You Kids Have No Idea How Easy You Have It…

I know, I know… it sounds like something an old man would say.

When I was in high school and my mom lived in Ann Arbor Michigan and my father lived in South Bend Indiana, I often went back and forth on the train. I brought a bag full of stuff and that was it. Books and tapes and a portable tape recorder to make tapes for my friend Alan.

There were times however when I would stay for several weeks at a time in the summer.

I needed my music if I was going to be there for more than a week. I had to pack all of my stereo equipment into the back of the car.

I found this picture of one of my home stereo rigs from back in the day. I think I have posted this before but it bears showing again. First of all look at that TV and how big the opening for it is in that entertainment center. Joke. This picture is from later years as is evidenced by the CD player. That is the far right black VCR sized box on top of the receiver. Yeah. It was that big.

So, the entire back seat of the car was packed with my giant speakers, the record player, the receiver and tape deck. When we got to the halfway point, I moved it all from the back seat of moms car to the back seat of dads car. Then when I got to dads place I unpacked it all and carried it up the stairs to the second story apartment and spent an hour setting it all up again. I got really good at marking which cord went to which component.

When dad was at work, I would politely (sigh… apartment living) crank it up and jam to “Rush – Moving Pictures”, a variety of Beatles albums, The Cars, Cheap Trick and whatever I could fit in one wooden crate. Half of it I never even played, but I needed it all at my fingertips just in case.

That was before I even owned a boombox.

It was a pain, but the thought of being without my music for an extended period was a deal breaker and everyone knew it. This was just the norm.

It makes me laugh now when I think back on it. The sheer size and amount of equipment. Now I would just bring my external hard drive and my laptop… or just stream Spotify or Mixcloud to an external portable speaker.

And all that would fit in my backpack, not the backseat of a car.


Man, who knew?

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