Turn Around, Look at Me

By Rose Ann Sinay

On our way home from a recent trip, my husband, Terry, and I saw signs advertising a flea market that we have bypassed on all our previous trips – never enough time to stop. But this trip was different. We had all afternoon. It would feel good to stretch our legs and peruse the fairgrounds packed with vendors and their interesting treasures.

We circled the parking lot trying to find an empty spot. Just when we were about to give up and miss yet another opportunity, a truck pulled out right next to the roped entrance.

We parked and immediately parted ways. We have learned shopping together doesn’t work. My husband talks me out of things I know I need to have, and likewise, I question his odd (to me) choices.

It didn’t take long for me to find something enticing – halfway down the very first row of tents. I walked by the domed trunk embellished with tarnished brass and torn leather straps and tried to ignore it. It was too early for a big purchase. I gave in by the time I reached the fourth row of booths. I turned around. I had to get back to the trunk before someone else bought it. There had to be a place for it in my house . . . somewhere.

The vendor let me leave it under the table while I continued shopping. I returned twice to store my purchases. I managed to fill half of the chest with books and a very old Chinese vase (Ming dynasty?) before Terry and I met up.

He wore a big smile and carried a large, square box.“It’s an old record player,” he said removing the top to show me the arm and turntable.

“And, we need this why?” I asked. “We have satellite radio, satellite TV music stations and several CD players with CDs. You have a record player and NO records.” I shook my head.

His grin got bigger. “There’s a box of my old albums in the attic.”

Oh no, I thought. Could he be talking about the collection of LPs purchased when he was a teen from the Record of the Month Club? I could have sworn that cardboard carton had been taken to the dump many years ago. What in the world made him think record albums from the ‘60s would survive the heat and cold and the haphazard storage, never mind, sound half as good as a CD? And, now, we would have this unattractive clunker of a box sitting in our living room. I would have to bide my time and find a hiding place for it.

After we arrived home and unpacked the car, Terry headed to the attic. He came down the stairs with a stack of vinyl discs. “Just wait until you hear the sound of these babies,” he said blowing the dust from the covers.

He disappeared with his new (old) toys, and I started dinner. I pictured the disappointment on his face when he realized his forty year old records were scratched, warped and melted.

While I was preparing dinner, I heard movement in the dining room.

“Let’s eat in here tonight,” he called out.

I heard drawers open and close. I grimaced as I heard my china in the cabinet clatter against each other.

“I’m setting the table,” he yelled as if to reassure me.

When I walked into the dining room with my food platters, the lights dimmed. Terry turned to the clunky box sitting in the middle of my table, my best china placed around it.

I started to object, but Terry shushed me with his index finger to his lips. He lowered the needle on the black disc.

Three familiar voices serenaded me. I recognized the song on the third note and sang along: “The Way You Look Tonight,” by The Lettermen . . . our first date . . . the trio on his eight track tape that filled the awkward silences between our “getting to know you” small talk. The sound was pure and sweet with nostalgia.

I placed the food on the table, closed my eyes and listened: “When I Fall in Love,” “Blue Velvet,” “Portrait of My Love,” the faint (but distinctive) groove noise between songs that you only hear on a record. Our bodies swayed to the music, remembering the days; he drove a gray Chevy, and my hair was as long as my short skirt.

Then came the song with the sad story that I rewound so many times the tape broke – “She Cried,” and, I cried – as I did all those times before.

For a few moments, we were those young, crazy kids again – confident, stupid, innocent and ready to fall in love. Goosebumps traveled up my arms.

“So, it wasn’t such a bad buy after all, huh?” he asked, waving a Simon and Garfunkel album at me.

I swooned.

The ugly box? I emptied our “new” antique trunk, polished the brass and oiled the leather. My husband dusted and cleaned the player. We carefully placed the box inside the chest. There was room for all the beloved albums to stand next to it. The combination of the old, blemished items was the perfect marriage. We had brought our quirky music box to life. Almost forgotten, now it was cherished. It had “The Look of Love.”

About this writer

  • Rose Ann Sinay Rose Ann Sinay is a freelance writer typing away in sunny North Carolina. Her articles/stories have been published in The Carolinas Today, The Oddville Press and The Brunswick Beacon.

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10 Responses to “Turn Around, Look at Me”

  1. Joan Eaton says:

    Roseanne you brought back so many great memories. Those were the days.

  2. …Rose Ann always gets it just right. She pulls you in to her experience, and it reminds you of your own. Another great, little story, which triggers another great, little memory. Like Rose Ann, I have songs that take me back to certain times in my life. When certain ones come on, I close my eyes and relive those moments, even though some were over 40 years ago. Great job, Rose Ann!

  3. Sandy Keck says:

    Precious story! Great memories !

  4. Tammy Rohlf says:

    What sweet memories. I still remember my first record player and playing all of my favorite albums. Once again you transported me back to my “youth”.

  5. Mary Ann Miller says:

    I LOVE your stories Rose Ann! They could almost be me! They bring to life sweet memories long misplaced by today’s hustle and bustle. Thank you SO much for extricating those precious memories.

  6. Erika Hoffman says:

    With so many moments in life, there was music in the background playing, and whenever you hear those notes again, you go back. Great writing.

  7. Diane Q says:

    Wow….once again you transport me back to wonderful times and memories. You have such a gift of reflection. Thank you once again.

  8. Great article! Such fun to jump into your time machine!

  9. Linda O'Connell says:

    Great story and a real trip in time. It;s the little things that matter.

  10. Rose Ann says:

    Thanks for going down memory lane with me! I appreciate your comments. Keep reading :) A lot of great stories in Sasee Magazine!

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