Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Unearthing a Time Capsule

Once upon a time—maybe two decades ago—people had answering machines that recorded onto cassette tapes. We didn't have cell phones or e-mail, so everything happened through complex back-and-forth messages, and sometimes people were actually home when they were telephoned.

And it seems that between 1988 and 1990, I would let the tapes fill up and then throw them into a box. And Sunday, I found a large box in my garage—it was actually growing mold—and inside of it were hundreds of cassette and VHS tapes.

The message tapes are absolute time capsules now, containing one side of phone tag conversations. I can piece together what was going on in my life from the messages that were left...there's David calling right after he moved to LA, here's Nancy calling from across the street, and what did I ever see in THAT guy? (Or that one or that one?)

It seems I was always late on my student loan payments. Which isn't really surprising. I was paid very little in my first job at Marvel.

And then there were loads of messages from Daniel Johnston. Like this one.

Wait'll I dig into the recordings of when I was a party line monitor...except it was probably illegal to have made them, moreso to slap them up on my blog.


Anonymous said...

Nice article Marie.
The internet and cellphone are so cool, I can't imagine how things will be like when the usage reaches, even a tenth of their potentials.

Linda said...

I remember getting calls from VELA... and remember how hard it was to reach someone who knew anything when you called them back?