I spent Saturday in Winston-Salem, helping my mother with Closet Clean-Out day. I went into Closet Clean-Out day with a little bit of trepidation. My mother and I tend to approach things from different angles, when it comes to organization. I am a to-do-lister, and I start a project with a calendar and a bunch of deadlines. My mom takes a more holistic approach, but ends up knee-deep in several projects and once, with bits of all the projects kind of muddled together.
Today, though, we did great. We got through several closets, and a room or two, and some drawers. Of course, there were a lot of fun surprises. Like a box full of my dad’s cufflinks,
and letters my brother and I sent home from Camp Morehead,
and a pack of matches from the old Rasthskeller in Chapel Hill, where my family used to take day trips and order the lasagna which was really just a big bowl of cheese.
There was a Super 8 home movie, dated during my toddler years. I can’t wait to find out what’s on it.
There was a valentine from my little sister, with a coupon on the back stating that she would leave my room without drama any time I asked. Up to five times, and there were boxes to check where we could keep track.
There were elbow-length gloves, which could only have belonged to my grandmother. Incidentally, she was May Queen at Meredith, but once got put on the campus Prayer List because she went to downtown Raleigh without a hat and gloves, thus crashing the dress code. I love this fact.
There was evidence of my long-term crush on the Connells, in that I tore this page out of the Wake Forest magazine, I think, when this album came out.
In the interest of full disclosure, there was also evidence of some serious, serious feathering of my high school hair. If you had more impressive feathering, at any point, I would love to see it. And I will buy you a beer and commiserate. Don’t even get me started talking about prom dresses from this era.
There was my nametag from the summer I waited tables in Oxford, and rode the bus to London on my days off.
And then there was this. Who remembers this? Show of hands?
This was found in the family record stash, which is where the real fun started. I found my dad’s Dylan albums,
and how about these? Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Polk Salad Annie?
I found a little Gloria Gaynor,
and then a stack of records that mark the arrival of children in the house. There was Peter Pan, and Bedtime For Francis, both of which I played endlessly on my Fisher Price record player.
My sister’s entrance is marked by the Mister Rogers records, which were a point of contention with us when we were little and shared a room. You can tell when we all went teenaged: I’m dating myself, but there may or may not have been some Michael Jackson, some Men at Work, and some Tommy Tu-Tone.
That one still had the clip in it. It must have been good.
I don’t know what to do with all of these, y’all. I came home with something like twenty pounds of records. I already have eighteen records framed and hanging on my living room wall; I can add some more rows to the collection, but heavens, I am running out of wall space. I have a record problem. But as problems go, that’s a pretty good one, right?
Except now I need a turntable.