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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

Last week I took Michael's record player to a local record store for repairs. Actually, it was just one repair. It needed the needle cartridge replaced and then the arm had to be balanced. Michael's record player has been out of commission for some time now. I've heard him lament about not getting to listen to his records and how he needs to get that thing repaired soon. I was trying to come up with an idea for his birthday and getting the record player fixed sounded like the best idea. Until the record store called me to say that my $75 repair was looking like an over $300 repair. I guess when they plugged it in, the turntable would not turn. I looked around at the record players they had in the shop thinking that maybe I'd surprise Michael with a new one, but turns out that vintage equals expensive. I gathered up the old record player and went home to tell Michael the bad news and that I suck at birthday presents.

Michael did not believe the record store guy and immediately plugged in his record player. Low and behold the turn table started turning and I am an idiot. We both went back to the record store and one needle cartridge and new Pete Seager album later, Michael had his birthday present. He was so excited that he pulled all of his records off the shelf and organized them by genre and alphabet. We have sung along to Pete's Little Boxes a dozen times and had a dance party to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Michael is so excited about being able to play records at Thanksgiving. 

When I was little, I had those Disney records that had the picture of the movie printed into them. The soundtrack for Lady and the Tramp had the image of Lady and Tramp eating spaghetti. I also had Mickey Mouse Disco which featured Donald Duck singing Macho Duck to the tune of Macho Man. I had a lot of Disney soundtracks and spent a lot of hours singing along to Chem-chem cheminee and the Ugly Bug Ball. I did aerobics with Strawberry Shortcake on her jazzercise album. I would listen to my Mom's collection of forty fives. I would set my smurfs on the turntable at night in hopes they would come alive (something my Grandmother told me). 

It was watching Michael sort through his records that pulled all of these memories to the front part of my brain. Dusted the cobwebs off and made think "Oh yeah...I used to listen to records all the time." Lordy! The show tunes I would sing. I did not realize that the simple gift of fixing Michael's record player would bring me as much joy as it has brought to him. His enthusiasm for playing records at Thanksgiving is contagious. 

Michael has been slightly grumbly about turning a year closer to forty. He doesn't like the idea of getting old which I find slightly ironic because he likes old things. Record players, classic country, folk tunes. Every time he mentions that he is aging, I reply "isn't it great!" I'm excited about being the little old lady doing macrame in the retirement home. He complains about the amount of white showing up in his beard and I tell him that it is beautiful. More importantly though, I want to remind him that every year you survive is a year worth celebrating. Every year he has brought something to my life worth celebrating. Here's to many more years worth celebrating.

Happy Love Thursday.