A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Anybody Got the Time (Soundtrack of My Life)

        Once spent, time is a commodity that can never be replaced.  I've squandered more than a few precious hours in my life with television or other similarly idle pursuits.  Agreed that rest and relaxation are important--a necessity--to each of us so I won't condemn all the idle time that I've spent.   Still though, I could have done better in the past.  And likely I will waste more time in the future.  That's the nature of life for most of us.

Anybody Got the Time

          In the fall of 1969 I entered college at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville as a shy young man after having spent the previous twelve years as a shy guy in public schools.  I always had friends so I can't necessarily say that I was lonely even though I spent a lot of time being alone--that was often by choice.  After entering puberty the one thing that I probably wanted most was a girlfriend.

         Being in college didn't change my love life to much extent and any dating that I did do had no relationship to anyone I knew at the university.   Since I didn't live on campus, but instead still lived at home with my parents, it was almost as though I lived two separate lives--one in the daytime as a student and one in the evenings with my friends, most of whom were not going to school or not going to school where I was going.

         My friends at the university were not many and at such a large school as I was attending it was very rare that I even saw anyone that I knew as a friend during the daytime hours.  I might see some of them on the hour-long ride to and from school where we might engage in conversation, but those were for the most part bus friends whom I rarely encountered in any other setting.   To put it plainly, I had essentially no social life at college.

          However this is not the real story that I wanted to tell here.   What I wanted to tell about is how I spent my free time during the school day when I wasn't in class.  I spent a lot of time in the undergraduate library reading books and magazines or occasionally studying or listening to music.  I was especially passionate about music during those years.  When I wasn't listening to music I was looking for new music that I could buy or plan on buying at some later time.  My wish list was long, but money for music was not in great abundance.

         The library was free.  Spending time there was well within my monetary budget while time spent there studying was better than time spent watching television and the passing parade of people at the student center.  My hours at the library were a cerebral adventure especially when I got sidetracked exploring things that were interesting to me.

        For example in early 1970 I found a classical music magazine on the shelves.  What drew me to that magazine is unclear since I was neither an audiophile nor a buyer of new releases in classical music.  I did buy a fair amount of classical music albums, but they tended to be older releases I found in the cut-out bins.  Whatever it was that made me pick up this magazine, I began to read through it and discovered a section where rock and pop albums were being reviewed for the first time.  I suppose they were trying to expand their readership.  Unsuccessfully I would guess judging from their odd album picks--in other words, unknown artists that would probably never get mentioned in the mainstream rock music magazines.

         One album review that caught my eyes was the debut album by a New York group called the Good Rats.  I immediately recalled having seen this album in the record section of the university center book store--a place where I spent a good amount of free time.  The album sounded interesting enough for me to actually go to the book store and spring for the full price of a new album.  After I took the album home and gave it a listen I was pleased that I had gotten it.  Perhaps the album wasn't the most unique music in my collection, but it held a place in my heart.  Maybe it was because I read about the album in that classical music magazine at the library.

           The magazine had taken a chance on reviewing a genre other than classical and jazz so I had taken a chance on purchasing an album based on that review.   Over the next few years the album received many spins on my turntable.  Even if none of my friends seemed to notice the album, I liked it and that was what mattered most to me.

           For a while I watched the record bins for a new Good Rats album release, but I never ran across any more after that first one.  Eventually I stopped thinking about the group.    When I happen to see the first album in my collection I'd ponder whatever happened to the group, but I figured they had disbanded and faded away.

            That was until years later...

 (to be continued next week...)

        In this post I offer another in my Soundtrack of My Life series.    Robin at Your Daily Dose has been doing the Soundtrack of my Life posts on her blog for a while now.   I had done a few of my own "life soundtracks" on my Tossing It Out blog as well as the song series (starting at this post) I did for my 2014 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge on Wrote By Rote. Be sure to visit and follow Your Daily Dose for more Life Soundtrack info.


  1. At university, friends seem to cluster by association and interests due to the large size. I hung around with mostly art students since I was studying that. I found smaller schools like the art school I attended in Vancouver and a technical school more friendly. I read a lot as well. It's a time when we yearn to learn. And, some yearn for travel and life experience.

    1. blocked from listening to the video . . . so didn't comment on the group.

    2. DG, as a off-campus commuter I didn't get very involved with university activities. I made a few attempts, but I got lost in the massive campus population. Then there were my jobs that kept me busy elsewhere. Like you, I had an insatiable quest for learning and experiencing new things like different kinds of music, art, and culture. Later on I got plenty of travel and life experience. I guess in some ways my university experienced opened doors for me.



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