Saturday, December 18, 2010

Out with the Old -- Or Maybe Not by Sharon O'Donnell

We finally succumbed to the allure of the huge flat screen TVs and broke down and bought one. For the past few years, my three sons -- two of them teenagers -- begged my husband Kevin to buy one to replace our heavy, outdated TV that filled a square space in the center of our wall-length wooden entertainment center. His answer was always, "I spent good money on that entertainment center and I don't want to get rid of it." We bought it back in 1999 or so when nobody could have predicted that TVs would soon be so large and that the space the entertainment center provided for a TV would become laughable. I knew with all the sports my guys like to watch on TV that they would all -- including my husband -- love to have a new flat screen.

On Black Friday, my husband, my oldest son, and I went out to "look" at TVs. And of course once we looked, we soon bought. This is our Christmas present for the family. We just put it up on the wall tonight, and I must say, it looks great; I can actually see the screen when I'm sitting on the love seat at the side of the room, something that used to be difficult with the old TV. Tonight was also the night we moved things around to make room for it and the accompanying small entertainment center to hold all the DVD and Wii, etc. stuff. In moving things around, we threw out old coloring books and puzzles that my youngest son had outgrown, as well as placing some books and DVDs in a charity pile to be given away.

Then I got to box of my old record albums. Ah, the memories. I found I had a varied taste in music back then from John Denver to Elvis to Broadway soundtracks to the Rolling Stones. And yes, those were those old Bobby Sherman and Partridge family albums that I played over and over growing up and can't bear to part with. Even two Brady Bunch albums (Marcia wasn't half bad!). Billy, my oldest son, came in with a trash bag, looked at my albums, then looked at me. "Oh no, no way," I screamed. "Not my albums."

He smiled and held up his head to stop my protests. "I know, I know," he said, smiling. He knew how I loved my old albums. Later that night, I sat in the family room, going through the albums one by one, and they all conjured a memory in my mind. There was the Jackson Browne album that my high school boyfriend used to have on an 8track tape that he played in his car almost all the time. The Bobby Sherman album I was playing when I was in the 6th grade and my uncle who lived nearby called to tell me that my little dog had just been hit by a car. Then there's the Carpenters and the Lettermen albums passed down to me from my older sisters, bringing back memories of growing up in the early 70s. The John Denver album I played the night I graduated from high school, listening to the melody of "Follow Me" and feeling empty inside for some reason. And songs from Pippin and Camelot soundtracks that spoke to my soul as a teen, wondering about the world. College memories came flooding back when I just glanced at the James Taylor Greatest Hits album. In my mind I'm going to Carolina . . .

No, not the albums.

I saw one of those things that records CDs from albums, but it cost over $200, and I didn't want to buy it right now. Technology moves way too fast. Just when DVDs replace videos, now my sons tell me that BluRay is now more readily available. When will it end?

Let me leave you with some beautiful words from a Bobby Sherman song -- as I tell my sons and husband -- some of those old teen idol albums actually have some pretty good stuff on them.

This is from 'Sweet Touch of Life"
Oh, the sweet touch of life is mine
as the good times roll across my mind
to tell me it's another time and place
I see the rainbows in the painter's eyes
The secrets on the poet's rhyme
The sweet dreams in the child's mind I chase
And it's all in your face.

No, not the albums.

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