Born in the U.S.A.

Memorial Day Weekend has arrived again extra quickly this year, in this blogster’s humble opinion. Seems as if springtime fast-forwarded, like a tape on an old reel-to-reel recorder. Remember those, or even cassette decks and VCRs? Does anyone actually use them anymore in our digital world?

To date myself, I had an eight-track stereo player in my car back in 1971, complete with a carrying case filled with tapes from Led Zepplin, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, the Beatles, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Santana, The Who, and who have you. Like a naive child, I kept the box on the back shelf of my MG in plain view for easy access.

While visiting a friend in Jersey City, NJ, I told him about a recently purchased recording called Switched-On Bach, a collection of pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, played on a Moog synthesizer by American composer Wendy Carlos, released under her birth name, Walter Carlos. Synthesized music was just finding a place in rock and roll, and I thought it was fabulous.

Going outside to my car for getting the eight-track cartridge, wanting to turn my buddy onto it, I found someone had punctured a hole in the convertible top’s back window and stolen the box of tapes. Fortunately they didn’t rip out the player, but losing all my music really bummed me out. Thank goodness for my vinyl records at home or I would have been totally lost.

Along with multitudes of VHS tapes, three VCRs are stashed in the black-hole closet, one of which is permanently attached to an analog TV. Two cassette decks are built into a stereo-amp system with a radio tuner and record player, still in my living room, with which I play selections from my vinyl collection and random cassette recordings on occasion.

Another old stereo rack resides with my sundry, stored, outdated electronic equipment and computers, all of which will find itself to a recycling center one of these days. More correctly, make that one of these years.

Then there’s the vast collection of Video-8 cassette tapes from my various camcorders and respective analog player, also housed in the black-hole closet. I have enough old stuff to start a museum. Funny how kids think compact discs are obsolete.

St. Mary’s Cemetery, Burlington, N.J.

Getting back to Memorial Day Weekend after having been launched on a tangent as usual, this is my yearly tribute in memoriam for all the fallen American soldiers who gave their lives serving our great nation.

According to Wikipedia, 1,354,684 U.S. military casualties (deaths) from war exist, starting with the American Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I & II, Vietnam War, Gulf War, War in Afghanistan and Iraq, and from all the various conflicts too many to mention.

Looking at the eighty or so confrontations in which the United States had partaken, makes me think about how warlike a country we are, and lately the nation has been flirting seemingly with future altercations. This entry is not to discuss politics, but express my respect for the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

Please take a moment during this holiday weekend for paying homage to these brave individuals who, with their unselfish dedication and servitude, safeguarded our rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Now, let the summertime festivities begin!

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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