The Washington Times-Herald

January 27, 2012

Catching the music scene

By Gregg A. Sims
Washington Times-Herald

WASHINGTON — As you may have noticed from some of my earlier efforts, I have claimed at times to be stuck in a time warp that ended some three decades ago.

Well, faithful friends, the warp may be wrapped.

Yes, I am moving forward with a little help from my friends. No, not the friends of the 1960s and 1970s as told by the Beatles and Joe Cocker, but the friends who have introduced me to the iPod.

I’m sorry. I know I should have told you to find a good, solid, seat that could support the weight of the world before I revealed this truth. Consider the warning given, even it is a tad late.

The iPod. What a discovery for an older goat. I had been told before that you could actually carry around most of a music collection in this slim, small little box. It even has a screen where you can look at pictures and perhaps, even more importantly, directions on what is happening inside the little box.

It’s got a button on the bottom. A few on the side. An arrow to slide to the right. All kinds of neat choices to be made concerning options for entertainment. Fortunately, music is right at the top.

My sister Linda, who presently resides in Princeton, must have known I would grow to enjoy music when she purchased me a 45 rpm recording of “Hound Dog.” On the other hand, perhaps she’s actually responsible.

How I loved albums, pardon, vinyl. And headphones. The two went together like day and butter, or whatever.

I thought I had a nice collection until I attended Indiana State University Evansville (The University of Southern Indiana for you more modern types). I roomed for some time with a gentleman from Bedford who had around 500 vinyls as I remember. He played guitar, as did my other newfound friend from Knightstown.

Eight-tracks had come along by then. You’ll have to refer to my introductory piece when I first joined the sports department some 12 years ago to discover those stories.

Then came cassette tapes. They were fine. Didn’t jam as much as the 8-tracks, and they were easier to carry. Small,  you know.

Then it was the CD age, and from there I never advanced. I often carried a hundred or more with me in the car. Well hidden and all when I discovered my insurance company wouldn’t cover them if stolen.

By the way, I never have them with me anymore, and I carry this new iPod thing with me wherever I go. When 19 in Winslow, I was assured by my local softball friends, who had habits that didn’t always fit as acceptable in most social circles, that I did not have to worry about my car being used as a training device for their entrepreneurial enterprises.

I have not received any such assurances in the past 40 years. Therefore, there is no reason to search my car for any of those type of devices at the present.

I thank you in advance.

Anyway, this device is just outta-state, right arm and gravy, as we might have put it 40 years ago.

How those 800-odd songs and singers all fit in there, I’ll never know. I know I can’t.

But, if you can figure that out, drop me a line or give me a call. If you want to stop by the office, I’m the larger feller sitting at the entrance to the door of the newsroom, often with a headphone on and the keyboard banging away.

Headphones are still part of the gig. Life doesn’t get better.

•••

Gregg Sims can now often be found listening to Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, Joe Bonamassa, Lyle Lovett, Neil Young, Stones or Frank Sinatra. He’s presently working on updating his taste when, and if, he can borrow the Pod-thing off fellow editorial member Nate Smith. Contact Gregg at gsims@washtimesherald.com.