Voices from the Past

I stopped at a garage sale the other day and picked up some records.

They didn’t look like any records I had ever seen. They were small; smaller than 45s. They were only recorded on one side and they looked really old. The label told me that they were Little Wonder Records and on the back the patent dates were all around 1909. The sale also had available a large stack of children’s books on records. Both the seller and I thought these small black vinyl beauties were children songs.

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I inquired as to what price the owner wanted and he let me have them for $5 USD. I had no idea if they were worth anything (I got about 10 for $5 so I got a good deal) and they were worth the price to me. (I also picked up all the vintage record and book sets, all in perfect condition.)

When I got home my husband and I decided to hit the internet and see what we had.

It turned out that these records were not children’s songs at all. They were one and a half to two minute versions of popular songs of the time for people who were looking for low cost musical entertainment. According to Wikipedia they sold for five to ten cents apiece. The Little Wonder records were made from 1914-1923. The songs are played at 78 rpms and so we pulled out one of our record players capable of playing 78s to listen.

We started out with what appeared to be the oldest of the songs we had: Little Wonder #20, Back to the Carolina You Love, Baritone. This turned out to be Al Jolson from 1914.

For a record that is 100 years old and has been played many, many times by the look of it, the vinyl played pretty well. A little scratchy, but certainly clear and understandable.

We had a good time listening to the rest of the small records and all of them are just wonderful. I have some more research to do on some of the performers. Listening today to what was popular 100 years ago on a record from that time period was really exciting.

I think I just started a new record collection.

Happy 50th Beatles anniversary

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America.  I was 9 months old so I don’t have much recollection of the time. They were already huge in England. The Fab Four!

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I started loving the Beatles in 1975, about 5 years after they broke up. There was a mini, second Beatlemania going on in America. I don’t know why it happened then, but I am glad it did. It was a fun time for me. My whole world was one filled with Beatles trinkets and records. My notebooks were plastered with their name and pictures. I attended many Beatles conventions, purchased every Beatles magazine and book I could find, plastered my bedroom walls with Beatles posters and got excited about new releases by any of the former Beatles (John Lennon had announced that year that he was taking 5 years off from his musical career to raise his son. Sean.)

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I find that with the 50th Anniversary this year I am as thrilled as I was back in ’75 when I first started liking them. This year there are celebrations, conventions, tribute band concerts, Beatles gear to buy. (Giggle giggle, just like a little kid)

I am lucky that I also have a Beatles Buddy, Merry. She is great fun and we have attended as many Beatles events as we can this year. We listen to Beatles music together, often on record albums! We even got to be friends because I complimented her on a beautiful Beatles hoodie she was wearing one day. We instantly started talking Beatles and were surprised to find that both of us not only like the Beatles, we LOVE the Beatles.

Me and my Beatles Buddy and bff, Merry, posing before attending the Paul McCartney concert in 2013

Me and my Beatles Buddy and bff, Merry, posing before attending the Paul McCartney concert in 2013

My friend and I are going to see a tribute Band on September 15th. Fifty years to the night the Beatles played in Cleveland. The show includes a local celebrity musician playing Beatles songs, and then the nationally recognized tribute band, 1964, will play the exact set played by the Beatles 50 years ago.

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It’s going to be a fun evening.

Happy 50th anniversary, America!

Schoolhouse Rock

This morning, as I was finishing my second cup of coffee and browsing through my Facebook news feed, I came across an
article stating that ABC is showing a special of some of the most popular Schoolhouse Rock episodes. This special is on Sunday, September 7, at 7:00 pm.

My friend and I were chatting and I mentioned the article. We both started naming our favorite episodes. I always love the exclamation point episode!

I started thinking about the Preamble episode. You know the one. We all sang it in government or civics class. We the people, in order to form a more perfect union….

It’s a great message I think a lot of people need to remember about the common good and promoting the general welfare.

Anyway, off my soapbox, here is the Preamble, it’s fun to see how much of it we remember.

 

Home

My husband and I finally got my father’s house totally cleaned out this weekend. My dad died in May last year and the final thing to do for the estate is to sell his house.  We (my brothers and I) needed to empty it out first. I’ve slowly been cleaning it out. Piece by piece. Giving different things away, keeping things for myself, throwing other things away. The things in the house were all fairly new. He had the whole inside of the house redone in 2007, so memories cleaning out the inside of the house were only a few years old. The outside of the house has been a different thing.

Nothing on the outside of the house has changed in the 50 years my parents and then my father lived in the house other than getting siding put on in the 70s.  Nothing had been changed but nothing had been maintained either. The grass was cut by my father growing up and then a company when he was too sick to do it anymore, but other than that, nothing was done. Bushes were overgrown, weeds were everywhere, piles of wood and rotted wood were all around the small property.

