ONE OF MY BEST CHILDHOOD MEMORIES: DUMPSTER DIVING

I spent my first 8 years living in an end row house close to a school. My best friend lived a few doors down, so we constantly ran in between. When our imaginations outgrew our yards, we explored the back alley. Near my home it opened up into the parking lot.

Connected treasure boxes

We ran where we pleased within the black top, sometimes on connected garage rooftops dreaming of treasures. The dangers lurking beyond the blacktop were thoroughfares, the bike-stealing Hampden Gang, and ridiculously accurate pigeons!

One day, while testing the boundaries, we found a small steep dirt hill with a section of chain fence spread open. Racing up the hill and swinging on the pole meant we were on, not outside, the border. While surveying our domain from that view we found treasure! It was not buried, but challenging to reach. In the dumpster was a box overflowing with 45rpm records –the small vinyl discs with a large center hole requiring an insert to play your favorite tune.

Music wasn’t always pocket-sized!

We loudly landed in the otherwise empty dumpster! The colored labels hypnotized me! We were shorter than the walls, but we escaped. My fingers gently traced the vinyl for the best grip on the edge like my dad taught me. I aimed my disc and let it fly! It hit a garage and shattered!

This went on until I recognized a title and hoarded the rest! Thankfully the dinner bell rang so I took my loot and ran. I flew through my back door, down the back steps into the basement and shoved my treasure at my dad. Looking amazed, he steered me to his record player, teaching me how to gingerly lay the diamond needle on vinyl.

Apparently, my dad thinned out his huge inventory of singles accumulated from being in the industry and I’d brought them home. We shared our love of music in many record stores. He’d buy albums and for me, a 45. I borrowed from his classic rock albums and he supported my detour into boy bands. I know this is why I love all music (with 1 exception – See Who Am I?).

Are you old enough to remember what these are for?

You never know what treasures you’ll receive! What’s your favorite treasure?

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