You Spin Me Right Round

When was the last time you listened to a record? As in old-school vinyl on a record player?

Sure mp3s, e-mails, and e-books are more convenient and less wasteful than records, letters, and books, but there’s something wonderfully tactile about the nostalgic cousins of our current forms of communication.

Ryan and I discovered a bunch of 45s and his childhood record player nine months ago in a big box of stuff that Sue had saved (along with literally every piece of art and homework he had ever brought home). These records and player have been the jewel of Szaba’s nursery ever since.

Yesterday afternoon Szaba and I cuddled up in her room and listened to them. For the storybook records like It’s a Small World, Bozo on the Farm, and Woody Woodpecker & His Talent Show, we read along carefully turning the tan, flaking pages to the chime.

But as I rifled through the batch, looking for the next record to play, I encountered a gem left undiscovered. On a thin paper sleeve cradling an early 1960s single, I read this handwritten message:

My interest was piqued, so I played the record. Side A, “(Just) An Old-Fashioned Love Song”, I obviously knew, but I had never heard the B-Side, “Oh My Love” [this link goes to John Lennon’s cover of it]. It was lovely, and the lyrics went like this:

Oh, my love, for the first time in my life

My eyes are wide open.

Oh, my love, for the first time in my life

My eyes can see.

I see the wind blow. I see the trees.

Everything is clear in my heart.

I see the clouds. Oh, I see the sky.

Everything is clear in our world.

Oh, my love, for the first time in my life

My mind is wide open.

Oh, my love, for the first time in my life

My mind can feel.

I feel sorrow. I feel grief.

Everything is clear in my heart.

I feel light. Oh, I feel love.

Everything is clear in our world.

When and how did Sue get this record? Where these favorite songs of hers? How did she come about getting it signed? Did she go to their concert and wait around after for their autograph, her hair piled high, waist cinched in a poodle skirt? Did she go to many concerts back then, perhaps on a date or with her high school friends? How many times had she hugged a pillow in her bedroom listening to this song and contemplating its lyrics, just as I now hugged her granddaughter while listening and contemplating?

Of course, I’ll never know the answers to those questions, or what she thought of those songs, or her memories associated with that album. Ryan doesn’t either because I showed him the record last night, and he was just as surprised as I.

But frankly, the answers aren’t important. The mere contemplation of it, the shared moment with Szaba, and the whirling sweetness of that sentimental little discovery made my day.

Have you encountered any hidden treasures lately that brightened your day? No one’s ever too old for a treasure hunt, you know. Sometimes gems are hidden right under our noses.

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