2008.08.06 In the land of old vinyl

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

We live in a smoky neighborhood of back yard fires. That’s not always good when you cool your house with a window fan drawing in the cool night air.

If weather conditions are right, it’s easy to ignore. The live-and-let-live attitude prevails and you’re happy that your neighbors are having a good time.

On a still night when the wind isn’t taking it all away, it’s a different matter. Last night, for example, we were driven from our bedroom and went searching for better sleeping territory.

Colleen walked into the dark and ran into a vanity set bench that wasn’t there the night before. Maddie was packing for college earlier in the day and she moved some things around. Colleen responded loudly and painfully. Better watch out, neighbors.

I shined a flashlight beam her way and she tried what is still known as Rozee’s bedroom. No better.

She moved on to what’s known as Maddie’s high school room. Our old room. Maddie’s summer room? It’s where she’s been sleeping the last few weeks.

Colleen pronounced it the best of the three choices so off we moved. A little mini-vacation.

When I awoke in the morning, I saw the phonograph stand from my grandmother’s house. The turntable is still on top and there’s a collection of my old record albums underneath. I’d forgotten about them.

I wanted to pull a few out and look them over, but it was too dark in that little nook of a sleeping area. It’s underneath a loft that Ben made in college and rebuilt at home for his sisters. It also serves as a closet through some college ingenuity, and clothing blocked out the light.

I wasn’t about to interfere with Colleen’s sleep—that would be as bad as stubbing your toe on furniture in the dark—so I’m ending this column for now. I’ll be back.

It’s nearly 5 p.m. now and Colleen is up. Actually, she’s been up most of the day, but I’ve been hard at other tasks.

Harry Chapin (1972) is visible at the end and I assumed these were my albums, but after a second Chapin comes Annette Funicello’s “Beach Party” from 1963. This album belongs to my sister, Diane.

Now we’re drifting off even further from my collection. “I Hear America Singing” by the Morenci Elementary School fourth grade class of 1976. Introduction by Michelle Grieder. “Yankee Doodle Boy,” Wess Wolf, soloist. David Craig, Nellie Ford, Eric Emmons, Phil McCaskey, Dan Hoffman, Mike Gillen, etc. What a cast.

The next one in is “Virtuoso Recorder.” It’s mine, although I’ve never listened to it. When I returned to college to get a teaching degree, I learned to play the fipple flute, commonly known as the recorder. I bought this album at a very cheap price because I wanted to hear how the pros played fipple.

Next comes “Let It Bleed” by the Rolling Stones. I like this album, but it belongs to my brother Dan. Finally, another one of mine: Donovan Leitch’s “For Little Ones” (1967). A Scottish singer. I really liked that guy.

“I Can Really Write” and “I Can Really Count” from Scholastic Books. I wonder if these are owned by the retired second grade teacher, my mother.

Next comes a good collection of early Bob Dylan from the 1960s—those are mine—but then it’s Colleen’s stuff. Jackson Browne (1974). Lily Tomlin’s “And That’s the Truth.” Jethro Tull. There’s Elton John’s “Captain Fantastic” that actually belongs to her brother, Mark.

Digging in deeper is the Living String Orchestra presenting an album of elevator music. Who wants to claim this one?

There are more mysteries, such as “South Pacific” and “Oklahoma” combined on one 50¢ album, and a Johann Sebastian Bach double album.

Out comes “Lorca” by Tim Buckley. I saw him perform in Ann Arbor around the time of that album. He was booed by many people who didn’t like his new style. There’s a Greg Brown album from 1982 that was autographed for baby Ben Green at a Minneapolis coffee house.

At the back is a Tom Rush album (1972) that could be mine but isn’t. He’s singing Jackson Brown: “Jamaica say you will / Help me find a way to fill / These empty hours....”

I just might have to dust off the turntable.

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
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  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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