New Year’s Eve always is, for me, a day of reflection. The reflection isn’t necessarily relegated to the particular year that is ending; rather, it can be (and often is) reflection on time that has passed.
My mind goes strange reflection places, too. I start thinking about those who have left this world, particularly my grandparents, then go on to think about TV shows of the past (after all, today and tomorrow are traditionally days of marathons of shows), and then find my way back to my writing (I am here and doing it, w00t!); a million thoughts, here and there and everywhere.
Today, my thought road took me to the musical countdowns of New Year’s past and how much I love(d) them. I can remember, just like it was yesterday, sitting at my grandmother’s kitchen table on Geary Street in South Buffalo on New Year’s Eve with a pen in hand, writing down the top 100 songs of [insert year here] as played and DJ’d by Casey Kasem (Shadow Stevens would later take over!). I listened and sang along to every last song while I recorded them on my boom box using my Memorex cassette tapes.
I’d keep a steady finger on the pause button so I wouldn’t lose tape space because of the crummy commercials and would pray that I would have to flip the tape (or insert a new one) ONLY when a song ended, during a commercial, or when Casey was talking. By the end of the day, I had 10-12 front and back recorded tapes – meticulously numbered – of the best songs from that year. I would put them into a shoe box with my pencil written list and would listen to the songs throughout the year. (Would you believe that there are websites that have some of the countdown’s listed? How cool is that??!! http://www.mix989.com/pages/pp_casey_kasem.html; http://www.oldradioshows.com/at100/)
Sometimes, over the course of the year, the tape reel would come out of the cassette case and I would painstakingly use a pencil and slowly turn the take up reel until the cassette was right as rain again. Other times, the reel would snap, leaving me with a broken tape. With my trusty scotch tape and a sharp pair of scissors, I would repair the tape with surgeon like maneuvers. If I was lucky, I would only lose about 10 seconds of a song but sometimes (only just, I was a pretty good surgeon) I would actually lose a few minutes. AND I never lost a tape. Man oh man, those were the days! Kids nowadays have no idea of what they are missing!
Memorex, TDK, Sony – I still have many of these recorded tapes up in my attic. They are no longer in a year specific shoebox, though – I dumped them all into a large cardboard box when I was in my early 20s. I had started listening to them again to reminisce and I admittedly, recorded over some with Buffalo Sabre hockey games. I don’t even know if any of the tapes would even play anymore. I do want to find out though. A 2014 challenge maybe? Also, I think it would be pretty amazing if I could some how digitally transfer those tapes so I had them forever. We shall see.
I think I need to find a 2013 music countdown list for old times sake. And if I can’t find one, I will make one! 🙂
Time passes way too quickly. Enjoy every moment – even those that are seemingly small ones, like a music countdown list. Because some day, even the smallest of things will look like big ones! Happy New Year!
Image Source: https://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/49242