Orange record player
First class ticket out of Dodge
“Puppy Love” express
I vaguely remember, the time when I was just little… and my older brother taught me how to write my name.
I remember being very proud of myself. My brother seemed proud of me too. And he told me that we could now play a game… a great, fun, NEW game. I eagerly and happily awaited his instructions. I would do just about anything my older brother told me to do when I was little. Something I grew out of, thankfully, but not before learning some lessons the hard way. This was going to be one of those lessons.
I remember my brother giving me an orange crayon… and he said, “I’m going to go out of your room and count to 100. When I come back in, anything that does not have your name on it – is mine.”
You would think that this would have sparked some protest from me… but, no. It was a game… and I was always happy when my older brothers included me in any games. “And, your name has to be spelled right, or it doesn’t count”, he added. Well, of course, right? That makes sense, I guess.
I remember listening to my brother counting loudly just outside the door, while I frantically wrote my name the best I could on anything and everything. I didn’t really have that much stuff – and, so, this included the headboard of my bed, and all of my walls, but the main thing I was concerned about was my little orange record player. It was not easy to write my name on a plastic orange record player, with an orange crayon – but, I managed.
I don’t really remember much else about this memory. Like, what things my brother did confiscate from me? Or if I burst into tears when I finally realized he was taking all my stuff? It sounds like something I would do, but I don’t really recall that.
I do remember getting in trouble myself. My mother was not very happy with me for writing on the walls… and my bed. I guess, the record player didn’t matter to her, because that thing kept my name on it for the rest of it’s lifetime.
I don’t remember if my brother got in trouble too, but I’m guessing he did. Still, it didn’t stop him from locking me in a trash bin later on in life, where “nobody would ever find me”, all the while convincing me it was the “best hiding spot ever!”, and telling me that I owed him one for showing it to me. We laugh about these things now. *sigh* Like I said, thankfully, I eventually learned not to believe him (or anyone for that matter) so naively.
I definitely remember that orange record player. I can picture it clear as a bell, with my name in orange crayon on it. Sure, some of the letters were backwards, but it was my name. I remember how important it was to me then. It was not going to be the thing I lost in that game. If I did, how would I be able to play my records… mostly 45’s…. over and over?
I remember how that little, orange record player became more & more important to me with time. Music became more and more important to me. Some things never change… but, the orange record player was eventually replaced by a stereo system (complete with an 8-track player)… and, a little radio… and a bigger boombox… a tape cassette Walkman… then a CD player Walkman… bigger and better stereos… my first car stereo (also complete with an 8-track player). But,
I don’t remember any of those ever being as important to me as my first orange record player.
I distinctly remember falling in love with Donny Osmond, as he sang “Puppy Love” to me….over and over… and I sang along… over and over… much to my brother’s dismay.
“And they called it puppy love
Oh, I guess they’ll never know
How a young heart really feels
And why I love her so
And they called it puppy love
Just because we’re in our teens
Tell them all, please tell them it isn’t fair
To take away my only dream
I cry each night my tears for you
My tears are all in vain
I’ll hope and I’ll pray that maybe someday
You’ll be back in my arms once again
Someone, help me, help me, help me please
Is the answer up above
How can I, oh how can I tell them
This is not a puppy love”
Puppy Love, by Donny Osmond