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    Saturday, August 13, 2005

    Did you mix it up

    Twenty years ago today, at age 9, I received my first boombox. I took to it immediately, not only to play my tapes, but also to record. I was astounded by its recording feature. Such a small little pinhole above the left speaker, yet it could capture so much. As soon as I had some blank tapes and figured out how to record, I went to work.

    Up and down our stairs, around the house outside, down our driveway and into the cellar, I walked and walked explaining what I saw around me. Making sure there was never dead air, I'd always sing a little song or hum or simply make a "dum-dee-dum-dee-dum" sound so my boombox always had something to pick up.

    I sang camp songs. I interviewed my cousin Alice. I created a haunted house. I did celebrity impressions (Edward G. Robinson my favorite). I told jokes. I narrated while watching cartoons and played games on my Apple IIe (Conan!). And I'm sure my parents will never forget how I tortured them. I'd "trick" them into thinking "it's not on record" -- yet of course it was. My mom would continually say, "shut that thing off to have your lunch." I would always respond, with guilt in my voice, "it's not on recooooord."

    How do I remember all this? I still have the tapes. I found two tapes of these old home recordings recently. Man was my voice high. I think the boombox eventually got sold at a family yardsale, but I still have my tapes. Maybe someday I'll convert to digital so you can have the pleasure of hearing them here.

    Mom and Dad, I don't know how much you paid for that stereo, but you certainly got your money's worth. Sorry about all the "on air" annoyances though. But it's not on record. Really, it's not.