Silence is Golden

November 18, 2010 | By | 1 Comment

When I was in High School, I love, love, loved Oldies music.  I liked it so much, I actually taped an infomercial for Dick Clark’s Rock N’ Roll era and watched it over and over.  Who tapes an infomercial?  Me. I did.  I loved seeing the footage and hearing the short clips of the song enough to watch it all .  When I wasn’t doing homework or playing sports, I spent my time in my room listening to Oldies 103.3 while playing Bill Walsh College Football on the Sega Genesis.  Eventually, I knew everything about both. I even made a list of my 76 favorite oldies for my website, to proudly tell the world which ditties I loved most.

I gradually stopped listening to Oldies and playing old video games.  They started making me feel lonely and disconnected from the present. It’s like what one guy said on the Amazon forum about Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (40+ old Sega Genesis games repackaged into one disk for the Playstation 3).  He made this telling remark about Streets of Rage 2:

The sequel had more of just about everything. More moves. More characters. More varied environments. More music variety. More bosses. The first one also had a sort of wonky hit detection that was never really an issue in the 2nd or 3rd one. I would like to hear your opinion. It’s rare to find someone who cares remotely about these games anymore.

I was thinking of buying this collection of old games, but held off for the same reason I stopped listening to Oldies. I didn’t want to feel lonely and disconnected and invest myself in irrelevancy.  So, I read a little about Justin Bieber and keep up with who is getting voted off of “Dancing with the Stars”. Sometimes, I even put on the radio.

The problem is that most things I know and love are in the past.  Above my head right now is a prized promotional poster of Mr. T and Hulk Hogan from Wrestlemania I.  To my right is a framed photo of Bo Jackson that was huge in 1990.  To my left is Rocky with his arms raised after making it up the steps and in the basement is promotional poster for The Karate Kid. It was the first movie that grabbed hold of my heart as a child. For the next 3 months, I did the crane in my Dr. Dentons. Straight ahead is a framed photo of Manny Ramirez from his days with the BoSox. I can’t even let go of athletes who have left town.

Sometimes, though, other people bring up something in the past that is dear to me.  This is the best.  It means that someone else still cares and thinks about the same things I do.  It takes something forgotten and makes it relevant again.  It might not be relevant to the world, but it is relevant to someone besides only me. It lets me know that I’m not alone.

This happened recently when my friend Curt posted what happens to be one of my favorite Oldies songs on Facebook.  He wrote:

I first heard this song at Roller Village in Fremont, Nebraska, our home town roller skating rink and still can’t hear the song without remembering that association. The harmony is infectious.

I may not have heard this song at the Roller Village in Nebraska, but I can still relate to the associations and memories don’t feel so lonely when they are shared with others. I can’t stop listening to the song he posted. Perhaps it is because it brings me back to a time I never really made peace with.  Maybe it is good to spend a little time in that place again to work out things that were never resolved.  It’s as if Curt was giving me permission.

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  1. Julie says:

    Mark… you’re great!

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