Perspective is a funny thing. When my grandmother was in her late 70’s, she told my sister and I that while she had learned many things over the years, she still saw the world through the same eyes she did at age 18, and that on most days, she felt like that same 18-year old girl,…until she looked in the mirror! We all had a great laugh – her included. I have remembered that conversation many times over the years, and the wisdom of her simple statement, especially when I pause to ponder our place on the timeline of the universe. I recently had the opportunity to revisit that wisdom with a humorous twist.
Like most new car purchasers over the past few years, I was introduced to the wonder that is satellite radio. For years, when I travelled the state of Pennsylvania across the seemingly-endless turnpike, I would lose “good radio” when exiting the 2nd tunnel out of town, and unless I wanted to listen to “Preacher Sam’s testimony of divine intervention as evidenced each Sunday with a rattle snake round-up”, I was what sailors and others call S.O.L.*
More organized people would have hit the library to stock up on audio books, which are a wonderful companion on these trips, but for those of us who are lucky we remember to pack underwear when we travel, satellite radio is manna from heaven. This salvation for the chronically disorganized traveler is not even satellite radio’s best aspect. No, by far the most appealing feature of this modern marvel is that you can now not only listen to “good radio” beyond your home station’s reach, but you now have continual access to the BEST music ever recorded, and of course I am referring to Classic Rock.
As a teenager with a VW bug and an attitude, I terrorized the streets of Lexington, KY and then San Diego, CA, usually driving too fast, with open windows, my long hair blowing and the FM classic rock station blasting. Fast-forward 30 years and satellite radio is a mini time machine that you can sit in every day and return to the years when bands like Van Halen, Boston, Journey and others ruled the airwaves with the best music ever written (apologies to Amadeus, Johann & Ludwig).
In some ways, it’s even BETTER because now we’re driving cooler cars, have more money in our bank accounts, and Mom and Dad can’t take the car keys if we stay out too late!! Never mind my kids tell me it’s the worst music they’ve ever heard, preferring hip-hop and rap (is that noise really music???!), I know that when I’m tooling through town on a warm day with the windows open and AC/DC’s Highway to Hell cranking on the radio that I am the embodiment of cool, and much younger than the date on my birth certificate might suggest.
Just as I’m about to declare that anyone over 30 can’t be trusted, I pull up to a stop light and look over to the car beside me where a guy with thinning, grey hair pulled back into a pathetic attempt at a pony tail is playing air drums on his steering wheel,… to the same song coming out of my radio, while a group of teenagers walks down the sidewalk, rolling their eyes at him.
I put my blinker on and head to the library – I hear they just added a new batch of audio books to their holdings.