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  • Writer's pictureLisa Rousseau

There is nothing like the sound of your favorite song playing on vinyl. That crackling noise, the sound...

I got a record player a few years ago for Christmas, I've always wanted one and just my luck record players were and are making a come back so it wasn't hard to find one. The first vinyl record that I wanted was Frank Sinatra. I have so many memories of listening to Frank Sinatra with my papa on his record player. The second record I wanted was Frankie Lyman. My foster mom was born in 1943 so she grew up listening to all the good stuff in the 50's and 60's. I can't tell you how many times we listened to "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" She had a cassette tape, I think it was Billboard top songs of the 60's and we played that cassette until the player ate it. I remember dancing around in my room for hours listening to that cassette. My favorite song on it was Ally Oop by The Hollywood Argyles.

A few years ago I was talking to my father-in-law about loving my record player. That Christmas he also got one. He got up and said, "I'll be right back." Not knowing where he was going I was amazed when he came back with a 50 gallon tote. "What's in there?" I asked. "Vinyl records, go ahead and look through them, you can borrow whatever you want." I went through that 50 gallon tote for two hours, amazed and more in love with vinyl records. We sat there and we talked music the whole time. I left with about twenty records with the promise to return them soon. For Christmas that same year he gave me a box and said, "I remembered which records you took and I remember which artists you really liked so I'd like for you to have them." I was so touched that he remembered that day.

A few weeks later my husband got a call from his grandfather and told him to bring me over, he was getting rid of his vinyl records and he wanted me to have first pick, so we went and spent the afternoon. They had boxes of records and it took me a while to go through them. Mostly old country, I ended up taking a whole box. His grandmother took me upstairs to show me her prize collection of Elvis records. She's the biggest Elvis fan I know, she's got an entire room to prove it. We talked music for hours with his grandparents, it was a great afternoon. After I had picked what I wanted his grandfather said, "How about VHS? You want to look through my VHS collection?" We kindly declined his offer, but boy did he have quite the VHS collection, along with a book that categorized every VHS by rating and in alphabetical order as well...

I have a good collection of vinyl records now. I have a rule though, you can only play older music on my record player. If I want to listen to Frank Sinatra or Lynyrd Skynyrd then I play in on my record player vs my phone. One album that I love the most is my Lynyrd Skynyrd album. When my biological mom passed away when I was eighteen I was given her last will and testament that she had filled out at the hospital before she died. All it said was that she wanted me to play Free Bird and Stairway to Heaven at her funeral. I had never heard of those songs, but that's what they played on the organ at our church during her funeral.

Up until last year I couldn't bring myself to listen to those songs. My husband had those songs on his iPod and when they came on in his car I kindly asked him to skip over them. When my husband bought my record player and gave it to me one Christmas along with it was Lynyrd Skynyrd's album and a Led Zeppelin album. "It's time to play those songs, your missing out Babe, they are really great songs and I think it's time you listen to them." So I did and boy did I cry, but now they are my favorite albums. I love listening to those songs now because I feel so connected to my biological mom. If you've read my books you know that we did not have the best relationship, something I regret, but when I listen to Free Bird I know she wanted me to play that at her funeral because in some way it was everything she wanted to say but couldn't. I now know that my love of music and my passion for it comes from my mom, and as I'm learning more about my dad who I never got to meet, I get it from him as well.

"If I leave here tomorrow would you still remember me? For I must be traveling on now 'Cause there's too many places I've got to see.

But if I stay here with you, girl things just couldn't be the same. 'Cause I'm as free as a bird now And this bird you cannot change..."


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