That has all been cleaned up. The house looks just like it did when we were kids. All three of my brothers have been there at different times to pick things up or to do some work on the yard. Each of them reminisces about different times growing up. I hear the stories, I see the house, I start to feel sad that it will soon be sold.

But I remember that my brothers and I are lucky. We all grew up together in the same house. We never had to move as kids. Never had to switch schools. My parents continued to live there after we all moved out so when we came home we really felt like we were HOME. I moved around the block from my parents in 1996 and was lucky enough to be with my mother a lot during her last year of life. My father lived there until last year when he died. We are lucky to have those 50 years of memories, not all good, but many happy ones also, to reminisce and laugh about with my brothers.

So I am starting to get used to the idea of someone else living there. I still live around the block and pass the house quite often.

I hope whoever buys it, enjoys it. It’s just a small house with a little fenced yard. It was much more to us. It was home.

My childhood home, looking much as it did when my parents bought it in 1964.

My childhood home, looking in 2014 much as it did when my parents bought it in 1964.

 

 

7 Weeks of Weird

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Week 7: What is the weirdest random fact about yourself (something you’ve done, something you like, somewhere you’ve been, etc.)?

Wow, the weirdest random fact about me. I had to think on this a minute but, I got it. This was weird. I have a story about a weird wedding my husband and I attended.

I have a friend who I have known for 36 years. She was always a little shy and socially awkward when we were kids. She is very smart and a great writer.

About, maybe, 10 years ago her mother died. She and her mother were very close and my friend took care of her mom up until she died of cancer.

Once her mother died it was like my friend became another person. She felt free. Things she held back or hid because she feared her mother’s disapproval were all coming out into the open.

One of these new things was that she liked being spanked. She started writing erotic fiction and got quite a following. She started going to fetish meet ups and got very involved with the community.

I was happy that she was doing what made her happy and she was a consenting adult playing with other consenting adults, so who am I to judge?

My friend and one of her “playmates” decided to get married. My husband and I were invited to the wedding and were told that there would be no nudity or play at the wedding itself but, there would be at the party afterward. One room would be clothing required and the other would be clothing optional. We were invited to join in if we felt so inclined.

I decided to go to the wedding since she is a long time, very good friend and I was happy that she was happy. My husband, being a kind soul, said he would accompany me. We really didn’t know what to expect at all. What do you wear to such an affair? We decided to go with traditional wedding apparel,

The wedding was being held at a fetish club. It was a converted small car repair shop. We arrive half an hour before the wedding. We enter the club and I see that I know not one person there. We look out of place and lost. We go into the room where the ceremony will be held and find a seat.

The wedding will be officiated by a priestess. She is certified by the state to perform wedding ceremonies. Okay, this could interesting. It was interesting all right.

There were some traditional parts of the ceremony. The bride walked down an aisle, candles were lit. Vows were said. The vows were a bit different to what I am accustomed. My friend knelt down in front of her husband/master-to-be and swore to obey him in all things, to serve him and I can’t remember what all else. He placed a silver ring around her neck. He locked it with a screw. It is her wedding collar.

I was very surprised by all this since my friend had always been so independent, but if this is her choice, even if I couldn’t understand it, then I was happy for her.

The reception was very strange to us. After the ceremony there was a short pot luck dinner. The talk at the table was all about sex and some of the groups’ escapades. My husband and I really had nothing to add to this. The groom, kindly pointed out that there were two non-club members and maybe they should tone it down until they retired to the “other room”.

Before the wedding we were required to sign a consent form. To be inside the club, we had to agree that we knew there would be nudity and sexual situations and that everyone there is a consenting adult and were not being hurt.

Once the “playroom” was set up (it was in the same room as the wedding ceremony), clothes started coming off and different couples and groups were moving off to different kinds of apparatus. One woman was tied up and everyone was invited to cut off her clothes. Not with scissors, but with a knife. We didn’t have a knife, but almost everyone else there did. Another couple was putting on masks and tying up the female partner for the male partner to whip. Another woman was lying on a bench with a man hitting her with another kind of whip. There was a lot going on.

The wedding gifts my friend received were all toys that she and her husband and their “playmate” enjoyed. There are three in the relationship, but only my friend is legally married to her husband. My wedding gift to her? An afghan I made for them. So sexy.

My husband and I stayed for about half an hour to an hour and then excused ourselves to go home. We bid goodbye to my friend and her husband. They both told us they were please we had attended. None of my friend’s family would attend.

No matter how different this wedding had been from any wedding I had ever attended, I was glad we went. It meant a lot to my friend. It also gave my husband and I a good story to tell.