Well, hello there, long lost friend.

April 24, 2010


There was another surplus auction today, and it was the best one ever, for a reason that only matters to me.

I was scanning the shelves of printers, scanners, various electronic do-dads, and saw this:

Hey, that looks kind of familiar.

I thought, “Hey, that looks like the one we had when I was a kid.” Then I got closer and the shock hit that it was exactly like the one we had when I was a kid and no kidding – I started to tear up.

I believe I have a skewed personality because I have a deeper connection to things than people, and this was proof. I’m standing there weeping, playing with the switches – that awesome t-style switch (this one was missing the upside-down-cone-style handle), the volume control, and the perfect, red-square ‘record’ button.

I love you.

When my siblings and I were kids, this was the Magic Machine that could capture your voice and play it back! It was amazing! We had tapes of band and choir concerts, us goofing around and being funny, and lots of ‘firsts’ Mom & Dad recorded when we were babies.

Look at this microphone – was there ever anything cooler? It was a perfect, shiny rectangle with a wire stand on the back and a switch!

Sing a little something.

Ok, I get it. Nobody is going to love this thing like me, but I wrote this post for my family. I didn’t buy the recorder for two reasons: 1) we had to leave before it was sold, and 2) right after I told Lloyd, “Buy this – no matter what the cost!” I took a dozen pictures and realized that I didn’t need the thing. The memory and the emotion were the payoff, and owning it would lessen its magic. Besides, I have all these pictures to remember it by:

Why did THIS picture have to be blurry?

Ready for a tape.

A little story to distract you from my delirium: Last year I got out our school’s tape player (similar in style to this, but with big, chunky buttons) and some books-on-tape and left them out for the afternoon aides to use with the children. The next day I came back and they – these girls two decades my junior – said, “Um, we weren’t quite sure how to use the tape player.”

I could have died.

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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13 Responses to “Well, hello there, long lost friend.”

  1. Charles Said on:



  2. Brad Said on:

    Did anybody catch you being crazy and taking all those pictures? Heh.


  3. Lauren's dad Said on:

    All those dozens of tapes and their memories, too, are still here. Well, maybe one or two have been taken. I’m glad I bought the recorder as it served well. It was a fun ride!


    • Lauren Said on:

      I stole one of those tapes -- I think it’s when I was reciting some poetry. That squeaky voice was me! I still squeak, but with deeper tones. 🙂


  4. Peggy Said on:

    I remember when I was a kid, I got a tape recorder for Christmas one year. It was blue & red & provided hours, days, months, years of enjoyment! I also liked lawn darts…until they were outlawed.


  5. Lauren's mom Said on:

    So that’s where the tape went!
    Oh, …and I’m not quite sure how to use a cell phone, or an IPod
    or an IPhone, or an MP3 player or…(I could go on).


  6. Lauren's mom Said on:

    One more comment. Isn’t it amusing that the younger crowd that can handle all the things I mentioned above, cannot figure out stop, rewind, forward and play. Fear of the unknown?


    • Lauren Said on:

      Their main complaint was that they didn’t know which way to put the tape in. (Not the daring kind of girls -- honestly, how hard could it be?)


  7. Phil Said on:

    I remember singing “Casey Jones” into that thing. “Mark’ll never believe it!”. (Sigh) The BEST memories I have of it wasn’t just listening back to the recordings or playing with it, but the mental images I have of always being able to see Dad at all the school concerts holding up the microphone…smiling all the while! 🙂


  8. Mark Said on:

    Phil, you hit that one square on the head. The treasured memory of dad taping concerts… I remember sitting next to him while he taped Keren’s. When they came to our concerts I knew what he was doing, and the proof was listening to the tape later.

    I hope I can find a similar way of showing Matthew how important he is to me as his father, and to Rachel as his mother.


  9. Keren Lowell Said on:

    I just remember the click when you moved the T. Trying to find the beginning of something. The whirring noise of the tape. Oh analog days, where did you go?


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