granddaughter is lucky to have a grandma to sing songs with, that is a true blessing.

      Y



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coco27 wrote Sep 16, 2008
    • I agree with this so much! My two teens will ride in the car with their ears plugged up until it feels like I’m in a hearse. I made them take ‘em out yesterday and will continue to do so. I think an ipod is appropriate when you‘re working or by yourself, but for me and my kids we need to put each other over the ipod music.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tinaf wrote Sep 16, 2008
    • I have distinct memories of being in high school and each girl in my circle choosing and updating their favorite songs, and when they’d come on the radio, we’d all say, “Oh, turn it up, it’s Tina’s song.” And it was sort of having a mini-birthday or something. Not much to compare to that in today’s world.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandyde wrote Sep 16, 2008
    • You‘re absolutely right, Janie. It’s just so sad that kids today will probably never know the joy of anticipation. Like you said, after all that is half the fun.  

      Anyway, you got me to thinking back to lazy days at the lake (that was our beach...lol), and it brought back some very fond memories—-

      Thanks,
      Sandy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lindao wrote Sep 16, 2008
    • Okay, I have to admit it.  Even though my son got me an iPod, I’ve barely used it.  Give me anticipation any day!  Thanks for the supportive post, Janie. —LindaO



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Sep 16, 2008
    • Yana - Thanks for letting me know about Oct 1st.  I wasn’t aware of that day.  I’m sure I will have separation anxiety, at least from the Internet, but I can do it.

      Coco27 - I agree.  There is a time for an iPod or even an old fashioned Walkman, but sometimes it’s nice to talk while driving in the car.  Thanks for sharing.  

      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Terry wrote Sep 17, 2008
    • Oh, to be able to go back to the days when we layed on the beach and waited for our favorite songs to come on. You‘re right the fun was waiting for them to play our song and getting so excited when they did. All of us singing at the same time. I’m sure we would all still remember each others favorite song if you asked us today, cause we shared them together.
      Love reading your walks down memory lane, you‘re very descriptive. I actually go back when I read your short stories.
      Thanks for the memories.
      Terry



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Sep 17, 2008
    • Lindao - When you learn how to use your ipod, can you teach me?

      Sandyde - I’m glad I could bring back some memories

      Tinaf & Terry - We all did know each other’s favorites songs, didn’t we?  

      Thank you all for stopping by.

      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Justjer wrote Sep 17, 2008
    • I wonder if I was in the same car and on the same beach.  Again, I can really relate to your memories as though they were my own.  I still do not have an ipod and almost always listen to the oldies station in my car.  Don’t know if that’s good or bad or indifferent, but it is justjer.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Sep 17, 2008
    • Justjer - If you weren’t physically in that car with me, you were there in spirit.

      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Arliep wrote Sep 20, 2008
    • You are right again Janie. Our worlds are all so immediate. I miss the good ol days when you could drive from one place to another and were not expected to return a phone call until you arrived to your destination.  

      You have a lucky granddaughter. She has a grandma with an imagination and many memories I am sure are being stored in her brain that will last a lifetime.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sylvia wrote Sep 20, 2008
    • iii



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Oct 20, 2008
    • Hi Janie!

       oh i love this blog! we did the samething! if we werent at the lake or the beach, we were in our yards.. laying in the sun, having a picnic, or what ever! singing, laughing and having fun, TOGETHER!

      We would buy ne 8tracks ( i still have mine BTW! lol no player though :( ), 45’s or LP’s and listen to our favorite songs over and over, and then actuall liking the whole thing! lol what fun we had!

      my friends think its cool how i don’t have tv.. lol id have it but can’t afford cable or dish, so we listen to alot of music! like i said, i still have my 8tracks, i still have cassettes, and i still have my 45’s and LP’s! and we listen to them! not many 10,14,and 21 year olds can tell you who the ” Funk Brothers ” are!

      great blog!
      Linni



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Oct 20, 2008
    • Hi Linni,  

       I still have a ton of albums.  I’m not sure what happened to my 45’s.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Oct 20, 2008
    • ROFL! OMGOSH! lol do you remember The singing dogs, and ” Jingle Bells ” ? or how about ” The Do Be ” song from Romper Room! LOL

      i played those for my children, and the all busted out laughing! LOL



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