Not Even a Vague Idea
I was 22 years old, and had no idea that high-end audio existed. No idea at all.
As a child, I knewor I should say: I had the vague ideathat, as you got older, your speakers got bigger. A stereo was something you paid a good amount of money for and showed off to your house guests.
I remember my father’s brother bragging about the new Aiwa stereo system he had recently purchased. It was bigger than my father’s.
Soon, my father went out and bought a Kenwood. It was bigger than the Emerson we had before, and even a little bit bigger than my uncle’s Aiwa. But it lacked a turntable. Our old one had a turntable. I missed it.
My father ended up giving away all of our LPs, including the Beatles Love Songs album my mother so adored.
It made no sense to me:
Why buy a new stereo and then give away all of your music?
Why give away something that your wife adores?
Stupid two times.
That was many, many years ago. My parents got a divorce. My mom still has the Kenwood, though I don’t think she listens to it very often. It sits in the basement, holding candles, collecting dust. The grilles never come off the speakers. There was a brief period when she tried to locate that Beatles Love Songs album on CD, but couldn’t. She primarily listens to music while in the car. She drives a Honda. I have no idea what kind of stereo my father has. Or what kind of car he’s crashing these days. My uncle has done well for himself and has replaced his Aiwa with some sort of tiny Bose thing. It’s shiny and white and blends into the walls and hides behind a plant.
I make fun of it every time I visit.
Neither my uncle nor my father has any idea of what it means to listen. Not even a vague idea. That I know for sure. You can’t tell me otherwise.
I have learned a thing or two over the past five years here.