Friday, November 5, 2010


I have seen the nostaglic looks on people's faces when some star from their past has blinked out. That look associated with fond memories pulled out from some dusty corner of their mind. Sometimes there are tears of joy formed from recalling moments of fellowship, or youth, or innocence that have gone by. Maybe feelings were stirred up when they saw the out-of-business sign on the restaurant where they used to hang out. Perhaps it was when they drove by the shuttered theater where they used to take their special sweetheart. For some, it might be when they learned that some product connected with their past isn't made any more.

I had that same far-away look in my eyes when I read recently that Sony will not be making any more Walkmans, those portable radio/cassette units that allowed us to take our music with us wherever we went. I can remember very well back in high school when I finally purchased mine. They had been the craze, the must-have item, for several years before I could afford one. Back then I remember lingering in the electronics section of my local department store, filled with longing. Today if I want something, I can just go out and buy it. But back them, oh boy, did I have to practice patience. Usually I could not afford the latest thing until it was already old news. Nevertheless, by the time I had saved up to buy whatever it was I had my heart set on, my level of excitement and anticipation had climbed off the charts.

Back in high school, music was such a regular and important part of my day-to-day existence. I used to listen to the radio for hours on end. With my Walkman strapped over my shoulder, I was able to go out on long walks to find my peace, to think things through, to sing out loud to the world. Those moments alone were an important part of my growing up and figuring myself out. Seeing that news piece about the end of the Walkman kind of stirred up some of those old memories now nearly 30 years in my rear view mirror.