It was Christmas 1982 and there was one underwhelming box that didn’t even rattle when you shook it left under the tree. Face it, that’s why it was last.
My grandmother, Mama, pointed it out and let me know it was from her and that she hoped I would like it.
I reached for the box preparing myself for another “wow, that is JUST WHAT I WANTED” response. It isn’t that I was a jerk or unappreciative of gifts, I just never have been the type of guy to really want “things” so, it was rare when I got too jazzed about anything.
Mama had a very specific way of wrapping gifts, they were beautiful and they always had a TON of tape…she had to have stock in tape…so I began to free the present from its wrapping paper and discovered that good things really do come in small packages. As soon as I saw “SONY” I knew it was the WALKMAN I had been wanting ans instead of the measured paper saving techniques my family usually employed when opening gifts, I tore the rest of the paper off and soaked in the beautiful gray and blue casing that was the SONY WALKMAN of my dreams. It was an upgraded version too, it wasn’t JUST a cassette player, it had AM and FM RADIO too!
In the pocket of her robe my grandmother let me know she had one more surprise for my Christmas of 1982, the latest cassette from the group Chicago, Chicago 16 Cassette. I owned other cassettes but that was the first one to be played on my brand new SONY WALKMAN! I listened to it and others until about three in the morning and got YEARS of enjoyment out of it.
This flashback inspired by word today from SONY that they will be retiring the Sony Walkman Cassette Player after a 30+ year run. It will wind down first in Japan and Asia and then here in The States Not bad for a piece of technology, actually pretty amazing when you think of all the advances that have been made in audio recording and production.