Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Walkman of Yore

From beginning to end, today was the definition of blustery. After everyone else was asleep last night, I cracked open the window closest to my bed for a few minutes to hear the muffled roar. I got an earful. For all the bluster, no major tree limbs or sections of my back yard fence came down. Rain followed in the morning, then cold air pushed through. Majestic clouds raced across the sky in the early afternoon. Also, my empty garbage cans raced down the street.

I read today that the Walkman was dead, as in no longer produced. But that turned out to be in Japan only. Walkmen (-mans?) apparently are still being made in China for other markets, including the United States. Still, hearing about the putative end of the Walkman was like hearing about the death of a celebrity you hadn't realized was still alive.

I remember their introduction in this country. In the spring of 1980, it seemed that countless Walkmen, where there were none before, suddenly attached themselves to the ears of Vanderbilt students walking on campus. Young curmudgeon that I was, I considered them the height of frivolity (and I wasn't alone). I don't feel strongly one way or the other about personal stereos these days, but I never owned one. Still, I have a soft spot for cassette tapes, even now.

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