my musical youth

Last month, for some reason, I was talking to my nephews about 80’s music. I can’t remember how the subject came up. I was saying that I like 80’s music because those were my teen years, but it wasn’t the best decade for music. My nephews were shocked I would say that – they said the love songs of the 80’s were so sappy they were cool. They started naming artists and I felt good that they valued my music, and then I felt old that I had music that I wanted valued – like I was about 85 and we were remembering the good ‘ole days.

For some reason, after that conversation I started thinking of music in the 80’s and then the late ‘70’s – when I was really young. My mind went to the song “Short People” by Randy Newman. My brothers’ encouraged me to buy the single at Radio Shack. I didn’t even know the song but they said I would like it. I was 8 years old and spent my $1.25 on a 45 rpm single so that my brothers’ could laugh at my “shortness”. I still listened to the song because it had a cool sound. We played it for awhile, and then when we got tired of it we played it fast and laughed at the high voice.

I don’t think I bought anymore singles because then everyone was buying cassette tapes, and I was saving money by putting my tape recorder next to the radio and pushing record when I heard a song I liked. By then I was obsessed with roller skating. We would roller skate at the funeral home on our street – only if there were no funerals scheduled of course. The parking lot was smooth and had a driveway with a nice hill. Smooth driveways are important when you are the only kid with steel-wheels on your roller skates. We would sing Donna Summer and Village People songs as we practiced backward skating and spins. Yep, those were the good ‘ole days.

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