August 8, 2011 by Nicole
Lately I have been hanging out in my basement a lot doing fun, “crafty” stuff like sewing and painting rocks. I have also been listening to some old cassette tapes while I work, all of which I found while cleaning out my grandma’s house, and when I came across them in my grandfather’s old bedroom, I put them all on an old suitcase and brought them home with me.
In the post CD age of iPods, not only are cassettes pretty worthless, but it’s also a nostalgic/novel thing to slide that little baby into the boom box, click the door shut, and play the tape–not to mention rewinding and fast-forwarding. There was one tape in particular that I know exists, but whether I actually have it in that pile of tapes, I don’t know; I remember it very clearly, because on the day we buried my grandfather’s ashes in his cemetery plot, we played that tape in my grandma’s kitchen after we returned home, and we all had a good laugh. You heard my voice, at about age 5, along with my cousin’s voice, singing and talking with each other. My grandfather’s voice was also on that tape, singing one of the silly songs that he made up (That also explains why, incidentally, I do the same thing.) about going to Plumb’s grocery store to buy, well, you guessed it–plumbs.
Anyway, two days ago I popped in a cassette tape of my 9th grade junior high orchestra playing at Hill Auditorium. We sounded pretty good for a ninth grade group, honestly. At the end of the tape, though, I heard a very familiar voice. Clear as day, there was my grandfather:
“Well, that sounds pretty good from here, Nicole! That was Nicole’s orchestra playing at Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan. Good job! Well, over and out!”
It sure was good to hear his voice again. It’s funny how you stumble across stuff like that, and what fun it is to be reminded of people who are not currently with you in this life. You remember a time when you had a lot less to worry about, no bills to pay, no stress from work, and being with people who loved you. 21 years, one mortgage, four dogs, and a Master’s Degree later, those days seem like they are far in the past. But it’s nice, just for a moment, anyway, to get go back again, even if just for the 30 seconds your hear the smiling voice of your goofy grandpa on an old cassette tape.