Newer than an Eight-Track

No Telling
(Chrysler 1959 Report via)

I had an English professor in college who was famous for his shabby ride. It was some flavor of mid-60s rusty Chevrolet, clearly blue and white at some point, but its beauty was long faded. We all thought it added to his understated poet-coolness and figured he drove the nasty thing simply for effect.

I know now that we were wrong.

Listened to this ditty on NPR about the death of the CD and I had a little moment. So the CD is out? What? As I reached over to turn up the volume it hit me.

I still drive a car outfitted with a swanky cassette tape player. The ’02 Avalon has 47,000 miles (and change), so it looks like I’ll be listening to cassettes a little bit longer. The old girl should be able to log upward from 150,000 miles before she cries uncle. I’m not buying a new ride over archaic music technology.

In fact, I’m not buying much music at all if they keep up this bait-and-switch business. I still know how to load up reel-to-reel and I can spin one record while seamlessly queuing up the next. Neither of these skills come in handy while using an iPod, but I don’t have one so it doesn’t matter. And yes, I know how curmudgeony that sounds.

It’s all clear to me now. I’m fast becoming Professor Chevrolet. I won’t even hazard a guess how this has happened, because I’m all too familiar with suddenly looking up and finding myself in another decade. The important thing is now I understand this man’s motivation.

It’s not about cool, it’s about paid-for. As long as the radio works, I’m golden.

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7 thoughts on “Newer than an Eight-Track

  1. My Chevy pickup has a cassette player and I use it on a regular basis. I'm in the same boat…family cars are paid for and I'm happy to drive them now until they can't be driven anymore!

  2. My '01 Miata has a cassette player, too. Yeah, and 2-seater convertibles are another thing of the past, obsoleted by the advent of minivans and crossovers. There's always something newer and bigger and more shiny. My ride, and the music I listen to, is paid for. Anyone want to try and chisel the grin off my face?

  3. Thank you both! Deek, for having an unapologetic pick-up, and Coalhopper with the stunning '01 Miata. I've got Etta James and Big Mama Thornton on cassette and on the ready in the Avalon.

    A free-and-clear ride means we WIN.

  4. Right there with you, my 01 Grand Prix is paid for and still has a cassette deck. I'm just going to keep patching her up as long as she'll run.

  5. I fully understand! It's frightening how fast technology is changing the music industry. And who can keep up but the super rich? Heck, it just seems like yesterday that I gave my 8 track tapes to charity! Ha ha! Not to have a car payment nowadays is a GREAT thing. We just traded in our big 1 1/2 ton truck. I told my husband that we were not going to have car payments. So we ended up with a 2008 Saturn. And you know what? I love the car. It DOES have a CD player, but by the time we buy another car, I'm sure something new will have been invented and CD's will be a thing of the past.

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